Art Insider February Edition

artistic insider prescott art store

Promotions & Deals ~ Classes ~ Contact Us ~ Services ~ Shop Online

The Art Store has released their class and workshop schedule for your perusal.

Neil Orlowski is offering the introductory painting class now on  Thursdays.

In April, Michael Hammer, vice-president of sales of Princeton Brush will be coming by our studio on the 13th to give us a demo of their Next Gen brushes. There is limited seating for this event, please register 48 hours before the event’s date.

For more details feel free to review the offered details of these events by clicking on the orange button below to view all of March & April

Click on button below to view all the offerings coming up.

At the time of this publishing:

March’s Watercolor Class on Sundays only needs one more attendee to allow this class to proceed in March.

Drawing Class on Saturday mornings has already made its minimum for March. Single sessions for March’s Drawing Class has been released. You can sign up for a single session by following this link.

Sculpture Class is being offered in March from week to week. Many of these students are enjoying their studio time.

REPOST – Rubber Cement Thinner? How can you be out of thinner!

best test rubber cement

For almost a century, artists and manufacturers have relied on thinning rubber cement, cleaning waxes and other such creative techniques by using Bestine from the Union Rubber Company. This past year they ceased all production and closed their doors due to lost market share as well as the toxic nature of their product no longer being safely used. Proposition 65 has brought to light the many abuses of solvents in the art world which has probably affected their market share. There is not a suitable product on the market to thin your rubber cement at this time. However…….

Speedball has just purchased this company to evaluate its inventory, processes, labeling and distributorship. At this time, the product is still not available and any experimentation of multiple other solvents has not revealed any comparables for rubber cement thinning. Bestine is a widely tested heavy solvent that was a mixture of tolulene, naptha and other witch’s brew of solvents. Speedball will inform us of any changes in this company’s offerings. This newsletter will announce these changes as they are available to us.

In March, the NAMTA Art Material Convention for 2017. This is being held in Salt Lake, Utah. Most major changes in the Art Material World is announced then. We expect more details as this convention proceeds.

If you go to thinking, take your heart with you. If you go to love, take your head with you. Love is empty without thinking, thinking hollow without love.

C. G. Jung.

Artist: Salvador Dali.


Understanding the Techniques of Pouring Acrylics

While the practice of pouring artist paints is certainly not a new way to apply paint, achieving consistent results can be frustrating and costly. However, it is vital to the process to conduct experiments to gain the knowledge of what are the most critical controlling factors which preside over paint pours.
Studio Preparation


Image 1: This tinted GOLDEN Self-Leveling Gel “skin” shows the crazes that developed during the drying process.

One sure way to improve the odds for successful pouring is to start with a clean studio. Acrylic pours are relatively slow drying paint layers and dust can easily become imbedded into the film. Take some time to free the immediate workspace, sweeping the floor and wiping down surfaces around the studio. Next, be sure the table top or floor you are working on is also clean and level. Even slight angles can cause issues with pours. Put down fresh poly plastic sheeting on the surface which will protect the surface and help later on by preventing your artwork from becoming glued to the work surface, as pouring products creates puddles and drips that can travel off of the canvas or panel. Finally, control the temperature and humidity level in the studio as much as possible. Dry climates increase the chance of crazes developing – fissures resulting from liquid acrylic products skinning over during initial drying while the underlying liquid paint is still very fresh. The skin shrinks and tears apart resulting in unwanted physical textures known as a “craze” (see Image 1).

Painting Substrates

The most predictable painting surface for pours is a sealed panel. This surface is less affected by the weight of the wet product compared to stretched canvas. Of course, the panel needs to be resistant to warping from water, thus sealing the surface with one or more coats of acrylic medium (or paint) is helpful. Conversely, this advice may be counter-productive if your technique relies upon the surface absorbency and/or the ability to curve the substrate in order to control the paint movement. This is why testing is such a critical factor even when using products that other artists find successful. If working on stretched canvas is vital to your process, you may be able to eliminate the sagging by stretching over a wooden panel or using a cardboard block between the stretcher bars.

Paints and Mediums used for Pouring Applications

Free-flowing liquid paints and mediums are at the heart of the pouring process. Adjusting the viscosity and flow rate to work in tandem with how you want the paints to interact with each other is key. Obviously, products like GOLDEN Fluid Acrylics and High Flow Acrylics are more practical when doing pours than thicker Heavy Body Acrylics. This is not to say you cannot use Heavy Body paints, but they will first require thinning with water, acrylic medium, or both. A great approach for thinning Heavy Body paints without a loss of film strength is to first mix a thin acrylic medium such as GAC 100 with water (1 part medium to 1.5 parts water, and then use this mixture to thin the paints as much as desired). This mixture assures quick thinning but contains enough acrylic binder so that you still end up with a pourable paint instead of a color stain mixture. Since Fluids and High Flow Acrylics are already pourable, this step isn’t required to work with them, but sometimes it is necessary to adjust these paints as well. GOLDEN Airbrush Transparent Extender is also a valuable medium for adjusting paints. This product is a similar consistency to High Flow Acrylics, containing flow improvers and leveling additives.

Although most acrylic mediums are inherently pourable, some are better suited for pouring than others. GAC 800 is a medium specifically produced to modify paints for pouring, such as when pouring a puddle onto a paint surface. The GAC 800 mixes readily with the Fluid Acrylics and this combination is the least likely to craze during drying. It’s still possible GAC 800 may craze, but this is usually the result of too much paint being added and in turn, countering the acrylic solids level or the pour has been applied in too thick of a layer. A great starting point is to mix 1 part paint into 10 parts GAC 800 and limit the thickness to how far the product will spread. In other words, pour the product into a pancake puddle, and let it seek its own thickness without impeding its flow by use of a taped off or dammed edge. Once these tests are done you may want to try other paint amounts and use edges to control the flow, but be wary of too thick of a pour to start. The biggest negative attribute of GAC 800 is “dry state clarity”. This medium retains a slight cloudy quality making it a poor choice as a clear topcoat or even transparent color layer.

Other mediums to experiment with include GAC 500, Polymer Medium (Gloss), Fluid Matte Medium, Self-Leveling Clear Gel and Clear Tar Gel. One important note worth mentioning is that these products were not developed with defect-free pouring in mind, and although smooth thin layers are possible when using them, they are not free of issues and limitations. For example, a common misconception is that Self-Leveling Clear Gel can be poured liberally and spread around with palette knives, trowels and squeegees and level perfectly upon drying. This is not the case, and some tool marks, however slight, will likely remain in the dried layer. Tool shape and application technique are critical to their success, and artists who have mastered their use have spent many frustrating nights in their studio figuring out the best application method that provides the desired results. As a place to start, use clean, large tools with smooth edges and carefully spread the product in multiple thin coats until the desired effect is attained. Allow one to three days drying between coats to reduce the chance of crazing and don’t be put off if every layer isn’t a perfect epoxy like surface, as perfection is nearly impossible to attain in layers of air drying products.

GAC 800 Pour

Image 2: GAC 800 blended 10:1 with GOLDEN Fluid Acrylics creates solid color pours that retain crisp edges between each color.

Pouring Application Techniques

There are as many methods as there are product combinations to try. First, appreciate each paint color as its own unique formula and pigments vary in their density and ability to move and spread. The same is true for the many acrylic mediums produced. Now factor in the addition of water, Retarder, or diluted Acrylic Flow Release. Toss in the impact of the painting substrate and studio environment and suddenly, predictable pouring seems unattainable. The way to best describe the approach to pouring applications is the concept of setting the stage to allow the products to do what they want to do; in other words, controlled chaos. And if you don’t take good studio notes to identify how each painting is created then you’ll never be able to reproduce a great effect when they happen. That said, here are some common methods and beginning mixtures to try out:

  • Thinned Color Washes – High Flow Acrylics are ready to use for this application. The colors will readily move and interact. Try them neat, mixed with mediums like Airbrush Transparent Extender or GAC 500 and let gravity move them around. Fluid Acrylics will require at least 10% additions with water to allow them to freely move about. Note: high additions of water increase surface tension, which can be countered by adding in 2 or 3% Acrylic Flow Release into the water prior to using it to thin paints. Do not over-add Acrylic Flow Release as it does not help improve flow, it’s intended to reduce surface tension which happens quickly.
  • Solid Color Pours – As mentioned previously, GAC 800 is a great medium to use with Fluid Acrylics for making colored pours (see Image 2). Ideally start around 10 parts GAC 800 to 1 part Fluid Acrylic, mix and store the paint overnight in a sealed container. This allows the bubbles incurred during mixing to rise and pop, resulting in clean pours with sharp edges. These mixtures produce clear color edges. Solid color pours can be used over an entire canvas, but avoid damming up the edges during drying.
  • Adding Isopropyl Alcohol into Acrylic Paint – Alcohol is less dense than water, and evaporates quickly once it hits the surface of a pour. Unlike other applications, the alcohol amount for this technique is relatively low because once the effect happens and it escapes the fresh pour, there needs to be sufficient time for the normal acrylic paint curing process to

    Alcohol Pour

    Image 3: Pours of GAC 800, GOLDEN High Flow Acrylic & Isopropyl Alcohol create cellular patterns as the alcohol tries to escape the paint during drying.

    occur to avoid film formation issues. An effective starting recipe is 2 parts GAC 800, 1 part High Flow Acrylic, and 1 part 70% isopropyl alcohol. Create 3 or more paint mixtures in containers which can be shaken without spilling and carefully pour one color on top of another. Dense pigments like Titanium White should be used as the final layers so that the more aggressive colors below will push up through and create the cellular effects (see Image 3).


As with any new painting technique, do not be discouraged if the desired results don’t happen immediately. Good note taking is critical for successful pours of acrylic paints and mediums. If you find yourself at the crossroads and need additional guidance, please contact the Materials Specialists at Golden Acrylics with your questions!

Liquid Chrome – Now back in stock!

The most reflective ink I have ever seen. So easy to apply and embellish any suitable artwork! Now available in 1mm, 2mm & 4mm marker sizes. Being an alcohol based ink solution, this easily used marker is clog resistant as well as durable. Perfect for accenting your work quickly and efficiently.

Come by the store to experiment with this marker yourself as well as see just some artwork made already from this new marker.

Local T-shirt Design Competition!

The Prescott Farmers Market is celebrating its 20th summer market season. To celebrate, we’re seeking entries in a design competition for commemorative materials. The winning design will be featured on t-shirts, canvas bags and other items. (Fun Fact: “Greenery” is the Pantone Color of the Year.)

$100 Gift Certificate to the market
Recognition on our website and social media
The joy of watching everyone look awesome in your design!

Things You Should Include:
The following text: Prescott Farmers Market, Celebrating 20 Years
Original artwork design
Optional text: “Est. 1997”

Things You Should Avoid:
Do not use photos
Do not use stock images or clip art
Do not submit copyrighted work

To Enter:
Submissions are due on or before March 15, 2017
E-mail designs to
Subject Line: DESIGN ENTRY
Attached files should be 300DPI at 10 inches wide
Include your full name in the submission e-mail
Hand-drawn artwork should be at least 10 inches wide. Call 928.713.1227 for submission info.

For inspiration visit or watch this short film:

If your design is selected, we reserve the right to use your design in any manner, including but not limited to: reproducing the design, selling items bearing the design, changing or reworking the design by making color or size changes, making derivative works of the design, using the design on the Prescott Farmers Market website and on promotional materials.

Get designing!

REPOST – The need was there and now……

Pébéo’s new multi-application “oil-based marker”!

The 4ARTIST MARKER is Pébéo’s new oil paint marker that will revolutionize your approach to both markers and traditional painting! The line features 18 highly pigmented colors with a glossy finish and offers excellent lightfastness across the entire color range. The four different tips (2mm and 4mm bullet tip, 8mm chisel tip, and 15mm broad tip) provide genuine versatility of use and an accuracy of line. Ideal for applying on smooth,

non-porous surfaces, the colors are quick to dry and can be diluted, even after several weeks, to obtain shades, glazes, gradients and fading effects. As part of the Mixed Media product line, this marker can be used over dry Vitrail, Fantasy Prisme, Fantasy Moon, Gedeo resins, acrylics, oils and inks: All are winning combinations! Beginner and professional artists alike will soon find the 4ARTIST MARKER to become their favorite painting tool for creative expression.

We have a few of these in our oil marker area. After experimenting with these first hand, our Sanford/Sharpie Display will be replaced with these exceptional markers from Pebeo. – Keith K.

Solvent-Free Oil Painting

There is nothing more natural and enduring than oil painting.

For 600 years, oil colors have been made by grinding pigment into vegetable oil (most commonly linseed oil). Linseed oil is pressed from the seeds of the flax plant. The flax plant has been the heart and soul of oil painting, giving us both the oil our colors are bound in and – from the stalks of the plant – the linen we paint on.

Our mission is to lead oil painting into the future. For years, we’ve offered a range of contemporary painting mediums around fast-drying, soy-based alkyd resin, which are formulated with the mildest solvent available: Gamsol. As a thinner and brush-cleaner, Gamsol has set the standard for studio safety and allows painters to work in traditional and contemporary painting techniques.

Though many painters have adopted Gamsol, we have worked with other painters who want to eliminate all solvent from their painting processes. It is in this spirit that we introduced a range of Solvent-Free Painting Mediums, to give painters more possibilities in solvent-free techniques, with less compromise. This page discusses our range of Solvent-Free materials (Solvent-Free Gel, Solvent-Free Fluid and Safflower Oil) and helps painters navigate their use in the painting process.

Linseed and Safflower Oils

Linseed oil naturally dries faster than other oils and retains greater strength and flexibility as it ages. Paler safflower oil is used in some colors, most notably white. Not only are both of these vegetable oils completely non-toxic, but they are also both used in moisturizers, cooking oils, food and vitamins.

Flax seed, flax oil, safflower, safflower oil

Linseed and safflower oils do not give off “fumes.” In fact, these oils take in oxygen as part of their drying process. Gamblin Artist’s Oil Colors do not contain solvent, nor do they require any solvent for their use. Simply put, our oil colors have always been Solvent-Free.

Range of Solvent-Free MaterialsSolvent_Free_Image

Solvent-Free Gel and Solvent-Free Fluid are painting mediums made from safflower oil and alkyd resin with no solvent. Why safflower?  We chose safflower for these mediums because of its paler color. The alkyd resin, which is essentially a highly polymerized oil, accounts for the faster drying rate of these materials, compared to either linseed or safflower oils used alone. In regards to their drying, these mediums have a “moderately fast” drying rate – meaning that thin layers will dry to the touch in approximately 36 – 48 hours. Because they rely solely on oxidation to dry, they have a longer working time compared to our Galkyd mediums, which begin to tack up as their Gamsol content evaporates from paint layers.

As part of our Solvent-Free system, we’ve also made straight Safflower Oil available for  brush cleaning and creating slower-drying mediums.

The biggest difference between the Solvent-Free Fluid and the Gel is their consistency. The Fluid medium more significantly increases the flow of oil colors off of the brush. In terms of its working properties, it is similar to either straight linseed or safflower, though faster-drying. Brush-marks will be slightly leveled, or “rounded” when using the Fluid.

Of all the mediums we make, Solvent-Free Gel is the densest, closely resembling the paint from the tube. Though it will increase the flow off the brush to some degree, its gel consistency will retain sharp, defined brush-marks. For painters who prefer to use just a little medium to give their colors a more buttery feel, Solvent-Free Gel is perfect.

Both Solvent-Free Fluid and Gel increase the flow of oil colors, increase transparency, gloss and color saturation.

Putting Solvent-Free Mediums to Use

In offering this range of Solvent-Free materials, we feel it’s important to discuss their role in painting techniques, as well as their limitations. Like any painting medium, their primary function is to modify the consistency (working properties) of the oil colors from the tube.

Similar to drying oils used straight, Solvent-Free Gel and Solvent-Free Fluid are 100% fat. Like any oil-rich medium, they should be used in moderation – we recommend up to 25% by volume in mixture with oil colors and applying these mixtures thinly. Due to these limitations, Solvent-Free materials are best suited for direct, or “alla prima,” painting styles – which is what most of us are doing, most of the time.

Gamblin Solvent-Free Gel

Solvent-Free Gel, in particular, has become popular among plein air painters because of its ability to retain painterly brush-marks and increase the saturation of colors. In addition, it has the practical benefit of being packed in checked luggage for painters traveling with their painting materials.

Limitations of Solvent-Free Painting

For painting techniques that call for thin washes of color, especially in the preliminary stages of a painting, Solvent-Free mediums are not appropriate. Again, these oil-rich mediums should be used in moderation with colors from the tube. In maintaining Fat Over Lean, regard these mediums as “fat.” For underpainting techniques, consider using oil colors straight from the tube or thinned with a small amount of Gamsol or a thin, fluid medium such as Galkyd Slow Dry. A little goes a long way; oil colors relax immediately when a little Gamsol or Galkyd Slow Dry is added.

For glazing techniques where more painting medium is required for creating deep, transparent glaze layers, we recommend our Galkyd painting mediums because of their balance of oil (alkyd resin) and solvent (Gamsol). Galkyd, Galkyd Lite and Neo Megilp are all excellent glazing mediums.

Brush Cleaning

Because the use of Gamsol and other solvents is so closely linked to brush cleaning, it is important for us to discuss the ins and outs of brush cleaning without the use of solvents. To this end, many painters have incorporated either mineral oil and/or “green/natural” solvent-alternatives for removing color from brushes during painting sessions. It is our stance that a material used for this purpose should do one of two things – either evaporate entirely out of paint layers (like Gamsol does), or contribute to the drying of the resulting paint layers. Mineral oil or cooking oil are non-drying  and should not be incorporated into painting sessions, as even small amounts can interfere with drying. Many solvent-alternatives on the market do not evaporate completely and leave behind sticky/discolored residues in paint layers. These are best left out of the painting process entirely.

Gamblin Safflower Oil is ideal for cleaning brushes during solvent-free painting sessions. By using a simple “two rag” system outlined below, painters can reduce the amount of pigment that gets into their cleaning oil, and thus prolong its usefulness.

For brush clean-up during your painting session, first wipe excess paint from brushes with a rag. Then dip your brush in a container of Gamblin Safflower Oil. Next, wipe the safflower oil and any remaining pigment from your brush with a second rag and continue painting.

After your painting session, brushes can be further cleaned using Gamsol and/or soap and water.

Please note that oil-soaked rags should be – at a minimum – properly stored in an Oily Rag Safety Can (such as those offered by JustRite™) until they can be thrown-out. Even better, soak rags in water, and place them in an old jar or similar container and dispose of them outside in your household trashcan or apartment building dumpster.

Using either Gamsol or Safflower Oil for brush cleaning prevents pigments from being poured down the drain and contaminating the watershed. Additional information can be found in our Brush Cleaning Tip Sheet for Oil Painting.

We hope this information helps you navigate the world of Solvent-Free Oil Painting, and ultimately, create the safest painting studio possible.

Now available from the Art Store, these products can keep you the painter healthier but also your painting’s values truer throughout the years . Your mind needs to stay clean to stay healthy, stay safe! – Keith K.


REPOST – Artist Donations Requested

This April, the Arizona Children’s Association is promoting awareness of child abuse with the Raven Cafe in Prescott. You can contact Daniel Leavitt at or 928-925-0805 to offer any donations to the event. He is requesting art for the silent art auction.

Fire Clay now available from the Art Store.

Fire Clay packed in bag All refractory additives are based on fire clay. A natural occuring fine powder that is mainly composed of alumina and silica. In fact all high heat resistant firebricks are made of fire clay. Like heat resistant mortars, insulation, pottery, ceramics, ceramic blankets or ceramic tiles on space shuttle, origins of these start from the fire clay, its melting starts at 1600 Celsius °C or 2912 Fahrenheit °F point. Only special manufacturing technologies of those expensive materials change their properties and usage applications. But we are not going to space, at least not for now.

What is Fire Clay?

fire clay Fire clay in detail photo. Fire clay is a normal mud, simple as that, but a mud with higher Alumina (AL) content. Has usually whiter-lighter color. Whitish to yellowish, pinkish, light brownish. It’s also cheap as mud. Refractory or pottery suppliers sell it. Even if it comes in dry powdered form in bags, fire clay is still very heavy (physical properties calculators for various refractory materials.) You only need one bag per dome if building a personal clay oven. Commonly used in dry powdered form as an additive to mortars. Alumina content of fire clay ranges between 24% – 34% Al and Silica from 50% to 60 percent – percentage calculator.

In mass sense, even when in a dry powdered form with density of 1.303 gram/cm3 or correspondingly 0.753 ounce/cu-in, fire clay is still a heavy product; when compared with cement for instance. Why do you need such a material? If you wish to build a kiln, repair a kiln or fabricate a patio oven, you will need a proper refractory for your firing or culinary needs.  With this online fire_clay volume vs. weight tool, measuring units can be easily converted/calculated.

FIRECLAY HAWTHORNE 35 MESH (FCHAW). This is the main fireclay we use when we want a clay with texture. The rough grind helps minimize shrinkage, and adds tooth. 11.5% shrinkage at cone 10, 1.85% absorption.

The Art Store is a retailer of New Mexico Clay. Any dry material for clay and glaze making can be purchased from us to save you a lot on shipping costs. Please request an estimate of cost and arrival time during our ordering cycle.

REPOST – A new look for GOLDEN Grounds, Mediums, Additives and Varnish

The Opportunity

Golden Artist Colors offers the broadest range of professional quality acrylic colors, mediums and grounds, providing artists limitless possibilities for creative expression.

While the most dedicated GOLDEN customers understand the full breadth of our offering, many artists could benefit from a deeper knowledge of gels, pastes, grounds and other non-color products. They have yet to unlock the full potential available to them through our complete product line!

The Restage

We have a tremendous opportunity to engage with artists and educate them on the possibilities contained within this segment of the GOLDEN line. Our restage is an integrated campaign that includes new packaging design, in-store signage and new educational videos. An update to the labeling on our non-color products is a significant part of our efforts to make this product segment more approachable to all artists.
Updated packaging identity increases presence of non-color products
The new label design gives the non-color product segment more presence in-aisle. Color has been added to identify product sub-categories previously identified on shelf talker color strips. Updated color strips further reinforce this segmentation and break the non-color product segment into smaller sub-categories that are easier to visually digest in aisle.

Larger text increases readability
Much larger text for the product name and description, with ample white space around each makes it much easier to identify individual products and to ascertain what they can be used for.

Name changes to more accurately reflect intended use or maintain consistency
Below is a list of products that will undergo name changes as part of the labeling refresh. Airbrush Transparent Extender is most often merchandised with High Flow and is the suggested medium for thinning High Flow colors. This product will become High Flow Medium, with a label that matches the rest of the High Flow category. Acrylic Flow Release is an often misused product, and overuse can result in tacky paint films. Wetting Agent better reflects the intended use of this product. Polymer Medium (Gloss) changes to Gloss Medium, which works better in the context of Matte Medium, Super Matte Medium and Fluid Matte Medium. Other changes are more subtle and have been made to maintain consistency in labeling and to make product identification and selection easier.
Additionally, non-color products in 32 oz. and 128 oz. containers will be supplied with trilingual (English, French, Spanish) labels. Combining these English only and trilingual label items means we need to inventory one product in place of two, helping us to maintain service levels on these larger sizes.

In short, the same great products with better labeling and a simplifying of their product’s names. Living within this area, I find that having simpler product names and larger text will be a great change for us – Keith K.

This Artist Is the Only Person Banned From Using the World’s Pinkest Pink

It’s a brightly colored revenge for restricting the world’s blackest black

Anish Kapoor has long been known for his large-scale, intensely colored artworks, but his penchant for being proprietary has long irked others in the art world.

But then came Vantablack.

Earlier this year, Kapoor sparked outrage from artists all over the world with the announcement that he had made a deal to become the only person in the world allowed to use the blackest pigment of black paint ever developed. Known as Vantablack, the unique carbon nanotube-based pigment is produced solely by a British company called NanoSystem, and was originally developed for military technologies. However, Kapoor made an agreement with the company that he is the only person allowed to use it for artistic purposes.

Needless to say, that made plenty of other artists furious.

Like Kapoor, Semple’s work often uses vivid shades of color, and for years he had worked with scientists to develop increasingly intense pigments to use in his artwork. So as a response to Kapoor’s exclusive deal with Vantablack, Semple decided to release his own special pigment, known simply as “Pink,” the Irish Examiner reports.

While “Pink” isn’t based on nanotechnology, like Vantablack, Semple says it is the pinkest pink pigment ever created. Now, in an effort to thumb his nose at Kapoor, Semple is making it for sale to everyone in the world—except Kapoor, Tom Power reports for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s Q.

(Stuart Semple)

Semple is currently selling “Pink” through his website for £3.99 per pot (about $5). However, before purchasing the powdered pigment, buyers have to agree to a legal disclaimer that states they have no intention of letting it fall into Kapoor’s hands.

As Semple’s website states:

By adding this product to your cart you confirm that you are not Anish Kapoor, you are in no way affiliated to Anish Kapoor, you are not purchasing this item on behalf of Anish Kapoor or an associate of Anish Kapoor.

To the best of your knowledge, information and belief this paint will not make it’s way into that hands of Anish Kapoor.

Of course, Semple isn’t cruel enough to ban Kapoor from using this color for life—only until Kapoor agrees to give up his exclusive rights to Vantablack, Power reports. While Kapoor has said that Vantablack isn’t actually that useful for painting, since it’s so hard to make enough of the pigment, for Semple it’s the principle that counts.

“[Kapoor is like the] kids who wouldn’t share their felt pens,” Semple tells Power. “They just sat there in the corner without any friends.”

Now the ball is in Kapoor’s court.

Payne’s Blue Gray and Three Mixing Techniques

DANIEL SMITH Payne’s Blue Gray – Inky blue and non-granulating Payne’s Blue Gray is perfect for painting dark, stormy skies, nightscapes, and for quickly darkening most other colors.

DANIEL SMITH Payne’s Blue Gray
Lightfastness: I – Excellent
Transparency: Semi-Transparent
Granulation: Non-Granulating
Staining: Low Staining


Pre-mixing. Premixing your favorite color combinations can be very useful when color consistency is important and when you are creating travel palettes. Here we mixed Payne’s Blue Gray with Aussie Red Gold and Payne’s Blue Gray with Quinacridone Lilac.

Pre-mixing DANIEL SMITH Payne's Blue Gray with Aussie Red Gold and Quinacridone Lilac

Glazing. Glazing takes patience, but your patience will be well rewarded. Glazing allows the color underneath to show through and preserves the lively luminous quality that watercolor is known for. Layering several colors this way or repeatedly will create a realistic depth-filled dimensional color. Here we have glazed our two color combinations. Notice how different the resulting color is from the mixes above.

Glazing with DANIEL SMITH Payne's Blue Gray with Aussie Red Gold and Quinacridone Lilac

Dynamic. Allowing colors to mix on your paper will create the most dynamic and dramatic results as well as some surprises. Use gravity to direct the strength and direction of the mix. Here we allowed our colors to blend on the paper. This techniques can be magical.

Dynamic mixing with DANIEL SMITH Payne's Blue Gray with Aussie Red Gold and Quinacridone Lilac

Watercolor mixing with Payne’s Blue Gray with Aussie Red Gold and Quinacridone Lilac

Watercolor mixing with Payne's Blue Gray with Aussie Red Gold and Quinacridone Lilac from DANIEL SMITH

All the above colors are special orders from the Art Store sales floor. They can also be ordered through our webstore as DS284600235 Paynes Blue Grey, DS284600236 Quin Lilac & DS284600234 Aussie Red Gold. Click the button below to visit our webstore.

Isolation Coat & Varnish Services offered from the Frame & I

The Frame & I has increased their production of Isolation Coat & Varnishing Services in 2016. For some artists the offered service for this to be done safely and correctly is needed due to fluctuating studio temperatures, space and proper ventilation. While other artists just don’t know why an isolation coat is needed or why varnishing is so important.

Isolation Coat Definition – a clear, non-removable coating that serves to physically separate the paint surface from the removable varnish. The isolation coat serves two purposes:

  • To protect the painting if/or when the varnish is removed by separating the pigmented area of the painting from the solvents used in removal.
  • To seal any absorbent areas in order to create an even surface on which to apply the varnish.


To Apply or Not to Apply

  • An isolation coat can be very beneficial to the preservation of a piece of artwork but it is not for every painting. The decision of applying an isolation coat is first an aesthetic decision: Will this serve the purpose of the work? Secondly, are the changes created by the application of an isolation coat and subsequent varnish understood and anticipated? These are important questions to consider as the isolation coat will become a permanent part of the painting. Some ways that an isolation coat may negatively affect the underlying painting are:
  • Foam and bubbles resulting from mixing Soft Gel (Gloss) and water too vigorously.
  • Brushstroke texture
  • Change and/or loss of texture
  • Change or shift of colorTesting and practice should always be done before application to insure that the isolation coat will not change or damage the piece in any way that is undesirable. Here are a couple of examples of pieces that should not receive an isolation coat:
  • Oil paintings
  • Any painting done with water soluble media
  • A piece with intentional varying sheens and surface qualities
  • Work with metallic leaf (imitation gold leaf can tarnish with exposure to gels and paints)

Recommended Varnish – GOLDEN Polymer Varnish with UVLS (Ultra Violet Light Stabilizers) is a water-based acrylic polymer varnish formulated to provide additional protection from ultraviolet radiation. This helps delay the inevitable fading that occurs in materials that may be fugitive in nature. This can be applied with a variance of matte to gloss.

Please remember that an oil-based paints, metallic finishes, water – soluble paints and varying sheens within your painting can be affected by the isolation coats and/or varnish application if not done by an experienced artist. Always experiment on a sample painting first. – Keith K.

New to the Art Store – Decorative Paper Origami Packs

Some of your favorite decorative papers have been cut down and packaged for easy folding. These papers are not just designed for origami use. Collage and other techniques can easily use these papers in creative ways. Now, you don’t have to purchase a large sheet of a decorative paper for a small project. Some jewelers use parts of these papers to design earrings and pendants. Your creative mind is your only limitation.

Yes, we speak Artist!

Filbert? Cat Tongue? Bright? Brush Basics Needed?

Brushes are possibly the most important investment an artist can make, because the quality of the brush used has almost as much power to damage or beautify a work as the orchestrating artist. When making an initial investment in brushes it’s wise to choose a set. Having a number of different sizes and shapes of brushes provides the artist with as many options as possible to create the vision within his/her mind’s eye.

Brush construction is an intricate and impressive process that seemingly defies our age of technology. The brush heads of natural brushes are still shaped by hand and the tips of the brushes are the natural tips of the hairs on the animal. Any cutting and shaping that is done to the brush hair takes place on the side of the hair that is bound within the ferrule. Most brushes have three parts:

a tuft of natural or synthetic hairs, a ferrule and a handle. The hairs are arranged and then cemented into the ferrule. The best brushes have ferrules that are seamless to keep solvents from leaking inside.

Although certain brushes are recommended for specific types of media, brush selection should be based on personal choice. Long handle brushes are generally good for oil and acrylic painting and short handle brushes for watercolor–this is based on the painter’s work distance. Because acrylics dry quickly, they can damage the hairs on a natural brush more easily than a synthetic. Therefore, synthetic brushes can be recommended for acrylics. Bristle brushes are often recommended for the beginning oil painter because they’re economical and hold a good deal of paint. Natural soft hair brushes absorb water well and are good for watercolors.

Brushes are numbered in size ranging from multiple zero (which contain very little hair) to double digits (containing small fistfuls.) There’s no mystery about flat brushes–the size given refers to the distance across the flat of the ferrule where the hairs emerge. Choosing rounds is more confusing, as numbering systems differ by manufacturer, but all generally have the size printed on the handle. When getting started, it’s best to pick out brushes that look like the right size for your work and forget about their numbers.

It’s vital to the life of your brushes to care for them as their value warrants. Never rest brushes on their hairs. Always leave them flat or with the hairs upright. Keep brushes clean during the painting session and give them a thorough cleaning after the session. For water-based paints, switch back and forth between rinsing out with tap water and mildly soaped water. For oil and alkyd paints, use mineral spirits or turpentine in the same manner and finish up with mild soap or brush cleaner and water. Always reshape the brush when work is complete.

Here’s a tip for cleaning really big brushes often used in oil painting. Place an old wire colander in a gallon plastic ice cream bucket. Next, place both in a taller bucket with a lid. Fill the gallon bucket with paint thinner to cover the bristles. Swirl the brushes against the colander and then wipe off the excess with a rag. The big bucket catches any splashes.

Remember that solvents are toxic and should be disposed of as hazardous wastes.


Brush Shapes

Round:  Used for painting both broad areas and fine detail depending on the brush size.

Flat:  Creates a sharp edge.

Bright:  Creates a sharp edge like the flat, but hairs are shorter.

Filbert:  Rounded corners help create strokes without hard edges.

Fan or Blender:  Used dry to blend and smooth already created strokes, or used with the tips loaded with paint to create texture.

Liner, Script or Rigger:  Long haired brushes good for lettering and detail.

Different Shapes Make Different Strokes

The brush strokes shown below were made using round, filbert and flat bristle brushes, respectively.


Different Brush Filaments

Kolinsky:  Kolinsky sable brushes are the finest available. Made from the tail of a type of mink found in remote parts of Russia and northern China, Kolinsky hair is unsurpassed in its spring, and Kolinsky sable brushes set the standard by which all other brushes are judged.

Red Sable:  These brushes are made from any red haired critter in the weasel family. Quality varies greatly, but generally sable creates wonderfully smooth flat strokes with lots of spring. Red sable brushes hold their natural shape well and will carry ample amounts of pigments.

Sabeline:  Sabeline is a high quality ox hair sometimes dyed to look like red sable. Sabeline brushes are less expensive than red sables and maintain similar characteristics.

Ox Hair:  Ox hair comes from the rim of the ears from several varieties of cattle and boar. Ox hair brushes are soft and hold plenty of liquid but lack a fine tip.

Bristle:  Bristle brushes are noticeably stiffer than other brush families and are popular for oil painting. Made from pig and boar hair, the natural tip of each hair is forked and split like a twig. Because of this, these brushes hold paint well but challenge the making of a sharp edge.

Camel Hair:  Despite its name, camel hair does not come from camel. The name actually refers to a range of squirrel, goat or pony hair. The soft hairs of camel brushes will absorb a lot of liquid but can be difficult to control. Some camel hair brushes are categorized as school grade and are extremely affordable.

Synthetics:  Today’s technology has given us many types of synthetic brushes, most nylon or polyester, which simulate the natural characteristics of hair. Synthetic brushes are usually less expensive, easier to clean and less prone to breakage than natural hair. Blends of natural and synthetic hairs are also available, combining the softness and absorbency of natural hairs with the point and spring of synthetics.

Helpful Hint

Brush Buying Technique
Considering the expense of a sable brush, it is worth doing this test to demonstrate the quality of the product. Begin by dipping the new brush into a glass of water, flick the hairs against your wrist to loosen glue used to protect the brush when it is shipped. Swirl the brush about in the water until it is thoroughly soaked and then sharply snap your wrist while holding the brush to discharge the water. The brush should come to a perfect point and the hairs should spring into position without flopping over.


While supplies last, you can use the flyer coupons in the Art Store until March 18. Just look for them in the provided baskets and the end cap displays. You can even print your own by visiting our promotion page by clicking the image above. Please remember that we only offer one coupon per day to our customers.

On this flyer is a general coupon as well as a focused one for Strathmore papers.

New covers, the same great paper!


Speaking of Strathmore Papers, the Art Store has finished our transition to more Strathmore papers in all departments of the store. You will find both student and professional grades of their papers after this change. Please ask if you have any questions about these lines of paper. Their cover art is amazingly inspiring!

Please remember that we still offer creative papers from Aquabee, Arches, Canson, Bienfang, Moleskine, Clearprint, Copic, Crescent, Global Art, Jack Richeson & Cottonwood Arts.

Strathmore Papers has also given all of us a video to understand their vast line of papers. Just click the image below and you will learn a lot about their great papers.

Toned Paper? What can you do with these new bound papers? How do control the values?  Strathmore and Reid Schlegel share with you the:


1. Utilize White:
Tan paper is a mid-tone so incorporating white lines will make your work really pop! Just as you need a range of black pens to achieve dynamic line weight, use a variety of white tools to make your work jump off of the page and communicate form and materiality.

2. Embrace Contrast:
Sketch your darkest darks next to pure whites to build contrast and make a sketch pop. To take this a step further, incorporate black and white colored pencils to help make your highlights and shadows even deeper and more realistic.

3. Work Smart, Not Hard:
When sketching with white paper you must consciously decide where your highlights are from the beginning in order to leave that space blank. When sketching on tan paper, completely fill in each color and add the highlights and shadows after. This allows you to focus on the concept not the lighting, increasing the speed of each sketch.

4. Incorporate Paint Markers:
Tan paper really compliments opaque colors such as white, black, and silver. After you finish your sketch, add a bit of paint marker to make the burn marks and shadows really sing.

5. Utilize the texture of the paper:

Accurately rendering materials is very important when communicating an idea. The slightly rough texture on tan paper is advantageous when rendering leather, stone, wood, etc. Lightly rub the side of a hard colored pencil to add highlights and shadows as well as additional depth to your work. Take this a step further by placing textured samples under the paper.


My name is Reid Schlegel and I am an industrial designer and artist based in NYC. I love
envisioning the future and making the intangible tangible. Sketching, prototyping, and tinkering are integral parts of my creative process and led me to study industrial design at Virginia Tech. I currently work at frog design NYC and previously worked at SMART Design
NYC designing consumer good, spaces, and experiences.

As a designer, I am constantly looking for inspiration and find a great deal of it from working with university students. Teaching others helps me refine my design process and highlights the true power of thinking creatively and visually. At the end of the day, nothing makes me happier than spending time in nature or the smell of a woodshop, except maybe a fresh Copic marker.


New at the Art Store! – Whiting, Kaolin & Ball Clay

Over the years the Art Store has had many pre-mixed New Mexico clay bodies available from our sales floor. Many customers have requested dry clay binders and other additives as well. We are now offering additional additives in 10lb increments. Many of these binders are used to strengthen a weakened clay. If your clay is crumbling during the firing, this can happen when you have overworked your clay during the wheeling process. Also used to build or alter glazes.

KAOLIN – Also called China Clay (Al2O3l2SiO2l2H2O) (m.p. 3150o F/1760o C) is found both as primary and secondary clay deposits (Kaolinite is the major mineral constituent), and they are typically coarse in particle size and, as a result, are non-plastic. In glazes it is a major source of Alumina. If used in large amounts in a glaze, it can produce a matt texture. It is the principal component of porcelain bodies, and will produce white stoneware bodies in a wide temperature range (cone 5-16) due to its low Iron content.

BALL CLAY – is so named because it was first sold in England in the shape of a ball. It is a fine particle size secondary clay containing montmorillonite as its chief clay mineral constituent. It is essentially free of Iron and other impurities, and it fires to a light grey or buff color. It is used in clay bodies (rarely alone due to excessive shrinkage) to promote plasticity and higher firing ranges (cone 5-13). It is also used as a source of Alumina in high temperature glazes (cone 8-13), and it helps to keep a glaze slip in suspension.

WHITING – CaCO3 (m.p. 4650o F/2570o C) is defined as a finely ground powder composed essentially of pure Calcium Carbonate derived from Limestone, Chalk, or Marble. It is the most common source of Calcium in a glaze and clay body. In stoneware glazes (cone 7-12), it promotes a matt finish and enhances chemical durability by producing harder and more chemically resistant glaze. In stoneware bodies (cone 7-12) it acts as a flux (typically >3%), and it will increase shrinkage and strength by lowering the point of vitrification while decreasing porosity. Vircon 2511 produced by Specialty Minerals, from several North America limestone sources as a grounded product designed for narrow particle size distribution.

Wins the TruVue’s “Frameable Moment” 2017 competition

The above design won the national competition with the Judge’s choice and best overall.

The exterior frame was hand carved and shaped from native juniper. The final approach to this frame was to marry a present fillet/frame in Tru Vue glass. The top photo of our Hot Shot 19 was in front of the giant juniper tree they saved in from the Doce fire. The bottom photo is of the memorial wall that was created immediately after the loss of the 19. The wall is located very near to the Art Store.

The final design is now back in Prescott and can be seen at the Frame & I. Many have been by already to view such craftsmanship done by the Frame & I’s Francine Hackerott.

The local unveiling and celebration of this “frameable moments” competition was recently done on the 18th of February. The event was well attended and some family and friends of the 19 did come by to see how some local artists were inspired.

City of Prescott’s Chamber of Commerce’s Visitor Center has recently accepted this memorial frame to be on permanent display later this year.



Blow HARD, Blow LOUD……Make them hear you!

For this February, the Art Store & the Frame & I donated to:

Prescott’s Double Down Casino Event

benefiting local Rotary and Big Brother & Big Sister’s organizations.

There will be an Art Store Gift Bag full of creative items, Frame & I’s custom framed mirrors and an art group experience to bid on. For more details you will need to attend the event. To view more details about the event, just click on the poster above.  Ida Kendall is also receiving donations to this event from local artists and businesses for their raffle and silent auction. Feel free to contact her at or call the Frame & I at 928-445-5073. Donations will be accepted until the 28th of February.


Ida Kendall of the Frame & I was invited to inspire and encourage the entire Sacred Heart School by displaying and discussing her art during the annual Artist Expo at Sacred Heart. Kindergarten to 8th grade students attended the event and had many questions for the artists who presented.

Ida taught them about coloring pencils and their many uses including pen & ink to create artwork that is truly mixed media.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email