Yellow Ochre and Red Ochre

  Yellow ochre and red ochre are two of the oldest pigments known to man. YELLOW OCHRE Color:   Yellow ochre is an earth pigment that contains hydrated iron oxide.  Much of it is found in Roussillon, France.  Otherwise, mostly in parts of Italy.   It’s a cool, greenish-yellow and varies to orange, slightly. Opacity:  […]

Lapis Lazuli

Lapis Lazuli-Tutorial This faux lapis lazuli panel was completed for a specific client.  Lapis lazuli is a deep blue semi-precious stone (not a marble). Most lapis lazuli contains calcite (white), sodalite (blue), and pyrite (metallic yellow).  Since the stones do not come in boulder sizes (the largest sizes rarely exceed 12 sq. ft.), a larger panel like this needs […]

Raw sienna and burnt sienna

Raw sienna and burnt sienna are very versatile and utilized colors in the decorative painter’s palette. RS – RAW SIENNA Origins:  A mineral pigment from soil found in Sienna, Italy – thus it’s name. Color:    a warm, yellowish, earthy tonality with tones of orange Opacity:  medium transparency Uses:  Raw sienna, when mixed with UB (ultramarine […]

Non colors

Non-colors (achromatic colors) are essentially black and white. When mixing a color, these non-colors are only used to change the intensity and opacity of a color.  It is best to avoid using too much of either black or white and rather try to rely on colors first and add them only at very last bit […]

Formula for paint and glaze

The formula for paint and glaze consist of 3 items mixed together. PAINT = BINDER + SOLVENT + COLORANT GLAZE = PAINT + BINDER + SOLVENT PIGMENT: The pigment is used to create the most obvious attribute of the formula — it’s color.  Pigments are colored powders obtained from a variety of sources, both organic […]


Shellac is a very useful tool in the decorative painter’s toolkit.  It is one of the most versatile and yet under utilized medium.  We have a small jar on every job because of it’s many uses (see below).  Shellac is one of the oldest paint mediums, used in Ancient Egyptian and Roman times as a […]

Slick Coat

A Slick Coat is a “grease”  coat applied to a surface in preparation for a glaze application.  The purpose of greasing the surface is to allow the next layer to be moved and manipulate easier and stay open longer.  It is a clear solution and usually applied with a roller, sponge, mist spray, or rag.  […]

Lacquer Thinner

Lacquer thinner is a high solvent like acetone.  It is extremely smelly and dries extremely fast and hard.   This particular solvent is unique because it is actually a mixture of different solvents that allow for ideal thinning and dissolving characteristics.  The combination of solvents that are used is up to the manufacturer. The thinner has […]

Real and Woodgrain Burl

To finish up the discussion on burl, I’ve collected a few images of real and woodgrain burl.  The leading image is real burl.  The next handful of pictures are woodgrain burl completed by myself. As previously discussed in the post on the definition of burl, burl is a rare find as it is a deformity […]

What is burl wood?

Burl wood can be a challenging species to woodgrain, but the results are as visually interesting as the the actual wood.  The burl is a protuberance on the side or root of the tree, a reaction of stress on the fibrous tissue. The stress can come from a wound or bruise, insect bites, virus or […]