Monday, November 17, 2008

Tools of the Trade

These photos pretty much sum up what have become essential tools over the last few years.
The palette is a combination of transparent and opaque pigments (something I don't take any notice of anymore),and a warm / cool layout with some random intuitive variances. It contains from left to right starting at top:
Prussian Blue, Indanthrene Blue, Ultramarine, Cobalt,Cerulean,Cobalt Green, Perm Magenta(random placement but always here) Viridian, Quin Gold, Aurolean, Cad Yellow pale, Raw Sienna, Raw Umber, Winsor Red, Cad Scarlet, Cad Red, Scarlet Lake, Perm Alizarin, Permanent Rose or Opera Rose(I squirt them both into this position and let them work themselves out), Burnt Sienna, Brown Madder, Burnt Umber,Indian Red, Diox Violet(Especially kept to remind me of Bruce MacEvoy's dislike of purple and that it should be always used as often as needed) It's actually very handy as a strong transparent darkener. They're all W&N which are not bad value in the 37ml tubes these days. The photo shows some fluid acrylics which i dabble with sometimes. I'll use whatever pigment suits the mix, either decided by volume required or pigment hue. I don't mind putting some gesso with the watercolours to make a gouashe as well.
The tilting table has a hydraulic foot pump and tilts between flat and vertical with the flick of the hand. Made in Sweden by Nike, cost me $40 out of the local rag(best 40 bucks I've ever spent)
The round bushes are kolinskys apart from 2 smaller ones on the right with the red handles which I use a heck of a lot for those cellular windows paintings etc.
The yellow handled big kolinsky mop is made by Rosemary
It's a #8 if you're interested in enquiring and want to compare sizes. It worth a fortune these days, when I got mine they were semi affordable.
I'm not a big fan of using flat brushes for applying shapes, never have been and doubt I ever will, much to my old mentor's chagrin.
An exception to that is the 2 inch Hake is not to be underestimated in flair and versatility, it's an exception to the "flat rule", I wouldn't be without it.
Beer is Hahn premium.


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November 18, 2008 at 8:05 AM  
Blogger wayne said...

Hi David, thanks for a fascinating insight into your studio setup! I love the Rosemary sable -- wish that one was in my kit!! My W&N series 7 sable pictured on my blog had a similar point to that Rosemary of yours but I've worn it down over many years -- it still performs superbly however and, in a 'blessing-in-disguise' kind of way, forced/encouraged me to make larger gestural marks, strokes and washes.
Your easel is probably the most unique watercolour easel in the country! I like it - but on second look its steel base and crank reminded me that I badly need to visit the dentist LOL!
Your palette of colours is replete with numerous possible ensembles. I noticed the absence of Yellow Ochre from your earth colours, and, on that point, I too have given that one a wide berth: it seems particularly prone to destroy the vitality of watercolour swatches/mixes (I have found anyway). Re W&N watercolours-- simply superb. W&N Cerulean Blue is beautiful and granulates exquisitely in washes on cold-pressed paper if allowed to dry slowly on a slope.

November 19, 2008 at 2:53 PM  
Blogger William K. Moore said...

Thx for the tour of the creative nexus David. The studio looks quite inviting and conducive for achieving maximum quality output. And the beer bottle.. a thinner container? I once invested in an array of expensive brushes; most are rarely used. My favorites are WN series 7 in addition to some mops and some very cool sable flats. Colors - same story as the brushes. I pretty much use the primaries to make the bulk of my colors. However, the other colors are always there when needed. Mastering tools, technique, and procrastination is an often daunting task. But the rewards are very rewarding.

November 19, 2008 at 7:16 PM  
Blogger David Lobenberg said...

I lust for that brush and your painting table. Are you going to post the painting I see there? Looks pretty cool.

November 19, 2008 at 7:37 PM  
Blogger David Burge said...

Merci Manuela!

Thanks for checking in Wayne

Ths table is a bit reminiscent of the dentist. However I have a very pleasant dentist, a visit to her and heris like spending a day with the lotus eaters.
As for yellow ochre; It's like naples yellow. If I want that quality I just drop some gesso in the mix.
I recently ordered a range of Da Vinci watercolours (minus the"u")
I may not be knowing what I'm missing. The Dvs are incredibly well priced. Daniel Smith are now the most expensive I notice. So I'm in the mood to try some new stuff.
It took my some years to appreciate the character of CB, I used to use manganese a more transparent alternative however cerluean I eventually discovered is one of the most versatle blues going, can be ever so subtle.

G'day Bill, I hestitated in posting more of the studio which seriously lacks natural light, it's an old shack and seriously in need of maintenance. I paint to a fluro over my head and a big light I think was designed for growing dope plants inside but don't use it that much as it cools the colours too much. Also a couple of 500w halogen floodlights for when the eyes need a rest.
I don't think lighting is that important with the subjects I paint
so long as it remains consistent throughout the process.
I'm with you on the use of primaries and I pretty much do likewise. The other more exotic pigments are used mostly to affect primary mixes,to impart a character.
eg Permanent magenta in the smallest ratio is especially great for giving raw sienna some depth, or age if you know what I mean.
I use all of those whacky pigments in that way, never neat except for a small highlight here and there.

Hey David, The table is a fantastic thing for sure. I find it as mobile and dynamic as any tool. During the painting process I adjust it without thinking anymore, tilting in an instant, sitting to standing in a few seconds. It'great!
I didn't finish that painting,will dig it out once I'm through with this new Blues Series.(see previous post)

November 19, 2008 at 10:47 PM  
Blogger Nick said...

DakO, while I don't think this stuff is very important overall, I nonetheless really dig seeing the tools used by artists I admire. (or we such, I took the photos of Kanevsky's stuff as much for you as for myself). I've never had a WN brush, but from what the three of you guys are saying, maybe I should. So you're not really that fond of the flats? If I could only have one brush, it would be the 1 1/2" flat. That drafting table amazed me the first time I saw it...looks like something Captain Nemo would paint on. The picture looks quite intriguing, hope it rates a future post.

November 19, 2008 at 10:53 PM  
Blogger David Burge said...

Yes I really enjoyed your expedition into the realm of Kanevsky. An incredibly comfortable studio in all respects.
As much as we'd all love to work in a studio like his, I find it more facinating and inspiring to see awesome art coming from back sheds, bsaements and "ordinary" environments. Alex' studio demands that something great come from it.
He seems to match the mileu with his canvases.
Lucien Freud(I know your thoughts on him) produces work that seems to have been painted with stuff that could have been scraped from his walls and floor. It's hard to define the boundaries between Freuds work and his studio Freud's work is of the earth, Alex' work is of the air. Alex has light and space. Freud has darkness and confinement.
In many ways they are the same.
The tools themselves are as individual as the artwork they make. I think the choices we make as to what tools we use and what environment we create for ourselves or find ourselves in through circumstances is bound together with the art that it produces.
Your choice of a flat brush and my preference for a round would be analogous to Mike Metheny choosing the trumpet and Pat the guitar.
(I don't want to discuss which one is which though heheh)
Hehe Capt Nemo?! the table could well have been designed by Leo Fender, it's a classic design that's hard to beat.

November 20, 2008 at 9:47 PM  
Blogger joel said...

love that mop brush Dake. i am a big fan of mop brushes myself. i have several in various sizes.

great post. i must do a similar one - in the interests of "sharing"...

-- Joel.

November 25, 2008 at 3:57 AM  
Blogger perugina said...

Hi David...last time i commented on a similar posting like this i got into lots of trouble with 'the blues!' all i'll say is...'tis very interestink..and i know notink…notink!' reminiscent of Hogan's Heroes. :)

December 12, 2008 at 2:49 AM  
Blogger perugina said...

PS...I have a wonderful array of makeup brushes if anyone is interested!

December 12, 2008 at 2:51 AM  
Blogger David Burge said...

Patricia, I've oft' eyed my wife's make-up brushes. A couple have possibilities but for that fact that they serve a far greater good in their owners hand I'd have taken them for a test drive long ago.

December 12, 2008 at 9:12 PM  
Blogger Kendy said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

March 11, 2009 at 2:33 AM  
Blogger David Burge said...

Good memories. I'm glad I posted these pictures.
I'd love to still have this set up. The fire was that hot that it melted the cast iron base off that Nike table and bent the 3 inch diameter shaft like a noodle!

April 10, 2011 at 9:36 AM  

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