Tag Archives: glazing

The Artist’s Daughter – Work In Progress, Day 2

I started this painting earlier in the week, and have continued to work through the underpainting according to some of the methods taught by Jacob Collins and his wonderful group of teachers and students at The Grand Central Academy. You can see the work done on Day One as well as the initial sketch.

The Artist's Daughter - Work in Progress, Day 2 by Janice Tanton
The Artist’s Daughter – Work in Progress, Day 2 by Janice Tanton 14″x18″ February 10, 2012.

Light and the Changing Seasons

I find it challenging later in the day to work in my studio when the sun streams in from a large south facing window. At some point in the day, I always get visually tired. This usually happens around 2:00 in the afternoon for me. I start early in my studio, around 5 am and sometimes before the sun rises.

In the winter, the light changes dramatically in a very short period of time and from November to the end of January, it’s tough to fit in some quality lighting time in the studio.

The summer…of course…has a huge timeframe for me to work in excellent natural light. You can see how much the light changes in the second leg of this video.

I’m interested in artistic process and would love you to share your thoughts on your own process here.


I’m working with a different palette than I would normally use to execute a portrait, as well as the different technique so this is very much a learning process for me.

I use M.Graham Walnut Oils. Love their pigment concentration and I’m not allergic to them, which is a huge bonus. I don’t need lots of crazy turpentines in the studio, and the workability of the paint is to die for.

The palette is one suggested by Scott Waddell in his video and as this is sort of my own self-directed learning workshop, I thought I’d go with what Scott uses in his demos. The only thing that I have added is a cobalt blue.

Here’s the palette:

  • Titanium White
  • Ivory Black
  • Cadmium Yellow
  • Yellow Ochre
  • Burnt Sienna
  • Raw Umber
  • Cadmium Red
  • Alizarin Crimson
  • Cadmium Orange
  • Cobalt Blue

I’m finding the palette a bit of a challenge, as I have never used Ivory Black or Burnt Sienna before, and have opted for a time-consuming glazing and over-glazing technique in the past vs. a more direct use of mixed paint in this technique. I’m beginning to see how this could speed my process a bit and how I might use the glazing to really augment the depth and feel of the work once I’m in the later stages. This will take a few days to dry now, so look for another progression post perhaps next week! Here’s the video for Day One and Day Two that has brought me to this point:

 The Artist’s Daughter – Day Two, Work in Progress by Janice Tanton

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The Magic Touch :: Married To My Favourite Oil Painting Brushes


What's In A Brush? Think of them like a seventh sense.

I’m often asked interesting questions by students and collectors. The questions range from, “Do you have a magic brush?” to…. “Are you married?”

The answer to the first is, “No, not really…” and the answer to the second is, “Yes, most definitely!”

While I don’t possess a magic brush, or even a special group of visiting elves that do my work for me while I sleep (I wish!), I do have some favourite brands of brushes that seem to work well for me.

The Big Guys – Styletto Brushes

For large brushwork and blending, I’ve found an awesome resource at my local Home Hardware in the Styletto brand of brushes. The ones they carry are 1.5 and 2 inch but I note that they have other sizes on the manufacturer’s website. They are synthetic, last forever if you treat them right, serve as a longtime multipurpose painting tool. From covering large areas of the canvas when they hold a good amount of paint through to drybrush blending, they have a light touch, are responsive and never seem to shed. I use them straight up and on the side. They go well both ways. I’d rate them as something I can’t do without, and I’d consider that I’m married to them.

The Medium Touch – Heinz-Jordan

I’ve really come to love the Heinz-Jordan line of oil brushes, which, like the Styletto brushes, have lasted me a VERY long time. I treat them right and wash them well with Murphy’s Oil Soap after using them. The ones I use are the Natural Hog Bristle brushes which, according to the company are “flagged” or split at the tip, providing the ability to hold and move heavy paint. The bristles curve in naturally keeping the bristles together, allowing for clean control of each stroke.

I find my H-J brushes great for plain-air painting and direct painting. They have a nice stiffness to them, and I prefer to use the filberts, in all sizes. They also make an excellent fan brush and I love them. The laquer-blue handles seem to be exactly the right length and weight, providing a great balance in my hand for expressive strokes and more detailed painting.

Princeton Brush Company Umbria 6250 brushesIt’s All In The Soft Refined Details – Princeton 6200/6250

For a softer touch, beautiful edges and some detailed work, I use the Princeton Artist Brush Co. Umbria 6200/6250 series. These brushes can be used for watercolour and acrylic as well, and are a synthetic brush. I don’t use anything much larger than a #4 in the round, filberts and flats. They’re lovely, but don’t have as much longevity under the same care as the HJ’s and Stylettos. I seem to go through them more but they serve an entirely different purpose for me, (glazes and details) and are ones that I use the least amount, especially when working with large format linens.

Brushes are an extension of the artist’s touch, and need to follow the mood and intention of the work. For me, these work well…..you may find your own preferences. I’m interested in knowing, do you have a favourite line of brushes? Tell me about it here on the blog.

Works In Progress – The Ponytail

This past week, I spent teaching Old Masters Painting Techniques at Red Deer College in…you guessed it….Red Deer, Alberta.

During the week, I had five incredible students who were dedicated and excited to paint. Even though class officially went from 9-4 each day, most of them were there at 8 am and worked right through until 10 pm every night.

Here is a small demo study that I started during the course to illustrate some painting techniques. I’m very happy with the work, and will post the next set of developments.


On The Easel – Red Canoe Series – Pt. 3

Red Canoe #10 (Work In Progress)

Red Canoe #10 (Work In Progress - Pic.3) ©2011 Janice Tanton. 36"x72"

Well, I’m almost there! These two monsters should be completed by the end of the day today, especially if it warms up a bit!

Red Canoe #11 (Work In Progress - Stage 3)

Red Canoe #11 (Work In Progress - Stage 3) ©2011 Janice Tanton. 48"x60"

Check out the earlier stages of progression on these two Red Canoe oil paintings and the between & betwixt stages of Pt. 2 from underpainting to glazing.