Wednesday, May 18, 2011


                                                 MIXING COLORS 

Some artists like to mix colors as they go along; others premix the colors they think they are going to use before they begin the painting session. It is a concept that mixing as you go along breaks the momentum.

Titanium white should always be put out in a generous amount, as most colors used will use this as a mix.

Avoid contaminating the dark colors and the light colors.  Keep the blacks and browns no where near the whites and yellows on the palette.

Best idea to mix colors with a palette knife (especially for large areas). This will not saturate the brush with color. If you use the brush to mix color, do it with the tip of the brush.

Understanding Color Terms:

  1. Hue:  describes color, such as red, blue, yellow or green.
  2. Chroma: the intensity of color. A pure color like Cadmium Orange is a high Chroma orange, while Burnt Sienna is a low color Orange.
  3.  Value: The range between dark and light. White is the lightest value, black is the darkest value. If you adjust the hue of the color, you change its chroma and value. If you adjust value of the color, you change the hue and chroma.  All 3 properties are inter-related.
4. Distance: Colors and values soften as the distance increases, as well as size and clarity.

                                SOME STUDIO TIPS

  1. Stand back from the painting as you paint (every 10-15 minutes)
  2. Keep it convenient : Keep everything you will need for the painting session at your finger-tips
  3. Good light source
  4. Good Ventilation
  5. Studio Furniture (easel,table,bookcase that has sources, etc)

                                     UNDER PAINTING

Use a brayer to apply an under color texture. First tint the canvas with a glowing color- then use the brayer to create texture by rolling it back and forth.

                                     SUNSET SKIES

In most landscape paintings, the sky is the most distant element in the painting, lending almost infinite depth and distance to the scene and bringing everything else forward.

When painting the strong values and colors of a sunset, place the most vibrant colors first.  Keep these colors as clean as possible to keep their vibrancy and build the deeper values and shadows. Don’t overwork them. Keep colors pure.

  1. Coat a canvas with orange paint. Let dry completely. Use a wide brush or foam brush.
  2. Draw in areas that will be the blue sky.
  3. Block in the blue sky. (Use a bristle brush). (Mix blue with white)
  4. Darken the upper sky with more blue.
  5. Add color to the clouds (Yellows AND ORANGE LIGHT).
  6. Block in Red Clouds (Small flat brush) (mix with yellows and oranges).
  7. Soften and blend edges (wipe your brush often on a soft paper towel)---blend the yellow edges with the red. Leave a lot of bright yellow showing along the edges of the red.
  8. Deepen cloud values. (Use Thalo blue and Violet)
  9. Enrich horizon colors with violet and white

                               PAINTING A SCENE FROM A PHOTO

When you paint a scene from a photo, ask yourself “What do I see in this photo that makes me want to paint it?” Use index cards that make windows for the photo to block out areas of interest as you move the cards around. Do these until you come to a resolution of the best cropped image possible. This is called framing the photo.

Build color as you go along. Start with a magenta or violet to sketch the images in on the canvas. Decide where the light is coming from- those will be the lighter areas of the canvas. As you go along, add shadows and darker colors- always blending the colors to soften the image. Finally add the details.

Use photos as resources. A less than perfect photo can be turned into part of a painting, or part of a photo into an whole painting.

                            PAINTING WATER

Think of water’s surface as a bunch of colored shapes.
  1. Block in colors
  2. Lay down ripple pattern
  3. Add more gradation
  4. Add highlights
  5. Add final touches

                     PAINTING SNOW

Snow scenes are great subjects for painting because of the extraordinary quality of light.

1. Sketch a thumbnail (from photo?)
2. Block in shadows
3. Add more subtle shadows
4. Add details (birds, houses etc in picture)

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