Saturday, July 1, 2017

How to keep oil paint soft

I've been painting plein air a lot this summer using my Open Box M mounted on a tripod. Every evening I close the lid but it isn't air-tight and the paint dries a little before morning. One of the artists who comes to my Studio for our Plein Air Painters of Washington Critique group gave me a tip (thank you, Bill): I now put my Open Box M in the freezer after each painting session. The next day it's ready to use - no thawing necessary.

Some days I prefer painting in the Studio. I've have been using a French Mistress as a palette/color mixing but if I paint plein air several days in a row the studio paint on my French Mistress forms a skin or turns into hard, dry blobs.

Today I may have discovered a better way. Instead of using the French Mistress, I now squeeze oil paint from the tubes into my Open Box M and then use it as my palette on the table in front of the easel in my Studio. I mix color on a 17 x 28 inch piece of glass. When I'm done for the day I clean the glass and the Open Box M goes back into the freezer and is ready the next morning for plein air OR for studio work. Because I’m using this “frozen” oil palette for both plein air and studio work, the paint gets totally replaced every couple days. 

By the way, when I post a photo with something in the background unrelated to what I'm talking about, someone emails me and asks about it. So I'll tell you more about this photo now:

The painting of the flower is another for my SUPER SUMMER SALE on DailyPaintworks.

The painting in neutrals on the big easel is the first of a series of interior scenes, 18 x 18 inches. Eventually I'll have a new body of work to deliver to one of my galleries.

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