Monday, April 23, 2012

A Small Tip

Cleaning brushes is probably my least favorite part of painting. I'd love to have the means to be able to pay someone to do the job for me. Until that day arrives, it will remain a necessary daily chore. Cleaning a whole set of brushes is easy to put off at the end of a long day. There are other times it is not practical, such as during travel.

This is a small tip for those kinds of situations. I heard about the idea from another artist,  who uses it all the time.

All you need is a small painting tray. I bought this one at a local hardware store. The tray was made for small detail paint rollers, and was inexpensive.

I filled the deep end of the tray with a moderate amount of linseed oil. Brushes are laid on their side so that the bristles rest submerged in the oil.

The oil retards the drying time of used brushes, so dirty brushes can be stored for relatively long periods. Later, if I need to use one of the brushes in the tray, I take it out, and wipe it clean on a towel or rag. The brush can be put to immediate use, or given a real cleaning.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

In Progress

This picture represents my first time painting such a large waterfall. I picked this site as one of my favorites, while looking for new material, outside of Covington, Virginia. The viewing angle was interesting, being off to the side and straight on and square with the falls.

I originally visited this site back in winter, with plans to produce a painting later in the spring. The falls is a popular viewing destination, there are already many great photos of it in existence. Comparing pictures from different seasons to my own, I noted that the view would drastically change by the summer. The mass of fully blossomed trees would obscure much of the detail of the rocks and valley below. I made the decision to hurry back before Spring had taken full effect.

My main objective for this picture was to capture the power and dynamics of falling water. In order to do so, I felt it necessary to be there in person for the majority of the painting. I'm glad I made that decision, despite all of the extra back and forth driving it entailed.

This picture is not yet finished. Now that I have worked out the basic composition, my plan is to complete the picture in my studio. Before I left the falls, I toned the background on the warm side of neutral. The challenge will be to fill in the missing details, while adding some more color.