Marita gentryComment

The Tools of My Trade

Marita gentryComment
The Tools of My Trade
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Ok y'all. I thought it was about time I show you or tell you the tools of my trade.  It's hard though social media or computer to actually see that my paintings look a little different in person.  A lot of people have asked "what are you painting with?" or "what is that?"  because I honestly do paint slightly different. 


Lets start with the very beginning. Where do I get my inspiration?

I take tons and tons of photos whereever I go.  I use my phone or my camera.  I save them to my computer and then print them out. In the photo above you can see a huge pile.  I like to mark on these printed images and fold them. This is how I do a lot of figuring out my composition work.  Sometimes I edit the photos in photo shop before I print them, but they always end up printed. I really need the physical paper to shuffle around and mark up.


Canvas - I use gallery wrap canvas and to be honest I love the The Artist Loft brand that Michael's carries.  They come in ton of sizes. Just let me tell you though... wait for a sale! (I stock up when there is a sale because I live an hour from the nearest Michael's.)

I just might be a bit of a hoarder when it comes to canvases. Oh Wait! If it's organized it's a stash right? My canvases are very organized so I have a canvas stash. 

This photo is just all the small and medium size canvases. HA!

Pencils - Below are the colored pencils that are my very favorite.  The first one is a watercolor pencil called AquaMonolith...which I order.  The second is a normal colored pencil called Progresso which I get at Hobby Lobby. I use both randomly to sketch thoughts on a canvas...use during the painting process and add detail a the end.

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Paint - The paint I use is where I start being different.  I use fluid acrylics in sort of traditional watercolor techniques.  The ones above are my favorite brands...Golden and DaVinci.  I use different colors from each brand.  Most of my painting is created with the use of this medium.  

When I started trying to do a watercolor type painting on canvas I was thinning actual acrylics...not good. When you thin acrylic paints you thin the color. Then I found fluid acrylics searching one of the artist supply catalogs. TaDaaa!  Perfection! You can thin fluid acrylics with as much water as you like and the color is just as about make an artist happy.

Brushes - ProArte Prolene are my very, very, favorite brushes.(Did I say very, very, HA!)  I order them online. They are synthetic brushes, but I love the way they hold paint and hold their shape. 

I honestly abuse these brushes and they still hold up well to my long term use. So they are well worth the investment.

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So I basically splash some very first layers on with a big brush. Now keep in mind I already know what I am painting and I have a color palette in mind.  Then I usually draw the subject with colored pencil and most of the time I redraw it in paint. Then it is layer after layer of washes. I kind of block in the middle tones at first. Then start adding dark tones and eventually going back to tweek the middle tones.  Finally in the last few layers I use the fluid acrylic with out thinning to add the highlights and details. Every once in a very, very, long while I use  regular acrylic paint in the details. It all depends on the painting.

As my artist statement says, my work is utterly incomprehensible and therefore full of deep significance.
— Calvin and Hobbs

That quotes from Calvin and Hobbs always makes me laugh.  It actually has a bit of truth to it for me.  I try to break down what I do for others to see and follow, but it feels a bit incomprehensible at times.  This blog post I at least showed you the tools that I most commonly use.  As I get better at this blogging thing I hope to do a video that shows the entire process. For now hop over to follow me on Instagram   Watch my stories...they have snippets of the painting process.

I hope you found a nugget of useful information.  If you have a question or even a great product you love please let me know below!