The other day I bought a paint sprayer to do a project, and spent four hours I'll never get back, because when it clogged up, I didn't know that a simple turn of a key would reset it.
My builder Paul took one look at my problem and showed me how to fix it, simple practical information which I'll never need to be told again, but If I ever needed a reminder of just how valuable simple practical information is, I had it this week, and it spurred me on to launch our classic 'How To' studio course, Simply Oils for our online community.
I should say at this point that Simply Oils and I have had an up and down relationship, not because it's not our most popular and useful course, but simply because its so easy to forget that what one takes for granted can be absolute gold for those who don't know a few simple tricks and tips.
Take drying for instance - my student's oils dry as fast or faster than acrylics, why - because I know about creating a good ground. Add to that a knowledge of mediums, choosing the right paint and so forth and drying isn't the problem most non oil painters think it is.
Or why do oils glow, how do you make Forms appear to have dimensions, how do you find or lose an edge, these are simple questions - but powerful answers.
On a more practical level, oil painters need to know what to buy and what to make. So Simply Online covers everything from making a decent brush pot and palette, to getting the right easel, lighting your studio, choosing the right paints for the style you aspire to, and even how to make up a gesso and bole (you do know the difference, don't you?)
If you don't, then absolutely don't feel bad - why would you know what a gesso, or an imprimatura or an ebauche is if you haven't been told? Simple things are effective but they are rarely intuitive and never obvious.
So If you're learning to paint - or even if you already paint well - and wonder whether you're not missing some core insights then take a look at our new Simply Oils channel.
Our New Channel Courses
As we all need to work and study from home, we've put together special 120 minute live interactive demonstrations to show you everything you need to start oils the right way, in four easy to join sessions, which you can take in any order to top up your existing skills.
The sessions cover everything from getting the right kit and equipping your studio, through the core classical skills which enable you to exploit the things that only oil does, to professional colour mixing and the best process you can learn for reliably creating professional paintings rather than hoping your work comes together each day.
It's the complete 'how to' from professional oil painters which will save you hours of frustration and ensure you don't waste money on buying expensive kit you don't need.
Our fully interactive interactive lectures cover everything you need to know, and unlike a pre recorded video allow you to ask questions to ensure you fully understand the information on offer.
At £50 per session, you get the full tuition of a studio based Simply Oils course (normally £399), meaning you can have the tuition sessions and demonstrations, plus the materials you need from the School shop, for around the cost of Simply Oils Studio Workshop!
Additionally, your lecture is streamed directly to a dedicated private Simply Oils Facebook site, so you can watch it on demand for 7 days after your class, and easily take part in our Simply Oils community by sharing your work and checking your understanding with our painting community. It's a fantastic, and rewarding learning experience.
You can check out the new Simply Oils channel here why not take a look? You'll be amazed at what a little knowledge can do.