I normally leave my paintings as long as I can before varnishing so that I know the paint surface is nice and hard before I send them, and I usually varnish right before posting. I have a standard 3 day turnaround for sale to allow for that.
Of course, at this time of year there are always last minute orders so today I busied myself varnishing them plus some extras in anticipation... Monday is the last comfortable day to ensure they will arrive in the US/Canada in time for Xmas so the varnish should be nice and dry by then.
I like to use a satin varnish as I feel this gives a nice balanced semi-glossy surface which enhances the texture of my knife paintings. I make up my own mixture usually 1 part gloss varnish to 2 parts matt. My brand of preference is Winsor and Newton and I buy the small bottles which I tip into a jam jar which is the perfect size.
When I painted in acrylics I only used matt varnish which toned down some of the shinyness of the acrylics but nowadays, I find myself more drawn to the more glossy finish. Maybe I shall start using gloss varnish, but I feel that can be a bit harsh when the light shines on it.
What do you use? Do you varnish or not? Leave your comments below.
I am calling this finished. This is another of the challenge paintings from September. In fact it only needed a couple of small strokes to finish it off. These 'cabanons' are dotted all over the provence countryside. Many of them are in ruins and nature quickly takes over.
I am trying to stage my photos more professionally so I set this up and used my studio lamp which gives a blue light. It worked quite well, I think. I shall try this with some of my other paintings and see if I can reproduce it - but without the paint splattered easel LOL. Adds authenticity though doesn't it?
Look what arrived today! Tubes of brand new paint from a new supplier.
These paints were recommended by Brad Teare an artist who I follow. I often listen to his advice, he likes trying new things and experimenting and that is right up my street ... and who doesn't need more paint?
Read the interview with the manufacturer Walter Haas: