Archive for the ‘Ask Jeff’ Category

Ask Jeff: What Kind Of Paint Do You Use

I get asked variations of this quite a bit and it wasn’t until someone recently asked on my Facebook Wall that I realized it would make a good blog post. This sums up quite well all the tools I need to make my artwork.

What Do I Paint With?
Behr Paint from Home Depot. I use this for a few different reasons.
1. I’m not a fan of mixing my own colors. It’s not that I’m totally against it, but it’s a real pain to mix a second batch of the same color. I can get any shade of any color I want at Home Depot and it’s always consistent. You can actually make your own custom color at home and take a sample of it to Home Depot and they can match it for you. All they need is a sample that’s at least the size of a quarter. Check this out. This is something I’ve actually done. One of my favorite colors of MTN Spray Paint is called “Luminouse Green”. I sprayed it on a piece of paper, took it to Home Depot and they color matched it. I was able to get a quart of my favorite spray paint color in house paint form.

2. I like the consistency. I can make it drip if I want to. Watering it down to do light washes isn’t a problem. It just works for me.

3. Price. It simply can’t be beat. We’ve all seen those little 2oz. tubes of Golden Acrylics for $8. Or $15 if you want Cadnium Red. Even the “cheap” stuff like Liquitex Basics is going to cost you $6.50 for a 4oz tube. Behr, you can get one quart of paint (32oz.) for $12-15.

What Do I Paint With?
About a year ago I discovered these little gems. Home Depot, I’m guessing, finally got tired of people returning paint that was custom mixed. Basically, people would get a gallon mixed, take it home and not like it. Then return it. Now you can get these little 7.25 oz. jars of any color you want for $3. I rarely need an entire quart or gallon of paint for what I do, so these things have been great for me.

What Do I Paint With?
I use spray paint quite a bit. Mostly for my backgrounds. I’m certainly not one of those guys doing super fine detailed and technical work with a spray can. I like brushes too much.

What Do I Paint With?
I’ve strictly been using MTN Spray Paint for the past four years. In my opinion, it’s the best. It’s so great, in fact, that I’ve been selling it in my gallery since 2008. DO NOT get it confused with “Montana Gold” or “Montana Black” or “Montana Cans”. The one you want is manufactured in Spain and simply goes by “MTN” or “Montana Colors”. If it doesn’t look like the cans pictured here don’t get it. MTN has a very interesting story that you can read about here.

What Do I Paint With?
All the black lines you see in my paintings are done with brushes and ink. Some people ask if I use paint pens for my fine lines. The answer: no. I can get way more detail with a brush than with a pen. Over the years I’ve used a few different inks, but this acrylic ink by Daler-Rowney called “FW” is currently my favorite.

What Do I Paint With?
And of course, painting on wood is the best. Canvas is way overrated.

– Jeff

Ask Jeff: Where Do You Buy Screen Print Stuff

I got a message this morning from my friend, Kyle.

And it went a little something like this:

Hey Jeff, Whats up?

It’s t-shirt making season for me and I have a few questions. Where do you buy your chemicals, screens and inks from? Do you use or have used speedball ink, the kind you bake on with an iron?

Thanks a ton

And my response went a little something like this:

Hey Kyle!

You can get everything you need from McLogan’s.

They cater to more industrial type printing than what you’ll find in an art store or craft shop. So, you can get better quality screens, ink, emulsion and squeegees and all that. You’ll probably want a water based ink because it’s easier to clean. Unfortunately, water based ink doesn’t work well on dark garments and I love black shirts, so that was a problem for me when I started printing shirts. The solution is plastisol ink, but then you need a flash dryer or conveyor belt dryer which is going to set you back a couple hundred for the flash or several hundred for the conveyor. If you get really into printing shirts you should look into that. With plastisol you can print on dark stuff and it’s pretty vibrant. You need the flash dryer because the ink won’t dry unless you heat it to a certain temperature.

Anyway, when I first started I used speedball too. It’s not bad and is a great stepping stone into the world of screen printing. I actually bought a heat gun to dry the ink because I thought using the iron was a pain in the ass. If I remember correctly you have to put a paper towel over the ink then iron over that.

Well, that’s a lot of info. I hope it helps. When you print some stuff post some photos online…I’d love to check it out.

See ya,

– If you’d like to ask me something please do and if I think I can help I will. In fact, I might even respond even if I can’t help. You can ask by leaving a comment on my Facebook page or using the contact form.

Ask Jeff: Relationship Woes

While driving the kids to school this morning.

Me, to Evy: I’m impressed with how fast you got ready this morning.
Evy: Do you like my shirt?
Me: Yeah, I love that shirt.
Even though I said I loved her shirt she was still compelled to describe it to me: It says “I’m the peanut butter to your jelly” and they’re giving each other a high five.
(It’s a pink shirt with a drawing of two slices of bread high-fiving each other. And yes, one slice is covered in peanut butter and the other with jelly.)
Me: That’s how I feel about Mom.
Evy: That’s how I feel about a boy at school.
Whoaaaa…really? What’s his name?
Herb. He might feel the same, but he thinks I’m mad at him.
(Honestly, I forgot the little dude’s name, but Herb seems fitting because I said so.)
Why would he think that you’re mad at him?
Well, he shot a rubber band and it hit me in the head.
So, are you mad at him for that?
It wasn’t fun, but I’m not mad at him.
I think you should shoot a rubber band at him. Then you tell him, “Now we’re even.”

So, it’s official. Love when you’re nine is pretty much the same as when you’re an adult. Except that “shooting a rubber band at my head” turns into “called me a slut then roofied my best friend and had sex with her in the back of his Honda Civic.” Either way, I’m here for you and happy to offer top notch guidance. If any of you readers have problems with the boys or girls of your fancy shooting rubber bands at your head, stealing your tater tots, cutting in line in front of you at the cafeteria or beaning you in the face with a dodge ball at recess you let me know. I’ll tell you what to do.

Tutorial: Add Photos To Your Facebook Business Page Using The FB App

The Facebook app is pretty easy to navigate for personal use. For those of us that created a Facebook Page for our business you might have had trouble with a few things. If you’re like me there’s a good chance you asked yourself, “How can I add a photo to my Facebook Page?” It seemed like the only thing possible was to add a photo to your personal page and hope that members of your business page also followed your personal page. Ahh, but what then would be the point of having a business page. One loophole I found was that you could upload a photo to Flickr using the Flickr app and then post a link to it on the wall of your business page. The problem there is that it doesn’t show up in any of your Facebook photo albums and the picture will get buried with each new wall post.

Well, I finally clicked around enough to find out how to add photos to my business page. It’s pretty easy and I’m surprised it took me this long to figure it out.

First, open the Facebook app.
facebook app 1

Tap in the “search” bar and click on the “pages” tab.
facebook app 2

Type the name of your page. In my case it’s “The Claassen Gallery“. Choose your page when you see it show up in the drop down menu.
facebook app 3

Now you should be on your business page. Tap the “Share Photo” option on the left side. This is the part I can’t believe I missed before.
facebook app 4

Pick your option. I went with “Choose From Library” because I tend to take photos of stuff before I open the app.
facebook app 5

Choose your album.
facebook app 6

Choose the photo you’d like on your Facebook Page.
facebook app 7

Tap the “write a caption” option.
facebook app 8

I highly suggest leaving a caption for all photos you put online.
facebook app 9

Now check the spelling on your caption and tap that fancy “upload” button.
facebook app 10

And there you go! The photo will post on the wall of your business/fan page and will also be added to the “Wall Photos” album of your page.
facebook app 11

When you’re back on a your regular computer or on the desktop version of Facebook you can edit your photo album and move your recent “wall photo” to a more appropriate album. In my case, when I get a chance I’ll have to move this photo over to the “Art Supplies” album, but for now at least it’s on my page.

Hope this helps!

Ask Jeff: Resin Woes

Welcome to the first installment of “Ask Jeff”! This is an idea I’ve been tossing around for awhile. People come into the gallery and call me or text me asking all sorts of art related questions, so I figured there is a demand for knowledge out there. Why should the person asking reap all the benefits when there are others out there that could be seeking similar answers. So, let the fun begin!

Enviro Tex Epoxy Resin

Christian from Paint This City asks: “When I tried to resin coat a poster, the paper soaked the resin and bled the ink all over the place. The pretty pattern turned into a blob. Any tips?”

Damn! I hate when that happens. I’ve had the same mishap with resin coating a few things and I finally figured something out that works. First off, you never really know what kind of an effect the resin will have on certain materials. It’s good practice to make test pieces first and try the resin on it. For example: Dab a little of your poster ink on a scratch piece of paper and glue that to a scrap piece of wood. I’m assuming you were mounting your poster on a piece of wood. Anyway, doing the test obviously takes up time, but it’s worth not ruining the final product.

Now, here is what’s worked for me.

Mod Podge

Mod Podge is great! I prefer this matte finish one to the other finishes they offer. I use this to glue my paper/prints to wood. What makes it great is that it dries clear so you can also use it as a sealer. If you put a coat of this over your poster before you pour the resin coat there is a good chance you won’t get the bleeding of ink again. Of course, test this out on a sample first to be sure. One coat usually works for me, but you can also do a second coat to play it safe. You can also try a clear coat spray, such as the Krylon Matte Finish or Crystal Clear.

Krylon Clear Coats

Again, I like the matte finish better for sealing purposes. I’ve used the glue and the spray on finishes and I’d say it’s a matter of personal preference. They’ve both worked for me, but I still prefer the glue.

Try it out and let me know if that works for you.

* Enviro-Tex Pour On Resin, Mod Podge Matte Finish and Krylon clear coats are all available at The Claassen Gallery.

Thanks for sending the question!
– Jeff

If you have an artsy type question you’d like to ask feel free to visit the contact page and send it my way. If I feel qualified to answer it I’ll make a blog post out of it.