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Artists Tips – General Hints and tips for artists and painters

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  • If you have an artists’ brush which has been damaged by standing in
    water.  Dip the tip into water, squeeze into a point;  wrap tip tightly into
    newspaper and bind with sticky tape.  Leave for 24 hours and when you remove the
    wrapping it should be nearly as good as new.
  • Rather than use a palette for mixing paint you can use your easel.
      This is much easier and the easel can be used when exhibiting work in galleries.
      (I assume this would not work for water colours!)
  • To add interest to paintings you can sieve soil from the garden and
    cook gently in a saucepan (no water).  Mixed with acrylic paint gives unusual texture
    and colours.
  • Use a cardboard tube to keep brushes in – this allows them to breathe
    and they will not go mouldy as they can in plastic containers.
  • A cardboard box with an open side and the top cut into a lid makes
    ideal framing for still life objects.  The lid can be opened to change the light
  • A rectangle of card with the centre cut out (to form a frame shape)
    can be used as a composition aid to “frame” objects you are drawing.  Held
    near to your face for landscapes and further away for portraits.
  • An old toothbrush can be used for adding texture to paintings.
      Load the brush with paint and then, with the brush near the paper, rub fingers
    along bristles which flicks the paint onto the paper.  Great fun if a little messy.
      Children would love doing this.
  • An old teabag stirred in water makes an ideal colour wash to take
    away the whiteness of paper.  Remember to use within four days otherwise it grows
  • If tubes of paint get “gummed” up and the lid hard to
    remove, don’t try to force the top undone as this could split the tube.  Put some hot
    water into a bowl and hold the top of the tube in the water for a short time.  Remove
    from the water and the top should open easily.
  • To keep paints moist on a palette for several days, cover with
    clingfilm after use.
  • If painting outdoors and you want to mix up a lot of paint, use an
    empty tray of individual yoghurt pots (or an ice cube tray).  This can be placed
    inside a suitably sized sandwich box and covered with a lid.
  • If you make a mistake when painting in oils.  Scrape off the
    surplus paint with a razor blade so that when it is overpainted it will not show.
  • To remove grease marks from paper, sprinkle talcum powder over the
    grease mark and leave overnight.  The mark will have gone in the morning.
  • Fix up a washing line to dry paintings and, thereby, creating more
    room on surfaces.
  • Keep rubbers (erasers!!!) clean by storing in an old film
  • When transporting very large paintings over short distances, balance
    them (edge on) on a roller skate or skateboard for easy manoeuvrability.
  • If you run out of charcoal but can find a dead willow twig, wrap it
    in tinfoil and put in hot oven. Carefully remove from oven and unwrap
    foil.  Willow
    will now be charcoal.
  • When painting outdoors wear waterproof trousers these will keep you
    clean, dry, and warm and allow you to sit anywhere you choose.  You just have to hope
    you don’t meet any of your friends!