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  • Oil Painting in Different Forms

    OIL BARS, OIL PAINT AND OIL PASTELS !!!

    Oil paint is a very well-known, classic medium everyone thinks of when they hear the word 'painting'. Yet it comes in many different forms not only in tube form! Moreover, we've previously covered the new invention, the water mixable oil paint  as well as the 'regular'.

    Oil Bars/ Sticks / Paint sticks

    What Are Oil Bars?

    Oil sticks (also known as paint sticks and oil bars) are simply oil paint formed as a stick. They are made of wax and linseed oil mixed with pigment. They are rolled into a stick form and wrapped in paper. Oil sticks can be used for drawing and painting as they are. They can be mixed on a palette and applied with a brush or knife or used directly on the surface. They work just like regular oil paints; they can be mixed with different oil paint mediums. They dry like oil paint and grow a skin on the paint's surface, however, it is debated whether they cure as oil paint or whether the wax prevent it from completely drying.

     

    Jaeyeol Han S. Korea) "Passer by Distortion", Size: cm., Oil bar on Canvas,

    How to use Oil Sticks?

    Oil sticks can be used on any surface that's usually good for oil paint, although the canvas or paper should be primed with gesso or sized too. Oil sticks' surface form a protective skin when they are exposed to air that looks like it dried. It can be removed carefully with a rag or palette knife to expose the creamy paint underneath.

    Oil sticks can be used like oil pastels or crayons for drawing or like paint; diluted with turpentine. All oil painting mediums can be used with them. They are particularly good for plen air paining and for bold impasto effect.

    As for varnishing and framing, there's still a debate whether paintings with Oil sticks can be framed without a glass or not. Oil sticks dry like all oil paint but it's questionable whether its wax content prevent them form curing completely.

    Oil Pastels

    What are Oil Pastels?

    The first oil pastels date back to 1925 when the company Sakura created them; a new material that was a cross between crayons made of wax and soft pastels (hence the name cray-pas). They had the properties of soft pastels without the dust. While soft pastels were made of the mix of pigments and gum or methyl cellulose binder, oil pastels were the combination of pigments and non-drying oils and wax binder. Whilst oil pastels harden, they never actually dry completely. They remain the same viscosity on the painting, throughout all the layers and due to the wax content never dry by exposure to air.

    How to use Oil Pastels?

    Blending examples

     

    The first artist quality oil pastels were made by Henri Sennelier in 1949 on the request of no other but Pablo Picasso, who wanted "a colored pastel I could paint on anything ... without having to prepare or prime the canvas."

    And true, oil pastels don't need a primed surface – they can be used on virtually anything; watercolour paper, pastel paper, regular drawing paper or indeed, canvas, wood metal and even glass.

    There are many different tools you can use with oil pastels, from blending stumps / tortillons to tissues, cloths, q-tips or even your fingers! For a graffito technique, palette knives, paint shapers or the end of pain brushes work well too.

    Oil pastels can be layered, but because they don't dry, a new layer will always slightly blend with the one underneath. Although quite different, oil pastels can be used with oil painting mediums like linseed and thinners like turpentine to help blending and create painterly effects.

    Graffito

    How to Seal Oil Pastels

    As oil pastels never truly dry, they need to be protected and sealed once the work is finished. There are varnishes particularly made for oil pastels and they protect the painting from scratching, smudging and dust. It usually has a glossy finish and transparent that doesn't alter the colours. For maximum protection it's a good idea to frame the work behind (plexi)glass.

    Pam Carriker Oil Pastel, Stablil, Sgraffito on Yupo

    References

    https://www.artistsandillustrators.co.uk/how-to/oil-painting/1441/how-to-paint-with-oil-bars

    https://www.cassart.co.uk/blog/how_to_paint_with_winsor_newton_oil_bars.htm

    https://www.artistsnetwork.com/art-mediums/oil-painting/oil-pastels-oil-sticks-and-oil-bars/

    http://www.winsornewton.com/na/discover/tips-and-techniques/oil-colour/the-difference-between-oilbar-and-oil-pastels-us

    https://www.thoughtco.com/oil-pastels-and-oil-sticks-characteristics-4051831

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hEbKJ0Hu_-Q

    http://www.sennelier-colors.com/en/Oil-sticks_5.html

    http://www.explore-oil-pastels-with-robert-sloan.com/Oil-Sticks.html

    https://thevirtualinstructor.com/how-to-use-oil-pastels.html

  • Drawing with...

    Charcoal and other smudge-tools

    Graphite, charcoal, conte pencils... they seem like everyday tools in an artist's toolbox, yet they shouldn't be underestimated. There's no need for expensive materials to create great work!
    If not sure about the difference, read more!

     

    Graphite

    The most obvious one is, of course graphite pencils, and graphite in other forms. Mechanical pencils for precise, thin lines, graphite sticks for broad free work and even graphite powder.

    No matter how "basic" graphite can seem, it has its own wonders - see the example for how many different shading techniques and patterns are there!

     

    Hatching: Creates shades by applying parallel lines. The closer they are the more even the effect.

    Crosshatching: This technique is comprised of a series of intersecting lines. The lines can cross each other at various angles.

    Stumping:  This is created by smudging the graphite. It can be done with your finger, a cloth, a paper stump.

    Stippling: Is done by creating shades with a series of dots – lots of dots close together create darker shades.

     

    Charcoal

    Perhaps the oldest drawing tool is charcoal – that has many different forms as well, such as pencils, powder, sticks or vine.

    Artist’s charcoals are made of finely ground organic material and a gum or wax binder. It’s a great tool for producing soft, light lines or intense black surfaces. It’s easily removable yet it leaves stains without the use of fixatives. It can be applied to smooth or course surfaces alike.

    Depending on the manufacturing method, there are different charcoal types that have slightly different qualities.

    Compressed charcoal is shaped into a block or a stick. Its intensity depends on the hardness – the amount of gum or wax binders that are added to the powder. The harder the charcoal is the lighter the marks are.

    Vine charcoal is the long and thin stick that’s made by kiln firing vines. Vine charcoal is great for dusty, soft lines and for covering surfaces, making it less suitable for detailed drawings.

    Charcoal pencils are essentially the same as sticks, they just look like a regular pencil. They are great for sharp, thin lines used in detailed drawing as they can be sharpened with a regular pencil sharpener.

    Useful tools for Charcoal drawings include blending stumps, paper towels, kneaded and regular erasers.

    Charcoal is a great material for drawing, for beginners and professionals alike! It's relatively easy to use, cheap and you can achieve dramatic light and shadow differences, but it's Jenny Saville is one example of many professional artists who use charcoal in their practice.

    Jenny Saville's studio

     

    Conté

    Conté sticks or crayons are composed of powdered graphite or charcoal, mixed with clay or wax and pigments. Nicolas-Jacques Conté.

    invented them in 1795 to create a cheap alternative to graphite during the graphite shortage caused by the Napoleonic Wars.

     

    Conté crayons are most commonly black, white, grey and sanguine tones, but with additional pigments they are available in many different colours. They have very good lightfastness.

    Conté sticks differ from soft pastels in many ways.

    Conté sticks differ from soft pastels in many ways. They are harder and more waxy than the powder-like soft pastels and are suitable to create drawings, unlike the “painterly” soft pastels. It’s easy to control them and they are suitable for small details. They don’t produce a lot of dust.

    They are the best on rough paper, but they work on different surfaces like toned paper, canvas, boards, or newsprint.

    Anthea Polson 's work

    References

    • https://www.craftsy.com/art/article/introduction-to-drawing-with-charcoal/
    • https://design.tutsplus.com/tutorials/the-basics-of-sketching-with-charcoal--cms-23690
    • https://www.artistsnetwork.com/art-mediums/drawing/charcoal-drawing/
    • http://www.paintdrawpaint.com/2010/07/some-ideas-on-charcoal-drawing.html
    • https://keetonsonline.wordpress.com/2017/01/12/interested-in-conte-crayons-but-dont-know-what-they-are-or-how-to-use-them-heres-your-guide/
    • https://www.georgeweil.com/blog/all-about-conte-a-paris-crayons/
    • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cont%C3%A9
    • https://www.artistsnetwork.com/art-techniques/beginner-artist/graphite-pencil-drawing-basics/
    • http://www.toadhollowstudio.com/wp_blog/drawing-painting-powdered-graphite/
    • https://liannewilliams.com/blog/2016/3/2/my-essential-graphite-pencil-techniques
    • http://www.drawingandpaintinglessons.com/Drawing-Lessons/GraphiteStick-Exercise.cfm
    • https://www.strathmoreartist.com/blog-reader/shading-techniques-selecting-paper-for-graphite.html
  • Eco Friendly and Vegan Art Supplies

    How can art supplies be vegan?

    Believe it or not, art supplies aren't an exception when it comes to using animal ingredients. In this article we collected art materials and products that contain animal ingredients, and those that are free of them.

    Eco friendly art products are made out of recycled materials, or pencils made out of bamboo instead of wood, etc. Artist tend to use environmentally unfriendly and even harmful products in their practice, therefore being a little bit more environmentally conscious where you can is advised!

    Animal products in Art Supplies:

    • brush bristles are traditionally made with animal hair
    Hog bristle brushes

    Sable brushes

    • Shellac , a material made out of the secretion of the lac insect, is used as binder in inks and for a glossy finish
    • Ox gall is a watercolour medium that improves the flow of the paint, and is made of animal protein
    • Cochineal is the secretion of insects that is used in the making of carmine dyes.
    • Bone black is a very strong black, made from the charring of bones.
    • Tempera paints contain egg as a pigment binder.
    • Gelatin is made by boiling animal skin and bones in water, used to size paper and canvas.
    • Casein is a binder, made out of cow milk protein that can be found in pencils.
    • Rabbit skin glue is used in the making of gesso, a glue in bookbinding and as a sealant.
    • Beeswax, found in crayons and pencils.

    Art Products and Brands free from animal ingredients:

       

    As well as graphite, charcoal, Damar Varnish, all Strathmore Watercolour paper (except 'Gemini'), all Fabriano paper (except: 'Roma', 'Esportazione', 'Secolo'), all Canson 'Heritage' and 'Montval' range, St Cuthberth's Mill Bockingford paper.

    Hopefully this was a useful guide for those who want to remain cruelty free in their art practice as well. And most importantly, even if your supplies aren't completely eco-friendly and vegan, always make sure you dispose of turps, paint and dangerous chemicals properly!

    References:

    • http://emptyeasel.com/2009/01/29/the-vegans-list-of-art-supplies-art-products-free-of-animal-ingredients/
    • http://www.artdiscount.co.uk/blog/vegan-vegatarian-and-eco-art-supplies/
    • http://www.veganwomble.co.uk/wordpress/veganartandcraftsupplies/
    • http://www.colorsofnature.com/VeganCrueltyFreeArtSupplies.html
    • http://deliciousliving.com/blog/10-things-you-thought-were-vegan-arent
    • http://artonthefridge.com/animal-free-art-supplies/?i=1
    • https://www.hahnemuehle.com/en/digital-fineart/digital-fineart-collection/matt-fineart/p/Product/show/8/6.html

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