Saturday, August 30, 2014

Edges and Brushwork

August 29, 2014

Edges and Big Brushwork - the two things I am always working to improve......

Blog radio featured an entire show on "Edges" interviewing Carolyn Anderson.  I've been studying a lot of different artists lately to learn more about what takes paintings to that higher level.  Edges are a big part of that especially according to David Leffel who says they are "the soul of a painting"

Click here to get to AMO blog talk radio

Ann Blair Brown, someone I admire tremendously, just wrote on her blog some good exercises about achieving the brushwork that I like.  You paint three paintings.  In the first one, paint as you normally would, next cut that number in half, and finally cut the brushstrokes in half again.  Can't wait to try this.  She explains it much better that I can.  So here is link to her blog. 

Click here to get to Ann Blair Brown's blog.

My plan for the week is to continue to emphasize both brushwork and edges. 

This week I used a palette knife on this one to prevent myself from painting too tightly. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Try something new....

One of the things I like about painting is that there is always something new to try.  I happened onto the blog of Karen Appleton and had to try what she explained about how to make transitions of color using thick paint.  So I had to try it for a couple of reasons. 

1 - I like the look of lots of paint
2. - This was a way of making thick paint look more exciting.

Color Transitions  with Thick Paint

Here is a link to the blog that caught my attention.  There is a good photo of an exercise she gave her students in a workshop.

(Blog post for October 2013 about workshop)

I tried it out in this painting:  (very thick paint - zoom in if you can)  It is done with a brush, not a palette knife.  I really laid the paint on thickly. 

Today I'm going to try this again with a box wrapped in polka dot paper.  The paper has happy memories for me because I used it to wrap a present for one of my granddaughters. 

Also, yesterday I took an old painting that I considered to be a flop and reworked with all this in mind.  I was surprised and happy with the results. 

It's all good practice to lead you to what you like best in a painting. 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Workshop with Nancy Tankersley

Workshop with Nancy Tankersley in Easton, Maryland

I love Nancy's paintings and that made me want to take the workshop.  She opened up a new way of thinking about and using photos. 

Nancy's emphasis on using photos as tools and references hit home for me.  She uses the photos to help design the painting, not as something for copying.  Her use of notan and the use of value-viewer added to the useful information. 

The workshop was the perfect balance of demos, instruction, paint time and individual help.  It always takes me some time at home to incorporate new ideas, but you can tell I am glad that I took this workshop. 

Here are links to Nancy's website and info about workshops in Easton, Maryland, a beautiful place and not that far from Fredericksburg, VA.   Plus Nancy is having a show in September in Easton.

As time goes on I will add  more details about the workshop. I have to apply some of what I learned and go over my notes a few times. 

For now here are some of the paintings I worked on in class and the first one I did when I got home. 


In case you have never been to Fredericksburg, Virginia, this was on Facebook and a good look at our city.  It made me want to do more paintings for my "series".  I did an 11 x 14 of William Street in class, but here is the study for it. 

Fredericksburg, Va - Youtube

Monday, August 11, 2014

Color Mixing -Secondary Colors

Limited Palette - August 11, 2014

I like this new way of setting up my palette.  I even got a new palette and moved out some of my colors.  (I will still use all those great colors, but in a different way) 

What I like about this:

     Pre-mixing helps me
     Keeps my colors organized
     Can take better advantage of using warms and cools
     Can keep colors brighter
     Makes for a more harmonious painting
     Make gray out of limited colors which also helps with color harmony

I don't know if you can tell, but first I created primaries out of the warm and cool of each color, then I can utilize the warm and cool of each later when thinking about temperature changes in the painting.  Next I created the secondary colors and put them in the middle with tints of each radiating out to the edges.  Also, before starting, I made a pile of gray (top left) out of secondary colors just to insure that painting will be harmonious.  The reason the tints are there is because I try to mix with equal values when making a new mix. 

Start of painting with wash of dark gray
Refined drawing and strengthened darks.
Started adding color. (background is from the gray made earlier)

Finished painting

Used same palette for this painting and am painting one today of this scene with photo taken from a different direction.  By using the same palette, theoretically these painting should look good together, right?  I hope so. 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Color Mixing


( I added an August give-away on the side bar - to enter email me to receive the newsletter that I haven't sent out for months.  I just needed some way of having entries and this idea seemed like a good one.  If you receive the newsletter already, just send me an email with subject line "give-away".  I'll send out a newletter in a month or two to mention my show at Water Street Studio. 

Color Mixing Secondaries - ORANGE       GREEN         PURPLE

Recently I posted a blog about tertiary colors.  This time I am experimenting with secondary colors.  It is a little tedious, but worth it do this kind of practice every once in awhile.  It helps you see another level of color this way.  I always learn something by trying a new combination of colors. 

First do a grid using orange, green and purple and do a value scale with each color by adding white. 

Then mix each secondary with the other two.  You will see some new colors to use.  I think you can get stuck in a rut by using the same colors.

My palette, with three secondaries in the middle to start out with, pre-mixing of tints, then mixing of various intensities. 


The most important result is how harmonious your paintings will be by restricting yourself to a limited number of colors.   On my palette I used only secondary colors for the painting shown here.  I organize my palette before starting.  I showed more examples of this on an older blog about primary colors. 

Photo used for painting:

Painting (study) done using only secondary colors.  Purple in the sky, green with orange for greenery, low intensity orange (purple added) for building, touched or orange for the path into the painting. 

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Taking Photos of Art

Wow, this was welcome information to me.  Thank you, Lynn, for sending this to me. 

Here is a link to "how to take photos of art"  on youtube.  It was very useful information.  I was so encouraged when I saw that the instructor used a little camera very similar to mine, not a giant and complicated camera that people who know what they are doing use.

Here is a photo I took using some of what I just learned.  I'm still investigating the "white balance" issue. 

I need to watch this before I take every photo of my art from now on until it is second nature. 

My first photo:
I looked at the video again and zoomed in with the camera feature rather than just getting close to the painting.   

This one looks closer to the actual color.  The first photo isn't as accurate in color because the background is more of an apricot color.  I see improvement though.