Paints, Brushes, Old Canvases, Brands ….

Early this afternoon I received the following question from Larry K regarding, paints, brushes and canvases. I thought you all would enjoy hearing the questions and my comments.

Darrell, I bought your Basic Technique series a while back and I am enjoying them very much. I have some questions for you.

1. You say to try and paint every day, but how do you manage your paints? If you leave them out won’t they dry out? If you put them away, it can take longer to put them away then the time you spend painting.

2. How long should an oil painting take to dry

3. I have three canvases that I made an attempt at painting. They are now dry. For practice sake can I put some medium over it?

4. I noticed that you use Bob Ross brushes. Is it necessary to use those 2 and 1 inch brushes or would say a Shipmate bristle brush as well?

Thanks, Larry

Hi Larry,

1. Yes, painting every day helps to really perfect your skills. I’ve put together an interesting work area. The palette is direct to my left. The easel is straight in front. Between the easel (but next to it) and the table holding the palette is a small 5 drawer taboret on wheels. My paints are in the top three drawers. I put out the paints I need for the day on to a paper palette. I paint for a while and return the next day. During the next day’s painting I use the same paints unless they’ve dried out. In this later case, I just add more to the amount I believe I’ll use. I put out only the paints I believe I’ll use that day. And I use them each day until they dry out. All paint colors take different amounts of time to dry. If you’re not going to be painting for a few days, then some of my students have this to offer: “Use a paper palette and cover the paints with a second sheet of paper (or saran wrap if using a wooden palette) and put it in the freezer until ready to re-use. It works!”

2. Depending upon the time of the year, humidity, weather, type of mediums used your canvas could take up to one month to dry or as little as 2 days to dry.

3. Absolutely, but if you know early on that you’re not going to keep the painting, than scrape it off and clean with odorless turp.

4. Shipmate bristle brushes work very well, but do not last as long. I frequently use them.