Bottles and Baskets: Demo- Oil on 12″ x 9″ Wood Panel

I decided to start a channel on YouTube for easier posting:

Here is a quick video demo of how I use my brush to sketch my painting on a pre-toned (ultra marine blue and red) wood panel with the size 4 Artist Loft Firenze level 2 angled brush from Michaels, which I mentioned on yesterday’s post:


After some work, I demonstrate how I apply the paint boldly and deliberately:

Part 2:

If you are interested in seeing more videos like this, or if you have any questions, please let me know in the comments. I really enjoy making these videos, so stay tuned for more!

Final piece:

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Inquiries on this piece can be made on here or my website:


Peaches: Oil on 18″ x 18″ Cradled Wood Panel

I started this painting by toning with burnt sienna and ultra marine blue and sketching with my favorite angled brush from Michaels–It is the Level 2  Artist’s Loft Firenze Angle Brush in size 4. I will do a seperate review of soon. It is my go-to brush for sketching and making fine lines.

I wanted the focal point to be centered on the plate for this one.

Rough sketch:

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I worked in two different sessions for this painting. I added some finishing touches and leaves to give it more movement and added some interesting textures with a palette knife.

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Peaches: Oil on 18″ x 18″ Cradled Wood Panel

Underwater Oil Painting on 16″ x 12″ Panel

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This is my first time doing an underwater painting. I began by sketching out the landscape using burnt umber and safflower oil. This took me about three days to paint, but I could certainly keep going if I wanted to. I did not want to add too many details and like the flowy look of the painting.  I keep saying I am going to do a demo of my process soon and have had several requests to make one. I will do one for still-life and for a landscape. I am waiting for a replacement for my laptop which no longer works.

I did manage to record a few seconds of the final touches:

DIY Art Brush Soap Using ZOTE Soap


Once upon a time, a few months ago, I ran out of my store-bought “professional grade” brush soap. I had a bar of ZOTE soap around from when I was experimenting with making my own laundry soap, and decided to try it on my brushes. The soap worked great, especially on synthetic brushes, but was a little drying on my natural brushes. The ZOTE soap has a higher fat (Sodium tallowate) content than your typical bar of bath soap.

I decided to experiment a little since a huge bar of soap ZOTE is only 98 cents in the US. Before throwing away brushes with dried paint, try soaking it in ZOTE soap overnight. You can also use this soap to wash off major part of the dirt and use a more expensive soap at the end, to save some money. Got paint on your clothes? Rub ZOTE soap onto the spot before washing. I have also seen liquid pink soap sold in a small bottle for almost $5 at the art store. As an artist who paints almost daily, every penny counts when it comes to buying materials and supplies. I decided to show how I make my brush soap cleaner in a can:

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1 Bar ZOTE soap (pink or white)

2 ½ cups of water, or as much needed to barely cover soap

1 Tablespoon of safflower oil, coconut oil, or olive oil. I like safflower oil the best and, on its own, makes a great conditioner for your brushes.

1 reusable plastic tub, or can

Optional: 4 drops of lavender essential oil (used in many professional soap cleaners)

Note: ZOTE soap is drying on the hands, so make sure you rub a few drops of oil (not essential oil) onto your hands before handling.

Step 1: Chop up the ZOTE soap with a large knife–I believe you can get this already shredded in some places but it is fairly easy to chop.

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Step 2: Place in pot with water and set stove to low-med heat. Stir occasionally to prevent soap from sticking to bottom of the pot.

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Step 3: Wait until the water starts to boil slightly and test soap for consistency. Soap should be easy to mush with a fork or spoon, like mashed potatoes.

Step 4: Pour out extra liquid onto a separate container, squirt, or spray bottle and fill the rest with water. You can use this liquid to clean up messes in your studio, on your kitchen counters, for laundry stains, or whatever you desire.  Add water, as the liquid will firm slightly in the bottle. Here are some uses for ZOTE soap:


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Step 5: Keep mushing and mixing soap together and mix in oils well.

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Step 6: Spoon into a container, or can, and press down firmly. Swirl your dirty brushes into the soap and rinse. I like to use a can because the ridges can help gently remove paint from paint brushes without compromising the hairs. You can place in the fridge for an hour to cool, or use right away. Store like you would any soap.


If you give this a try, let me know how it works for you!  I will continue to  experiment with different oils and will revise and update if I find something that works better.

If you have any recipes, please feel free to share in the comments!