Artists are often asked which art products they couldn’t possibly do without. So I thought I would share with you the most inspensible and well used item in my studio. The Pigment Stick. Doesn’t sound exciting I know, but believe me, once you have used them you will never go back. The are wonderful little sticks of pigment which enables you to draw with oil paint.
They are produced (hand made) in the States by R&F (and they are not paying me to promote their product by the way!), made from all natural products and come in 90 pure, intense, luscious colours. I came across the pigment stick about four years ago in an art shop in Sydney and bought one colour to try – Azlizarin Orange. From then on I was totally hooked, a slave to the pigment stick! I am now the proud owner of about 60 of the 90 colours.
I rarely use the pigment sticks to do entire painting as they are not inexpensive (generally about $12 – $25 for a 38ml stick, from my local art shop) and my canvasses are normally very large. If yo are looking to find R&F Handmade Paints Pigment Sticks for a more reasonable price I know they are available on Amazon, just remember to support your local art store every now and again. Anyway, back to the important stuff. I find their real value is in using them as a combination with oil paints. They are fantastic for creating quick, gestural drawn lines which you just can’t get using a brush. Being so versatile, you can use them for initial sketches on the canvas, highlighting areas, mixing them with medium, rubbing them back, layering them, or going back to do outlines once the paint is dry. I just love them.
The only downside is that some colours tend to melt in very hot weather and have to be kept refrigerated! (Problem in Australia unfortunately)
To see the pigment sticks in action watch my time-lapse painting video or check out the gallery.