Friday, April 11, 2014


I’ve been asked a few times about my paint palette so I thought I would give a tour of my paint room.  I am very pleased how it has evolved over the last decade starting from a corner in the garage.

And yes, Olaf will be available shortly.  There are four other Frozen pieces in the works.

The room is 10”x11” study that opens to a hallway allowing me to back up and see how things are progressing.

The palette itself is nothing more than a 24x18 piece of glass on top of an illustration board painted with a mid-one grey(Liquitex Basics Neutral Grey Value 5), on top of a 3/4” piece of plywood, held together with black masking tape around the edges and all mounted to a  Bogen tripod.  “The Masters” is used to clean the brushes.

Glass and the glass scraper is used for instant clean-up.  Palette knife for mixing and the “Tube-Wringer” is a must in getting ALL the paint from their tubes.

The base palette colors are: Titanium White, Cadmium Yellow Pale, Yellow Ochre, Cadmium Orange, Cadmium Red, Alizarin Crimson, Burnt Umber, Viridian, French Ultramarine, Cerulean Blue  and Ivory Black.

Some rarely used extras are: Permanent Rose, Cobalt Blue, Cad Yellow, Venetian Red, Oxide of Chromium, Grumbacher Thalo Blue and Thalo Green.

In 2004 and before I found the Art of Disney Galleries, I thought that oil portraiture would be my escape from advertising illustration so I started one of the greats John Howard Sanden by buying all his out of print books and trying to copy his set-up.  Probably 85% of my oil painting workflow is based on JHS.  For portraits i began using his premixed “Pro-Mix” colors (all mixable from the base palette colors) and have found they help keep my Disney colors to more palatable hues.

My choice in brushes are also JHS influenced.  Although for style in the Disney Fine Art paintings, I only use the brights.
Silver Brush Silverstone Series Hog Bristle Brush 2, 4, 6, 8, 10:  Tougher bristles to get the paint onto the canvas.
Silver Brush Renaissance Red Sable 4, 6, 8, 10, 18, 20:  Soft bristle for the final stokes.

The only medium I use is Low-Odor Mineral spirits held in a Silicoil brush cleaning tank with a half cut-out top to avoid splashes.  Instead of holding a paper towel for brush cleaning I clamp one to the palette which allows me to start ad stop painting without any hassle or worry of clean up.  Cling wrap allows me to cover the unused paint for another day of painting.

My oversized Mahl Stick is a 3/8” aluminum bar from Lowes and the Mahl Stick “tower” was made from whatever was available in the garage but works really well!

Lighting is a regular flouresent fixture holding four “natural color” 48*, 40 watt Lumichrome Fluorescent Bulbs.

11x14 glass palette(s) with a drop of Oil of Clove help keep puddles of paint workable for days on the larger projects.

Hopefully you can gleam something useful out of all this.


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