At Last our first video. It is a little rough around the edges, but I have learnt heaps on this journey and should be able to improve with the next one.
This video is purely to provide an incentive to subscribe to our YouTube channel and get advised when new videos come out. While the plan is to publish at least one video each month, in practice I hope to intersperse this with other people’s videos, as well as short question and answer videos from time to time.
Please comment if you have opinions, ask questions using the email shown in the Video and subscribe to the Youtube channel if you want to see the next video.
Here is a text summary of what I say on the video for those that cannot view video links.
First Video – Introduction April 2013
This is my first video, and it is my intention to let you know what I have planned for future videos.
So please spend a little time to find out what’s coming as well as details of an exciting competition you can enter for FREE right now.
My first product review video which is not far away now will be a comparison test to see how much canvas selected oil paint brands can cover. This came about because I once attended a paint manufacturer’s presentation where they boldly claimed that their brand achieved the best coverage ever! All this was without any real proof or justification apart from a couple of photos, and a pre-painted canvas. So I thought I might try some leading brands and see just how they compare. While not strictly scientific it will be a practical approach that should show a likely outcome and guide if cost per square centimetre is important to you. While this may seem petty it can help where people have a choice of several brands because other issues are too similar to differentiate. I believe the Review will show there is a vast difference between brands as to how far a tube of paint will go.
You will find out when the video is published.
I will be using a basic stretched canvas of 380gram weight and it will have two coats of gesso even though the manufacturer claims it is primed already. I’m not sure I am impressed with canvas that comes pre-primed as it seems very sparse on the surface to me.
I will paint a strip section for each brand that’s 25mm wide and runs in two strips totalling 400mm across the canvas. The brands I have chosen will include traditional Oils from China, Australian, U.S.A., as well as a Water Mixable Oil and a Heat Set Oil to round out the range.
All will be the same colour which is Cobalt Blue.
The quantity of paint I will use will be precisely measured using a 2.5ml spoon, with the paint being flush with the lip of the spoon to ensure consistency of measure.
I will use the same brush with each brand, which is a Ruby Red Flat number 6. This has a synthetic hair and is one of Rebel Art’s most popular brushes and seems to be good value too. Others tell me they are impressed with the quality of this brush.
I will also assess how colour correct each brand is compared to a pigment standards chart.
It should be of interest to some for me to try and rate the consistency of the paint, ease of application and how well they clean up after.
I’ll be using Weber’s Turpenoid Natural for cleaning, which is another test I plan to produce at some time soon. It is non toxic, NOT flammable and has no strong fumes. I will cover how to use it and where there are limitations that apply
However the best news for those who love a bargain is you get to enter a guessing competition. All you have to do is estimate how far across the 400mm strip you think the winning brand will go. The closest guess or the first entry where two or more get it exactly right will win a complete set of primary colours in that brand of paint. That is Red, Blue and Yellow as well as black and white. Entry is FREE and all you need to do is send an email with your estimate to email@example.com
I’m not going to mention the actual brands used until the video is released, so no clue there but here is one hint.
“Each canvas strip in two rows is 25mm wide and 200mm long with a total of 400mm space available and I don’t expect any brand will get that far.”
Entries can be submitted right up until the release date of the actual review video in a few weeks.
One entry only per person please, the winner will be notified by return email and mentioned on our second video.
The second product review video I’ll be producing will be about the new Paint n Peel plastic palettes from Mijello. Mijello claim you can use the palette like any other type, when finished working rather than do a clean-up of the surface let the paint dry and it will simply peel off, no scraping, no washing, and they also say that no stain will be left behind. I will be interested to see if this is in fact the case and how useful the various shapes and sizes are.
There are several types of palette made by Mijello apart from the paint n peel models. These include a palette surface that makes watercolour paint appear as it would on the paper. I understand many artists using watercolour have a small slip of paper beside the traditional palette to see exactly what it will look like on the paper before they apply it. Mijello also have palettes for watercolour, Oil and some acrylic paints. These palettes are air tight sealable and can be closed up with confidence that it will still be OK some time later. Not sure yet just how long though. Maybe we will try it aye?
You can see further information on Mijello Palettes at the Rebel Art Shop web site and exactly what models are available as well as prices for them.
Some other tests I am currently looking to prepare will include reviews on several brands of sable brushes as well as a rundown of where they are best used. Also I will be testing some brands of water mixable oils in a comparison test. For something different I will prepare a list of the basic tools and equipment needed to get started painting with Oil, Acrylic and Watercolour
Email for topic suggestions: However, I would appreciate any other suggestions on what product reviews you would like to see or anything else you may be interested in.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have questions on any art related topics please send them in using the same email and I will select the best questions and make a video to answer the questions as best I can or seek out an expert opinion if needed. I will look at ALL suggestions and even if I cannot put them on a video, I will try and get you an answer or at least point you to where you can get an answer.
Until then I hope you all keep painting, while making the effort to balance your interest in painting with the needs of your family and friends . . . and above all . . . enjoy life and treat others as you would have them to treat you.. Bye
Well, I have been working hard to produce the first video outlining the change to our blog effort.
1. Blog will be supported by a video subject each month
2. I already have in the pipeline a number of product reviews under way, see the screen capture below for clues.
3. My newsletter in a similar fashion will now include links to the Rebel Art video channel on YouTube for all information except sale specials.
4. I will be inviting questions and will feature the answer of selected questions in each monthly video.
5. Look at the video when it is announced and you could enter my FREE guessing competition just by watching the video and emailing your guess. The Video has all the information needed to make a considered guess. There is a prize !
I think around 9th March I rashly listed the steps to make my first video and said just a few weeks. Well that was a bit optimistic.
However the introductory video is uploading to YouTube as I type and should be available in a few days.
In the meantime I am uploading some screen captures from the video to wet your appetite.
The time to upload alone is almost 12 hours as we produced the video in 1920 X 1080 Progressive which is the highest HD quality YouTube supports and is akin to the best Blue-Ray standard that DVD can achieve.
Part of the header which shows a quick peak at some of the images and movies used in the first video.
This is part of the information presented to help with entering the guessing competition as well as what the second video is about. You will have to watch the video to find out more.
A list of some of the topics I will be covering in upcoming videos, but send your suggestions if they are better they may jump the queue.
The rest of the screenshots don’t warrant explanation.
As I mentioned I have set up a new YouTube channel and will release details as soon as the channel is finalised. You are urged to subscribe to it to ensure you don’t miss any of the upcoming videos.
I hope there is enough here to entice you to watch my first RebelArtAustralia video blog.
Until next time when I hope to have the video link here for all to see and comment/complain/laugh/rubbish with brickbats or bouquets
Vicki recently contacted me about the earlier comments I made on Genesis Heat Set Oils.
She mentioned some points she had discovered which I think warrant exposure. Hope they are of interest to those who use Genesis Oils and perhaps struggle with the traditional cleaning methods.
Here is part of her comments
” I know your review of Genesis paints was about 1.5 years old already, but I only just came across it. I love the Genesis paints and periodically do a little Google search to see what other people are saying about them or to see if there’s anything I might have missed.
You do make a lot of valid points in your review, but one thing I disagree with was the ease of clean up, I just use 91% rubbing alcohol and it couldn’t be easier (well I suppose plain water would be easier). I didn’t see you mention rubbing alcohol as an option so I thought I’d put it out there.
Also regarding the cost factor- I had purchased a kit that came with a heat gun so that wasn’t an additional expense. Despite having it, I rarely even use the heat gun and much prefer the toaster oven instead! I’m very fortunate in that I work very small, which is perfect for these paints. I agree that a much larger piece would be a hassle to dry using the heat gun, I just wanted to mention how convenient they are for small format painters. Since I paint so small, I use very little and most of my paints “look” brand new even though I’ve painted & sold enough to cover my investment several times over.
As for waste, I went six years between my first try with them and my second, and the paint on the palette & brush were still as good as new.
Just a little background on myself – I am primarily an oil painter, and I do still prefer traditional oils for larger pieces – sometimes I forget I have these and every time I use them I realize how much I do love them! ”
AND . . .
” Rubbing alcohol, do you have that in Australia? It’s isopropyl alcohol – yes it’s toxic (I assume) if you drink it, but it’s definitely not toxic in the way paint thinners etc. are. It’s used for cleaning cuts & such. and is generally found in the the skin care section of the pharmacy (it’s also used in skin toners, etc.). Interesting that you hadn’t heard about it from Genesis, I could swear that’s where I first learned to use it, in fact I had thought it was the only solvent that should be used! But I could be mistaken since I first bought them over ten years ago – I never heard of using soap & water. I do remember that 91% was better to use than 70%. ”
How do we measure the Product Quality of Art Materials & Supplies?
When it comes to many of the mediums, tools, materials, surfaces and accessories we use as an artist, professional, part time of hobby, ALL will come in a range of quality levels. Knowing how good they are is somewhat of an unknown for many artists apart from feedback given by fellow artists.
In our upcoming series of video based product reviews we will attempt to enlighten you about selected strategic products. However here is a short overview of some of the things you can look out for, with a guide as to why you would buy one above another.
Many of these products they are often categorised as Artist Quality or Student Quality.
Some products that are specified this way include Oil paints, acrylic paint, gouache paint, watercolours, mediums, papers, pencils, charcoals, even a small selection of various brand brushes, some canvas and sketch pads which also come in a variety of quality levels.
Others, such as tools are not so easily judged, and rarely have a specified quality standard . Easels are an excellent example, two easels may have exactly the same features, parts, and capability but one can cost several times more dollars than another. Why is it so?
What does this really mean?
Many elements come into play depending on the product, and can include:
Archival Quality (How long will the final work last)
Ease of mixing
Coverage per ml, per stick, per tube
Range of colours available
Storage medium quality and/or type e.g. Plastic Tube vs Metal Tube
Shelf Life before use by is reached (if specified)
Warranty Offered – Sadly, often there is no strong warranty support.
The above is far from complete, but is a good starter guide.
This often includes the products at the lower end of the price range, but even within this category is a vast range of prices and quality.
As above applies but generally the products are more expensive, bigger range, last longer, go further, have more reliable performance and colours, mixing is more predictable, containers are more durable and command better prices where sales of your work is involved. They also often have a stated warranty policy and stand behind the product if you have issues
Which should you use?
There are several thoughts on this but generally I apply the following as a candidate for student quality products.
Just starting out.
Not likely to be developing high grade works of art in the early stages.
Just trying it out, not sure if will be going to keep it up.
Unlikely to be making a family heirloom.
Have a limited budget
Not prolific producer
In an early learning phase, potentially producing sub-standard work.
Students are often in one or more of the above stages, and it makes sense not to spend any more than necessary to get started. It is unlikely in the early learning days that work will be kept (except for personal reasons) and if not selling the work, longevity is not really an issue as even better student quality products can last a decade or more without significant deterioration.
However, at some point many students will progress to a point where the above criteria no longer apply. They may get good enough to produce work for friends, and get frustrated with the inherent limitations of student quality products. They may wish to start selling art at a flea market or submit to a gallery. Many sales outlets will not accept student quality brands. Students may realise that a better tool or material make life easier, and are more consistent and predictable in quality.
Some will develop a pride in their efforts and demand the best they can get. It is generally recognised that a great product will make the effort needed to work easier, leaving the artist to concentrate on the more important issues of composition, colour, style, the story and more.
Then you need to think about what you use.
As mentioned elsewhere, I have started a project to review a range of products, and where I can I will address many of the above issues to help with your selection.
If you are looking at a particular product and have doubts, send me a message at email@example.com or add a comment/question to this blog or on our Facebook and I will see if I can help someway.
Until next time . . . Enjoy your art, remember to make time for your family and friends and don’t take it all too seriously, HAVE FUN !
Shortly I will be embarking on a project to review a range of products relevant to Artists instead of the traditional written word we will be using the medium of Video.
There are a number of steps in making a video that consume large amounts of time . . . but hopefully I will have the first episode in about three weeks.
I will be reviewing not only products that Rebel Art Supplies offers customers, but also anything I can access from your requests, as well as new products that may come my way. It can be a difficult path to tread, as to retain credibility I need to be honest and as accurate and honest in my assessments as I can be. It also requires a methodical approach where applicable to the product.
So if a product just does not stand up (rare in my experience these days) I may say so or at worst just drop the review altogether. It is not in my interest to start a war of words with my customers, my suppliers, supporters or friends . . . sometimes discretion is the honourable path to take.
I am currently working on several products and it depends which one gets finished first for publication, so I cannot preview any results just yet.
I will keep progress reports coming, but the steps are as follows:
Prepare the studio layout to suit.
Set Up Lighting and sound.
Screen Test and fine tune.
Obtain sample product.
Define a testing procedure and objective of the test.
Take photos and clips of the actual testing procedure and the product.
Film the final commentary and narrative.
Set up an Introduction clip with logo and theme images.
Assemble all the clips into my video editor.
Do a rough edit.
Do a final edit.
Finalise/render the output.
Set up the video file on a designated server and set up links to the video.
Upload the final video.
Publish to the blog and announce on Facebook.
Then all I have to do is wait for the hails of laughter at my dismal efforts (hope not) as well as comments good or bad. I need to resist becoming too defensive, take constructive criticism as it is meant, develop a thick skin for those rare occasions that a knocker gets stuck into me and try to improve each subsequent effort from the feedback. As you may observe there can be heaps to do, but I hope I am not being too ambitious in my timetable, if so I will let you know in the progress reports.
Until next time . . . Enjoy your art, remember to make time for your family and friends and don’t take it all too seriously, HAVE FUN !
When I first came up with the idea of starting a web site selling Art Supplies, one of the main concerns was not specifically about the business, it was the effect the business would have on my interest in painting and art.
I was thinking “would I come home from work and feel painting was just more work?”
To some extent this has been the case and now I tend to paint at weekends and the rare holiday time I get. I found the creative urges were lowest at the end of a long day talking art, thinking art, motivating artists, answering questions about art and so on. I needed to break the cycle somehow. But I still love painting and certainly did not want to abandon it.
Then one day I was looking for inspiration near my home at that time around inner Brisbane and found a lovely little park where a babbling brook was nestling up against a grove of deciduous trees that were just turning to the autumn colours so rare around sub-tropical Brisbane. My thought was “Where is a camera when I need one?” I wanted to capture the moment but as usual did not carry my camera everywhere; it was a big bulky (in those days) Single Lens Reflect NIKON. Mobile phone cameras were not up to it in those days.
The proverbial light globe lit up in my head! Photography is removed from art but still part of it. Cameras are just another tool to be used to gather inspiration. Although there were ample images around various photo sharing web sites I also needed to have that break I was seeking, but without abandoning my art. Photography was that break, yet it would still help me keep my links to painting in the long run.
So began my love affair with photography. It has provided countless images and memories I can use when seeking inspiration for my artwork. It is something that can be done almost any time and in short sessions. Art and painting is something I tend to use up many hours in a session, but some photography sessions are just a few minutes.
OK! Some photography takes significant investment in preparation, for example travel time if a location is planned, and it is easy to get carried away with the technology if you let it get to you.
But it can easily be achieved by any good quality point and shoot camera. There is no need to go for a top of the line DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflect), heaps of accessories (Flash, Reflectors, tripod etc.) if you are just after inspirational shots to get you painting.
I admit I have collected a range of accessories over the years, but still only use a prosumer camera (That’s a term used to describe any camera that is not a professional Canon or Nikon used by professional full time photographers). I have found most digital cameras these days will give images never dreamed of in the film days, photos cost nothing, can get instant viewable results and rarely have to lose the moment like in the old Film days. You don’t need a slide projector, a photo album or framed prints (But they are nice)
I remember in 1969 I went on a lifetime trip around the outback up from Adelaide through the Flinders Range to Ayers Rock as it was known in those days, onto the Alice and up all the way to Darwin. I was using a trusty Nikon single lens reflect film camera. It had been reliable for some years and I was not thinking about any possible failures. With film, it invariably needs to be processed, either in your home studio, or at a professional lab, that required the film to be posted and returned unless you could find a same day service. Back in those days they did not exist anywhere along the route we were taking. So I would dutifully post away my film (Colour Slides in those days) with a return address back to my Sydney home as I was still travelling and could not guarantee where we would be to pick it up.
About two thirds through the trip, I was lucky enough to find a photographer who offered to process a roll of film for me on the day. Imagine my feeling when the film came back with nothing on it. My trusty Nikon shutter was failing, making the right noises etc. but every shot was underexposed and useless. I still remember this disappointment from time to time.
Digital Cameras are a quantum leap from the old film in quality of images, ease of use, operating cost, purchase price for what you get and instant gratification.
So I now take a good (but small, light, easy to use quickly) point and shoot camera I take everywhere I go to make sure my painting inspiration is continually fed new fodder for the mind. Although a good mobile phone can get reasonable images too in some cases.
Photography is one easy way to get inspiration and material to paint and I find it is just removed far enough from painting to give me the week day break without moving me away from my art.
Remember, Photography is also an art.
Kangaroos often visit the Windhaven Farm where the Rebel Art Supplies warehouse is located. Here they are just 20 metres from the door, on a misty morning in late summer 2013.
YES, I also have an expensive Semi-professional PENTAX single lens reflex camera and a High Definition PANASONIC video camcorder that I use for more serious photography. I have included a few images scattered through this article of my more recent images. These are not from my professional portfolio (I do produce Product photos on a commission basis from time to time). The examples linked are not professional quality but they are helpful in retaining my memories of past living, giving me a relaxing pastime to unwind at the end of the day rather than just vegetating in front of a TV or Computer and I enjoy it. Photography has developed into a very rewarding hobby for me without lessening the desire to paint.
MY PAINT GOES HARD IN THE TUBE BEFORE I CAN USE IT ALL!
How often have you heard that?
It is a common problem which has been made worse by the modern plastic tubes used in many artists quality paints both oil and acrylic. It is particularly prone to happen with student quality paint, cheap Chinese paints and even some notable major brand paints. Many paints dry over time due to the amount of air left in the tube when the cap is put on. I have had customers bring back some cheap Asian brand paints that have gone rock hard in the neck of the tube after just a few months. Older style tubes were manufactured with a stiff metallic layer inside and tightly adhered to the tube shape as squeezed. Typically when these tubes are squeezed theyholdtheir shape which means that paint stays located at the neck of the tube. However modern plastic tubes while less likely to split and able to take the occasional knock without splitting, are inert thus not affecting the paint even over long periods and are easier to use and extract the paint. However they have a built-in memory for their shape. This means they revert to their original shape potentially leaving air inside the tube.
The old-fashioned paint saver key (shown left) works well with tubes that keep their shape once squeezed. However with the newer plastic tubes a different method is required. One product recently on the market is a MUSEUM brand tube squeezer (shown below) which seems to have solved the problem. It holds the tube horizontal and a roller runs along from the bottom of the tube and moves the paint up to the neck. As well as making the extraction of the paint easier it also means no air is left trapped inside the tube. I have been using water mixable paints for many years, and the brand I originally started with which is from a very famous English stable (that actually invented water miscible oil paint) was thick and hard when new in the tube. I often found after as little as one year paint in the tube was almost unworkable. With the new Weber water mixable Woils I have not yet had this problem, as the paint is much more buttery than the one I used to use and has been lasting several years without issue already. However, I use the museum tube squeezer to get the paint out of the tube as an easy less messy alternative to fingers, and this ensures I leave no air inside the tube just in case.
Costing around six dollars it handles all but the largest tubes, is easily cleaned, and avoids the common trap with some plastic tubes of leaving air in with the paint.
Available at leading art dealers around Australia as well as at the link below:
Just a note to advise that the new series of Art Studio hosted by Wayne Clements starts on Brisbane channel 44 Digital Wednesday 19th at 7:30 (Covers Brisbane, Ipswich, Gold & Sunshine Coast) and in Melbourne and Geelong community TV 1st December. Also starting soon in Sydney and Perth on Channel 31 for people in those areas, check the links below for schedule details.
Wayne Clements has switched to Weber wOils to get away from the toxic affects he endured for some 25 years from Traditional paints. Worth a look, he does an Australian Landscape painting live in 30 minutes using his unique wet on wet techniques, plus heaps of helpful tips along the way.
Wayne Clements has a number of new DVD coming soon all about learning his method, which he made made recently during a trip to the USA in a professional recording studio, guaranteeing a quality video. These will be sold in over 28 countries next year, congratulations Wayne. Available soon from participating dealers around Australia.