Thursday, February 28, 2008

Landscape #0636

I didn't get my grapes to look anything like I would like them to so I've posted an older painting. I am thinking about doing a watercolor landscape which is quite scarey to me now. Last time i did one was 15-20 years ago. I may try this one tomorrow. Wish me luck..
"Landscape #0636, 3x4 inches, oil on board, POR

Monday, February 25, 2008

A Few More Darks

Aside from starting another grape painting I decided to put in more darks. I looked at one of my favorite painters (both in watercolor and oil) and put in some small shapes in the grapes, flower and right side of the mug. Accents are so important. I'm learning how to keep them transparent and still be dark. It's a matter of the water. Just need the right amount. Not too much or too little. So, same info for purchase as in preceeding post.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Painting Grapes in Watercolor

The question was how to paint dark grapes, I mean really dark grapes. So far I don't like watercolor when it has a heavy look. So, how to paint something that is intrinsically dark in a medium that is relatively new to me and have them still read as dark grapes. I also kept to the blue/orange palette. I will probably try this again and see if indigo with less water works for me.
"Copper Mug and Grapes", 3x4 inches, watercolor on paper, POR

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Painting by Snow Light

There's something magical about painting inside while it's snowing outside. The atmosphere is so quiet and meditative. This is done with the orange/blue palette. "Silver Pot and Grapes". 4x3 inches, watercolor on paper, POR

Friday, February 22, 2008

Lemon Slice, Two Green Containers

I forgot to mention that previous watercolor was done with red/green palette. This one also. I wanted to try same composition only changing the slice. I also tried a darker background. Not sure if it works and kinda afraid to touch it. "Lemon Slice with Two Green Containers" 4x3 inches, watercolor on paper.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Grapefruit Slice, Two Green Containers

My computer is in the hospital! I now have to share with my husband. Not so bad; he has a day job.
I will scan my painting asap. I had a different experience with this watercolor painting. It was a luxury because I was able to work on it for two days. (I always finish an oil painting in one day- maybe just a stroke on the second day.) I was almost going to leave the painting after the first day but after I scanned it and could barely see it I realized it could use more pigment. This is on my new R-tis-tx board. And now I see a spot I may want to fix; on green jug where handle attaches, too dark. "Grapefruit Slice, Two Green Containers" 4x3 inches, watercolor on board, POR

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

R-tis-tx boards

The R-tis-tx company send me a few of their boards to try out. I tried the watercolor ones first. I've found it to be quite a nice color and texture. Has a pearlescent look to it. Takes the watercolor well. Has anyone else used it? I wonder if I have to put glass over it? Many times I try the same set up again to see how to improve it. It usually ends up that I like something better in each one.
"Watercolor Compostition # 0804", 4x3 inches on board, POR

Monday, February 18, 2008

Falling in Love (again)

I think it's happened. Or happening. It's always taken me a long time to decide. Seems to be the same in real life as in my painting life. Interesting. It's the same time of year that I fell in love with my husband. I've been working on watercolors (this go round anyway; it's been over 20 years since I spent real time with them) for about a year. I think it takes that long to feel comfortable with something/someone new. I was pretty scared/excited when I got the idea to try watercolors in a small format using the three palettes that I've been using for oils. The idea started to sprout when a student/friend in Scottsdale (Linda) asked me if the oil palettes would work with watercolors. Since I had my 20+ old watercolors already I only needed to buy a few more to get to where I needed to be with my oils. I'm still refining my selections but if anyone has any suggestions for a complementary palette I'd love to hear it. It took so much energy to get my mind around the fact that you have to go from light to dark that I didn't get that many done. Hopefully I've gotten past that point. So thanks Linda!
"Watercolor #0803", 4x3 inches on Rtistx board, POR

Sunday, February 17, 2008

White Flowers and Dark Grapes

I wanted to do some white flowers and found some at the floral district a few weeks ago. I decided (after maybe an hour or so of taking half my cabinet of objects out) that I'd use these artificial grapes which seemed to be a dark neutral mass, and use my favorite cup. I used a bright cad orange on the bottom rim of the cup as the only bright non-neutral tone in the painting. It really pops but that was the point.
"White Flowers and Dark Grapes", 3.75 x 3 inches, oil on board, POR

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Yellow/Purple Palette

I was recently asked about the fact that in each of the palettes that I use there is either a primary or secondary color missing. (My palettes are in my book, Big Art,Small Canvas.) When I paint I use one of three palettes: either red/green, orange/blue or yellow/purple. I learned this from a teacher at The Woodstock School of Art named Hong Zhang. It is based on yin/yang, complements. In this blog I'll talk about the y/p palette.
The following are the colors I use in my yellow/purple palette. Unless otherwise noted they are Winsor Newton professional oils. The yellows are: Light Yellow (Old Holland), Naples Yellow, Yellow-Green (Rowney Georgian), Chrome Yellow, Cadmium Yellow Deep (Grumbacher), , Raw Umber.
The purples are: Violet Grey (Old Holland), Magenta, Bright Violet (Old Holland), Ultramarine Violet, Purple Madder, Mars Violet Deep, Blue Black.
I place the yellows on one side and the purples on the other. In each of the groups there is a true color, a warm, a cool, a light neutral, a dark neutral and maybe a few favorite colors.
In the yellow group the Chrome Yellow is the true color, the Cad Yellow Deep is the warm yellow, the Yellow-Green is the cool yellow, the Naples Yellow is the light neutral, the Raw Umber is the dark neutral and Light Yellow is a favorite. (I use it instead of white sometimes.)
In the purple group Bright Violet is the true color, Magenta is the warm purple, Ultramarine is the cool violet, Violet Grey is the light neutral, Mars Violet Deep is the dark neutral, and Purple Madder is a favorite.
So the missing color is red. You can mix a red (not a true red but a really nice one that works harmoniously with this palette. Use Magenta and Cad Yellow Deep.
"Floral Composition #0707, 3.75 x 3 inches, oil on board, POR

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Orange/Blue Palette

If you haven't read the post entitled "Yellow/Purple" please read it so you can understand this post. I am discussing the three different palettes that I use specifically in relation to which colors are missing from them and how to mix them. Actually this also brings up the question of mixing them in a way so that they still relate to the palette. My teacher seemed to be very happy not to need the particuliar color that was missing. I seem to need a full range but I know that I want them to still relate and not be garish. This is achieved by knowing the temperatures of each of the colors.
The oranges are: Chrome Yellow, Cadmium Orange, Winsor Red Deep, Mars Violet Deep
The blues are: Violet Grey (Old Holland), Winsor Blue Green Shade, Cobalt Blue, Mauve (Blue Shade), Indigo,
Blue Black and Permalba White
In the oranges: Cad Orange is the true color, Winsor Red Deep is the warm, Chrome Yellow is the cool, Mars Violet Deep is the dark neutral.
In the blues: Cobalt Blue is the true color, Mauve is the warm, Winsor Blue is the cool, Violet Grey is the light neutral and Indigo is the dark neural.
In the orange/blue palette there is no pure green. If you want a cool green you'd mix Winsor Blue and Cad Yellow. If you want a warmer green you'd add Cadmium Orange to the mixture. An interesting green is made with Indigo and Cad Yellow. Blue Black and Cad Yellow makes a quite intense green. The elimination of a pure green makes this palette harmonious according to the principals of complements.
Landscape Composition #0611 is 3 x 3.75 inches, oil on board, POR

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Red/Green Palette

Please read the posts from Feb 14 and 15th to understand this post

The greens are: Yellow- Green (Rowney Georgian), Sap Green, Permanent Green Light, Winsor Green, Permanent Green Deep, Raw Umber
The reds are: Cadmium Orange, Winsor Red Deep, Permanent Rose, Indian Red, Purple Madder,
Permalba White.
In the greens: Permanent Green Light is the true green, Winsor Green is the cool, Sap is the warm, Yellow-Green is needed to make yellow (see below), and Raw Umber is the dark neutral.
In the reds: Winsor Red Deep is the true red, Permanent Rose is the cool, Cadmium Orange is the warm, Indian Red is the light neutral and Purple Madder is the dark neutral.
There is no blue on this palette. The trick is to use the green that has a lot of blue in it; Winsor Green and a bit of white make a really nice blue. There is also no yellow. Mix Yellow-Green with a teeny bit of Cad Orange and lots of white. Another primary mixed! To mix a purple use Winsor Green and Permanent Rose and White. Vary the proportions to get a warmer or cooler color.
I also don't use a black with this palette. I mix Permanent Green Deep and Purple Madder.
Still Life #0227, 3 x 3.75 inches, oil on board, POR

Monday, February 11, 2008

Winter Escape

One of the things I like to do during the winter months is a landscape from memory/imagination. It usually starts with my looking at magazines whether they are current or old. I keep a portfolio of favorite images. Some of the images are kept for color reference, some are for composition. After working for awhile on it I usually get to the point where it is very different from my reference material. And since I paint so small that factor alone makes it very different. "Two Trees", 3 x 3.75 inches, oil on board, POR

Friday, February 8, 2008

Landscape #0626

Well, the still life that I set up yesterday and was excited about painting is still waiting to be painted. It was very cloudy this morning so I went to exercise class. I find it very difficult to see color on dark days and take care of other things on those kind of days. I wonder what everyone else feels about this? It did get sunny later on but I like to have all day to paint sooo I'm posting an older painting. This painting is from a favorite spot in Woodstock, NY. It's not far from where I once lived and so I had the chance to study it at all different times of the year. Knowing a place so well enables an artist to paint from memory as well as from a photograph.
Landscape#0626 is 3x3.75 inches, oil on board, POR

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Still Life with Blue Vase and Onion #0054

It took me so long to set up my next painting that I've posted this painting which was done awhile ago. "Still Life with Blue Vase and Onion #0054" is oil on board, 3x3.75 inches, POR

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


I love doing slices: especially orange and lemon slices. Sometimes I design the whole compostion around the slice. I use a combination lamp. I try and get the light to hit the slice at just the right angle so that the light passes through the translucent part of the slice. This way there's a dull and bright color to work off each other. This painting is Still Life #0133, POR

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Floater Frame

This painting was done on 3/4 inch birch plywood which makes it the perfect depth to fit into a floater frame. The sides of the frame measure about 2-3 inches. I guess if I weren't so tired I'd get up and measure it or would know it by now, but alas no. So if anyone needs to know I'll do it later~ I get most of my frames from Frankenframes. Really nice people to deal with.
"Yellow Pitcher and Tulips #0013 POR

Monday, February 4, 2008

New Years' Composition

While I'm waiting for yesterday's painting to dry I thought I'd post an older painting to show how I used to leave the edges of the board unpainted so that I wouldn't lose any of the composition once I framed the painting. Now I paint to the edge (keeping in mind I'm going to lose the edges) which allows me to wiggle the painting in the frame for minor compositional adjustments. This painting was done on January 1, 2001.
"New Years' Composition", 3 3/4 x 3 inches, oil on board, POR

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Roses and White Container

I used fewer objects in this composition and don't know that I like it as much as using more "stuff".
My mind is on the painting for today rather than this one; it takes awhile for the paint to dry so there's always a delay. Maybe i'll write more later on this one.
Roses and White Container is 3 3/4 by 3 inches, oil on board, POR

Saturday, February 2, 2008

To Be or Not to Be: that is the question:

whether 'tis nobler in mind to suffer...... This is one I did a couple of weeks ago.. I think I may have been tired from having a painted fury and kept pushing myself. So then came the question of whether to show it or not. G-d knows I have plenty of "humbles". Those are the paintings that remind me it's not easy and it's a gift when it does work. Good painting is not to be taken for granted. It's inspiration and perspiration as they say. With that said, this painting is "To Be", 3 3/4 by 3 inches, oil on board, POR

Friday, February 1, 2008

Planes, Trains and Painting Loosely

The secret to painting loosely is to look for plane changes rather than petals. Painting small helped me do this because there wasn't enough space to try and render each petal and still use the same size brush (number 1 usually). It is amazing what few details you need to make a flower look believable. In my workshops we use red boxes to see the planes and then use artificial roses to just add a few strokes. Seeing a geometric form before you look for anything else is the foundation and the secret for changing trains and old patterns of thought. (Sorry for this analogy- guess I'm in a silly mood.) "Roses" is 3 3/4 by 3 inches, oil on board, POR