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Natural Pigments

Visual Art

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For over a hundred years, most causes of paint failures have been studied: humidity, temperature and paint embrittlement. The symptoms were obvious—cracking, delaminating and paint loss—but the causes were not. Conservation workers gradually formed concepts as to the causes of cracking and paint loss of old paintings. Concurrently, the coatings industry studied failures in all types of paint films. Artists developed their own ideas, but remained largely unaware of findings from both the conservation community and the coatings industry.

Natural Pigments spent years developing a technical workshop to teach skills that are not taught in art school and universities—a thorough understanding of artist’s materials and tools, what they are designed to do, when to chose them and how to provide considerable longevity to your finished work. This workshop covers the most important aspects of painting that have proven to be the best practices over the centuries.

The information-packed workshop includes all aspects of constructing a painting from the support and ground to the final layers. Practical procedures will be clearly explained and demonstrated on how to build your oil paintings based on conservation research during the past century. This workshop is designed for painters of all mediums, but special emphasis is given to oil painting.


George O'Hanlon

George O'Hanlon is technical director of Natural Pigments and executive director of Iconofile, an nonprofit educational organization dedicated to promoting understanding of sacred art. George received his fine arts education and apprenticeship in Mexico. Upon his return to the United States, he worked as art director and then creative director for advertising agencies in Silicon Valley, working on such major accounts as Sony, Hewlett-Packard and Ricoh. He then established a marketing communications firm that was later acquired by the Japanese chemical giant, Shin-Etsu, where we was retained as president of U.S. marketing operations. In 1992, he left this post to study traditional art techniques and then in 2001, he founded Iconofile and then Natural Pigments to promote an understanding of these techniques among contemporary artists. Since that time he has formulated hundreds of artists paints and materials, including Ceracolors, a water-soluble wax paint.

Tatiana Zaytseva

Tatiana Zaytseva is administrative director of Natural Pigments and secretary of Iconofile, an nonprofit educational organization dedicated to promoting understanding of sacred art. Tatiana received her education in Saint Petersburg, Russia in fashion and design and a second degree in engineering process controls. After moving to the U.S. in 2001, she helped to establish and Iconofile and then Natural Pigments in 2003.





Absolutely necessary and excellently delivered—Painting Best Practices is a workshop that addressed questions I have had about my practice for years and, due to Mr. O’Hanlon’s clear and genuine love for art and concern with its best possible development and preservation, the information was faultlessly structured and extremely well delivered. I have filled a whole book with copious notes.

—Jo Fraser, London

Thank you for an excellent workshop. Your knowledge is truly impressive. I feel I have a good foundation of knowledge now to begin changing my methods and materials. Also, I will talk to the GCA and see if we can have you bring the workshop to our students! (Note: The Grand Central Academy was so enthusiastic about the workshop they engaged the instructor to teach it to all their students.)

—Joshua La Rock, instructor, Grand Central Academy, New York

I took this workshop last fall and found it so rich in information that I want to offer it to my students.

—Koo Schadler, Alstead, New Hampshire

Thanks for all the excellent information—that was a tremendous workshop!

—Louie Lane, artist assistant to Cecily Brown, New York

Just wanted to send you my little blog post about our weekend at the Painting Best Practices workshop. Doug and I had a wonderful time, and truly appreciate the depth and quality of your workshop.

—Jody Mattison, Antioch, California

Great workshop. What Pat and I came away with was the feeling that what we learned would have taken years. But you did it for us in a weekend! Really appreciate your “obsession” and what you have learned and conveyed to us. I am serious—write a book!

—Jerzy Niedojadlo, Nitram Fine Art Charcoal

I enjoyed your workshop very much and reported on it enthusiastically to my teachers at the Academy of Realist Art, Boston.

—David Valbracht, Boston