Thursday, December 23, 2010

Art Classes-Melbourne

If you need to plant yourself in a structured environment to get the creative muse to rear its head, then we can point you in a few directions to help enthuse, educate and enjoy.

Friends of St Luke run all different classes; from Life Drawing to Icon Painting and Encaustic.

The Victorian College of the Arts are running part time and short courses for anyone who wants to get more involved with art. Summer School begins on the 18th of January and you can choose from Life Drawing, Sculpture, Contemporary Painting, Digital Art and Printmaking. Their Studio Art program will commence on the 8th February. This is your chance to be taught by some of the most skilled practicing contemporary artists in Melbourne.

Contact Ieuan Weinman at the VCA via phone or email for more information:

Ph: 9685 9462


The beautiful and talented Artist, Erika Gofton is holding Art Classes at The Substation in Newport. You can enroll throughout the year, but the first workshop begins on the 23rd of January. Erika offers Foundation Drawing and Painting Classes as well as a mentored Art Class which begins on the 8th February. To enquire please contact Erika on:

M: 0407197 106

Ph: 9391 8373



If you are in love with acrylic then you must put yourself on the waiting list for Merryn Trevethan's Golden Acrylic classes coming up in the New Year. If there is anything to know about Acrylic applications or technique then Merryn knows it in spades. Merryn is a qualified teacher trained by the inventors of acrylic, Golden.

Contact Merryn to join the list:


M: 0422515880


Anna Prifti is a very respected Icon painter and you must see if her if you want to learn this very historical Byzantinian art form. Classes begin February 10. Location 3-7 Macedon Avenue, Balwyn North, 3104, Vic next to the church Presentation of the Lady in the Temple.


M: 0415 243 917

Michelangelo Russo invites a small group into his artisan studio to teach the art of Encaustic. Places are limited and we understand the class is very popular. If you have ever wondered how to mix pigments and beeswax then learn from the master. Michelangelo will be running a class in Fitzroy in the new year so please contact him to register your interest. Check out his work


M: 041-399-6071

When you have done all the classes there will be a quiz in store, so pay attention and improve your art practice with all the knowledge, tricks and tips that these wonderful educators can teach you.

Have a wonderful Xmas and a safe New Year x

We will be back on 5th January 2011

Friday, December 17, 2010

Merry Christmas from the St Lukettes

We will be feet up and tools down from Christmas Day until the 5th of January.

In December's Newsletter we just thought of things that we want you to buy us,

we hope it helps because we are very fussy!

10 Christmas gift ideas between $10 and $150

Langridge Rust and Verdigris Base Introductory set

You wanted it and Langridge brought it back. Mum and Dad won’t know what hit them. Next time you go over to their house the pots will be bronzed and the gnome may have rusted. A great gift for people with absolutely no artistic talent. It’s fool proof and highly satisfying to use. Put it on anything and watch surfaces transform, Rome can be built in a day and if it needs rusting you know who to see. $30.80

Golden Fluid Set of 10 colours

Do you know someone who is creating with products that they bought at the hardware store? If the answer is yes then you need to buy them this set of paints stat. It’s obviously an emergency and the only way to help is with a Golden intervention. The best Acrylic paint in the world, packaged up in a box for those suffering from a serious case of Duluxitis. $97.30

Langridge’s Oil Stick Set

Like drawing with lipstick, Langridge’s oil stick set is the perfect excuse to glam up your paintings without cross-dressing or applying any make up. Let go of those tight lines and draw your painting like you mean it. $79.70

Foldable Field Easel

Going to the country? Going on holidays this January? Have easel will travel, will be the catch cry of any lucky left brainer that receives one of these lightweight travel easels this Christmas. It’s only $48.60……Yes that’s what I said

Giant Hogs Hair Scenic Paint Brush

For the Artist who needs something that no one else has. Brushes don’t get any bigger. Think painting while standing back from the canvas, (way back) because this baby is 90 cm long. $20.90

St Luke’s Three Kings gift set of gold, frankincense and myrrh

An annual event for St Luke, the Three Kings gift set is about being alchemical and not so much about being artistic. Everyone needs gold and if you haven’t smelt Frankincense and Myrrh, then you don’t know how amazing resins can be. Light a charcoal tablet with a little piece on top and absorb the historical vapours. $49.95

Marseille Soap

Great for you, great for your brushes, stay clean this Christmas with a little olive oil love straight from France. $11.75

Langridge’s Professional Oil Paint wooden box set

The Supreme gift of love: professional paint for an artist of any age. Start with the best oil paint and mediums and don’t look back or sideways or down because you’re a star. With these tubes of pumped up pigment you will be putting other painters to shame. Viva le Langridge. $198.00

Golden’s set of Gels and Mediums

An introduction to the uninitiated - Golden’s Gels and Mediums can do just about anything; self level, softly gloss, fibre up or run like tar. $46.00

St Luke Gift Voucher

Available at any amount; for anyone who has an inclination towards the creative. $1000,000,000

Friday, November 19, 2010




Great for smooth brushstrokes in Oil paint, Watercolour and Acrylic.

Suited to glazing and photorealist techniques.

Long Handle for easel painting.


Superior quality hair grown in Russia. Hairs are naturally longer enabling a larger amount of paint to be loaded at one time. Great for smooth brushstrokes in Oil paint, Water colour and Acrylic. Suited to glazing and photorealist techniques. Holds shape and retains its point.


Great for smooth brushstrokes in Oil paint and Acrylic. Suited to glazing and photorealist techniques.

Ideal for moving paint around whilst maintaining the ability to blend and keep paint surfaces smooth. Sits between Sable and Hogs hair as a brush with a mid range of flexibility.


Essentially an economical watercolour brush. A pure sable brush can be used for fine detail work in oil and acrylic. This brush has good liquid holding capacity and with proper care will hold its shape.


Pure squirrel hair has excellent spring and snap. The Kazan squirrel mop is the best brush for watercolour. This brush enables a smooth transition from fine lines to large washes and it is unsurpassed for its water holding ability.


Dry blending brush for oil and acrylic. Uneven marks can be produced when used to paint, making this brush ideal for trees, landscape and hair.


Economical brush for watercolour and acrylic.

Short handle for working in journals or on the table.

Great spring with nylon fibers that last longer than natural hairs if cared for properly as synthetic hair do not wear down.

Synthetics can be used for detail on oil paintings but do not have enough resilience and spring to manipulate large amounts of oil paint.


Originally designed to paint the rigging on ship paintings. It is now used to create fine lines.

The long length of pure sable hair loads up with paint, making it easier to use than a small round brush.

Can be used for detail on oil paintings when the paint/medium combination is very liquid.


Hog hair farmed in Chungking, China.

Chungking bristles are renowned for their length, flag, and spring.

This is the best brush for oil and acrylic. Paint can be applied quite thickly due to the strength of the hair filaments.

A flag or split at the end of the hair enables the brush to load up with paint and hair grown in Chungking has many more flags than regular hogs hair.


A traditional Hog hair brush for oil and acrylic painting.

Paint can be applied quite thickly due to the strength of the hair filaments.

A flag or split at the end of the hair enables the brush to load up with paint.


Synthetic alternative to Hogs hair.

Fibers last longer as they can not be worn away with over use.

Hairs do not dry out and synthetic brushes hold their shape well with wear.


A beautiful full mop brush of mixed hair.

This economical brush is perfect for colouring large areas with gouache or watercolour. Often made from ox, horse goat and the scraps from better quality hair farming.


Economical mixed hair brush. Best for use as a dry blending brush which can seamlessly fuse paint colours together to make blurry tonal transitions of paint or smooth out lumpy brush work. For use with oil and acrylic or as a budget watercolour mop.

Saturday, November 6, 2010


To celebrate our 10th Anniversary we want to say thank you to all our delightful customers that have supported us.
We know you want to use good brushes and we want you to use good brushes too, so we are taking up to 50% off on all our brushes for 2 weeks!
We are getting every brush imaginable in just for this sale - it will be a brush feast!
Now is the time to buy up big. All brushes will be available to test and the St. Lukettes can help you with technical and application advice.
The sale will be on for two weeks only. 6th -20th Nov
When you spend over $100 we will also give you a present!

St. Luke Happy Birthday Brush Sale

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Choosing the right Acrylic could dramatically change the ease and success with which you work. St Luke is the home of Golden Acrylics in Australia so we can help you to choose the right product to help you create the effects that you desire. Here is a short rundown of the types of acrylic paint that Golden produces. All heavily pigmented and made to a professional quality Golden paint is like no other brand and handles like the rolls royce of acrylic art materials.

*FLUID ACRYLICS have a thin, pourable viscosity with an equally strong pigment load to heavy body acrylics. Fluids are ideal for artists who like to create smooth paint surfaces and thin washes of colour.

*HEAVY BODY ACRYLICS have a high viscosity that’s designed to hold a brushstroke and spread like butter with a palette knife. Heavy Body acrylics are free form fillers and matting agents making them one of the most popular paints in the world.

*OPEN ACRYLICS have a creamy viscosity for applying thin layers of paint used in traditional blending techniques. Created with a unique polymer dispersion, Open can remain wet on the palette for days and are interchangeable with all gels and mediums.

St Luke is now stocking a new book by the Master of all Golden Acrylic Patti Brady.
Rethinking Acrylic, radical solutions for exploiting the world's most versatile
This book contains everything you need to know about using acrylics; from manufacture through to surfaces, mediums and applications. Rethinking Acrylic retails for just $39.95 and you can purchase it from St luke via postal order or in the store.

For more information on Golden or Patti Brady please visit the Golden Website.

All images courtecy Golden Artist Colours.
*All text courtacy Patti Brady

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Spring Dreaming of Summer

This month we thought we should share some colours with you that reflect this beautiful time of the year.

Daylight savings has just arrived so more time to enjoy the light and start to savour the longer twilights- more time in the studio, gardening and beer gardens!

Most of you will be aware that Langridge (our sister company) has now released their range of Professional Oil Colours. We are extremely excited about this!

This is the only professional oil ever made in Australia and has been 10 years in the making. David Coles, the paint maker has chosen 32 colours for the first range, with another 32 to be released within the next 10 months.

Here’s some of the colours in the new range with our slant on them- of course we have all the technical terms and descriptions of them at St. Luke and we could talk for hours about how pure and beautifully ground they are but you already know that Langridge never does anything by halves and anyway this is more fun!


It’s not a mixed colour it really is unbleached titanium!

Sort of looks like the skin tone stockings you have been wearing all winter.

Just like stockings it’s beautifully soft which makes it delicious to brush out.


This is the yellow of nostalgic childhood late afternoons when everything heightens in colour. You know when the grass and shadows go otherworldly?

Great for wild high lights or mix it with some Phthalo Green= Bang!


I’m pure and sweet, transparent and glowing

I’m St. Luke’s trademark

I’m good looking on ladies lips

I’m the red of a post box

What am I?


David Coles emigrated from London in 1992 and he is still in awe of the Australian sky. This is his homage to the blue summer sky and we thank him very sweetly for doing it so neatly!


This is the colour you want to lay down on so you can stare at the Zinc Blue sky above.

And if you feel the need to chomp on a piece of grass at the same time make sure it’s this colour!


Now that you have taken off your winter stockings, had your trip down memory lane, had a taste of Naphthol and gone off to the gardens to experience the sky and grass what better way to end the day with swim in some Cobalt Teal water just like in those travel brochures that you never believe in until you get there!

All Langridge Professional Oil Colour is available in 40 ml, 110 ml, 1 Lt and even 4 Lt if you really want to go nuts!

Low Toxic Solvent & Mediums

As artists we occasionally need to use our brains. If you use oil paint in your practice you will be familiar with the joys of inhaling distilled gum turps. If you are particularly naughty the odour of supermarket bought turps will be something you are also familiar with, but please, don’t tell us about your bad studio habits. The St. Lukettes are here to let you know that we love your brain and you should too. Langridge combats the history of artists gone mad by bringing you Low Toxic and Non-toxic professional artist materials.

Langridge Low Toxic Solvent

Langridge Low Toxic Solvent is different to other “Odourless” Solvents on the market.

It’s not just deodorised, it’s 84% less toxic. Yes, 84%!!!!!

Of course it can’t do everything distilled gum turps can do, like dissolve Damar but it can do enough for you to have no excuses against using it in your studio practice. Odourless Solvents may not smell like poison but they are.

Mix Low Toxic Solvent with your paint mediums or clean your brushes.

No more headaches. No more awful smells.

Langridge Low Toxic Paint Medium

That same great stand oil base, except made with Low Toxic Solvent. You know Langridge have street cred for making the best oil painting mediums and this one is:


-Great for wet in wet painting, soft blending and glazes.

-A classic all rounder.

-Completely necessary.

Langridge Low Toxic Gel Medium

When you want oil paint to dry yesterday, try this. Touch dry in 18-36 hours, you can build up layer upon layer. This medium holds robust paint marks but is also great for glazing and extending oil colour.

Langridge Safe-Gel

Now we are getting totally non-toxic. Completely solvent free, Safe-Gel is ideal for delicate types who flare up at any provocation. Extend your oil colour whilst maintaining structured marks. This medium is slow drying so you can save your brain cells and have time to think about what you are doing. Great if you’re up the duff!

Langridge Safe-Clean-Up

Super brush restorer! Non-toxic and solvent free. Clean your brushes of oil and acrylic paint with this coconut oil based product. It is like a moisturiser for your brushes, they will last way longer and keep their shape better than if you use turpentine.

Langridge Safe-Impasto

A paint extender that is for big mark making and impasto techniques. Based on Linseed oil, this medium contains no phosphates or skin irritants. Safe-impasto is slow drying due to the omittance of solvents.

Exclusive only to St. Luke

Friday, September 24, 2010

Empty Packaging

We now stock empty bottles, jars, paint tubes, ink bottles, boxes and delicate glassware. Liberate and decant the Alchemist inside.

Custom Stretching

That Marrimekko fabric sitting in the closet could hang on the wall. St Luke can custom-cut stretchers and re-stretch most things. Any size. Nanna’s tea towel perhaps? Show us what you’ve got and we can give you a quote.

Of course we can stretch any cotton or linen on to the best heavy duty, farmed hard wood stretcher bars. Our stock sizes start at 10" and go up to 84".
In the photo above Merryn is stretching a 3 metre beauty with the flick of a wrist. All in a days work for the magical St. Lukettes, is there anything we can't do?
No, no there isn't.

St. Luke Vernissage

ORIGIN French, literally ‘varnishing,’ originally referring to the day prior to an exhibition when artists were allowed to retouch and varnish hung work.

Why Varnish?

-To protect the underlying painting from damage, dust and dirt.

-To uniform the surface and give an even optical reflection.

What you want from a varnish

-All varnishes should be removable.

-The varnish should be flexible enough to move with the support.

-Varnishes should provide a non-tacky surface so as to resist imbibing dirt.

-Wether Gloss, Semi-Gloss or Matte the finish should be even, enhance the artwork and provide resistance to discolouration caused by heat and humidity.

Types of Varnish

Retouch Varnish- the only varnish that can be applied to oil paintings younger than 6 months. We know you want to use other varnishes before the painting is dry but really, control yourself or risk having cracks in the surface.

Damar Varnish- the most traditional natural varnish still in use. It takes about 50 years for this varnish to turn yellowish brown. It is removable so you don’t have to freak out.

Gloss Varnish- super shiny and lustrous. Hard to walk past as a superior finish to most paintings.

Satin Varnish- somewhere between matte and shiny, Satin Varnish is world wide the most popular finish to artworks

Wax Varnish- with a wax finish this varnish is to be applied with a lint free cloth. The Matte look can be softly buffed to subtle sheen.

How to Apply Varnish


Take your time.

Move away from the dusty areas of your house or studio, those squiggly floating pieces of fluff will and can attach themselves to your freshly varnished masterpiece.

For liquid varnishes estimate how much varnish you will need and pour into a flat-bottomed container to avoid spillage.

Use a soft, wide, flat brush dedicated to the task.

Put only the tip of the brush in the varnish so as not to overload it and flood the painting.

Work your way across the middle of the painting and then oppose you next stroke at a 90 degree angle to the first. Work your way to the outer edges.

Leave the painting to set for 10 minutes before moving.

For an amazing overview of Varnishing Check out an article by Golden Artist Colours here.

Colours for a Seasonal Palette


To play your colours by eye is worse than playing the piano by ear. –John Sloan (1875-1951)

CAPUT MORTUUM. Pigment Red 101. A velvety purple earth colour, it is also known as Mars Violet or Indian Red. St Lukettes love the intensity and warm radiance of this pigment. Its unusual name is Latin for 'dead head'. Caput Mortuum is a beautiful opaque pigment with excellent permanency. This Prepared Iron Oxide is unbelievably opaque and when used in most media dries to ultra flatness with a matt finish.

YELLOW OXIDE. Pigment Yellow 42. This is an opaque pigment with excellent permanency. This is another prepared Iron oxide pigment known as Mars Yellow, Mars orange, Iron yellow or Ochre. Yellow oxide is very bright and pure with a medium tinting strength; this colour makes a useful companion for landscape and portrait painting.

CADMIUM YELLOW DEEP. Pigment yellow 37. Not many pigments compare to the cadmium family. They are renown for their extraordinary opacity and high tinting strength. This deep warm yellow has a beautiful luminous and radiant quality. Cadmium yellow deep is an inorganic synthetic pigment with a fast drying rate, as tough as it is delicate, never underestimate a great cadmium colour.

MARS BROWN. Pigment Brown 6. Mmmmmm chocolate……… This rich deep brown has a strong red undertone and is very close to natural Burnt Umber. Very opaque, it gives excellent recession of space for shadows. Indispensable to portrait, landscape and still life painters, Mars Brown is seductively rich. Just like chocolate, Mars Brown is hard to resist.

GOLD OXIDE. Pigment 42. This prepared iron oxide has richer tones of gold than Yellow Oxide pigment and matches its natural ochre counterpart, Raw Sienna. Sitting between Yellow Oxide and Mars Orange this luxurious pigment is rich and brilliant.

This selection of pigments are part of the new range of 32 oil paints available from Langridge Artists Oil Colours.


Sable brushes are not made from sable (Martes zibellina) but hairs from the weasel family. These hairs are less expensive. Kolinsky sable is the best hair, valued for its length, thick belly, fine point, softness and strength. Kolinsky is usually made from Mink and only the tail is used.

If you are buying a Kolinsky brush, first ask to dip it in water. Flick the brush aggressively in one sharp movement. The point should snap back into shape, if it doesn’t, it means that the brush does not contain enough male hairs, (The male hairs are very springy and snap into shape).

Bristle brushes are made from hog hair produced in china. The best hairs come from Chungking. These hairs are valued highly because of the long length of the split in the tip of the hair, known as flag. Without this flag, hogs hair brushes would drag and split when applying paint to a surface.

The flag also enables the paintbrush to load up and hold more paint. Brush makers will always imprint the handle, letting the consumer know if it is a top quality bristle. Cheap hogs hair brushes are cut into shape and don’t have any flag, this is easy to see if you look closely at the ends of the hairs.

If a brush is described as interlocked it means that the hairs have been worked into a curve. Each hair slightly bends inward helping the brush to keep its shape. The best bristle brush will be interlocked and titled Chungking.

Camel hair brushes are not made of camel. Camel has never been used as a material for brushes. The title signifies the brush is made of ox, pony, squirrel or a mixture of all of these. A nineteenth century brush manufacturer named Camel stamped his name on the brushes he produced because he did not want anyone to know what type of hair was in the brush. This practise continues today.

New Langridge Product

Isolating Medium

Created to even out the reflective finish of oil paintings. Similar to retouch Varnish in its function Isolating Medium is not a varnish and does not have the same glittery reflection as Varnish. This medium when applied to an entire painting will dry to beautiful gloss finish, increasing the depth and lustor of the painting. Isolating medium can be worked back into making it a useful tool to create beautiful oil painted surfaces.

Langridge Isolating Medium is available in 100ml, 500ml,1 Litre & 4 Litres.

Fully Loaded

When buying professional artist paint, find brands that have single pigments and are highly loaded with colour.

The cheaper the paint the less pigment you are buying. Paint manufacturers that have a high loading of pigment will want you to know. Look for the pigment number on the back of the tube and a light fastness rating. Desirable paint will have few blends of pigments and will only have one or two pigment identification numbers listed. Cheaper paints are full of fillers such as opacifiers barium and surfactants. Next time you are buying paint go for something different and spend a couple of dollars extra on a paint that will treat you well, make painting easier and use paint that goes further!

St. Luke recommends Langridge, Golden Acrylic Colours, Williamsburg, Blockx, Schmincke and Old Holland. Check out the links to see the product range.

Find the right surface to suit your practice

Sometimes not just anything will do!

If you are an oil painter try an oil primed surface as it is less absorbent and your oil paint is more likely to glide along the surface. Don’t go for cheap canvases from the two dollar shop, they feel like paper and are so absorbent you may as well re-prime them, beware they warp with moisture! If you like a smooth surface for fine detailed work, build up successive layers of primer and sand in between, or buy a fine weave cotton or linen. If you are more thick and chunky go for a pronounced weave, it grabs hold of paint and won’t let go!

St Luke stocks Fine and Medium weaved primed cotton, a variety of loomstate and primed linen and beautiful Gesso from Langridge and Golden

Use products with less harmful solvents

Leaving painting mediums and solvents open while you are painting is a hazardous occupation. Langridge keeps coming up with the goods and has just released Low Toxic Gel Medium a medium with 89% less toxicity than any other product on the market. The gel medium gives body and holds flag marks without increasing paint transparency. It’s a fast dryer too!

The Low Toxic range includes a Low Toxic Painting Medium and Low Toxic Solvent.