Process: Tools of the Trade

It recently came to my attention that I haven’t mentioned what tools I use. I’ve exhaustively went on and on about the steps, but never with what. People want to know that I’m using attainable tools and safe materials, right? Rest assured folks, unfortunately, there’s no dark arts nor sacrifices in the conjuring of my paintings.



  1. Spray Bottle of water – Used to keep mixed colors moist and to spritz painting when doing washes.
  2. Krylon Workable Fixative – Used in conjunction with the Matte Medium to help seal in previous layers of work.
  3. Liquitex Matte Medium – Also used to thin down paint. Helps create a transparent color layer.
  4. Disposable Palette – Mixing and paint staging area. Pad of 50 or so sheets. Easy to tear off a sheet when out of room or done for the day.
  5. Sarah Graphite Transfer Paper – Used to transfer enlarged drawings on the prepped board.
  6. Golden Heavy Body Acrylics – Heavy Body works great for thinning colors without loosing pigment intensity. Brand of preference. I’ve used them since 1990. Odd fact: The manufacturing plant is located minutes from my hometown. They awarded me a Shopping Spree Scholarship when I graduated high school.
  7. 3M Blue Painter’s Tape – My latest discovery after a lot of home remodeling. I use to use masking tape but it often left the adhesive on the board when left on for more than a month.
  8. Hair Dryer – Essential for speeding up drying time.
  9. Golden Gesso – Great primmer for prepping boards.
  10. Mixing Cups – Used for mixing up washes and storing mixed colors for extended uses… just cover with plastic wrap.
  11. Assorted Brushes – Natural hair, synthetic, flat, oval, round, and wash, it doesn’t matter as long as it holds color. No bristle brushes!
  12. Eye Dropper – Used with the palette to moisten paint.
  13. Compass with Extender Beam – For big circles!
  14. Mechanical Pencil – .3mm with 6H lead.
  15. Click Eraser – For mistakes… I make them. This one is a thin barrel model. I have the standard larger one as well. I also use the square plastic and kneaded erasers.
  16. Toothbrush – Perfect for creating fine to large splatter depending on the paint viscosity and flick technique.
  17. Badger Airbrush – Used mostly for making things glow.


Not pictured

  1. Masonite board – Bought and cut to 18″ x 26″ at the hardware store.
  2. T-Square – I have a nice all metal one.  It could be used as a weapon. Seriously!
  3. Metal Ruler – It’s solid, reliable, and slightly bows.
  4. Triangles – 45 and 60 degrees of various sizes with an inked edged.
  5. Paper Towels – For cleaning brushes and dabbing the forehead. Keep plenty on hand in case there’s a spill.
  6. Scotch Tape – Sometimes I want to mask off an area. Scotch Tape is thin enough to cut with an Exacto and has great sticking power.

I think I need to do a post dedicated to just the studio, my creative lair or as my friends call it, my man-cave.

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