Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Contemporary Impressionism

I love creating paintings full of happy colors, and flowers are the perfect excuse.  Zinnias are a flower I grow now, and remember in my grandmother's garden.  I used an approach I call contemporary Impressionism because rather than blending the colors I pot them in with individual brush strokes and let the eye blend them into a rich tapestry.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Saturday, May 24, 2014

First Step

I sketched in some bare trees over an almost complete landscape painting which was dry.

Step Two

I established the tree shapes with darker values of ultramarine and cadmium red.

Step by Step Landscape Painting

I repainted the sky and distant hills as well as establishing some dark areas.  I also scumbled in some areas of brighter colors.

Sunday, May 11, 2014


I decided to change the colors in this painting.  You can judge whether it is an improvement or not.  I decided to darken parts of the background and lighten parts of the flower to get more contrast.  The bottom one is the revised painting.

A Good Use foe Left-over Paint

I used waxed paper as a palette and when I finished painting for the day, I spread the left-over paint over the waxed paper and left it to dry.  Now when I think some area of a painting would be better with another color I can tear out a piece of paper and check how the painting would look with a different color.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Peonies-Painting Whites

White flowers present their own special problems.  I mixed the lights with varying amounts of cadmium red, cad. yellow, cerulean blue, and permanent rose.  I carefully observed the subtle changes of color and temperature to show the light on and through the delicate petals.  I made the shadows a little lighter than they actually were to keep the look delicate.  The shadows are ultra mine blue and cadmium red.  I introduced the same colors into the background to add more interest there.
I changed the original background to make it more interesting.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Cleaning Brushes Without Using Solvents and a Handy Brush Holder

Since I clean my brushes when I am finished painting for the day, I often have 10 or 12 brushes with paint on them.  I could never find a place to keep them without them getting paint all over each other.  I cut X's in the lid of a nut can.  This keeps them separated.   Now on to cleaning without solvents.  I use a solution of half water and half Murphy Oil.  It works perfectly.  Bristle brushes need to be rinsed and dried and not allowed to sit in the solution or it will ruin the bristles, but that is the only caveat.   

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Step by Step

I would get a lot more paintings finished if I could get them to look right the first time around.  I am able to see a work with a fresh eye if I put it out of sight for a few weeks and then return to it.  I liked this landscape when I completed it, but as I looked at it this morning I saw lots to change.  I started by lightening the sky and distant mountains.  I repainted the trees so that I would have soft edges and added some small redbud trees for more interesting color.  The one on the top is the finished painting.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Another Redo

I decided to make a few changes to this painting before I listed it in the auction.  I lightened the background and darken the upper left zinnia as well as add some strokes of color in other places.

Friday, March 14, 2014

My Own Critique

An Almost Daily Painter

Last September I decided to attempt to paint a small painting each day to as a way to improve my work.  As I look back on some of the earlier work I see things I think will improve these works.  Of course this my just be a form of procrastination.  I endlessly repaint old paintings.