1. S.M. Sedwick
    April 2, 2008 @ 4:28 pm

    Very interesting post…thank you. I agree with you about the whole toxicity thing, by the way. The only time I ever really saw anything negative happen to an artist because of materials, it was a sculptor whose main medium was plaster. She had inhaled so much plaster dust that her voice was completely ruined – not to mention her lungs, probably.
    Anyway, great post, and wow, I’m impressed – that’s a huge range of colors to be working with each day!


  2. Jeff Hayes
    April 3, 2008 @ 11:35 pm

    Thanks S.M, it’s actually a lot of fun to work with so many colors.

    I probably should mention that I do not grind my own paint from dry pigments; those artists who do are exposed to dusts, some of which can in fact be dangerous if inhaled… ventilation and a really really good dust mask are the order of the day when grinding, to avoid the fate of your sculptor friend!


  3. Anonymous
    April 4, 2008 @ 12:03 am

    I really enjoyed this article along with the photo of your palette. I have taken a number of plein air classes via Scottsdale Artists school and have had instructors limit the palette to 3 colors plus white and have watched many fellow students spend more time mixing than painting. Granted there must be a happy medium along the way and I now have built up my palette to 14 plus white. Doing the Schmid color chart exercise also pays huge dividends. Love your work and appreciate the time and effort you put into this very interesting “nuts & bolts” piece.


  4. Mary Sheehan Winn
    April 4, 2008 @ 2:49 pm

    Very interesting Jeff. Thanks for the in depth article and the links.


  5. Molly
    April 4, 2008 @ 5:06 pm

    I get about 100 emails a day and most are trash. I always take time to take at look at your emails and recent work. I especially appreciated this in depth post. My husband and I have both starting painting again after 35 and 25 years in the graphic design. We both admire your work. I get a little needed push to put down a laptop and pick up a paint brush with each of your emails. Thanks for the info and the inspiration.


  6. Jeff Hayes
    April 5, 2008 @ 12:29 am

    Thanks for commenting all. That’s very heart-warming, Molly!


  7. Morgaine
    April 5, 2008 @ 7:30 am

    I am just mesmerized by the sight of that palette. I go from one extreme to the other. A lost of my paintings will use large areas of a single mixture, so I’ll only work with a couple of colors, but then when I put out an entire palette, I like more colors. There are certain colors I just can’t mix, and I love having a lot of blues/purples/violets and shades of pink. I use of lot of orange, too. I normally don’t do realistic colors, but I’m going to try a few just as exercises to see if I can.

    Have you ever worked with water-miscible oils? If so, what did you think of them?


  8. Jeff Hayes
    April 7, 2008 @ 12:31 am

    Hi Morgaine, I have not. Apparently the paint becomes water-miscible by an alteration of the oil molecule. It may or may not affect the durability of the paint, but it gives me enough of a reservation to avoid it entirely.


  9. Todd Bonita
    April 19, 2008 @ 2:04 am

    Hi Jeff,

    I used to take classes at Dennis Cheaneys studio with you a few years back and I used to think you were bonkers to squirt all that paint out…I have to admit i’m more convinced after reading this and admiring your beautiful paintings. Well done.


  10. Jeff Hayes
    April 24, 2008 @ 10:32 am

    Hey Todd – it helps to be a little bonkers.



  11. Ann Christine Dennison
    April 27, 2008 @ 8:58 pm

    Thanks for sharing!
    Oh yes, I too have stopped the 3 primary colours and white that I learned in the first years of my art training, for some time it was valuable as I learned to mix colours. You are so right that not all colours can be attained by mixing a restricted palette! My problem is that I love colour and more often than not seem to use them without mixing too much anymore ups :-)There again I am not a fine arts artist like you but can really appreciate these works as I trained in them.
    Unfortunately I cannot cope with turpentine, I get an headache and irritable so I mainly use acrylics on canvas and watercolour, gouache and/or coloured pencils on paper. Acrylics are not the healthiest to use either as they affect the lungs. I am planning on using oils in the summer outside in the fresh air and am looking forward to experimenting. Your blog is an inspiration!


  12. Raluca C
    May 22, 2008 @ 12:19 pm

    very interesting all this info you posted :impresive work and impresive tehnical and chormatic details!!!Congrats,I´ll visit your blog again!


  13. Austin Maloney
    July 4, 2008 @ 5:00 am

    That’s some post. Most guys would write a 50 page book and sell it for $19.95 and it wouldn’t be nearly so clear and concise.


  14. Jeff Hayes
    July 6, 2008 @ 8:56 pm

    Thanks for your comments all!

    Anne, there are some OK alternatives to turpentine, and I’ve also found that the highest grade turpentines actually have a very mild smell – I definitely stay away from hardward-store grade, as it’s extremely harsh, and pretty bad quality as well.

    Austin – I don’t have the patience to write a book or collect the $19.95 🙂


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