Every artist has a unique process, a way of working which works for them, this is how I do it:


I use Old Holland oil paints mostly. They are beautiful though expensive. Pretty much 99% of all my paintings are done with these colours:

My Colours

Scheveningen Yellow Light, Cadmium Yellow Medium, Cadmium Orange, Vermillion Extra, Cadmium Red, Dioxazane Mauve, Scheveningen Blue, Scheveningen Green Deep. Titanium White.

I get black by mixing Vermillion Red with Scheveningen Blue.

I used catalogue numbers from Old Holland paints to simplify this chart

I use Schevenigen Yellow light when mixing high values needing yellow, and Cadmium Yellow Medium for lower values (value being the brightness or darkness of the colour mix).

On Caher Road, initial sketch using alkyd flow medium.

The mediums I use are Winsor and Newton linseed oil and stand oil. I also use Daler Rowney alkyd flow medium for[ref]’san aer’ is Irish language for ‘plein air’, the nearest equivalent in the english language is ‘outdoors’, but it doesn’t imply the sense of being with nature that I feel.[/ref] ‘san aer’ painting because it helps the initial oil sketch dry quickly.

For varnishing I use Gamvar.

I use Fabriano Tela paper to paint on – it’s internally sized and archival according to the manufacture. Fabriano’s history dates back to 1264. They also have a commitment to producing within an ecologically sound framework.
From the manufacturer:

The Fabriano oil painting paper Tela has an internal and external sizing that offers an ideal absorption for oil colours. It is acid free and archival. The unique paper surface, obtained through a specialized texturing process, creates a surface similar to linen canvas. It is recommended for oil painting techniques.

Mounting the paper.

The MDF is first sealed with 3 coats of GAC100, and then a layer of Acrylic Gel Medium which acts as a glue. The paper is laid on this. This creates the necessary barrier between the paint layer and the board.

For painting ‘san aer’, additionally I use 2 coats of white gesso. This is important firstly to make the panel impervious to rain, and also because, unlike studio works, I leave parts of the panel unpainted and this guarantees the whites will stay good over time.


I like the frames to show the edges of the paint, so the texture of the oil paint is apparent at a glance. The strong colour statements contrast well bordered with the strip of pine painted in a muted white.

Making Frames

The frame is also important in that it acts as a brace for the support. If the frame is to be changed that must be taken into consideration. The new frame should be robust or a brace must be made.

Certificate of Authenticity

All my paintings have their Certificate of Authenticity COA gummed to the back of the work. This is important for future reference and is unique to each piece (e.g. what type of varnish was used). I sign each COA.

Database of Works

My Bento database

I keep an extensive database pertaining each work. It includes colour mixes, dimensions, dates, and so on. Sometimes, if I’ve done a lot of work in progress pictures, I’ll do a time-lapse video…. Another post for that!