In this "How to paint" BLOG I'm sharing secrets! 🤫That’s right—read on if you want some painting tips and hardware tool recommendations that will help you make your paintings more interesting.
But first, let me show you how I paint by sharing a little bit about my process and inspiration for my painting, Inheritance.
As a native Vermonter, it was very important for me to capture the unique consistency of old snow. When snow first falls, it is usually soft and fluffy, but as it ages over a long, New England winter, it becomes hard and crunchy. Before starting this painting, I decided that the best way to depict the old snow of my childhood memories was to use several layers of oil paint, starting with a very thick layer of straight titanium white (Pictured above).
After my initial layer of titanium paint dried, I glazed it with a mixture of cobalt teal and ivory black. I wiped away most of the glaze leaving it darker around the edges where the snow meets the bare ground. The glaze also stayed in the rougher parts of the initial layer of thick paint. This worked perfectly because snow absorbs and reflects light differently depending on how thick it is.
After the glaze dried, I painted over it with opaque paint that was closer to the color and value of the snow in my source (not pure white). I repeated this process two additional times concluding with a final layer of opaque paint. The result was a beautiful blend of nuanced textures that represented old-snow really well.
I’m always on the lookout for a new painting tool, and I discovered a new favorite while wandering the aisles of the local Lowes. This acrylic squeegee is a fantastic painting tool! I use it mostly for creating unique edges that I could not get with a brush, but in this painting, I used it to add interest to my glaze-layers in the snow. As I gently scraped it through a wet glaze, it smeared and removed paint in unique and fascinating ways. Ultimately, my squeegee is another way to add interest and mystery to my surface.
Another unconventional tool that came from a hardware store is this wire-bristle brush. I primarily used this tool in a passage of dead grass in the foreground of the painting. I knew that I wanted thick and varied texture in the grass and this tool worked perfectly for both adding and removing paint in a rough and organic way. I did use it in conjunction with a palette knife and my regular brushes.
Still, it gave me the extra variety that I was looking for in this piece.
Please feel free to ask questions or even share your own trade secrets in the comments section below!