This is a short tutorial video showing how I add Golden Acrylic Medium Light Molding Paste to my canvas before painting. Leaving it to dry overnight after I apply it, once it's done I paint on my gesso (I prefer a combination of Liquitex Clear Gesso for its wonderful tooth, and Golden Fluid Acrylic in the color of my choice to tint the support).Read More
After a while, artists start throwing terms around and forget that folks may not know what those terms mean. Well, here is a small start to a list of some of the terms I use regularly. I hope this helps a bit - and let me know if you have any others to add to the list!Read More
Choosing a color palette for you painting can be as simple as first playing with color in a sketchbook!Read More
If you're looking to save money, here are some tips to shooting your own photos of your artwork:Read More
Proper brush care is important, as those brushes are not cheap and keeping them in good condition is the best way to make them last. This video shows how I do it in my studio after each session.Read More
Can you believe this quality? I uploaded my high resolution photographs (I usually shoot my own paintings with a digital SDLR camera that I purchased at Costco five years ago) and for less than the cost of an 8x10-inch print at their competitor's website, I got an amazing 30x20-inch canvas print!Read More
Follow along as I show you a demo using transparent media to create a value study in darks and lights. Transparent media is worked light to dark, with your darkest values going in last. Opaque media usually starts with the dark values, ending up with thick light values at the end.Read More
One of my very favourite artists, Michele Usibelli, recently did paid me a great compliment when she recommended me to a client for a commission that she was unable to work into her schedule. The client, Kevin, wanted to propose to his girlfriend at the Seattle Art Museum (within a month or so) and he wanted to have it set up as a "Special Event" that would feature a painting of him proposing to his girlfriend in the space where the painting was sitting. Read on for more...Read More
There are many different ways to add texture to your work. You can add it with your support choice, as a process on the base layer, throughout the process, or during the final steps.
Here are a few examples of how you can create texture before, and during the process. At the end of these samples, you'll see how you can add some texture to the final stage.Read More
There are more than one way to mix your paints. Most of us just mix the two or more colors together on a palette, then apply it to the surface we're painting on and call it a day. But really, there are many different ways to mix your colors. Here are a few of the main ones:Read More
Color temperature was always confusing to me. I didn't "see" it - when an instructor would say, "do you see those warm yellows there, and the blue in that shadow there", I was honestly lost! I didn't see those colours! It took years of training (and I'm always learning and growing as an artist so the training continues) to teach my brain to see the way an artist sees. This is something you CAN learn :)
Here is a very simplistic example of how you can work on a piece, ignoring temperature at the start - and then add it after the fact.Read More
If, after painting a piece, you decide you wish it felt "warmer" - you can always glaze over it after it dries. This is possible with acrylic and oil paintings, but a little tougher to do on watercolors (though not impossible, just use a light hand and make sure you don't go over thick, granulated areas of paint).
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When painting from photos or from life, you are the one who gets to decide what stays and what goes in your work. If you have a photo of a scene you'd like to capture on canvas, but feel that the background is too distracting - replace it with another background or edit the existing background to work better. Just make sure that it's contextually relevant and that it doesn't detract attention away from your main subject. Read more to find out some options on how to do that...aRead More
One of the best tools in studio is my New Wave Easy Lift palette, perfect for my acrylic paintings. If the paint dries in thick globs, it's a breeze to just peel it off - but most of the time I find that I'm using all of the paint and only a thin skin of paint is left behind. If I use my palette knife to scrape the paint off, I'm left with scrapes and streaks on the surface of the palette! What's a gal to do?
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This month I started my Atelier classes at Cole Gallery in Edmonds. The first four-week session is all about Drawing! So with that in mind, I created this blog post all about my favourite drawing implements and surfaces to share with you all the fun options you can explore when sitting down to sketch and draw.
Color is such an amazing thing. It's crazy to think that it's just an effect of different lengths of the light spectrum that bounce off of objects in such a way as to make us see color.
There are a few different kinds of color wheels out there to try to help us make sense of this vast amount of information!
Munsell Color Wheel. This wheel takes color and splits it into three elements: Hue (what color is it?), Value (how dark or light is it?), and Chroma (how bright or dull is it?). It is the most widely accepted color system, and the one most of us use to determine our palettes (for example; complimentary colors are opposite on the wheel, and you can group colors based on where they fall on the wheel and know they'll always work together).
There are even 3D versions of this wheel that can help you with all three elements of color. They can be a lot of work but incredibly valuable as a learning and resource!
Quiller Color Wheel. This is a very handy, practical version of the Munsell Color Wheel that was developed by Stephen Quiller. He uses the actual names we find on the tubes of paint to reference where they fall on the color wheel. This can also help students evaluate the color temperature of different tubes of paint more easily!
Process Color. This four color system is what most printers use on their presses. The colors consist of CYMK: Cyan (light bright blue), Yellow, Magenta (bright pink), and Black (shortened to "K"). These colors are printed in tiny, overlapping dots or hexagons to create the appearance of a mixed color.
Additive Color. Also referred to as RGB (Red, Green, and Blue) this is the main color system when using light to create color. TVs, Computers, Movie Projectors and such all use this system. When all three colors are combined, they make white!
These are just some of the main color wheels out there, but there are more - explore the world of color through some amazing books or online resources! And if you'd like to jump into the deep end of the pool with me, join me for a color workshop: I have an Intensive Color Theory workshop coming up in November, 2014.
My Favorite books on this subject:
- Color, by Betty Edwards.
- Color and Light: A Guide for the Realistic Painter, by James Gurney.
- Color Choices: Making Color Sense Out of Color Theory, by Stephen Quiller
- The Secret Language of Color: Science, Nature, History, Culture, Beauty of Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, & Violet, by Joann Eckstut and Arielle Eckstut
Ah, the poor back of a painting. It can be sadly neglected by many of us who don't have our work framed. But why not use its valuable real estate for something more interesting?
- Glue special keepsakes that mean something to the back. When I painted my piece "Don't Be Afraid To Take Chances" I kept the original fortune and glued it to the back of the piece, to one of the stretcher bars.
- Write down the Title, Size, Medium, Year the piece was created, then add your URL, that'll allow the paintings owners to see other works by you even years later!
- Paint or Draw something fun on the stretcher bar
- Cover the back with wallpaper or something creative
And of course, the most important thing: String it neatly and professionally for hanging:
- DO use strong D-rings, sized appropriately to carry the weight of your painting
- DO place the D-rings far enough down from the top that the 1-inch or longer hanging hardware on the wall won't show above your work
- DO consider coated wire: it looks nicer and it doesn't cut your thumbs as you put it on the D-rings
- DO use a neat knot to attach the wire to each D-ring, then loop the wire around tightly at least 4-5 times and trim with wire cutters as close to the main wire as you can
- Check out this handy instructional video for attaching D-rings and wire: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdU0B8ov2Z0
While giving a private lesson to an amazingly multi-talented couple who have taken private lessons with, I discovered a neat little trick that helped me solve a problem I've encountered in the past.
See, I have a confession to make: painting velvety objects that are bright crimson/magenta freak me out. Not because I don't like their colour and texture - I do - but because it's incredibly hard to reproduce. I find it difficult to get the right values at the right intensity. Buying crimson and magenta is the first step, you have to have the right base colour out of the tube. But how can you lighten its value without significantly decreasing its saturation? Adding white makes it more chalky and less vibrant, putting in some yellow just doesn't do it either. And what if all the tubes you bought are transparent?
To attempt to keep the colour vibrant, I added neon pink to the mix; using it to lighten my magenta allowed me to maintain its vibrancy - especially since it was a very transparent magenta that I was using.
Below is the shot of the original flower, and the completed demo. There are no wasted opportunities, people! Get out there and play with your paint!
After a very informative presentation about Acrylic Mediums, I thought I'd pass on the info to you all - find out what kind of medium makes a painting look like an encaustic. Or how you can "glue" elements together for a creative collage, and more!Read More
When the weather starts to improve, I start to get the 'plein air' itch. (Plein Air, btw, is just a fancy schmancy way of saying that you paint outside). There's nothing like getting out into nature and painting! Before I started doing this, I was very nervous about starting: what would people think if they saw me out there? and what kinds of supplies would I need?
I'm going to try to answer that for you, in this blog post!Read More