Tips and Techniques

Oct 2016
 Out of disposable palette paper?  How about inserting a plain white sheet of paper into a plastic page protector and use that?  It wipes off easily with a paper towel when you are finished painting and can be reused indefinitely.  Margaret

Another tip from our Margaret:  Got Diamond Dust?  Wondering what to do with it?  How about making your favorite color into a glaze by mixing a small amount of it with Glazing medium, then adding the Diamond Dust?  Not only will you be layering color, but sparkle as well, for depth AND excitement.  Personally, I like using Lemon Yellow for this idea and creating sparkling sunbeams shining through landscapes.  I think it would make lovely dancing sparkles in paintings of water as well.  And what lovely sparkly jewelry could you paint?!
Happy experimenting!
Oct 2016
Having difficulty seeing white and light colored paints on your white waxed palette? Try inserting a black sheet of paper or even your dark graphite under the top sheet of palette paper. Or even better start using the grey waxed palette paper such as Grey Matters by Richeson. Liz

 May 2012

Here are a few tips that I was able to remember from Sandy:

- To tone down a gold that's too bright for your piece - use glaze and Brown Madder (Traditions).  If it's a silver that's too bright, use glaze and Prussian Blue.

- When brushing on gold paint - brush in one direction.  The flecks lay down for better coverage rather than brushing back and forth.

- An excellent medium for sizing and shaping your brushes - Traditions watercolor medium.


Try a fan brush for base coating, varnishing jobs.  It holds a lot of paint and smooths easily for a nice surface.  Les

Acrylic Inks:
 The easiest line work ever! That's right. I've had a bottle of FW (Daler-Rowney) acrylic ink for quite a few years but had not used it very much. Recently, I painted a design by Willow Wolf where she used the acrylic inks and I was once again reminded how wonderful they are.  Before I started the painting I started to research the inks and walked into Jerry's Artarama where an artist was demonstrating them.  ?? Coincidence? She uses the inks rather than watercolors. Fascinating... Of course I had to purchase a set...  And they are as fun as they appeared.
Back to the line work... These inks are just the right consistency for excellent line work. One brush load goes for ever. (Just goes to show that when we say paint should be "inky" consistency for line work, we were absolutely right.) I used the Antelope Brown.
Inst:  Shake well. With the applicator in the bottle place just a little on your palette and from this, draw out your liner brush load.  Remember the secrets to good brush work are: 1) hold your brush perpendicular to the surface and 2)paint with your arm not your fingers.  (#3 was to make sure your paint is an inky consistency.)
Remember that these inks are acrylic and therefore water based. The good news is that you can easily correct a line with just a damp brush. The bad news is that you can easily remove paints with a damp brush. After you complete your design work with the inks be sure to set the design with a spray sealer if you plan to paint over it or varnish.
Hope you check out this product. Notice all the wonderful colors including Pearlescents.
Liz Miller (from an article on Artful Endeavors web site.)

 Sept 10, 2011
 What To Do With Your Technical Pen!

For those of you that bought a Rapidograph Pen for Lynne Andrews' The Twelve Days of Christmas project, here is information give to me by Mary Owens  at a seminar in pdf form.
Pages 3 and 4 list all her helpful hints on how to get started, use and storage of the Rapidograph Pen.  Once you get use to these pens, you'll love them. I recently mailed my pen back to Chartpak and they returned a brand new pen to me ($5.00 cost).  All this information is on Mary's website.  Thank you, Mary.

Anita Trippi
From Liz Miller
Brush Tips from Scharff
Brush Tips
  • Always clean your brushes immediately after every use.
  • Never let the paint dry on your brush.
  • Never use the cleaning tubs with a rippled bottom. This is not the proper way to clean your brushes. It is a very good way to ruin your brushes.
  • Do not let a brush stand in water or cleaning solvents for any length of time. This will cause the liquid to leach into the handle and swelling will occur in the wood. This will lead to the paint chipping off and the ferrule becoming loose.
  • Always clean your brushes with the appropriate solutions. Acrylics can be cleaned with a mild household liquid detergent. Many oil and lacquer materials will have a recommended cleaning solution for their particular products.
  • After thoroughly cleaning your brushes, store them lying flat or with the ferrules up. Never store your brushes on the hair.
  • A light coating of hair spray can be applied to the bristles to help hold the brush in shape for extended periods of storage.
  • Take care of your brush and it will perform well for many uses.
From Liz:
 When you are washing your brushes, work the soap into your bristles throughly, then holding the bristles in two fingers, wiggle the handle of your brush to work the paint out of the ferrule.

When using your brush use the grate in the bottom of the brush basin as a last resort and always pull the ferrule against the grate in one direction only.

Never pull your liner or brush with few hairs on the grate. Clean your liner by flicking it against the sides of your brush basin.

I would add to not store wet brushes with the ferrules up until they dry. Gravity will pull dirty paint water or soap water down into the ferrule causing your bristles to separate. Wait until they are dry to store standing up. 
When you are storing your brushes in a brush tote, be sure that the bristles do not touch anything.  The will be deformed.

DecoArt has a wonderful everyday brush cleaner: DecoMagic. Everyday cleaning with DecoMagic will keep your brushes in good condition. If you acquire dried paint in the ferrule of your brush, Winsor & Newton has an excellent cleaner for dried paint. Warning: It will eat cheap brushes.  Be sure to use it in a glass container. It will dissolve plastic.

  Dear Susan, Our “sunny Susan” as Sue Harley said.  As I read through the comments posted after Margaret’s heart-wrenching report of your...