1. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

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    Painters / artists

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Tenderiser, Jan 28, 2016.

    If you were going to somebody's house to paint a portrait, what would you carry your art supplies in? Can canvases be rolled up to fit in a normal bag, or would you need to take something special?

    What medium would you be most likely to use for realistic-looking pet portraits?

    I will probably have more questions as I write on. :D
     
  2. NeighborVoid
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    NeighborVoid Active Member

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    I'd bring a laptop and a Wacom tablet in a messenger bag. Traditional mediums are too messy.
     
  3. Inks
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    Inks Contributing Member

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    Why would you have a pet portrait done with a live pet? It might seem stupid, but easy to work with a few photos... and observe the nature of the pet through a visit.
     
  4. Anaïs Rose
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    Anaïs Rose Member

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    i actually have a small carry-on suitcase that i tote my supplies in. some artists have a cylindrical case that they carry rolled up papers in. they can have a strap. your canvas will depend on what paints you use; what are your artist's paints?
     
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  5. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah, I wouldn't go to someone's house. lol Send me a photo, I'll do it from here.

    But if I did. I have a tackle box like thing that I keep all my paints and brushes in. I have a suitcase for my pencils and pastels. I don't use loose canvas much, so I'd just carry them by hand.

    I can't help you with the best option for pet portraits. I've never tried, so I wouldn't know. I will say that they all have their own struggles. I don't think one would be particularly easier than another.
     
  6. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

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    The reasons for her painting a live pet are explained in the book.

    I don't know, that's one of my questions. :D What are the likely options?

    So you'd carry the canvas already mounted on a board? (I know nothing.)
     
  7. dedebird
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    dedebird Member

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    its sort of depending on how big the portrait is and what she wanted it painted on. If she wants one of those giant dramatic paintings she could probably use a giant canvas like the biggest version of this. http://www.michaels.com/artists-loft-gallery-wrapped-heavy-duty-canvas/M10240777.html#srule=price-high-to-low&sz=12&start=1
    They also have these giant tote bags you can use specifically for toting around your ridiculously huge canvases. I've never personally used one but I've seen them at craft stores.
    I probably would just throw my paints in a little tote bag, have a palette, and then have my brushes in some sort of case to keep them safe like this. http://www.michaels.com/reeves-hog-bristle-artist-brush-case/D017179S.html#q=case&start=39

    And I think to really decide what kind of paints she will use depends on you need to know what kind off portrait you want. I feel like the best thing to use to get a realistic portrait would be oil paints. Just look at this amazing realism oil portrait. http://g01.a.alicdn.com/kf/HTB1FmhRKFXXXXa9XVXXq6xXFXXXW/Handpainted-Realistic-Custom-Oil-Painting-Portraits-from-Photos-One-Pet-Animal-Portrait-Museum-Quality-Gift-Free.jpg

    I hope this helps :) also I hope all my links work if they don't let me know.
     
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  8. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

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    That picture is gorgeous! Oil paints it is. I was imagining the picture as maybe 3 feet x 2 feet wide? The kind of size you'd hang on a living room wall, I guess. Would she be able to roll up a canvas of that size for oil paints, and carry it around in a soft bag? Or would she pre-mount it and carry it?
     
  9. dedebird
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    dedebird Member

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    personally I have never used canvas that you can just roll up. I always buy the pre-mounted canvases. It just makes it easier. But I suppose in theory she could use a loose piece of canvas, I've never tried this but I'm sure there is something to stretch the canvas into place. But the point behind the canvas being pre-mounted is giving you a better surface to paint on.
     
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  10. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

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    Now that you mention it, I think I remember Bob Ross talking about stretching canvasses. I was thinking you just unrolled them and slapped some paint on. :D

    Okay, so she will carry her materials in a bag/case and a mounted canvas. :)
     
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  11. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    And if you're using oil paints, don't forget the turpentine. It's what you use to thin down the paint and wash the brushes afterwards. Also, oil paints take a very long time to dry. Upwards of a day sometimes. So I definitely wouldn't have her rolling up a canvas -- it would ruin the work. Use a premounted canvas, which is just canvas stretched over and stapled to a wooden frame. (Though I have mounted my own canvas before -- tools for stretching aren't necessary if you get the right kind.) Don't cover it with anything or pack it away with paint on it. She should probably just keep the canvas at the house if she has to leave. Trying to lug it home and back just risks dropping it and ruining her work.
     
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  12. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

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    I'd heard that about oil paints so I did a bit of googling. One site mentioned using acryllics as a base, so it would dry faster, and then building the oils on top of that. So at the moment I have her doing the acryllics 'live' and then taking the canvas home to add the oils (using a photo) and leave it to dry. She's warned the customer it might be several weeks before it's dry, since she'll want some thick paint to get the dog's fur texture right. Leaving aside the fact that it would have been easier to work from a photo in the first place, does that all sound plausible?
     
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  13. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    Depends...you can lay the paint on like cement and then "carve" the texture into it with a palette knife. Or you can paint the texture on with each tiny hair picked out. Or, or , or...

    This is a watercolour, so zero thick paint.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

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    Is the option I talked about feasible? It's a cocker spaniel, so I thought if I was using oil paints (and if I could paint :D) I'd make it thicker on the legs and ears where the fur is all curly:

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    To stretch a canvass you need a wooden frame and either upholstery tacks or a staple gun. Then you tack one edge and really tightly tack the opposite, and repeat with the other sides. Or you could use an 1/8 in to a 1/4in Masonite board cut to the dimensions you want the portrait to be, by using a framing square and a heavy duty utility knife to score the Masonite board and snap off the excess material. Most artists use oil, but you can use water color depending on the media you prefer, but oil will last over a longer period of time, where water color will fade. Alternatively you could use acrylic paint, and carry a small 1 gallon air compressor and 2-3 Airbrushes instead of the standard bristle brushes and spatulas. Also with airbrushes you can use ink, if you prefer. They do have specially designed tote bags for carrying per-stretched canvases, and you can use either a back pack or a medium sized dufflebag to carry your supplies and preferred media. With watercolor and acrylic and ink, you can carry a thick paper pad designed for 'wet' media, some preparation may apply such as stretching the paper, which consists of wetting the page and then keeping it taught on a smooth flat surface until it dries. This will prevent the paper from rippling from the wet media. I hope this is helpful in some capacity to what your artist might take with them for their portraiture of a family pet. :p
     
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  16. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    Sounds feasible to me! It's smart using acrylic as a base. It dries much quicker, and she wouldn't need to worry about getting the details right off the bat since she'll be layering on later. I say go with it! :superagree:
     
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

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    Thank you all! So much great knowledge here. :)
     
  18. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

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    Another question. Would an oil painting HAVE to be varnished? I'm reading that it'll be several months before an oil painting will be dry enough for varnishing, and that doesn't really work for my plot. If I need to, I can have the artist give them to the client and then go back a few months later for varnishing, but it's much more convenient if she can skip that bit. Will they look bad without varnishing, or is it just to make them more durable?
     
  19. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    I've never varnished an oil painting, and the one I did in college (ten years ago) is still hanging on my mom's wall looking as fresh as the day I painted it.
     
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  20. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    Um, Idk where you are getting your info, but that seems a bit too long. Either that or they are painting really thick onto their canvas. It should take maybe 18-24hrs to dry provided you didn't slop it on too thick, but I think giving at least a 48hr grace period for drying should be more than adequate. As for varnishing you have many options of what kind of varnish to use. Ultimately it should not be as long as months for the painting itself to dry, maybe a couple of days at most. It all comes down to just how thick all the layers of paint are, which in reality should not be all that thick and be damn near flush with the surface of the canvas in a relatively even layer. Unless you have been playing with thick paint and spatulas in creating the painting in which case it could take months for the paint to completely cure before it can be varnished. Hope this helps. :D

    Also room temp plays a factor in the drying process. Almost forgot that little detail. :p
     
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  21. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

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    I can't remember what site I was reading. It said that oil might be touch-dry within a few days (maybe sooner with those fast-drying material things) but that you wouldn't be able to sand it (?) for varnishing for a few months. Admittedly, I only read a few articles before I realised I needed expert help to sort out all the conflicting advice!

    I think I won't mention varnishing at all, then. She'll just say the pictures are ready a couple of weeks after the sitting. Thank you again!
     
  22. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    Okie dokie!:D Hope that works out alright. :p
     
  23. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    Hang on, actual artist here:

    You can buy canvas already mounted at most art stores. Sometimes it's been gessoed sometimes it hasn't. The gesso is extremely important. It's a mixture of chalk and glue, and the canvas has to be covered with it. Otherwise the medium will just soak into the fabric and blot. No one ever talks about the gesso but it's very important. Two coats is enough. Some people will do a coat, sand it down do another one, sand it down, etc. They're idiots. The texture of the gesso can't be uniform or painting with a single coat will look very flat and ugly.

    If your character is a pro, they'll have asked their client how they want to portrait mounted. If the client wants a frame they'll have figured out the dimensions, and customized the canvas to fit. Most professional painters mount their own canvas because it gives them a level of control over how tight they want the canvas. The canvas you buy in the store is often side mounted, with the tacks or staples on the side of the frame. A lot of painters like the canvas back mounted. Either way, the frame that the client wishes to hang the painteing in will figure into this deeply.

    I carry all of my supplies in a hunting vest. It has pockets big enough to fit a whole palette inside. I made a case for my brushes out of duct tape, but you can find them all over. They role up like a knife case. A good selection will have about 20 brushes and cost about $500 in all. A real pro will be using all sable brushes, no acrylic, and they are super expensive.

    A word on paint. You are absolutely right, oil takes about a month to cure. Depending on how thick it is, it might be dry to the touch after a week or so. The colder the environment the longer it takes to dry. I've worked with canvases that have been slick to the touch after 5 days, but I added a lot of medium to them.

    About that:
    Your painter will probably have a jar of linseed oil to control the viscosity of their paint. Adding to it decreases the saturation, but the painter might want the control. Most oil paints come out of the tube fairly thick and a lot of artists will "water" them down a bit.

    Please please do your research on colors. Here's a winsor newton catalog. It pulls me right out of the story when I hear or see a character use a paint color that doesn't exist. I could write an entire thread about paint, but whats important is that all of those colors come from ingredients that are specially made to that collar. Titanium White for example, is made out of oxidized titanium; Ivory Black is made from burnt bones; Cadmium Red and Cad Yellow are too. There are even colors that are illegal to have or use anymore, like Mummy Brown and Indian Yellow. The one was made from actual ground up mummies, the other from cow urine, after being fed eucalyptus leaves.

    It's most likely that your artist would have finished the background somewhere else. Painting is not like drawing, they will have painted everything, even if it was going to be entirely covered up by the subject matter. There is no reason to paint for hours in someone else's house, wasting their time. If they really want to save time they will have done the background in acrylic which drys in a couple of hours. You can put oil on top of acrylic. Do not put acrylic on top of oil.

    Probably the point that no one thinks of, unless they've done this:
    Your artist will have a bottle of turpenoid with them. It's not turpentine, it doesn't have the same smell. A couple of hours in an unventilated room with turpenoid is fine. With turpentine you'd probably pass out. Know why all those romantic images of painters always have a window open? It's so they can breathe.

    The painter won't put the turpentine in a jar, unless they're just made of money. You soak a cloth with the turpenoid, and then rub the brushes on it to clean them. They don't get completely clean, but if they wanted clean they wouldn't be painting with oil.

    So to answer your question completely, they'd take a canvas, with a background already on it. A case for paints, turpenoid, cloths and pallet knives. Another case for brushes. (I don't store my pallet knives and brushes in the same case, because I worry about getting paint on their handles, or the edges damaging the bristles.)

    Again, actual painter here, so let me know what other questions you have. Sorry about the length and whatnot.
     
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  24. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    @Jack Asher You do realize that some people do like to fab the frame and stretch their own canvases based upon the job. You can buy primed and un-primed canvas. Also I have seen people use Masonite board for painting projects, as it has a light texture , but since it is a solid sheet of fabricated board there is no need for much more than maybe a base primer, and can be custom framed. So an artist is not limited to using only canvas, but it is more traditional and more commonly used. Just so's you know. :D Also you can use thinner cement board (not hardibacker), at 1/4in thick and can be scaled down from it's 3x5ft by scoring and snapping off the excess. It would be heavy and brittle compared to masonite board but it too can be used(I had an oil painting on this type of material that I got at a yardsale years ago).
     
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  25. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    Yes. That was the point I thought I was making. And you can paint on just about anything you want to, but there's a reason most artists prefer canvas.
     
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