A word about student paint

“Jorge – Zorn Palette” approx. 4×6″ oil on unstretched canvas. (From a canvas pad.) If loving Jorge Salinas is wrong, I don’t want to be right!

So… I got a bee in my bonnet and decided to do a review, or perhaps a treatise, on the subject of student-quality paints.

Lately I’ve had reason to shop at the North-American-based chain craft/art supply stores, Michael’s and Hobby Lobby. I realized that for many people, these types of stores are their only access to art materials, at least hands-on. So, I thought I’d explore what it would be like for a new artist to try to select paints (oils or acrylics) from one of these stores, while also being budget-minded.

So I purchased some oil and acrylic sets from both stores (haven’t finished collecting my samples yet) with the intent of trying them out and reporting back what I experienced.

An overview of chain craft store brand paints.

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Fluffy and Orange

“Fluffy and Orange,” 4×4″ oil on Gessobord. Thanks to papatte of dA for the stock photo used as reference!

I wanted to do an itty-bitty painting, and finally got around to painting this orange, fluffy cat head. I tried to keep the brush strokes more spontaneous, but alas, I must fuss. For a little 4×4″ painting, there is a lot of detail, I suppose!

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With a Black Spot on His Nose – Cat Head

“Black Spot on Nose” 6×6″ oil on Ampersand panel. Thanks to Christine Sniadach at PaintMyPhoto for the picture I used as reference!

This white kitty was so adorable and all the colors in his fur were fascinating to try to capture. This is a slightly different pose for me, as I often paint just the head of the cat. (I call these paintings my Cat Head Paintings.) Well, this is still a Cat Head, but we have some paws and some indication of a body. Woo hoo, I’m moving outside my comfort zone! 😉

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THE HEAD

“THE HEAD” (or “Roman Youth Plaster Cast Study”), 6×8″ oil on canvas panel.

An interesting little story behind this painting.

I had a simultaneously fun, exhausting, and crazy evening (and night, and morning!) at the studio yesterday. I was visiting with a fellow artist, we were yakking about art, doing some painting, just having fun, and some circumstances were created which made it necessary for us to both stay overnight at the studio. (It’s a long story.

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Cat in Silhouette & Pink Ribbon

Here are two “new” paintings that are actually old paintings that I finally decided to finish up and post online!

“Cat in Silhouette” 6×6″ oil on Gessobord. Thanks to Malleni-Stock for the stock photo used as inspiration!

I liked this very simple cat portrait—just the silhouette, with a little light touching the sides of the body, and the tip of the tail. It’s that tip of the tail that really catches my eye. I fussed with this painting off and on, and finally decided that simple was best, put a fork in it, it is done!

“Pink Ribbon” 8×8″ oil on panel.

This second painting is a portrait of fellow artist Pavina. She sometimes models for our art / drawing groups, and during some of these modeling sessions I took a series of photos of her. This little oil sketch uses one of these photos.

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Rose of Iceland

“Rose of Iceland,” 8×10″ oil on panel.

I started this painting several months ago. I kept on picking at it and picking at it, then put it away. Finally I decided to finish it, once and for all!

Rose is a model for one of the local drawing groups I attend.

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Hot and Cold

“Hot and Cold,” 6×8″ oil on Gessobord. Thanks to XNB Creative of DeviantArt for the stock photo used as inspiration!

Another exploration of cold and warm light playing on the face. I used a full-body stock photo as reference, and had to really zoooom in on the face, but there was a lot of fascinating information in the flesh tones! There’s also a bit of drama in the lighting as well. I found there were subtle pale blues in the highlighted side of the man’s face, and some warm burgundies and purples contained within the shadows. I left the collar and hair very loosely rendered, because I was most interested in the colors of the flesh.

It’s painted on Gessobord, a favorite “guilty pleasure” painting panel. I keep obsessively collecting Gessobord. It’s a hardboard panel with a wonderful, smooth eggshell-textured white coat of acrylic primer on top. I love this painting surface but try to control myself and don’t use it all the time!

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