About Kat

Kathleen Skinner, more commonly known as Kat Skinner, is an artist specialising in watercolor and oil paint.

In 2012 I was first diagnosed with anxiety and depression. I have since learned a few things: the importance of taking your time to enjoy and appreciate every little thing possible in life.

During recovery I discovered a…

Kathleen Skinner, more commonly known as Kat Skinner, is an artist specialising in watercolor and oil paint.

In 2012 I was first diagnosed with anxiety and depression. I have since learned a few things: the importance of taking your time to enjoy and appreciate every little thing possible in life.

During recovery I discovered a passion for “arts and crafts”. Fuelled by a passion to learn and chase challenges, I persistently worked on expressing myself through art. Sometimes this was my joy and happiness… and sometimes this was frustrating, fear and sadness.

Oil Paint Materials and Tools

Kat’s Paint Colors

My current preferred brand of oil paint is Gamblin, though she has used Maimeri, LeFranc and Bourgouis and Sennelier in the past. I use a limited number of paint colors, allowing me to focus on a continuous learning journey of color theory. The colors I use are: Zinc White, Titanium White, Hansa Yellow Light, Cadmium Yellow Medium, Cerulean Blue, Ultramarine Blue, Cadmium Red Medium, Alizarin Crimson and Ivory Black. I do not use any thinners or mediums in my paints, except for Walnut oil – I use this very sparingly and mostly to clean my brush between colors.

Kat’s Canvas

I like to paint on both Fredrix Art Canvas Pads and Fredrix Art Canvas Panels. The pads are great for learning to paint, or to do quicker painting studies, as they don’t take up much space and can be easily stored once dry. The canvas panels also take up much less space than traditional canvases – and space is always limited in a busy studio!

Kat’s Palette

I use a New Wave Posh Glass Palette as my primary mixing surface. It is tinted grey in color, making it an excellent tool to judge the values of my colors. To store my palette when it’s not in use, I use a Masterson’s Sta-Wet Palette. This palette helps me keep my oil paints fresh and to slow the drying process.

Watercolor Materials and Tools

Kat’s Paint Colors

I prefer to use the Daniel Smith brand in artist quality pigments. If you are a beginner – or even advanced painter – I would recommend only using artist quality paints. The extra cost is definitely worth the improved quality compared to student quality. I use a limited paint palette, inspired by the extensive work and colour study by the Australian artist Jane Blundell. Jane Blundell has also written an amazing book; it has 66 detailed pages showing the various possible two and three color mixes using my primary colors. It is by far one of my most valuable tools when it comes to painting. Why reinvent the wheel?

Kat’s Paper

My preferred paper brands are Arches and Fabriano Artistico. These are both artist-quality papers. I dislike student-quality paper since it is much harder to control your paint and can have uneven sizing.

Depending upon the situation I will use both hot-pressed and cold-pressed paper. If I want the colors of my painting to “pop” and look extra vibrant, I will paint on hot-pressed paper. Otherwise, I will paint on cold-pressed paper when I want my finished painting to have an extra textured appearance.

I strongly prefer to work with heavier weight papers; using 300lbs or 140gsm, I can avoid buckling paper.

Kat’s Palette

I use two different paint palettes depending upon my needs: generally this will be when I am travelling or when I am at home.

My travel palette is a Frank Herring compact palette. This is a great little palette that includes several wells for mixing colors, and takes up relatively little space.

My home studio palette is a large ceramic palette sold by Ikea. Ceramic plates are great at showing how the paint will appear on the paper since it spreads the paint rather than allows the paint to form bubbles of color. In fact any if you prepare a ceramic or porcelain plate it will make a great palette.