INTERVIEW with MICHAEL HARDING
Colour Mill Location: United Kingdom, Cwmbran
My Location: Between the United Kingdom & United States
One career only man... Paint Making! I started my business, Michael Harding Oil Colours
, right out of art college in Whitechapel London (Jack the Ripper’s haunt), England.
Epsom College of Art
WHAT ARE SOME LITTLE KNOWN FACTS YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE ABOUT YOURSELF?
- I am a fellow of the Royal Society of British Artists – the title was bestowed upon me for my services to the Arts in the United Kingdom. “Michael Harding FRIBA.”
- I was a part of a two-man team that created the acrylic paints used to make the cartoons for the 1978 British American adventure-drama film 'Watership Down.'
- The same two-man team (me and Graham Beeching) also made the paint for the animation section of Pink Floyd’s film 'The Wall.'
WITH YOUR LIFETIME KNOWLEDGE OF PAINT MAKING AND THE ARTS, WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR PAINTERS?
So often painters have thousands of reasons why not to paint. I have a mantra: "Just hush up and paint!" My three simple rules to painting:
1) Sensible Paint – Buy the very best quality of paint you can afford. Please stay away from student quality paint because it does not last!
2) Fat Over Lean – Please do not bury oily, fat colours under heavy, thick lean paints!
3) Sensible Supports – Artists need to read and understand the difference between good quality linen and other panels, and of course understand the correct primer to use. If you need a good quality primer at a reasonable price you may want to try my Non-Absorbent Acrylic Primer. It is specifically created for the oil painter in mind so as not to suck the oil out of a painting. Often Artists are “oiling out” using my primer will preclude this from having to happen or needing retouch varnish. It is to be used to prime linen, wood, metal and other surfaces that are not readily meant to be painted on with oil paints.
YOU COLLECT PIGMENTS FROM THE FAR CORNERS OF THE WORLD. WHAT IS ONE OF THE MOST DANGEROUS PIGMENTS TO MINE?
I do not mine pigments myself, I have people doing that work for me. However, I do make a pigment that is challenging . . . Stack Lead White!
WHEN YOU PAINT, WHAT COLORS ARE ON YOUR PALETTE AND WHAT ARE YOUR TOOLS OF CHOICE?
My favourite colours on my palette are: Genuine Chinese Vermilion, Lapis Lazuli, Rose Madder, Stack Lead White, Yellow Ochre Deep, all of my Cadmiums and my Genuine Naples Yellows. You can read from my list that I don’t hold back on using toxic colours!
My preferred brushes are from Rosemary & Co.
Of course, my chosen palettes to use are from New Wave! I like the versatility of both the white and Grey Pad disposable paper palette for planning a painting and for demonstration purposes. I use the Grey Posh Wood Palette and the POSH White Tempered Glass Palette for all my studio painting as well as my workshop demonstrations.
DO YOU HAVE ANY UPCOMING SHOWS OR WORKSHOPS?
Stay tuned as I’ll be in New York during January 2018 providing workshops, then off to Germany for Creative World, New Zealand and Australia for workshops and then you’ll see me at PACE, Art of the Portrait, Forgotten Coast and Oil Painters of America!