As you may have noticed, I’ve really been cranking out the art the past few months. Another highly educational period for me, especially since I started working on roughly 20 paintings at once. I realized once again tonight just how much I love playing mad scientist with paint.
That being said, there are a handful of products that really float my boat. So with your kind indulgence, I present the following list:
Liquitex Pouring Medium. Seriously, this stuff is the real deal. I’ve used many other manufacturers’ self-levelling mediums, and most of them are garbage. Liquitex, though, has come up with the magic formula – the stuff dries hard and clear with no crazing, sets up fast, and looks gorgeous when it’s done.
Tri-Art Liquid Mirror. Another product that absolutely raises the bar. I’ve used a lot of iridescent paints in recent years, and nothing else even compares for reflectivity. Even when it’s relatively dark, Liquid Mirror will pick up any minimal ambient light and reflect it – it’s almost phosphorescent in that respect. Washes of transparent colour on top of it barely affect the reflectivity at all. I’m told the secret ingredient is bismuth oxychloride, but let’s call it what it is – magic .
Golden Iridescent Copper (Fine). I’m a little bit obsessed with copper. Even as a child I was drawn to its colour and sheen. When I built my bar in 2004, I put $500 worth of sheet copper into the top. Getting back to paint, there are many iridescent coppers, of course. I’ve tried 5 or 6 at last count, and I finally found what I was looking for with the Golden. So rich and vibrant it puts others to shame.
Montana Gold Spraypaint (various colours). A stunning array of colours, seemingly endless cans of paint, and a system of interchangeable nozzles in a wide variety of sizes. I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface of what’s possible with these paints. Expect a major push in this direction in my art in 2011.
Anybody else have paint or mediums they’d like to recommend? I’m all ears.
So I was just thinking it might be helpful to throw out the occasional art tip in the blog. Okay, that’s a lie – I’ve actually been considering it for a long time, but it’s only now that I came up with something I thought would be helpful. I wouldn’t want to just regurgitate advice from other artists, after all.
Now, where I was again?
Riiiight, tips. I use spraypaint in my work from time to time, and the stuff I like the best is Montana Gold . Great selection of colours, plus they’ve got a system of interchangeable caps in several different sizes. My one beef is that the caps can gum up pretty easily, depending on how you use ‘em. I’m a big fan of spatter, and that seems to exacerbate the gumming-up issue. The other day I busted out a can of Red Orange (#2090) and found the cap on it was completely blocked.
Undaunted, I tried a couple other caps and found them clogged, too. But fear not – eventually I found a few that were still functional. So I got to work laying down some orange shading on my latest car illustration (more on that later), and when I was done, I put on my thinking cap and started pondering the whole clog issue.
The “aha” moment came when I remembered I have a compressed-air gun that I use to blow dust and crap out of my keyboard:
Just a cheap little accessory from Staples. I think it cost 20 bucks. I just inserted the nozzle into the bottom of the cap I’d just used, and blew all the residual paint out of it:
It was just that simple. Now, I haven’t sat down with my abacus and crunched any numbers yet, so I couldn’t give you any kind of cost-effectiveness breakdown, but I can tell you the caps cost something like 75 cents, and a pack of 4 CO2 refills retails for 20 bucks. Considering I’ve had caps that were ruined after one use, I think this’ll eventually work out for the better.
Oh, and the car I was talking about? Here it is: