Explanation of Certain Materials for July Sight-Size Portrait Workshop

Here is an explanation of some of the materials on the supply list:

Plumb Line
Used for taking vertical allignments. I attach a bead (or key, etc.) to a red, pink or black string (whatever I feel I can see best holding up and standing at a distance from the model). You will need two and one must be at least 26”. 

Black Mirror
This is an important tool to assess values. Take a piece of glass (approximately 7”x5”) and apply at least three layers of black acrylic paint to one side, allowing to dry between layers. Then, once completely dry, apply black tape to side that has been painted and also to the sides.

You will need to apply a tone to your portrait grade linen at least one month prior to the workshop. You can use straight raw umber (I brush it on with a large brush and then remove excess with a soft clean brush or link free rag). You can also add a touch of odorless mineral spirits to a pile of raw umber to get the paint flowing and to make it easier to brush. After the canvas is covered, make sure that there are no raised spots. Your tone should be completely flat. Shoot for around the value of the photo below (raw umber imprimatura next to a white board for comparison). 

I’ve included a coin reference in the photos. All brush makers size differently. 

You will need two bristle brushes to start our underpainting during the workshop. One larger and one smaller. Flats or Filberts.

Flat or Bright Soft Brushes
I prefer sables. You will need two sizes for smoothing edges out at the end of the day. One smaller and one larger.

Various Filberts and Rounds
You will need soft brushes. I prefer sables. You will want to bring an assortment of Filberts ranging from small to large and a few Rounds in the smaller sizes. I can’t tell you exactly what you will need as we all have individual preferences. But just to give you an idea of mine:

Rosemary Brushes

Series 81 Pure Sable Domed Filbert (various sizes). These are some of my favorite brushes. Good all purpose brushes that I use for the majority of the portrait.

Series 93 Pure Sable Spotters  I buy these in the smaller range (#3/0 through 2). I love these for detail work.

Series 91 Pure Sable Filbert Various Sizes. “Cat’s Tongue” Great for when you need to get a bit more detail from a filbert. I always have a couple on hand.

Series 99 Pointed Pure Sable Rounds  (I like the # 1-5 range). Great for “drawing” with paint.

I’ve also had good results with Richeson 9160 Finest Sable. Also with Dick Blick Masterstroke Finest Red Sable brushes. And Trekell red sables.

Paint Knife

Please don't bring a paint knife that is too small.


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