What Colour Did I Use?

by Kerri Redding

When you go back to a work, or want to touch up, do you ever forget exactly what colour you used in your work? Or if you have written it down you can't remember where? Well I write my colours on the back of the stretcher bars, that way what colours you use are always handy. If you don't want the info on the back of the canvas when you sell it, you can always write the colour on some tape and tape it to the back of the canvas and remove it before you sell.

It helps.....trust me!!!


great idea
by: Ted E. Mueller USA

I usually have a DAB sheet with samples of the colors and notes. But when I try and match say for a touch up, the new strokes are as different as night and day.

So I try to get it right the first time or else do a repaint of an entire area.

But will try your suggestion.

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Oil painting tips

by Nada

Hangin' Loose

Hangin' Loose

For the beginners
We are so used to seeing kids use HEAPS of acrylic paints, make a mess and throw out lots of left over paints, wasting litres of water and a bucket of soap to clean up at the end.... As a teacher I have seen it all...

The artist knows better though and can be a bit more careful with paint use and cleaning up! If you have never tried oil paints, you will find it is definitely cleaner and tidier when it comes to cleaning up! The oil artist is actually thriftier!

Scrape all paint off the brush with a pallette knife - most of it will last some time on your pallette until next use. Then use only a small amount of gum turps on a rag - old tea towels work great, and wipe the brush really well. Almost all the oil paint will be removed - then just a little soap and water to clean off the rest and make your brush soft again. Use the damp towel to wipe your hands clean too.

My students can't believe how little gum turps they actually use as I won't let them get in the habit of 'washing' the brush in the tiny jar of turps they use during painting like they used to at school, so no turps is actually discarded!

My brushes have lasted many years - and I don't buy the most expensive either. Gum turps also does not smell as bad as mineral turps - it's more like eucalyptus. So go ahead and try oils - and at least you now know the clean-up is easy.

Oil paints are lots of fun to use - they are softer in texture, colours never dry darker, textures remain textured, the slow drying time allows for fantastic colour blending and shading, and using a pallette knife is lots of fun.

Even the cheaper oils are a great way to start. You can also create a wide range of effects with oils - thin and washy like a watercolour, smooth and slick like acrylics, or thick and chunky like a modelling compound.

Go ahead, try it. Let us know how you go.

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My memories of a young genius.

by John William

This story is personal, emotional, for me beautiful yet with sadness. It describes me meeting a young genius.

In my youth, soothed by time yet vivid for my eyes I remember this boy just like any other boy. He did not stand out or seem remarkable when I joined in my new class room.

My father, a professional soldier, needed to move to another base and our family followed to a new house, new schools and new friends.

I was only 9, he must have been the same age. Energies spent were meant for the day and not for the future. Our worries did not last, laughters were likewise forgotten.

Even missing old friends was compensated by the attention from the new group. I guess kids are remarkably flexible when meeting new friends. I can not remember any other kids from that school, as we moved away within a year.

He was special.

In the first week in my new school we were asked to make a painting in pairs of two. On a sizeable piece of paper, double a3 we were asked to make a sketch and colour that with paint.

He asked if he could make the sketch, and I agreed. Unlike him my drawing skills were never developed.

His sketch was amazing. In minutes he filled the paper with the image of a Buddha figure surrounded by big blossoming flowers, even with a black pencil that sketch seemed to come alive. I remember being totally set off, I felt it was beautiful.

We used finger-paint, my index finger was yellow to colour the inside of the flowers. But I just didn't dare to touch that paper. The teacher said both had to paint. I told my friend that I couldn't paint.

He said everybody can!; grabbed my hand and he painted with my hand, just as easy as he painted with his own. After that I finished a few flowers' insides while his hands raced over the paper filling faces, casting shadows.

We finished within one hour, and I was stunned silent. I really felt I had been part of something awesome.

After a few days the painting had dried and had become even better.The teacher decided to flip coins on who was allowed to take it home. He really wanted to have the painting, just like I wanted it.

The toss favoured me and I immediately felt guilty; yet wanted to take the Buddha home. Outside school he came to me again and asked if he could have it. I told him that I never had seen anything so beautiful. He also said it was great and that he wanted to give it to his mother.

He said that his birthday was within 3 weeks and that he would invite me on his birthday when he could have the painting.

Knowing absolutely nobody there, I agreed, better a friend than a painting. The birthday was huge. Lots of friends and his dad was some sort of musician and all kids had a musical instrument to play and we could all try the drums. Just awesome!

I even saw the painting back, in a fitting wooden frame, in the bedroom of his parents.

He must have known, he must have felt it. Two weeks after his birthday he was diagnosed with bone leukaemia.

He was allowed to forfil his potential and give his share to his parents and the world.

All I can say.

A few dots of yellow paint connect me to heaven.


so emotional
by: Jill

John, what a lovely story. How wonderful that you have remembered that young boy and the life-long lessons that he taught you. Thank you so much for sharing it.


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