See descriptions below for full details on tools and supplies for workshop.
For quick reference use these links:
Information on Coating Yupo with White and Black Gesso
Transfering Golden Black Gesso into Applicator Bottles
Information on Color Choices and Mixing from Golden
Atomizer Information and Instructions
500 Sheets White Sulfite 80# Paper - used in"Abstract Design Class"
For help finding the applicator bottles and the Masking Fluid Pen go to the "Atomizer/Tools" tab.
Paper and Yupo
Fabriano Artistico Soft Press - This is the paper I use for my demos. It is usually only available online in full sheets. It is not necessary to use this paper. I only add this for reference.
100% Cotton 140 lb. Cold Press Watercolor Paper - Any watercolor paper can be used with success as long as it is 100% Cotton and is Cold Press. This usually comes in full sheets and is available at your local art store or online. Michaels often has sheet paper but it usually is not 100% Cotton. Arches and Fabriano is now offering 100% cotton in blocks or pads. I prefer the sheet but these will work fine. When you will be coating your paper with black gesso then a lesser grade paper is acceptable.
Size - I list 8" x 8" pieces of paper for our sample paintings. You may work slightly smaller or slightly larger ie. 7" x 7" or 8" x 10". I also call out some of the Yupo to be 10" x 10" but 9" x 9" would do. The reason some of the Yupo needs to be larger is that we will use it for the Tar Gel technique. I have found that doing this techinque on 8" x 8" pieces often results in the Tar Gel lines spreading to fill in the whole paper because of the small size.
This is a synthetic plastic sheet that can be purchased in pads or full sheet. It comes in translucent and white and I use the white. For most of my techniques I coat the Yupo with either black or white gesso. It is important to coat your papers at least 3-7 days in advance of the workshop and the longer the better. The gesso much "cure" on the Yupo to insure that it doesn't lift when water and paint are added. Apply the gesso with a damp but not wet brush. If desired, you can use a foam roller after you have applied the paint to obtain a velvety texture. This is not necessary but if you wish to do so go to this link for a larger version of the photo and description on the left: Coating Yupo
Fluid Acrylic - I use and recommend Golden Fluid Acrylic although Fluid Acrylic is now available in other brands. Regardless of what brand you purchase it should be both FLUID and TRANSPARENT. The transparency should be listed somewhere on the bottle.
Tube and Heavy Bodied Acrylic - I do not use these in my workshops. I am often asked if they can be substituted for the fluids. The answer is yes, but not as successfully. Diluting these paints to a fluid consistency will both decrease their adhesion and color value. They too should be transparent.
White High Flow Acrylic - Only made by Golden. It is a thinner viscosity than the "Fluid Acrylic" but maintains the same pigment load. In my workshops I only use white High Flow along with the mouth atomizer.
Golden's Color Wheel
Choosing Colors that Play Well Together
Paint Colors - In most of my demos I use only 3 colors: Quinachridone Nickle Azo Gold, Antrhaquinone Blue, and Permanent Violet Dark. I know that these 3 colors play well together (create mixtures that are not muddy) and serve as my yellow, blue and red. I also use small amounts of Napthol Red Light, Hansa Yellow Light, Phthalo Tourquoise, Cerulean Blue and Teal. Cerulean Blue and the Teal are not transparent colors but I use them when that property is not important.
Choosing Colors - If purchasing paint, the first three colors I mentioned above are sufficient for the workshop. These colors may not appeal to you so please feel free to bring colors you enjoy. For best results bring one color each of one of the primary colors - a red, a blue and a yellow. They do not have to be true primary colors but in those families. If you would like a set of colors that can be used to mix almost any color, Golden recommends these: Hansa Yellow Medium, Naphthol Red Light, Quinacridone Magenta, Phthalo Blue (GS), Phthalo Green (BS) This set of colors would serve you very well both in the workshop and in your studio.
Golden has a wonderful site with information about "color mixing". This is invaluable information: Golden Mixing Guide
White Gesso - I use white gesso to mix with my fluid paints, therefore I want my gesso to be similar in consistency. Liquitex Professional Gesso has the perfect consistency and tooth. You may use other brands but it must be of a fluid consistency. Gesso in jars is often too thick.
Black Gesso - I use Golden's black gesso. Even though it is in a jar, it has a fluid consitency, covers well and has a nice surface texture. It's biggest drawback is that it doesn't come in a pourable bottle like the Liquitex. A pourable bottle makes using the gesso much easier and makes it possible to transfer it into the applicator bottles that I use (which is impossible to do from the jar). Therefore, I use a small funnel and transfer my gesso from the jar to an airtight bottle. From there I can transfer it easily into the smaller applicator bottle. Click here for a PDF showing this process: Transferring Gesso
Liquitex makes a black gesso that does come in a pourable bottle. It is a nice gesso and is less hassel than transferring the Golden. Bob Ross also makes a nice black gesso and it too is in a pourable bottle. It can be found in craft stores along with the Liquitex White and Black Gesso which means you can use a coupon!
Golden Clear Tar Gel or Liquitex String Gel
I primarily use Golden Clear Tar Gel which comes in a wide mouth jar, but I have also used Liquitex String Gel with success. The advantage of the string gel is that it comes in a pourable bottle and can be easily transferred to other bottles with various tip sizes.
Application - You can apply Tar Gel from the jar with a palette knife or other tool. You can also apply it from a squeeze bottle with openings of various sizes which will produce different line widths. The bottle must have an air tight cap. Both application methods work fine but the palette knife produces more random lines and the squeeze bottles offer a bit more control.
Transferring the Liquitex String Gel - Even though the Liquitex String Gel comes in a bottle, the opening is too large to apply it right from its original bottle. Squeeze some of it into another bottle with a smaller opening. You will have to experiment with opening sizes to find the one that works best for your purposes. I like to have several sizes of openings so I have the ability to make different line widths. The bottle on the far right of this picture has a good size opening to begin your experiments. I found this bottle in the kitchen section of Walmart. Similar bottles can be found at art or craft stores.
Transferring the Golden Tar Gel - If you purchase the Golden Tar Gel in the jar, then you might want to transfer some to a bottle. This is perhaps easier said than done. A funnel will not work as the Tar Gel is like honey. What I do is get the widest mouthed bottle that I can, pour it into that and then transfer it to my smaller bottles. You can transfer this before you get to class or during, but either way you will need a bottle to transfer it to.
The trick to pouring tar gel into a bottle from a jar is distance and luck. The further the Tar Gel has to travel, the thinner the stream will become, therefore you want to be about a foot above our bottle. Slowly start the pour - you will probably miss at first but just adjust the position of your bottle into the stream. Be sure to keep your bottle tilted as you pour into it or the gel will just pile up at the opening. This takes some practice and is not my favorite activity, but once you get this larger bottle filled, you can use it to fill other bottles with very small openings. Be sure to wipe up the excess gel immediately and return to the bottle or original container. Be sure to have something like wax or freezer paper covering your table so the gel is easy to scrape up. It will dry like glue so don't get it on anything you care about (especially the cat).
Applicator Bottles by Fineline
Tip Size - These airtight bottles come in two different needle sizes: Standard 18 gauge and Fine 20 gauge. Although I use both, in the workshop you will need the Standard Tip. An easy way to remember which one you want is that it is yellow not blue. Be aware that often website images are not updated and may not represent the actual product. Always be sure when ordering that you are purchasing the 18 gauge standard tip.
Advantages Over Other Bottles - Often students bring other type of applicator bottles. The issue with the other bottles is that the opening is usually too big, or if it is small, it does not have an airtight seal. Other applicator bottles will not allow you to keep your paint in them for any length of time. I have left my paint in the Fineline Applicator Bottles for over 4 years without them drying out. Buying these applicator bottles is much less expensive that having expensive paint dry out and become unusable. The other bottles can be emptied of the paint when you are finished with them but it is a messy and wasteful process.
Filling The Applicator Bottles
The bottles come empty. For the workshop you will need these filled with various things such as white and black gesso, and fluid acrylic. Refer to your supply list for what you will need for your specific workshop. If you already have some of the Fineline Applicator Bottles filled with paint feel free to bring these too.
Amount - Fill the bottles 3/4 full with the required product. This way, if you need to dilute the gesso or paint, you will have room to add distilled water. If you get too much water, then you still have room to add more gesso or paint. You want the consistency to be such that the gesso or paint flows from the applicator tip without having to exert a lot of pressure.
Gesso - If you have purchased bottled vs. jar gesso, you can easily pour your gesso from the bottle into the applicator bottle. If you have purchased the Golden Gesso in a jar, the process is not as easy. Click on this link to see a larger image of the picture at the left that demonstrates the process: Transferring Black Gesso from Jar to Applicator Bottle
Filling Applicator Bottles with Fluid Acrylic - If your fluid acrylic is new, it is usually exactly the right consistency for the standard tip applicator bottles. If you are going to fill one of your bottles with fluid color, be aware that it will use much of your 1oz bottle. Not all workshops require an applicator bottle to be filled with color, and you may want to wait and see what we will be doing with it before you decide which color to put into it.
Masking Fluid Pen by Fineline - Standard Tip
What's in a Name? After years of trying every tool imaginable to create masked lines, I found the Masking Fluid Pen by Fineline. It has changed names over the years - it has been called the Masquepen, Masking Fluid Pen and Resist Pen.
In my book, I call it the Resist Pen. I was misinformed and just found out that the "Resist Pen" only comes in the fine 20g tip. To get the standard 20g tip you must ask for the "Masking Fluid Pen". No matter what it is called, it does a great job and is the foundation of many of my techniques.
Tip Size - If you can find it, purchase the standard tip although the fine tip will work. Once again, like the applicator bottles, the one you want is yellow not blue.
Masking Fluid - It comes filled with a very nice masking fluid. I have used many brands of mask over the years and am impressed by how long this mask lasts before it dries out. It is the perfect consistency to flow easily from the dispensing tip and dries to a nice blue color so it can easily be seen.
The mouth atomizer is the "poor artist's airbrush". I have written extensively about it in my book and will attach a PDF link below where you can find this information.
For the workshop, you do not need to bring or buy an atomizer. The inexpensive ones really do not work well for most people especially when spraying the thicker white High Flow Acrylic. If you have either the Pat Dews Atomizer or Jeff's Atomizer, bring it. If you do not have either of these I will have atomizers for you to borrow and use. I will also have Jeff's atomizers available for purchase after you have had a chance to try them. In addition I will demonstrate using the make-up sponge to achieve similar results and thus the atomizer is not needed. If you do want to get an atomizer before class, Jeff's atomizer is available for purchase on this site. See the "Atomizer/Tool" section.
I do ask that you bring a 4oz bottle of White High Flow Acrylic. You may purchase the small 1oz bottle but the larger bottle makes it easier to spray the white paint. I explain this on page 55 of the PDF from my book. You can access that here: Atomizer Information and Instructions