OUR sketching kits!!!

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mdmattin
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Re: OUR sketching Spaces!!!

Post by mdmattin » Mon Dec 01, 2014 3:27 am

This is a departure from our sketching kits - it's about our dedicated spaces, if any. I have had everything from a corner of a single room to a rented loft space in an ld industrial building. Currently I work in a section of our basement which I have been gradually refurbishing and equipping to become a serviceable work space. It's kinda funky, with the duct work overhead giving it a Mike Mulligan's Steam Shovel kind of vibe, and dirt, bugs, and spiders creating their own local ecosystem, but I enjoy spending time there working on projects.
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A rotating shelf with objects for still life studies
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Bookshelves
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Back area is for oil painting, with a couple of easels, the pochade box and a littel easel for notes, sketches or photo refs. Invisible is a table palette in front of the easels.
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Shelves for supplies, kept in separate tackle boxes, Clementine boxes, etc.
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Table for paper measuring, cutting, Mat cutting, etc
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A drafting table and taboret for drawing.
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Facing away, flat file for large sheets of paper, works on paper in progress, etc. A countertop provide extra space to sort and manage paper items.
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This old desk has been repurposed as a workbench, for building frames, models, and contraptions.
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Re: OUR sketching kits!!!

Post by Andre Jute » Mon Dec 01, 2014 2:56 pm

My, you're so organized, Matthew.
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Re: OUR sketching kits!!!

Post by Alitogata » Mon Dec 01, 2014 4:49 pm

I wish I had such a large room for studio. And Andre is right.. you are well organized Matthew. :)

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Re: OUR sketching kits!!!

Post by Andre Jute » Fri Mar 06, 2015 1:53 am

PALETTE KNIVES I LOVE TO PAINT WITH by Andre Jute

I paint in watercolours with water brushes, and in oil and acrylics with palette knives and silicone color shapers. All the water I carry is in the water brush and perhaps in a spritzer (generally a lady's perfume sprayer). I carry no water for washing anything, and even in my studio wipe rather than wash, and I don't mess with solvents or media much; at most I have tiny squeeze bottle of walnut oil, less than 10ml, in some of my pochade boxes, and I'm more likely to clean my hands with it than to use it for painting!

Here's a travelling selection of my palette knives in a case ready to go when I decide to work in oil. Or pochade boxes and bags generally have a few favorite palette knives and colour shapers in them already. I have many more color shapers and use them a great deal too, but this article is about palette knives; I'll show the colour shapers some other time, and explain what they do.

Image
André Jute/Travel kit of wipe-clean palette knives and silicone color shapers for working in oils or acrylics

The palette knives are the professional type with rubber handles and black teflon-coated blades from RGM of italy; they're immune to solvents, water, paint, oil; you just wipe them clean. The wide silicone shaper is from AMI in Germany, and I have another, wider, as well; super for putting down a lot of background colour quickly. The chisel and angled chisel colour shapers were bought in a set of five from Lidl, the supermarket, and is as good as the very expensive branded "Colour Shapers" I also have.

Here's a painting made with the palette knives in this kit: In the Bower of Lady Francis

Here you can see the blades of the palette knives that are hidden in the case:

Image
André Jute/Palette knives, studio collection

From the left:
*** Common stiff paint scraper for spreading stiff paint, scraping canvases, etc. I also have a solid stainless cheese knife with the blade blunted (not shown) for less aggressive, less hard-edged scraping.
*** Five cheap palette knives I bought at Lidl for a few euro to get the case shown above holding more expensive tools. They're surprisingly good. I'm going to grind these into special effects palette knives, though first I need some idea of a special effects knife that I don't already have. (Special effect scrapers not shown -- most of mine aren't styled like knives but like cake scrapers, rectangles of aluminum or chromed steel, which makes them difficult to store and handle, hence the plan to turn these surplus palette knives into special effects items.) If you want palette knives between these student items and the professional priced types, the ones sold under the Reeves brand have a nice flex.
*** Angled palette knife, bought loose, made by AMI; you can buy similar from Bob Ross and other branders but this cheap one is good enough. If you buy only one palette knife, this is the shape you want, in a size to suit the scale of your work.
*** Six professional type palette knives from RGM in Italy, rubber handles, black teflon coated hand-ground blades, supple and smooth, immune to solvents, paints, water, oil. In the States Dick Blick brands these in various sets for about fifty dollars a set, but in Italy you can buy them loose for much less. The best you can get at any price, including many much more expensive.
*** Six Pastrello specialty palette knives from RGM in Italy. These are specifically dedicated to painting details, rather than mixing paint or slathering on paint, like more common palette knives. The blades are long and thin and ground "soft", very flexible, so that you can use them for the very finest detail in your paintings, down to a single hair in portrait work.

Thanks to Matthew for the reminder that there's interest in painting with palette knives.
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Re: OUR sketching kits!!!

Post by mdmattin » Mon Mar 09, 2015 4:02 am

Thank you Andre for your in-depth review of palette knives and even more exhaustive explanations over on the Gallery thread. What follows is a response to those and to Rajesh's comment on my Snowy Day post, but it seems most fitting to add it to the sketching kits thread.
I hadn't known about the world of fine detail palette knives. I have some old ones that have been ground down by use until the edge is too sharp to hold much paint or blend properly; it might be fun to deliberately grind them to different shapes for fine detail. In general, part of the appeal of knife painting to me is the give and take between control and chaos, similar to watercolor, so I don't want to get too fussy.
Rajesh, I hadn't really considered the possibilities of going up "on point." I had been using the edge and working with the tool's tendency to lock into a straight line. I could only get it to change course gradually, or try to approximate a curve with successive line segments. I tried some experiments using the point with interesting results:

Charging side of knife with paint
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Starting straight line with side
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Finishing straight line
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Starting on point
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Making curve
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Finished curlicue
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Line started with flat of knife, then rotated up on side and tapered (kind of like a flexy pen stroke)
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Closer view of the three lines
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Re: OUR sketching kits!!!

Post by Andre Jute » Mon Mar 09, 2015 6:21 am

Ha! Anyone who looks up all these links Matthew gives and the paintings at Matthew's original link that started all this -- http://www.sketching.cc/forum3/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=2311 -- will end up either deciding that he must have palette knives too, or deciding we're nuts. The important thing about painting with palette knives (and silicone color shapers, which I like even more) is that there's no cleanup required, no brushes to wash, no mess because all the paint ends up on the painting. Once you learn to do the job with palette knives or color shapers, oils and acrylics even more become viable alternatives to watercolors/waterbrush for a quick plein air jaunt. I paint in acrylics in books of canvas leaves I make because the paint is always dry by the time I finish, and in oils in pochade boxes which protect the wet paint. It's really great not to have to carry water or solvents into the field, and not to have your studio made unliveable with dangerous odors.
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Re: OUR sketching kits!!!

Post by Alitogata » Tue Mar 10, 2015 5:51 pm

How do you change color Andre on these silicone color shapers? Do you wipe them on paper towels. wash in water or you use one for each color of your palette?? Are these only for blending colors or you can use them instead of regular brushes?

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Re: OUR sketching kits!!! Colour shapers

Post by Andre Jute » Wed Mar 11, 2015 3:58 am

Alitogata wrote:How do you change color Andre on these silicone color shapers? Do you wipe them on paper towels. wash in water or you use one for each color of your palette?? Are these only for blending colors or you can use them instead of regular brushes?
I use one at a time and wipe it clean on paper towel for colour changes. I'll explain more about using colour shapers when I have time to prepare photographs. Remind me after the Iditarod in a couple of weeks. This is what I'm currently doing: http://coolmainpress.com/ajwriting/
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Re: OUR sketching kits!!! Colour shapers

Post by Alitogata » Wed Mar 11, 2015 8:37 am

Andre Jute wrote: I use one at a time and wipe it clean on paper towel for colour changes. I'll explain more about using colour shapers when I have time to prepare photographs. Remind me after the Iditarod in a couple of weeks. This is what I'm currently doing: http://coolmainpress.com/ajwriting/
The Iditarod race organizers own you a prize or at least a statue to honor you :lol: because if it weren't you to write about this race how would the rest of us be able know about it's existence??

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Re: OUR sketching kits!!! Colour shapers

Post by Andre Jute » Wed Mar 11, 2015 9:33 am

Alitogata wrote:
Andre Jute wrote: I use one at a time and wipe it clean on paper towel for colour changes. I'll explain more about using colour shapers when I have time to prepare photographs. Remind me after the Iditarod in a couple of weeks. This is what I'm currently doing: http://coolmainpress.com/ajwriting/
The Iditarod race organizers own you a prize or at least a statue to honor you :lol: because if it weren't you to write about this race how would the rest of us be able know about it's existence??
Now you're talking sense, Alitogata! :lol:
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Re: OUR sketching kits!!!

Post by johunter » Wed Mar 11, 2015 10:19 am

Andre, your writing about the iditarod is really exciting! I remember learning about this many moons ago when I was at school (probably a requisite for us northern Wisconsinites) and dreaming of doing the race someday. I love that it is such a level playing field for men and women but easily one of the toughest races in the world. Hope you have a fabulous time!

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Re: OUR sketching kits!!!

Post by Alitogata » Wed Mar 11, 2015 2:29 pm

Honestly now.. I don't even know where Iditarod is taking place. I suppose somewhere on the other side of this world... :oops: :lol:

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Re: OUR sketching kits!!!

Post by Andre Jute » Thu Mar 12, 2015 1:32 am

johunter wrote:Andre, your writing about the iditarod is really exciting!
Nice of you to say so. If you (or anyone else on the Sketching forum) want an ebook copy of my novel about the Iditarod --more info at http://coolmainpress.com/iditarod1.html -- write to info@coolmainpress.com and include the words Iditarod and the name of your ereader format -- kindle, epub for iPad and Nook and suchlike, or pdf to read on a computer) and Gemma will send you a complimentary copy.
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Re: OUR sketching kits!!!

Post by Andre Jute » Thu Mar 12, 2015 1:34 am

Alitogata wrote:Honestly now.. I don't even know where Iditarod is taking place. I suppose somewhere on the other side of this world... :oops: :lol:
It's a sled dog race across Alaska, almost within hailing distance of the Arctic Circle, probably the toughest and most dangerous race in the world today. Fewer people have finished than have climbed Everest. See above about getting a complimentary copy of my book, and you'll see.
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Re: OUR sketching kits!!!

Post by Alitogata » Thu Mar 12, 2015 10:45 am

Andre Jute wrote:
Alitogata wrote:Honestly now.. I don't even know where Iditarod is taking place. I suppose somewhere on the other side of this world... :oops: :lol:
It's a sled dog race across Alaska, almost within hailing distance of the Arctic Circle, probably the toughest and most dangerous race in the world today. Fewer people have finished than have climbed Everest. See above about getting a complimentary copy of my book, and you'll see.
I'm fan of printed books. But I have a better idea. To go together to an Iditarod race and to be for me ( just for me ) the tour guide and the commenter all in one. Say yes and I'll come to pick you up from Ireland tomorrow. :wink:

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