Thursday, January 24, 2013


Q. Is there a workshop scheduled for my area?
A. All of my workshops are listed on my website, blog, and other social media. If you don’t see you’re state/city listed, it’s unlikely a workshop is scheduled there at this time.
 If you are a workshop administrator for an art school or club, please contact via email ( with your group’s information, keeping in mind that my workshop schedule is usually several years out.

Q. What paint colors do you use?
A. My complete palette can be found HERE. Note: These colors represent my standard palette, no matter what I’m painting (still-life, portrait, landscape, etc.), however I do keep an open mind and try new colors whenever possible to continue my learning pursuits.

Q. What other supplies do you prefer?
A. Canvas: New Traditions Art Panels makes a line of lead-primed linen that I like, L600. You can purchase it by the roll, and mount it yourself, or do as I do, and order it adhered to a board like birch or gatorboard.
Brushes: Rosemary & Co. These are some of the finest brushes available to artists today, and I use mostly long flats, filberts, and rounds, in the Mongoose and bristles series’, and in all sizes available.
Easel: I like easels with sturdy tri-pods like the Open-M Box, or something similar.
Paper-towels: Though I’ll use whatever is available to me, it’s hard to beat Viva!

Q. Do you use a medium?
A. Yes! I make a mixture that’s five-parts rectified turpentine, one-part linseed stand oil, and one-part dammar varnish (5-1-1).

Q. How is your studio lit/what sort of lighting do you prefer?
A. Natural light from large north-facing windows provide the most consistent daylight, and the cool temperature of the light enables me to see the most color in my subjects. When this ideal situation isn’t a possibility, 5500kelvin-temperature fluorescent bulbs work perfectly to duplicate the temperature of the preferred natural light. I use the swirly looking bulbs that screw into any standard fixture, and are available at most discount stores. I avoid warm incandescent bulbs like the plague (especially for still-life).

Q. Besides oil, are there other mediums that you enjoy working with?
A. I love to draw with charcoal, especially on toned papers.

Q. Do you have any tips on brushwork?
A. Yes! You can read about it HERE.

Q. Do you ever paint from photographs?
A. Rarely. Mostly, because so much valuable information becomes obscured in photographs, and no apparatus can perfectly duplicate what the human eye is capable of perceiving. Except for a few paintings that could not possibly be painted exclusively from life (a pose too difficult for a model to hold, a moving object, etc.), I try my best to paint what is physically in front of me.

Q. Do you take commissions?
A. No. I need the freedom to paint as I please, and am not currently taking commissions.

Q. Do you have DVDs?
A. I currently have three available through Lilliedahl Video Productions. These were filmed a few years ago, and though I’m always expanding my painting repertoire (thus certain practices either evolve or cease to be used), the fundamentals for good painting are in each video. I especially recommend “Antique Coffee Grinder with Vegetables”.

Q. Have you been published in any magazines?
A. Just about all the major ones have featured my work, some of them several times. Art magazines are a great source of information, and a wonderful way to get your work noticed. Some recent articles can be found in Art of the West, Southwest Art, Pratique des Arts (for our French reading friends), American Art Collector, Workshop Magazine, American Artist.

Q. What is the best way to make a living at being an artist?
A. First, establish what “making a living” means to you, and then set practical goals to carry out that ideal. Stick with those goals, become a problem solver, and above everything else… practice, practice, practice! You won’t succeed at anything without practice!

Q. Do you offer personal courses or private critiquing sessions with artists, in person or via the internet?
A. No, not at this time.

Q. What book/s would you recommend to a beginner?
A. “Alla Prima: Everything I Know About Painting” by Richard Schmid. I recommend his book to anyone, beginners and accomplished artists alike.

Q. What should I do when my work is criticized by others?
A. If it’s solicited: Take it, weigh it in your own mind, make the most of it, and grow. It it’s unsolicited (as so much of it can often be): Remind yourself that you aren’t painting for the critics and their elusive approval, but rather for yourself and those with the capacity to love and appreciate what you do. Above all, don’t let it stop you from giving all of yourself in whatever ways you can.

Q. Where can I see more of your work?
A. My galleries are...

 Greenhouse Gallery of Fine Art

 West Wind Fine Art

 Gallery 1261

Q. I don't like to deal with galleries. Do you sell directly through your studio?
A. My galleries are some of the finest in the world for their unprecedented commitment to quality and friendly service. They are very loyal to me, and do their best to promote what I do with enthusiasm. I would never consider undermining their hard work to sell my paintings at a discount. 

Q. Who are your favorite artists (living or deceased)?
A. There are so many today that are taking art to new heights, it’s difficult to keep up with them all. But those whose work I seem to return to again and again are…

Richard Schmid
Nancy Guzik
Quang Ho
Daniel Gerhartz
Susan Lyon
Jeremy Lipking
Clyde Aspevig
Josh Clare
Casey Baugh

Those who’ve gone on before us…

John Singer Sargent
Anders Zorn
Edgar Payne
Henri Fanton-Latour
And many others!


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  2. Oh my, you are so generous to offer your valuable expertise to us all. I am grateful. Regards, Carolina Elizabeth

  3. Dear Mr Daniel Keys !!! I am so thrilled that my teacher in oil painting so admire your work, the way u paint so loosely and spontaneous ! I was 12 when I found joy in painting in watercolor and 16 when I first sketched a 2 by 2 inch photo and blew it onto a 16 x 20 inch paper. I didn't think any of it as I was committed to finish college. 35 years later I thought it was time I did something I enjoyed .................... well actually it was my brother who bought me my first paints as soon as my plane landed in good old USA. but I wasn't serious into learning coz I have a family to feed. I sruggled for 6 long years as to how to go about oil painting your video just opened my eyes to all the possibilities ! I am now teaching CCD for kids at church and share with them the joys of painting. WITH YOUR VIDEO GUIDING ME EVERY STEP OF THE WAY................. my prayers are answered......we need more God fearing Christian painters out there .... and your teachings will make that possible ...I have been wishing to have a CHRISTIAN painter who loves God .........and here u are...exactly the way I imagined your paintings.full of life and the beauty of God's creations............. thank u with all my heart God Bless you and your family

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