zinc top



A custom made in store trestle table with zinc top and salvaged cypress wood base. The base has a white washed patina, great as indoor / outdoor dining table. 

Dimensions: 70" long x 3ft wide x 30" tall.

List Price : $ 1800

Item No. E990a.

Please contact LBNO for further information or trade consideration.

504.581.3733 / t

info@labellenouvelle.com / e

Oil Portrait Tutorial ft. Martin Freeman

For @sherrkey who asked for oil painting tips and to whom I said I would make a tutorial but never did. Until now. Sorry about that.

Firstly, tools!

What you see here is essentially everything I use to paint, minus my palette and the canvas. From top left to bottom right, those are:

  • dirty cloth, for cleaning up odds and ends and wiping brushes
  • turpentine, for diluting paint for the first layer of painting and cleaning brushes. Never use water with oil paints.
  • linseed oil, for diluting paint for the last layer of painting.
  • paint, top row: zinc titanium white, chrome yellow, lemon yellow, chrome orange yellow, scarlet, crimson red, vermilion, rose, purple, ultramarine
  • paint, bottom row: cobalt blue, emerald green, viridian, chrome green, olive green, yellow ocre, burnt sienna, burnt umber, raw umber, lamp black
  • brushes, size 20, 10, and ½
  • palette knife, size 3 (I personally don’t use this very often, usually only to scrape mistakes off where I can’t wipe them)

The painting:

I’m going to use my progress shots from this painting I did a couple months ago

1. The reference picture - I used this photo of Martin Freeman as Richard III here:

2. The initial sketch:

  • I used a brown because it’s close to skin colour and isn’t too glaring.
  • Dilute the paint with turpentine a lot so that it’s quite wet and the lines are light. This gives you more room to fix errors. If you make a mistake, get your dirty cloth, dip it in turpentine, and wipe the mistake off. Cloth+turpentine acts as an eraser of sorts at this stage.
  • Don’t worry if the first sketch looks bad. Mine looked real bad. Keep fixing it until you you’re happy with what you have.
  • Try to get in as much of the tonal values as you can here, because it’ll help a lot to have values sorted before you get onto painting. If it isn’t sorted, when you come to paint you’ll have an extra thing to worry about on top of your hues and saturations and whatnot. Use more turpentine for lighter tones, less turpentine for darker tones.

3. Base colours:

  • Start with the background, then move on to the darkest areas of the person and work your way lighter.
  • Don’t worry too much about details. At this stage you’re just laying down the basic colours and filling in all the area.
  • Focus on getting your overall colour right.
  • Use turpentine to dilute the paint a little, so the paint isn’t too thick, but make sure it’s not transparent like the initial sketch.

4. Middle layers and details:

  • On the basis of your first layer, now you can start working on the details.
  • Do not use turpentine here, just pure paint. Don’t be afraid to make it thick, texture is an inherent part of oils and it makes the picture more interesting to look at.
  • Don’t try to do everything at once. This is the section that will take the longest and the most effort. Split up your work, pick something to focus on for one session, and just do that part. The first thing I worked on was the hand:
  • then the head:
  • then the coat:

5. final touches

  • This is where you do your refinements and extra small details and go back and fix things you didn’t spot before.
  • Because we’re just fixing things, there’s no need to go too thick, use linseed oil to dilute your paint if you need to, especially for details like hair where you wouldn’t be able to get fine lines with thick paint.
  • I added more detail to the hair and beard, and fixed the nose:
  • Then I redid the background just because it had gone dirty, did a final layer on the coat to tidy it up, put in the shadow of the tassel I’d forgotten before, and added highlights on the hair, badges, buttons, eye, and sleeve:

And that’s it!

Here are some tips just about oil painting in general:

  • Oil painting takes a long time. Don’t expect to get everything right the first time. You’ll be working with multiple layers, so be patient, and take it a step at a time.
  • Make sure a layer has thoroughly dried before painting over it. This does not mean touch-dry. Oils can touch-dry in two days depending on humidity, but don’t dry enough for you to paint over until at least a week. While you’re waiting for a layer to dry, work on a different area, then go back. If you paint over a layer before it’s dried properly, the oil in the new layer get soaked into the bottom layer and your colours go dull.
  • Use turpentine for the bottom layer, linseed oil for the final top layer.
  • Clean and keep brushes in turpentine after painting. This keeps them soft for your next session, otherwise the paint will dry. If you’re waiting a long time until your next session, keep them in turpentine for a day or two, then wipe them and put them away.

Finally, as I like to say in all my other tutorials, this is never an exhaustive or definitive method. Everything in here has either been taught to me or been from my experience. I don’t claim to know everything, and others will experience things differently as well. There shouldn’t be absolute rules in art, only guidelines. Some guidelines are more important than others, of course but the best way to learn is to try something yourself.

Hopefully this has been helpful, and thanks for reading!

Straight out of a movie! Leo was commissioned to design a French Country guest cottage addition for main house. The bottom floor features a small foyer with a winding staircase up to the upstairs. There is a two car garage and a breezeway to the main house. You enter the garages from the rear through unbelievable mahogany carriage house doors. The Porte cochere has carriage house doors on both sides, so you can either drive through or close them to create a third garage bay. The upstairs has a large family room with a hidden Murphy bed tucked inside an armoire. There is a stone fireplace and a Romeo and Juliette balcony. You enter the sweet little kitchen through vintage stained glass doors. The kitchen cabinets are made from real pieces of furniture with zinc counter tops. A cute little banquette is built into the corner with a farm table. The whole place looks as if it came out of one of the old romantic movies we grew up with!

Leo Dowell Designs.com

A rare 1890’s Victorian conservatory/parlor aquarium. This aquarium would have sit in the parlor or conservatory (greenhouse) of a wealthy industrialist of the time period as aquariums of this type were expensive even back 120+ years ago. This beautiful aquarium is made of cast iron from the “plant shelf” down.The iron base has a beautiful swirl pattern with “faces in headdress” on each leg. The 10 gallon (approximately) hexagon aquarium is made from stamped zinc and the top filigree and urn are made from copper. The height is 58" and the width and depth is 28" x 28". The original aquarium probably had a steam powered air pump that sit on the shelf right below the plant shelf.