Make

This page is for those who are interested in the materials I use or are just curious what another artist uses.

I have a studio space with a standing-height worktable and easels. My music of choice is jazz and avant-garde composers, folk and anything ground-breaking. I read Turps Banana.

My art references includes writings by Rothko and Newman and books on Cubism, Abstract Expressionism and the origins of abstraction more generally, Mediaeval and Gothic art, Anglo-Saxon painting, and illuminated manuscripts. I also have material on psychology of aesthetics/neuroaesthetics, and studies linking science and art, such as the relationship between Picasso and Einstein.

I also have technical reference materials (on pigments and technical properties of paints), materials on techniques used in earlier periods, such as Mediaeval techniques, modern methods, etc.

Paints & Inks

I use pure pigment (made from only a single pigment) acrylic paints or tube watercolours. I am mindful that the names manufacturers give to paint have little relationship to the colour inside.

I use a limited palette, which does change over time, but I focus on mixing rather than having every colour made. I mix black. I glaze aggressively, and frequently break the paint down to almost homeopathic concentrations.

I use liquid Japanese Sumi-e ink (black) and mineral chips for colour (red), or acrylic inks.

Brushes

I use hog brushes in the main, and because I work the paint quite hard, and these do wear down over time. I use a few watercolour brushes, usually large ones.

I haven’t found the nylon brushes to my liking.  I also use paint scrapers, sponges and paper towels.

For Sumi-e, I have a small selection of wolf and goat hair brushes.

Paper & Canvas

I work on paper, wood and cotton canvas. I don’t stretch the paper.

Paper, up to 850 gsm, are usually from St Cuthberts Mill, Dalbe or Arches. Sumi-e uses very light Chinese and Japanese papers.

Wood panels are either veneered wood panels (the type used to make kitchen cabinets are good and thick), or plywood panels sliced into various sizes.

Canvas in various sizes as well as off a roll for working on unstretched canvas surfaces.