In my Studio - Essentials for oil painting

What you need

I often meet people who say they are scared of trying oils. I can tell you from my experience that you have no reason to be. Here's a basic guide to what I use daily and why.

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Sounds obvious but you need somewhere you can paint and leave your piece to dry for a few weeks on an easel or fixed to a wall (I normally do both). Oils can take up to 5 days to be touch dry once you're painting is finished. So grab a space and make it yours.

Oil paints

I started by buying an affordable starter pack with 6 colours from Georgian Oils by Daler Rowney. Don't get anything cheaper as the consistency won't be anything like traditional oils but more like poster paints. Make sure your pack also includes a white. These days I have a range of more expensive oils but mainly I use oils by Winsor and Newton because they are great easy to work with.


I use a tear-off palette by Winsor and Newton (seen above) and store it in an slightly bigger air-tight tub to make it stay wet longer. Some artists use glass but I find cleaning and scraping the paint off time-consuming.

Mahl Stick

This is basically a resting stick. You can see my very expensive one in the photo above that I got from the Timber merchants up the road... lol. Helps me with all those straight lines and to lessen the amount of paint on my hands. Good for pastel work too. 


This is completely up to you and down to your own individual style. I use a range of soft flat-head Winsor & Newton brushes myself plus a few tiny tiny ones for detail. But I will have to cover this in more detail another day.

Oil mediums

These are what you add to your paint to make it thiner, thicker, smoother or to simply extend it. There are tons of them. Think of it like adding water to watercolour to be able to work the paint. I personally use linseed oil and stand oil to thin and thicken the paint. Also great for blending. Again I will go into these in more detail another time.


These are for cleaning your brushes or to thin a 'wash' of paint. They are toxic so always use in a well ventilated room. I use Sansodor which I think is less toxic than turps for thinning coats and occasionally cleaning brushes. Always remember if its 'odorless, it doesn't mean the dangerous fumes are gone. You just can't smell them. 


Due to the toxic issue of using solvents I mostly use 'Murphy's oil soap' (pictured above) for cleaning my brushes in-between colours. 98% natural and smells nice. Makes them soft too.


Remember, every artist has there own way of doing things and when I need help I am constantly on artists chat rooms trying to find new ways to solve my latest problem. Please feel free to contact me if you would like any more advice or if you need help directing in the right direction.

Valentines Day is only a few days away!

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With the year already well underway, I thought I would offer a reminder to all that 'Valentines Day' is just around the corner.

And as extra assistance from me to you (because this is the season of love after all) I have provided a discount code with a large 35% off to use up to the 14th February this year when buying a treat for you or a gift for your loved one.

So please go to my website and look through my vast array of works available in my PRINT SHOP and type 35%OFFPRINTS at the checkout.

These limited edition prints (which there are only 40 reproductions of each painting available) are printed onto beautiful Hahnemühle German Etching 310gsm paper and then mounted to stiff 3mm Foamex.. They come in two sizes of 12 x 12 inch and 24 x 24 inch, all ready for framing.

They do take a few days to to be printed and delivered directly to your door... so don't delay!


Of course please get in contact if you have something more specific in mind by going to the bottom of my COMMISSIONS page.

Sale! 30% off prints


Finally got my act together and have some incredible new Fine Art Prints available.  I have selected my paper, chosen a mount and have trust in my supplier!  To celebrate my 'little win' I am offering 30% off print orders until the Christmas print deadline of Sunday 10th December.  Apologies to those who tried over the last few days - my tech support was Christmas shopping.


Remember that there are only a limited number of each available and a lot have sold already so be sure to get in quick with your Christmas orders.  If you would like frames made up then I would get in touch with Anthony Hathaway or Rembrandt Gallery ASAP! :)


What type of art sells the best?

I'm unsure if this is the same for everyone but I really struggled in the beginning to decide what I should paint.

I call myself a "flibbertigibbet with a brush" for that very reason. Early on I painted everything from apples, bunnies lost in woods, abstract trees, cartoons and children's books. Had no idea and no consistency at all.

Later I started painting still life, and loved it! But I had such strong reactions from people I stopped. These are now what I call the 'Marmite' of art. You either love it or hate it. 

One piece of information that did direct me was this article that I found many moons ago which helped to explain why some things sold better than others. This led me to try landscapes. Or at least to try and paint things that are in the top 5.

According to a Art Business Today survey in 2003 - These were the top 10 best-selling subjects for painting in the UK.

  1. Traditional Landscapes
  2. Local views
  3. Modern or semi-abstract landscapes
  4. Abstracts
  5. Dogs
  6. Figure studies (excluding nudes)
  7. Seascapes, harbour and beach scenes
  8. Wildlife
  9. Impressionistic landscapes
  10. Nudes

I was shocked by these findings. I thought nudes would be right up there.

The next problem is to then decide if this should then direct you just because you want to improve your chances of selling. Or to let your own desire for personal artistic development guide you. Choices, choices.

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How to become an Artist

The eternal search for the answer to that elusive question.... 'How do I become an artist?'

I have discovered through many years of typing that very question to the internet Gods that there is no one answer. Many hearts will slump at this response. But you should look at this in a more positive way. There are many ways. 

Welcome to my first blog post from my new website. My name is Harriet Hue and I have been a professional artist for a few years now. I am vague here as to the number of years as the description of what an artist is, is also vague. 

Was it from my first sale? That moment I received my Fine Art degree? When I sent that fateful letter to the government drones to say I was registering myself as self employed? Probably.

I think it's more than that. Hate to get spiritual about it but for me it was a mixture of all those things. Its the journey. But more importantly it was that moment when someone asks you what you do? Saying I was an artist felt like a lie. I never believed it so why should anyone else. Why should anyone buy any of your work if you don't think its worth it.

So for me the day I became an artist, was the day I believed I was one.

Oh and selling lots of artwork... that helped too. Lol.


In my blog's I will show you how I do what I do. Helpful tips, websites, links that I have found on my journey so far.

Any questions please don't hesitate to ask.