Tips & Tools: Tools & Products

Finishes, Varnishes, Fixatives, Seals

On Oils
“Mark Ryden told me that Damar varnish would lead to alcoholism and divorce.  (It doesn’t age all that well.) Turns out that he and the museum restorers I talked to are all raving about the same stuff: Soluvar, by Liquitex.” - Via Isabel Samaras

On Watercolor/Gouache
Best not to finish, just frame under raised glass (with matt). Use Krylon Fixative if you have to, it may alter color a little but not as much as everything else.


“Rabbit skin glue is king. So is Dancolite.” - Via Pamela Wilson

Lineco bookbinder’s glue - Via David Ball


Rosemary and Co. (for oils) - Via Mary Jane Ansell

Pearl, sable fan brush for blending oils - Via Genevive Zacconi

“Isabey is my favorite brush manufacturer, oil brushes, long handled sables”
- Via Robert Steven Connett

Synthetic filberts (for oils) - Via Mark Bryan

Paints, Mediums & Glaze Brands

(recommended by artists we have interviewed, number of artists in parentheses)

Graham (1)  Old Holland (3)  Golden (5)   Holbein (1)  Atelier acrylics (1)

Winsor & Newton watercolors (1)

Genesis Heat Set Oils -”because I love oil paint and it allows me to paint spontaneous layers with a heat gun.” - Via Anita Collins

Spectrum Mediums  (1)

Golden gloss mediums & varnish (2)

Gamblin mediums and thinners, least toxic - Via Mark Bryan

Alchemist, Inc., amber painting medium (1)

Old Holland glazing solution (1)


Copic markers (2)    Promarkers (1)

Faber-Castell inks  (1)

Pelikan black drawing ink - R. Crumb


Arches (2)

I use the old Strathmore vellum surface paper, which is the best paper you can get in the Western world for ink line drawing – R. Crumb


Wood Panels

Finished, treated, sealed, 1/4 inch birch with 1 3/4 cabinetry moulding, – for collage, David Ball


Lambert’s glass & Saint Just Verrerie in France, - Via Judith Schaechter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>