Forum Posts

Jane
Jan 17, 2018
In Art Materials
Whether you are cleaning up after class or at home cleaning up these tips will help you to: a) protect the environment b) stop your drain being blocked c) all paints have a toxicity and should not be ingested or near a sink This small amount of paint couldn't possibly block my drain! Well yes it does actually. Acrylic is a type of plastic. We have had an instance of this and proof that this happens! Pouring water with paint in actually blocked a drain so badly that plumbers needed to come out and check the drain. They found it had built up in the pipe very badly and they had to chip it off, they also added that this was happening all of the time! A reason to avoid doing this if ever I heard it. It is a costly business. Skyblue are on a mission in 2018 and beyond to help prevent paint going down the drain, in class and at home. How can you do this? 1. Avoid throwing acrylic paint water into the sink or drain 2. Avoid larger amounts of paint being washed under the tap (off brushes or your paint palette) Basically - don't go near the sink with paint! So how can you solve this problem? SOLUTIONS!! 1. Buy 'stay wet' palettes for acrylics. Cheap and cheerful from The Range or other cheaper stores or even art shops. Please use them in class. Or make your own see here 2. Use rags/kitchen roll to wipe brushes on to get excess off. Clean palette with rags 3. My favourite technique: Leave acrylic to dry - this may sound mad but it actually works. You leave the paint to dry. Thicker paint will take longer to dry but then peel off and go in the bin. You can also re-wet the dried paint after with a spray bottle or brush it over. Allow a few minutes to sink in and then wipe with rags or kitchen roll into the bin. Tip: make sure you get all of the little bits left on the surface as they can creep into your next painting. Do this with a clean damp rag to get a clean surface. 4. My new Favourite Technique: Where to put the dirty paint water? Buy a cheap large bag of cat litter (non-clumping) put an amount into a bin liner in a container and then empty your paint water into the cat litter. Top up as desired with cat litter. As an artist I will be implementing all of the above and also in class. Please help when you can if attending a class. Lastly and most importantly - our drinking water is precious as are our seas - help everyone to keep them lovely for the future
Cleaning up paint content media
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Jane
Dec 14, 2017
In Art Materials
If you are planning to stock up between now and January with art materials, in particular to come to the watercolour classes, I thought it would be good to give you an idea of what we have been using. This list is a general one, full details are given in the weekly newsletter. Watercolour classes: Tubes are great and we have been using Cobalt Blue, Aureolin Yellow and Rose Madder, check out the Skyblue Shop for other colours and some great sets Paper (also great for doubling up with acrylic painting): Saunders Waterford : 22x30in : 56x76cm : 140lb : 10 Sheets : Not follow the link here to go to the Jacksons website ask them to quarter the paper in the online checkout area! I also have the sheets for 80p each at classes Thanks to Lynn G for her lovely watercolour above Palette: Johns Big Well palette (see link here) is great for watercolours, or alternatively get one with a lid - available online Jacksons Art. Advantage of a palette with a lid is that you can save all your colour mixing and not wash it off down the drain. Colours can be squeezed onto the palette and remain perfect for you to use again and again (not the same with acrylics) Brushes: We love Rosemary & Co Brushes, send for a catalogue or browse online here Small portable class palette - old white plate Yoghurt pot for water Board to tape your work on - think about using the back of an old picture frame or get a small but light board for you to carry from an art supplier Masking tape - lots of different 'tacks' to this, a stronger one for taping your work to the board but a lighter tack for masking off areas on a painting Jacksons Art are super online suppliers click on the banner here
 We use these in class content media
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Jane
Nov 08, 2017
In Art Materials
A few people have asked about doing pastel classes. Interestingly when using soft pastels it is as much about the surface that you draw on, as the pastels you use. With that in mind I thought it would be interesting to investigate which surfaces you need to get started. There are 3 choices: 1. DIY choice - adding acrylic paint with water and sand applying to paper 2. using a primer with sand or gel with texture for pastels - mixing with acrylic paint and applying to paper 3. buying prepared coloured sanded surfaces in this instance Colorfix Paper All 3 are using a heavyweight watercolour paper as the base. Getting soft pastels (not oil or hard pastels) to adhere to paper usually involves a solvent which is sprayed on afterwards, even then you will need to frame the work. It is like trying to get chalk to stick to paper. However, using a paper with a type of sandpaper surface on actually helps the pastel to stay on the paper without using any solvent. My preferred choice is number 3! Here is the first DIY approach so that you get to see what is happening Below is the second option which demonstrates a pastels medium (in a jar) you can add to the watercolour paper to give it the sanded texture needed Finally the 3rd option using Colorfix Paper. The video also shows you their Colorfix primer option. You can buy the Colorfix pastel primed paper for around £4.90 (as part of a pack in the next workshop in March) or singly from Jacksons art at around £5.50 plus p&p. The sheets are large 70 x 50cm and come in a variety of colours and are very durable. They can in emergencies actually be scrubbed under water to remove any pastel to start again!
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Jane
Oct 12, 2017
In Art Materials
As we focused on glazing today I thought it would be interesting to see a video of how it works too. Note also how he applies the glaze mixture (not with a brush) but a flexible ceramic smoother
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Jane
Sep 27, 2017
In Art Materials
Over on the Skyblue blog post on this website you will see that I have posted about confusion when buying Matt Medium. There is also a very handy short video which explains why you need it when painting on canvas. In response to this I will be posting here and on the blog about the various products you can add to acrylic paints and whether you really need them.
Matt Medium for acrylics content media
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Jane
Jul 07, 2017
In Art Materials
I am busy preparing for our mixed media workshop in a couple of weeks and am investigating creating abstract effects with paint. I came across 'rubbing alcohol' and having seen this often wondered what happened only to learn that you can't buy this in the UK but a great substitue is surgical spirit (from Boots!) This informative video shows you what happens
Alcohol and paint content media
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Jane
Jul 06, 2017
In Art Materials
I have some sample packs of A5 Watercolour paper which contain individual sheets of watercolour paper of varying surfaces; NOT, HP (hot pressed) and Rough. If you paint a lot with watercolour it is well worth trying out different paper surfaces as they each give you varying results. Watercolour paper plays an important role, more so than with other paints for example, if tackling a seascape then you might like to choose a rough paper - the paint skims part of the surface leaving a lovely sparkly quality.
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Jane
Jun 23, 2017
In Art Materials
I love this, its perfect for class, at home or holiday. From my favourite online art supplier Jacksons Art; a smallish brush holder, water pot, palette and lid, great for watercolours or acrylics and under £5! (at the moment). The lid is especially useful for acrylics, leave the wet acrylics on the lid put back onto the brush holder with water in and they will stay wet for a week or more. Order one directly here https://www.jacksonsart.com/jas-plastic-brush-washer-with-palette-cover-25x15x10-5-cm?___store=jacksonsart_en&nosto=frontpage-nosto-1&acc=cfecdb276f634854f3ef915e2e980c31
Now this is a great idea content media
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Jane
Jun 20, 2017
In Art Materials
I was recently sent this great little idea for a portable easel and it really is portable. You can easily support canvases or a board on them. See the link for more photos of how it works. Portable Pocket Artists Easels – Two sizes - one holds a Standard ¾ inch canvas and the other a Larger 1½ inch canvas.  Easy to set up on a table top indoors or out.   Easy to Use for Artwork and Display, and they save so much space in the studio.  Highly portable too. They are available for purchase at a special sale price with free delivery until 30 June 2017. https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01NCBQ2LC
At last! A portable easel content media
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Jane
Apr 27, 2017
In Art Materials
Today I took this Colour Value Guide into class, it is by Magic Palette and I bought it online at Jacksons Art you can find out more about it here A colour chart is different from a colour wheel. It shows colours by paint name and has black and white added to each colour. So you see the colours outlined by the black box, this is the colour straight from the tube. Above are colours with black added, below are with white. As you progress in painting this becomes more important.
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