Mixing Cups

Often when I’m using a lot of one color, mixed or unmixed, I make a large amount in a small mixing cup. This allows me to never run out of the color if I’m in the midst of doing a big wash or something else. Mixing cups can be empty small wide yogurt containers, or small pudding/applesauce containers. You can also find inexpensive white cups, usually 3 to a package at the art stores. I find having my paints premixed in large quantities is essential. Nothing goes to waste. Extra paint can be stored in an empty container, like a baby food jar or poured into an empty palette well.

Keep Painting!

Figuring out the Contrast

Grafix Clear-Lay makes a red acetate sheet 18 x 24 which is a great tool for showing the contrast on a painting.  Just lay it over a dried painting and you will see the lights to darks instantly. It helps understand values of colors in one easy step.

Keep painting!

Work from General to Specific

The detail of a painting, the texture or pattern, should come last rather than first. If not, the detail will determine the rest of the painting. And it’s often not what the artist wants to do. Compare this to a woman putting her scarf and jewelry on first. Or a house newly painted on the inside with no carpeting but with framed paintings and nick knacks on the wall. It’s tempting for student painters to want to rush into the detail of the painting but it can create new and unwanted problems which may or may not be solved.

Happy Painting!

Object spacing

Often when I’m teaching I see paintings in progress that have objects whether they are trees, flowers, dots, dashes, that are spaced evenly apart. I can take a ruler and show that the spacing is the same much to the surprise of the student. Please look at your spacing and create more of an asymmetrical setting of objects.¬† I don’t know why we do that. It must be a mathematical brain thing.

Happy painting!

Securing watercolor paper to claybord or masonite

There are two methods, probably more. One involves the artist wetting the paper and letting the water drain off. An acrylic gel medium is spread with a squeegee all over the board and the paper is placed on the board and smoothed down with clean hands starting in the middle and working his way to the edges to get out all bubbles.

The second way involves no artist time but spending more money. Many good framers use an archival glue and big press and can secure the paper that way.

Then, you paint as usual and then varnish with many coats of a UV acrylic spray. No glass is required in framing. Always test first, however!

Happy Painting!

Artist Copying Artist’s Work

Yesterday I went to a particular artist’s website looking for technical info and discovered¬† she had copied at least two of my paintings. At one point in her career, she was in the position to photograph the paintings in the flesh. I was stunned. Literally stunned. Why would a well known artist do this? Is it lack of time and creativity?

Of course, there is no recourse for this. It’s impossible to prove. Musicians and writers go through this frequently. So, I will let it pass and continue to wonder about her.

Happy Painting! And I hope this doesn’t happen to you.