Personal Art Blog

Sharing the lessons I teach at the Artist Guild and the personal discoveries in my art.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Tulip Study on Yupo

Tulip Study
9x12in watercolor on Yupo Paper

Artist Note
These beautiful purple tulips 
caught my eye because I had been 
using the color magenta with the 
Phthalo Blue limited palette.

Although I really like the top part 
of this painting
I am going to put it on one side
and think about how to solve the 
lower area.

I am warming up on Yupo 
to try painting 

Sunday, February 15, 2015

My First Crow's Nest

Crows Nest #1

9x7in watercolor on Yupo

Not quite finished!

Artist Note.
I went to the dentist last Monday
and it is a one hour drive each way so I 
painted this in the car.
A friend had brought in a photo
of a crows nest on their property.
I was surprised how tidy it was.

Still doing some basic studies of the shape
of crows. These are my first in watercolor.
Looks like someone is getting told off!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Adding Phthalo Blue To The Palette

Adding Phthalo

9x8 oil on black canvas
Work in Progress.

A more decorative style painting
with a brighter palette.

Artist Note.

This is a demo of the same limited palette
as in the last two posts
but replacing
Ultramarine Blue with Phthalo Blue
Alizarin Perm with Magenta.

First, I paint right on the front of 
the clear glass jug 
with my Phthalo blue and then a
bit of the yellow  to make it greener
for another layer in the middle.
Why?...because I didn't
have anything in the right color
large enough to hold the peonies.
Painted front of a clear glass jug

A quick block-in
This is not going to work but I did not 
know it yet. The changes I ended up
making are pretty obvious.

See a few of the new color charts below.
This is still based on the previous 
limited palette but replacing the 
Ultra blue and Alizarin.
Sometimes, what you need/want to paint
cannot be managed with just one
limited palette. 
If you are painting near the coast for 
example, the aqua of the water
will need a green/blue.

Lively spring greens have a freshness
which the red in the Ultramarine blue
neutralizes too much. 

To make clear purples the Phthalo needs 
a cooler red than the Alizarin so a substitute
with the Magenta works perfectly.

Cad Yellow light
Phthalo Blue
Titanium White

Of the two limited palettes the majority
of artists making them preferred this one.
Most likely because we live in a very sunny climate
with lots of Turquoise and earth colors.
They also found that different brands make
different results.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015



6x8in oil on canvas $130. SOLD

Artist Note

This was a demo for the Friday group
on the same limited palette as the last post
with the brightly colored Anemones.
The goal was to show how to paint
masses of small blooms by only painting
one or two in detail, and the rest only suggested
by shadow and color.

This time I worked with \
more neutral colors to show the full
range of this handy palette.
Here are a few color charts
from Guild members.

Ned Jacob's limited Palette

Cad Yellow light
Alizarin Perm. W&N
Ultramarine Blue
Titanium White

I was fascinated seeing the many different 
harmonious earth colors and lovely
greens shades that can be mixed.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Anemone Still Life


6x8in Oil on canvas $130. SOLD

After painting crows this was a blast
of beautiful color.

Artist Note
This was a demo using the
Ned Jacob's limited palette.

Cad Yellow light
Alizarin Perm. W&N
Ultramarine Blue
Titanium White

I set up the palette first
by premixing the colors  shown
below and
placing them between the
above base colors
following my usual placement.

Ochre ( yellow and reddish purple)
 A beautiful Red    (orange / Aliz)
Purple    (Alizarin / Ultramarine)
Green    ultra blue / yellow
for a regular green also
I always make a light yellow green
Olive green   Black/yellow
Grey (black / white ) a middle value

The colors from this palette
are beautiful. The neutral color
range is particularly harmonious
 and the bright, warm and cool
colors are really lovely.
I will show the color chart in
my next post.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Studying The Crows

Studying The Crows

11x14in oil on canvas NFS

Artist Note.
After I realized that my new series,
based on the pond at the pecan factory,
required me to paint crows, I decided to

delve into studying them so I would be able
to paint them with some authority.

As well as sitting in my car sketching
these very active birds at the pond,
I actually have a couple of
crow models in the house.
One is a feathered foam-base of a crow
and the other is a wonderful little bronze.
I can move them around in the light
and see their main form.

P.S.  Yes...that is genuine New Mexico dust
on my windowsill. Only noticed in the beam
of sunlight.
Instead of blushing...or dusting...
I couldn't resist moving one of the larger
specks to just under the beak.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Snow, Water and Crows #3

Snow, Water and Crows #3

6x8 oil on canvas panel  SOLD

The colors are not accurate and I do
not have any editing tool to correct it
at the present time.

The three panels so far have an uncanny 
way of looking as if they could be
part of a whole. It is because I am using the same 
limited color palette.

I am finding that I have an interest in learning
to paint the crows...

so I have started to do some little studies.

I am enjoying painting all of this snow and 
water...we have no snow left so am 
depending on memory and photos.

Feeling free as a bird (no pun intended)
after the pressure of the Challenge.

I also worked quite a few more hours today
on the 
large Farmers Market painting.
I am learning a lot from working on such
a huge size. Like my shoulders ache!

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Challenge Abstract

Challenge Abstract

6x8in painted and wiped off.

The painting above represents
controlled  frustration.

Artist Note.
In the spirit of doing the collage 
of all the paintings from the challenge
I tried and totally wasted a couple of hours
trying to learn PicMonkey.
Lesson learned.
I am full of true admiration for all of you
who whipped out a collage

I do know enough about PicMonkey 
now to know I really like what it can do.

I thank Leslie Saeta for doing all the 
work to pull another successful 
challenge together.
It appeared that less than one third 
of the enrolled artists 
showed their work on her blog. 
That is good in a way because would I 
have ever been able to see ALL their work?
It was mind boggling to try and get through
the images of the 300 - 400 daily artists.

At the same time...
the best thing about the challenge was
being introduced to the work of
artists I was not familiar with ,and seeing a 
whole slew of new and fabulous paintings 
from artists
 I already admire.
See the final collages from everyone

Friday, January 30, 2015

Work In Process plus a Handy Hint! - Final day 30 in Challenge

Work in process

6x8 oil on canvas

This series will allow me to work on different surfaces.
The first few will be on black gessoed panels.

I feel it important to use the gesso and not an
acrylic black paint. The reason?
It needs to be slightly porous to grab the oil paint
 and gesso is made to work that way.

A handy and easy to make guide for 
making a "same size guide" for helping to design
the composition. Frames from the Dollar Store 
with the paper taken out and glass left in.

I have several for each size of my canvases
this is a 5x7 but with the frame is exactly 6x8

The grid is divided by the usual rule of thirds.
with a marker.The circles are for 
possible focal areas.
Doing this really helps me design and 
find the focal area and also eye flow pattern.

I am holding it directly over the photo here. 
I can move the frame back and forth to find
a composition I like best or rest 
it right on
the photo like shown here.
I try it in a vertical position and do the same thing.
Having the frame helps me see it clearly with 
its boundary.

Using it for a still life works the same way
Only better -because you can mark off the 
spacing of your object with a marker

Yes, you can buy a product already made
 but I enjoy having them
match the size of my canvas.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Snow, Water and Crows #2 - day 29

Snow, Water and Crows 2

6x8in oil on canvas  $130.SOLD

Here is number two in my new series
It became more realistic than I wanted, but
that is part of exploration on a theme

Artist Note
In this one the crows became more
important.  Those little suckers are
not easy to do.
Took about ten wipe-offs on
such a small space.
I realize that they are going to
be one of the areas I will be exploring.
How not to get dorky crows!

For serious art lovers. I have linked to a
wonderful video of a presentation
the AMAZING  landscape painter
Clyde Aspevig
gave in Montana.
It is 25 mins long.
When you want to give yourself a treat,
settle down and get inspired.

Clyde Aspevig