This article will be interesting for artists and collectors, who want to know what materials I am working with,
Lets get started with the easiest part. My favourite brand are Williamsburg Oil Paints. Those oil paints are hand made and very (I mean VERY) high pigmented. All professional oil paints are made of the pigment itself and additives, usually linseed oil. The proportions among the two components influence the quality of the paint. The more pigment is in the oil paint, the better are the colours on the canvas. It also results in lightfastness - with good oil paints the painting will keep the brightness of the colours over decades and centuries.
I love to experiment with different surfaces to paint on but I always rely in my choice on the opinion of art restorers concerning the best preservation of artworks.
One of the most long living painting surfaces is metal. I have used aluminium panels for some artworks and it is a great experience to work on them! Unfortunately this metal is not so lightweight as one might think, so I use it only for smaller paintings.
For small and middle sizes I like to work on wood panels. They have an about 2 cm thick frame attached to the back. It is meant to protect the panel from bending if it gets in contact with lots of humidity. And the frame also looks very nice and decent, it allows to hang the painting directly on the wall without any extra framing. The even surface of the panel lets the brushstrokes be more visible and clearly. It takes a little bit more time to dry for the paint, but the result is worth it.
For large paintings there is nothing better than linen canvas. I choose premium linen canvas on museum quality stretchers. They can be hanged on the wall as they are or they can be framed. It is a very pleasant surface to work and I always have a good feeling to offer only the best for my collectors.
Mediums & Co
Mediums is a can-option for paintings. Usually I paint with pure oil paints and use some mediums selectively to create some special effects. For example cold wax medium gives the painting a velvety surface. Also mediums are very helpful for glazing. For this purpose I take the venetian mediums, just like old masters did. It allows to apply very thin, transparent but luminous layers of paint.
What I always use is varnish. Retouching varnish in spray and bottle is my best friend to refresh the layers and to oil out (it means, that dull colours gain their brightness back). As a final touch, the paintings get a layer of finishing varnish, which protects it from UV-rays, dust and dirt.
All those materials would be pointless if I ignored the proper technique of working. Old masters' techniques seemed to have worked best. Also the experience from restorers and other professional artists gives valuable information about how to apply the layers so that the artwork serves as long as possible. Here are no rules allowed to break.