Monday, October 10, 2011

Painting Tip #34 - Beware of Phthalo Colors!

Be very careful with Phthalo blue and Phthalo green (also known as Winsor Blue/Green and Thalo Blue/Green) as they have extremely strong pigmentation and you only need a tiny amount. They are to be used judiciously and sparingly and only when absolutely necessary to obtain a particular color. I have had the same tubes of both of these colors for decades and doubt I will ever need to buy another tube, that is how little you need to use! Having said that, sometimes a tiny touch of either color can really enliven your work.
Stick to Ultramarine Blue as a basic for most of your color mixing.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Painting Tip #33 - Travel With Wet Oil Paintings

When traveling, bring pieces of canvas and a board, rather than prepared panels or stretched canvases. Cut the canvas to a size to later adhere to a panel (I prefer 8"x 10" with 3/8" border to adhere with masking tape to a 10" x 12" board) or stretch on bars when you get home. Tape the canvas to the board to do your painting. Layer the paintings with wax paper to transport home, either flat or in a tube with the painting rolled to the outside. You can leave the last couple of still wet works taped to the boards and bind them together (using more tape) with felt pads (that have a sticky back) separating the boards from each other.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Painting Tip #32 - Air Travel With Oils

When traveling with art supplies, never refer to your oils as “paint”, rather call them oil colors, pack the tubes securely in containers in your checked luggage (palette knives too) and include MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) forms and a printout from the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) showing that they are allowed on the plane and have an acceptable flash point.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Painting Tip #31 - Skin Color for Portraiture

The human face tends to have bands of color – the forehead is yellow, the middle of the face is red and the lower face is cool. Look carefully and you will see this tendency, especially in Caucasian models.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Painting Tip #30 - Try a Limited Palette!

Try a palette with a warm and cool version of each of the primary colors: Cadmium Red Light and Alizarin Crimson, Cadmium Yellow and Lemon Yellow, Thalo Blue and Ultramarine Blue. With this palette, almost any color is possible.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Painting Tip #29 - Properties of White Oil Paint

Choose your white paint carefully, having in mind the different properties of the various types of white available. Titanium white dries slowly, allowing wet into wet painting for a few days, has a bluish quality and can become chalky. Flake white dries quickly and has a warm, translucent quality which creates beautiful skin tones for portraiture but it contains lead and requires careful handling due to toxicity. Zinc white is also translucent but has been implicated in eventual cracking. It is often combined with Titanium white.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Painting Tip #28 - Inexpensive Palette Ideas

For an inexpensive, disposable palette for oils or acrylics, tape wax paper to a square piece of wood (tape goes on the back side) or masonite (hardboard).
Another inexpensive palette idea is to sit a piece of glass on a grey piece of paper or paint the back of the glass with mid-grey paint. Dried on oil or acrylic paint is easily scraped off the glass palette with a straight edge razor from the hardware store.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Painting Tip #27 - Still Life Setup

To make a box for setting up still life, cut a 5” square hole in the box and sit an inexpensive metal fixture on top of the box to cover the hole and allow light to shine into the box. Cut out a piece of cardboard to the same dimensions as the back wall of the box and cover it with scraps of fabric to change the background color. Bring the box up to eye level by stacking boxes or milk cartons on tables. Walk by this set up with care so you don't knock it over! This method is taught by Rich Nelson of Skyuka Fine Art in North Carolina.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Painting Tip #26 - Study Master Painters

Study the work of the old masters and contemporary painters you admire. Buy books and visit museums, take workshops and look up information on their methods online. Doing this will exponentially speed up your growth as an artist and painter.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Painting Tip #25 - Paint Shapes

Remember that you are not painting objects, you are painting shapes. If you get the right shape in the right color and the right value, your painting will portray your subject!