August’s Art Insider

Artistic Insider June 2017 edition! - The Art Store

Hi Artists and Creative Types! We have some exciting sales and events in the next few weeks, so don’t miss out!

In this month’s newsletter: Our biggest sale of the year, Fall Semester 2015 back to school sale is ON! Our September class schedule, Stretched canvas vs. wood panels, and more. Enjoy! Love, Ida

BTS (Back to School) is here. Current promotion in our flyer end the 29th of August.

To view our current promotions, click the flyer below:





Paint with NO fears!


You really can oil paint without using harmful solvents. These oil paints are almost too good to be true (but they ARE true!). They handle exactly like Holbein’s excellent artists’ grade oil paint, with a thick buttery feel. The best part? They require no toxic solvents to thin or clean up. Have you been disappointed with other brand’s water soluable oils in the past? These DuoAqua Oils by Holbein are worth checking out. No grainy or, as Ida likes to say, “snotty” consistency here!


Would you rather change your present oils to being watersoluble?

Schmincke has released medium W that does just that.

medium WIn stock now at the Art Store!

Molotow Grafx Masking Pens have been restocked!


Molotow has built an applicator that is refillable for resist fluid. If you have used resist fluid before you know that controlling this fluid as well is cleaning up the mess is laborious. What if this resist fluid could now be applied with a marker? How good is this product? It is the easiest way to apply and there is no cleanup since your applicator is a marker tip that flows onto your substrate. This tip is then capped for future use.

Why were we out of this product? Well…….resist fluid is temperature sensitive. When the replacement product was freighted to us from Germany over the ocean, the route chosen was too far north. All resist fluid on this shipment were compromised by freezing it. Molotow pulled every marker worldwide due to this quality concern.

Why do we have a no return on liquid products in the store? Each art material has its own sensitivities. The returned items need to be usable for resale or the manufacturer must be supporting their returns. Molotow did just that, it is why we sell their products.

This is the hottest art material on the market right now! Works beautifully. Watercolor, gouache, acrylic, tempera, alcohol inks….just try it! – Keith K.

 Practical Tips for Artists

by Ida K.

This month’s topic:

Canvas VS. Panels an epic showdown.

“I’ve heard that stretched canvas is the best surface to paint on. Is this true?”

Good question. The answer is in your technique.

Take this painting of the Bridge at Giverny by Claude Monet:


A masterpiece, no doubt! Monet’s impressionist paintings captured not just a place, but the feeling of it; the light, color and reflections around it, and the general sensuality of the interplay of light and shadow. His goal was not to paint in detail but in overall texture, color and contrast. Canvas was his support of choice especially because it was light and flexible. Even though painting on canvas has been a practice for millenia, catching on in Europe in the 1600’s, many believe the Impressionists perfected the stretched canvas as we know it today. Stretched canvas is desireable as a substrate because it is portable, inexpensive, and has some flexibility so that each brushstroke can be laid down more loosely. Impressionists took to canvas to trim costs and assembly time, because typically a single subject would be painted multiple times at different times of the day to capture the changing light. Stretched canvases are lightweight, easy to assemble, relatively inexpensive, and don’t require as much prep time as wood panels. Paintings made on canvas can be removed from the stretchers and multiple images are easier to store if they aren’t as bulky or heavy as wood panels. A canvas can be primed and sanded to be ultra smooth if necessary, but modern conventions allow the artist to leave the texture of the canvas showing through.

Now consider this painting. It’s only the most recognized painting in the world… Mona Lisa by Leonardo DaVinci.


She is painted on a poplar wood panel!…I know, right?

Wood panels are an excellent substrate if you want a stable, smooth working surface that doesn’t stretch, move or dent. There is no doubt the Mona Lisa has held up so well because of being painted on a panel. You can see the smoothness of the blending in her hands, and the satin of her sleeves. Details like her sheer veil and the tiny objects in the background would have been difficult to paint on any canvas, no matter how smoothly it was woven or primed. Panels are often used for highly detailed or smoothly blended work, but can also be used for heavy impasto or palette knife work without the risk of cracking, tearing or sagging.   Many artists will paint on panels made from exotic or rare woods for the purpose of incorporating the wood grain into the artwork itself. Panels are typically costlier and heavier than canvas, but they are also less likely to suffer puncture damage, warping or rippling. Paint films on canvas commonly crack over time because of the flexibility of the canvas itself, whereas a panel painting (if primed correctly) rarely cracks severely.


Duho panels are made from rare and exotic woods.

So why are stretched canvases generally considered to be more archival and better quality than wood panels? Well, the idea is that a stretched canvas only touches the wood of the stretcher bars, and therefore is more archival because it’s made of cotton or linen and not wood.   Wood is known to yellow and darken with age, as the cell structure of the tree it was made from breaks down. The problem is solved with priming the panel with some kind of gesso or sealant… you wouldn’t want to paint directly on the wood, and for that matter you wouldn’t paint directly on unprimed canvas if you wanted your painting to last. An isolation coating of gesso, or clear sealant of some kind if the wood grain is to show, is desireable when using panels. Boards that don’t warp terribly like poplar, birch and maple are highly sought after, but panels can be made from any wood so long as they are flat, kiln dried wood and sealed appropriately before painting.

Hope you enjoyed this article! Feel free to email me if you have questions about canvas vs. panels at

Happy Artmaking! -Ida K


Ampersand makes some of the best boards available with the proper buffering of PVA sizing, priming and materials made. Larger sizes are cradled to discourage flexing. Ampersand offers their Value Series Artist Panel™ Unprimed Basswood:

The positives include –

  • Ultra-stable premium Basswood top
  • Sanded perfectly smooth
  • FREE of knots, seams and excess wood grain
  • Supported with solid pinewood cradles770x350_main

Many of their competitors will include flaws in their surface including knots (change of density encouraging cracking), glue seams (these will flex over time encouraging cracking) and an inconsistent wood graining – all which will promote problems with the longevity of your paintings – Keith K.


We Have Copic Multiliner SP Fine Tip Drawing Markers, some of the best fine point markers available!


The Copic Multiliner SP offers replaceable nibs and refillable ink cartridges. Available in 10 black nib sizes and 12 colors in two nib sizes, these are professional tools of the highest quality. Great for when you really need to make fine, accurate marks; these multiliner markers are weighty in the hand, a matte finish barrel and pure joy to draw with!


Where do you see art in your world?

street_artPaste up art in New York, New York.


Paste up art in New York, New York.


Pastel icon

Tuesdays: Introductory Pastels

Beginners to Advanced.

You can make amazing leaps and bounds in your pastel work in this class!

Don Rantz will guide you through learning and enhancing your skills in the enchanting medium of pastels. Internationally recognized as one of the best pastel artists, Don is open and eloquent in his instruction.

Join us on the first four Tuesdays’ classes from 10AM–1 PM & 2PM to 5PM for September. The afternoon class has already met its min for the morning class to proceed. Seating is limited so please register before it is too late.



Saturdays: Elemental Watercolors – Earth, Wind, Fire & Water

Beginning to Intermediate Watercolor Class

This class will focus on the physical nature of watercolor. We will explore the different aspects of art materials, equipment and techniques.

Just some materials & equipment to be discussed and experimented with:

  • Student Grade & Professional Grade PaperWater Color Event
  • Watercolor Brushes
  • Student & Professional Grade Paints
  • Archival or not? Why?

& more!

Just some techniques to be experimented with:

  • Keeping the white of the paper
  • Color Mixing
  • Layering
  • Lifting

& more!



Sundays: iColor – Meditative & Therapeutic Arts

A class that focuses on the use of the creative therapeutic arts to offer a positive pattern of influence in your life. Introducing you to the art materials & equipment best to be used for each situation.

All beginning art materials are provided in this class to the students.

Sundays, September 6th, 13th, 20th & 27th, 1:00PM to 3PM


Orlowski Event

Friday Mornings: Introductory Painting Class

Beginners to Advanced

In this class you can learn the basics and more while painting with oil and acrylic.

Neil Orlowski is a passionate painter and instructor with long-time students that love what they have learned. Neil enjoys sharing his knowledge of the skills he has honed while working as a an illustrator for Hallmark Cards. Understanding the multiple techniques of oil painting is much easier to understand by Neil’s instruction. Just some of the knowledge to be taught on a one on one basis are:

  • Oil_painting_palette
  • painting equipment usage and maintenance
  • painting materials and their usage
  • proper compositions
  • lighting effects
  • glazing
  • color palettes and mixing
  • alla prima (wet on wet) techniques
  • varnishing

Join Neil on the month’s Fridays’ classes from 10AM – 1 PM. An extended schedule can be received by contacting this instructor by calling him. Use the event scheduler to find out more details on this class.


Color Me Enlightened! Session Onegoethe_colorwheel

A multi-part workshop that will focus on color and its many properties. Successful uses of color arrangements, compositions, interactions & perception of. Discussion, lessons and examples will be discussed and explored. The classic and modern palettes for painting will discussed on each of its merits.

Attendance is not required for all parts of these workshops. The basics and more will be discussed. Visual examples and exercises will be performed by the instructor as well as the students.


sculptureSculpture & Drawing Class is on hiatus until the instructor knows his September schedule better. We will still be firing the ceramics in a timely manner but the instructor will be out of town for parts of September. Stay informed by the scheduler as well as please feel free to contact us email or phone. 

To view more details on these classes and workshops, please visit our event scheduler by clicking the button below:


Where do you see art in your world?

ross tat

Hardcore Ross Fan…..Is that a happy critter found in a happy tree?

There is a better mous……er colored pencil out there!

by Keith Kendall (Art Store owner & Manager)


Recently I went back to using my colored pencils and were very surprised by the vast difference between Prismacolor Premier colored pencils from Berol and the present ones from Sanford/Rubbermaid. The Berol ones had their problems but no where near the Sanford ones. Seeing this myself I searched online what were the professionals using now and what they were buying in the store? Professionals do not use a pencil that is off-center, warped or having sharpening problems. They must be using a different brand. I was so frustrated by the Sanford ones that I donated them to somebody who didn’t have any art materials. Thinking back on it now, I should have found my worst enemy to give them to……keeping far enough away from their tossing range. At least I know the point won’t be sharp though – eyeroll.


Not to my surprise the professionals have all shifted to higher quality pencils such as Faber Castell, Derwent, Carandache or even Polycolors. A brand that was once the best has been relying on your brand recognition and not making the best for you. In 1995, Berol was purchased by Sanford. Sanford relied on the Berol name and the remaining quality inventory to survive. Every year the Sanford company hardened the wax in their pencils to the point that they now break in shipping, under sharpening and gentle use. Its as if they don’t want you to use the pencil they wish to have you “hope” you could or maybe make them into collage art because of how beautiful they look. After only using my Faber Castells, Polycolors and Carandache on a recent project I decided to test their sharpening and blending abailities. Here are my findings:

Polycolors by Kohinoor – Good for large application such as backgrounds and other large areas to cover. Sharpens very well and has the largest lead available in a normal sized pencil. Costs less than any professional grade colored pencil on the market (by far, take that Prismacolor!)

Polychromos by Faber Castell – Best overall pencil for the money. Covers well and their color match from pencil to pencil is perfect. Sharpens to fine point as well as sharpens well to a longer point for large area application.

Albrecht Durer Watercolor Pencils by Faber Castell – Same quality and properties of the Polychromos but they also are water-soluble. Every professional will tell you that this is not a problem because you can easily fix these to make them permanent. They also blend better than their Polychromo line since they made them out of a softer wax.


Carandache’s Pablo and Luminance colored pencils – Now these are well……make me emotional to even use. Not in angst like Prismacolors, they make me want to do artwork with them. They sharpen every time with a suitable hand sharpener. They blend the best of the ones I have tried and they layer like a……..Berol pencil or better. In the past 10 years if you wanted a pencil that acted like a Berol, I am sorry to say those days had been gone until now. Carandache has made something just as good and even stunningly inspiringly better. The Pablo line of colored pencils are causing worldwide comparisons to the Berol pencils. The Luminance line is like painting in a dreamlike state. Every line laid down is the same when the same pressure is applied. Every color is the same from pencil to pencil. The blending properties are closer to the softness of china markers. They excite you just applying the pigment to the paper. Pablos are more of a workhorse pencil, Luminances were made to spoil you. Their color line can be seen below:


What is possible with a good colored pencil? Now, now skill and practice does come into play. But you could possibly be the most requested movie poster artist in the world. His name is Drew Struzan. You have seen his work….almost everybody has one time or another but it will stun most of you that his work is done mostly in acrylic and colored pencil. It defines your style when you do that but it is very recognizable and readable. Below are just some of the examples of his work:

One of my favorites, Big Trouble in Little China (rumored to be remade, please don’t touch this one!) -Keith K


drew 02Blade Runner (also rumored to being sequeled) – Yes! more of this from Henlein -Keith K.

force awakensUnreleased- The Force Awakens – (The best day in Geekland was when Lucas left the Star Wars universe)

See the style? Lifelike but also very graphic. Now under magnification you may see the colored pencil use.


How does he do it? Earlier in this newsletter we talked about painting on boards not stretched canvas. Paint any board suitable for thin acrylic application (sized or gessoed) and then use your colored pencils over the acrylic. Always use workable fixative when building your layers. Use a visual mix of value and color by applying your colored pencil in a line pattern. Use titanium white gouache for your ultimate highlights. Always final fix your finished work. Done properly the work is stable and saleable. To see more of Mr. Struzan’s work just click on the image above.

Where do you get these higher quality colored pencils? At the Art Store of course. We decided to start offering the Carandache line of pencils in sets as well as we have offered Faber Castell and Kohinoor pencils for over 10 years now. The Carandache sets have sold out but more are on their way.

Have you ever asked yourself, “Why is Prismacolor pencils the only presented unsharpened pencil on the market?” – I know the answer is that even their employees can’t sharpen what they have produced. If they did try to sharpen them, they would not be able to ship them to the stores. Prismacolor pencils are still offered in the Art Store but we refuse to support the whole line due to their lack of quality control. We only offer their top 70 colors and donate half of the ones shipped to us to local school’s art departments since we deem them unsaleable. The manufacturer does not support returns on this brand so we do not either – Keith K.

Where do you see art in your world?

Street Artists Collaborate with Mexican Government to Bring Vibrant Splash of Color to an Entire Neighborhood by Christopher Jobson on July 27, 2015

Bostezo (Yawn)

Mira, como el colors! (What colors!)

And to think we just make one American town paint their adobe pink. I think they missed the idea of creativity. Ironic that it is one of our artist hotspots though.

goethe_colorwheelBrain Pickings brings us a glimpse of what some think about the psychology of colors. The article/book review is written by Maria Popova. The book and the psychology behind this article is written by Goethe from his “Theory of Color” book.

“Color itself is a degree of darkness.”

Color is an essential part of how we experience the world, both biologically and culturally. One of the earliest formal explorations of color theory came from an unlikely source — the German poet, artist, and politician Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, who in 1810 published Theory of Colors (public library; public domain), his treatise on the nature, function, and psychology of colors. Though the work was dismissed by a large portion of the scientific community, it remained of intense interest to a cohort of prominent philosophers and physicists, including Arthur Schopenhauer, Kurt Gödel, and Ludwig Wittgenstein.

To view more of this article click on the this link.

Frequently used words misheard in the Art Store


Customer: You wouldn’t have , uh its the white stuff that you….. paint with?

Art Store Minion: White paint? Oh, we have that. Do you want it in a large tube? What kind of paint? Oil?, Acrylic?

Customer: No! Its what you paint on the board you paint on….. do you have that stuff? Do you know what I mean? Guess so?

Art Store Minion: I prime mine, then tone it. Not sure what you might be using yourself. (long pause)

Customer: Well, do you have it or not? (agitated now)

Art Store Minion: Yes. Do you want gesso (said with soft G) or acrylic to tone with? (confused now)

Customer: I am not going to guess what this is. You should know what I want, you are trying to sell this to me! (very agitated now)

Art Store Minion: Let me show you what you may be in need of. (minion walks to gesso on the shelf)


Customer: If you had this all along, why didn’t you jus…….oh its gesso (said with soft g) you were talking about. (flushing).

Art Store Minion: Yes, now…..what size, grade or color are you looking for? Did you say you wanted white?

Customer: Yea……..I guess so.

Art Store Minion:

**Please remember that we at the Art Store enjoy seeing you come in, we even enjoy the wordplay. Life is too short not to laugh at the situations sometimes. If it weren’t for the human interactions, we would all be really bored. Wouldn’t we? Yea, I gesso too.

Its time to blow own horn!


The Art Store and Frame & I saw a need and gave as much as we could to Yarnell’s Community Center for their annual auction.

We donated enough acrylic paint, brushes, canvas and supplies to over 21 artists at the Yarnell Community Center, who made paintings for a fundraiser for the center.


We also donated to the Prescott Vette Sette corvette club, for a silent auction at their September corvette show. All proceeds from the two beautifully framed and matted ’68 corvette prints go to the Prescott Firefighters’ Charities. Click on the logo below to see their flyer for this event.

PVS Header blackpffc-logo275~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Christian Academy of Prescott used our large order discount this month which allowed us to donate over $1500.00 in art materials to this needed art department. We hope this encourages the local community to create positive energy!cap-logo6

Need to know more about our large order discounts? Just follow the photo link below:


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