I'm writing this purely as an ode to this beautiful product.
The lead oil ground by Natural Pigments is a game changer for oil painting. I've written extensively about oil grounds and how they improve the surface quality of your painting, but this ground in particular is amazing. The great part of this product is two coats of it will give you an shiny/slightly oily surface which takes paint extremely well.
The ground comes as white but I tone my oil ground to a light gray with burnt sienna, burnt umber and ivory black. If you've never heard of oil ground, I highly recommend you investigate their application and advantages. You can find some articles on my site, but check out other sources also.
I'll also say that I apply my oil ground using a knife instead of a brush; this is mainly because I find that a little bit of variety in the ground can liven up the painting. And also you won't have to clean a big brush, just wipe off your palette knife when you're done!
Fun Fact: I'm applying this ground to linen panels that I made myself. I used to make them for a company that I had called EAS Custom Canvas. I shut down that business because I want to make the paintings, not the canvas.
My Mom and I picked up a couple frames yesterday for some of my paintings and it's got me thinking. One of the frames is for this painting below of our cat, Lily, who passed away over a year ago. I did a little 7" X 5" portrait of her around 2012-2013. I'm not entirely sure of when I painted it because I didn't sign it with the date in those days. You can even see the early beginnings of my current signature, which is directly inspired by Bouguereau.
The painting is small and not particularly well executed, but I really like it. It captures the emotion of our cat as I remember her; maybe that's the reason why I like this painting. It feels more sincere to me than some of my recent work. I know I've been improving a lot lately, but I've decided to go back to basics with a lot of my techniques. I always have to remind myself to go back to basics because I get caught up in technique.
I'm making some linen panels today and I'm going to do some paintings on them with a more basic medium and see how they turn out. Stay tuned..
I just put the second coat of vanish on the portrait of my girlfriend. I absolutely love the way the varnish breathes life back into the painting. I also put hardware on the antique frame for the painting. I'll put the painting in the frame tonight after the varnish dries and it'll be all set!
I also want to thank all of my followers on Instagram. I've been doing a bunch of commissioned portraits and it has really pushed me to become a better academic artist. I'm so happy that I get to share my drawings with so many people. Thank you for all the amazing support!