Thursday, August 27, 2009

Getting started

This student work is a great example to show
how to get started with any subject. This is
a challenging one, but the beginning is the

Mix three piles of paint. A middle tone, a dark
tone (not the pure paint out of the tube) and
a light tone (again, not the pure white).

Then put on an overall tone (thin paint, not
thick)that is somewhere between the darkest
and lightest tones you see. You can even use just
a thin coat of raw umber all over with no white
added to it. Take a rag and rub it to look even
all over.

Next put in all the dark areas, then do the light
ones. Keep the shapes VERY simple. You will
do the more complex shapes and blending later
later later!

Most beginning artists go for the details way too

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Signing one's name is a act unto itself! Where to place it for best effect, but not to have it take over the painting!
Does one paint it darker or lighter than the surroundings? Does one block print it or do it in script or find some special symbol? Whistler used a butterfly for his signature and you will often find the old masters have signed their works in an upper corner.

Here's my take on it ~ Sign it where it feels right to you. I don't always sign in the same position, but often use the lower right as in this case. Use a tone that is just somewhat lighter or darker than the surrounding area. As for color, stay in the palette of the piece. You want folks to be able to read your name, but not hit them over the head with it. Sometimes, in very small pieces, I just use only one of my names.

How to do it? Use a very small brush. You may have to rub it out and do it over several times. I did this one about 8 times till I was happy with it!
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Sunday, August 9, 2009

Great tip for cleaining brushes

I asked an artist friend I have met via
the internet for help on keeping the
sticky handles of my bristle brushes
She generously gave me this fabulous
tip regarding Murphy's oil soap!
I had an ancient bottle of it in my garage
and so put some of it in a small, tall
jar and put in a few brushes AND some
icky palette knives. Voila! Fantastic
results 24 hours later. You can read
the Murphy's label in the gorgeous
clean palette knife.
You'll see the "before" condition of
one I haven't yet cleaned on the right.
I have been painting for many years,
but you can always learn something new.
Also, Carol says she uses it to clean her
brushes on a daily basis. I use Ivory soap
bars...but more on that later.
This was a great help and I thank Carol!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The joy of sketchbooking

This is a brush and ink sketch out of one of my Mother's
sketchbooks. My Mom did a great deal of sketching
as she was on vacation, or just on a beach outing when
we were young.
I cannot emphasize enough the value of doing this.
It teaches you to SEE!