Your Painting Questions Answered-Part 1

Your Painting Questions Answered-Part 1

I get asked a lot of the same questions all the time by students, friends and other artists or creative types. The answers are typically spread across more than 150 videos on my website and Youtube. In an effort to simply the search for the answers, I thought I would put answers to the most common questions ins a series of videos.

Q: What kind of brushes do you use?

A: I use natural bristle brushes because I like a rougher edge than nylon provides, and natural bristle brushes are typically cheaper - I use lots of brushes, so a less expensive alternative is great. Here are the brushes I use: Gesso Brush by Dick Blick; Primer Brush made by Creative Mark and sold at Jerry’s Artarama; Escoda Clasico, sizes 24 and 30. I use the first two listed in 2”, 2.5” and 3” widths.

While this is the most common question, it is the least important. It makes absolutely no difference what type of brush you use, only what you do with it. My advice is to always by brushes made for art painters rather than brushes from a hardware or big box store.

Q: What kind of paint do you use?

A: I use Golden Heavy Body Acrylic Paint, and QoR Watercolor Paint. On occasion I will use Golden Fluid Acrylic, or Interference Acrylic Paint. I feel, without a doubt, that Golden makes the finest acrylic paint made today.

Q: What kind of gesso do you use?

A: I only use Utrecht Professional Acrylic Gesso. It is the thickest, creamiest and is more opaque than others on the market.

Q: How do you keep the acrylic paint from drying out on your palette?

A: I use lots of paint! Big blobs (3-4” across) of paint don’t dry out. There plenty of solutions if you have a drying problem: use more paint; use an extender; spray the paint and your palette; use a sealed moisture trapping palette with a sponge under it; use Golden OPEN acrylic paint which has the work time of oil.

Q: Do you use mediums?

A: Not very often. When I do it I use Gloss Medium and Matte Medium by Golden. I’ll mix it with my paint to create a gloss finish nearest my centers of interest or a matte finish away from the centers of interest. If I don’t mix it with the paint, I’ll apply a Gloss Gel or a Matte Gel to the paint after it is dry. This approach gives me a bit more control. I sometimes use Golden’s Light Molding Paste mixed with Fluid Acrylic to create areas of texture in and around my centers of interest.

Q: Do you varnish your paintings?

A: As you might have guessed from my answer to the previous question, no, I do not varnish my paintings. I do not like a homogeneous finish on my paintings. I prefer a contrast in finish between matte areas and gloss areas.

I hope this helps shed some light on questions you may have. If you have others that I have not addressed, please leave them in the comments section and I’ll address them in another video. Thanks.

If you'd like to learn about abstract painting, then please join me for a painting workshop: (You can view a list of 2019-2020 workshops HERE)

  • October 4-6 Arts and Design Society, Fort Walton Beach, FL. For more information and registration contact Hanna at

  • October 14-16 Sharon Serrago Studio, Richardson, TX. For information and registration Click Here.

  • October 24-26 Arizona Art Supply, Phoenix, AZ. For information and registration Click Here.

  • November 4-6 David M. Kessler Fine Art Studio, Winston-Salem, NC. For information and Registration Click Here. Sold Out!

  • November 16-17 Art of the Carolinas, Raleigh, NC-Sponsored by Jerry’s Artarama. For information and registration Click Here.

  • January 9-11, 2020 Arts Alliance of Lee County, Ft. Myers, FL. For information and registration contact Brandi Couse. Email:

  • January 22-24, 2020 David M. Kessler Fine Art Studio, Winston-Salem, NC. For information and registration, Click Here. Only 3 Seats Left!

As always, thanks for your support!


P.S. If you you'd like to learn more about Abstract Painting in the comfort of your home or studio, I have a great course called Abstract Painting Academy available for you:

Abstract Painting Academy is an online workshop experience. It is my best and most thorough course covering everything you need to become a better abstract painter.

Click Here to Learn More


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