Jeff Kennedy asks: I just acquired a new Prismacolor pencil set and got the Mona Lisa paint thinner, I applied all my color layers down and when I went to blend them it sort of stayed on the paper as wet,  is there a certain type of paper I should use for this application?

When completely dry there should be no sign that the paint thinner was there. Certain paper that I’ve used, especially if it is a colored paper, the spot where the paint thinner was applied may look stained for quite a while, but with everything I’ve used it went back to normal sooner or later. The amount of time that took just depended on how much paint thinner I applied. Softer paper like Stonehenge appears to soak up more of the paint thinner and takes longer to dry than something like the Fabriano Artistico HP. There may be some colored paper though that don’t work well with the paint thinner. It would not surprise me to see the color from the paper bleed or lift oddly depending on how the manufacturer actually colored the paper.



Kristine Hake asks:  How do you know where to sign your painting?  Do you think about it before you start your painting so you don’t spoil it by putting your “signature” in the wrong place or?  Is it about “hiding” your signature or “showing” it?

This really is up to the artist. Generally, though, one of the bottom corners of the paper or canvas is safe. You want to make sure you don’t sign right up against the edge of the paper or canvas though because it could be cut off by the frame or mat, so make sure you sign farther inside the piece. I keep a spare mat handy in most sizes that I work in so that I can hold it over the piece to make sure my signature won’t get cut off before I sign.

There have been some pieces, like my above and underwater ocean paintings where I sign at the waterline. I don’t want to hide my signature at all, but I don’t want it drawing attention to itself instead of the painting itself.