Materials & Process
I self-stretch my canvases and use Frederix Knickerbocker Canvas paired with Blick Standard Stretcher Bars. I love this particular canvas because it has a super-fine weave and works well with my style of painting allowing me to get in those fine details with less texture distraction.
I use a 50/50 mixture of Liquitex White Gesso and Grey Gesso. I also add a small amount of Sennelier Burnt Umber Dry Pigment to warm up the mixture. I prefer to paint with this base over painting directly on white canvas as it makes it easier to get my values correct.
I like to use a white graphite CarbOthello Pencil from Stabilo to get in my sketch. I then use a natural, non-toxic fixative by SpectraFix to set my sketch.
My go-to paints for over 20 years have been Winsor & Newton Artists’ Oil Paints. I paint alla-prima; a method of painting in which pigments are laid on in a single application.
I use a small amount of Winsor & Newton Safflower Oil to thin my paints. I clean my brushes with non-toxic Weber Turpenoid Natural. I like to make sure all of the materials I utilize are non-toxic.
The most important brushes that I use are the Winsor & Newton University Round Brushes and Silver Ruby Satin Round Brushes with short handles. These brushes are great for getting in those tiny details and they have the perfect snap to them. My favorite blending brush is the Princeton Velvetouch 1/4" Mop brush. For all other parts of the painting I use a smattering of random brushes.
When the oil painting is finally dry I finish it with Gamblin Gamvar Gloss varnish to protect it for years of enjoyment.
I typically paint smaller canvases and find that this U.S. Art Supply H-Frame Tabletop Easel works quite well for me. It's highly customizable for the height and angle that you prefer to work at. My preferred artwork illumination is a Full Spectrum Floor Lamp. This provides the closest light to natural light and really helps me mix my colors properly. The adjustable neck also is great for getting the proper angle of light.