Author: Greg Smith

Another Anniversary Portrait Commission in Graphite

I was recently commissioned again for an anniversary portrait. The reference photo was great with a soft, blurry bokeh surrounding the couple. I wanted to try and recreate this using similar techniques that I use with charcoal, so I bought some graphite powder. View this post on Instagram Got this graphite powder for the next project I'm working on A post shared by Greg Smith (@greg_creates) on Oct 25, 2016 at 1:36am PDT Here’s a video showing how I used it.  I used the same makeup brush that I use with charcoal. View this post on Instagram Quick video showing how...

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How to prepare and prime a Hardboard Panel for Oil Painting

Many artists paint on canvas and it carries a lot of history and romance, but really you can paint on almost any surface provided it’s prepared properly.  Wooden panels have been another popular choice for centuries. The biggest problem with wood is SID (support-induced discolouration) where chemicals from the wood (the support) leech through into the paint and changes its colour. Hardboard panels are reportedly a safe, archival wood to use due to it being produced using just glue and wood fibres, without any other chemicals. In contrast, mdf, which is also popular, contains formaldehyde which is thought to potentially...

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Grated Limes in Oils on Canvas Board

Since discovering that a conservatory is a terrible place to paint still life if you want consistent light, I painted this over a few dark autumn evenings. This has forced me to setup some suitable lighting. As most house bulbs are warm white (2700k – 4000k) they’re not suitable for painting under if you want to judge your colours properly. I already had a 5500k bulb which is supposed to be neutral white and mimic daylight. I used this to light the shadow box and another cheap bulb that was labelled ‘daylight’ to light the canvas and palette. Turns out...

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Sky full of Horses in oils on canvas board

For this painting I used my wife’s (throughalookingglass.co.uk) photo from her ‘Sky full of Horses’ series. I tried out the Michael Harding oil paints that arrived last week and I have to say, they’re a joy to use. Not a million miles away from the Jackson’s own ones that I’m used to, but you can definitely tell they have a high pigment load. I’m interested to see what it’s like when it’s touch dry in a couple of days. View this post on Instagram Video of the painting process A post shared by Greg Smith (@greg_creates) on Oct 23,...

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How to improve a Cheap Canvas For Oil Painting

When first getting into painting, most people buy a lot of cheap materials. I know I did and I’m still trying to use as much of it up as possible. You can even buy canvases and canvas boards in the pound shop these days and I ended up with loads of them. I’m down to my last 3-4 which I’m prepping this week so figured I’d share my process for improving them. The problem is, although they’re technically suitable for oil painting, they’re not particularly pleasant surfaces to paint on. Even if they often boast being ‘triple primed’, which...

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