Friday, February 20, 2015

WARM COLORS for a Cold Winter

Oh dear!  It has been cold cold cold here for weeks, and probably many of us in the Northeast are ready for a change.   So I thought I'd try a little color therapy, making a piece using warm cozy colors.  The other inspiration is that I've always wanted to use this song, "Oh Dear", by Anne Janelle, in one of my videos.  It's on her CD "So Long at the Fair".

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Celadon Winner!

Our winner, of the celadon paint package is Trish from Duluth.  Congratulations, Trish!  e-mail me with your mailing address, and I'll ship it out.  But the rest of you now know how to mix this color, so you should not lack for gorgeous neutral variations on Celadon.  If you order it from Blick, please ask them to make it available in 8 oz bottles.  AND tell them that the small bottles are hard to squeeze.  The more people who tell them these things, the more likely they are to offer what we want.  In fact, you can CONTACT BLICK and make these suggestions, without placing an order.

The Blick Matte Acrylics are better than cheap craft paint, but not nearly as heavily pigmented as professional grade paints.  However, what I like about them is their consistent opacity.  I generally use the white, black, celadon, and a few other neutrals:  sage blue, warm gray, Nimbus gray, and some of the pale oranges, turquoises, etc.  They are great for good coverage in muted colors.

One of you pointed out that Liquitex makes a similar color called Baltic Green.  I've used that as well; it's gorgeous, but a bit darker and over twice the price as Blick Matte Celadon.

In the above 9"x12" pieces you can see how the celadon makes the red really pop.  This is one of the issues we explore in Balancing Opposites: using muted colors to enhance bright colors.  We also look at busy areas vs. quite areas; soft edges vs. hard edges, and working with complimentary color pairs.  It is a fun way to look at the whole issue of composition.

Thanks for all your comments and participation in this giveaway.  Enjoy all your color mixing adventures!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Mixing Celedon and a GIVEAWAY

[It has been pointed out to me that I have misspelled CELADON.  Whoops!  Very bad manners.  I won't change it in the post or video; just humor me and my misspelling.  (Thanks, Lucie).]

I get asked about this color pretty frequently.  Celedon.  It's a color from Blick Matte Acrylics, and it is only available in 2 oz bottles.  I typically put four to six bottles of it in each Blick order.  I recommend you do the same, so that they might consider offering it in the 8 oz size.  However, you can mix your own, and get some variation and nuance to your taste:

This is the "piece" I made with the leftovers.
This piece obviously relies heavily on this celedon range of color.  This is an example in my Balancing Opposites composition course: balancing large areas with small elements.
This is the GIVEAWAY!!!
I am offering a giveaway that includes:
  • 8 oz bottle of Black
  • 8 oz bottle of White
  • 2 oz bottle of Celedon
  • 1 oz (I think) of Golden Open Hansa Yellow.  (The Open acrylics take longer to dry, but mixed with other colors they just extend the working time a bit).
To enter the drawing, just comment on this post, and identify yourself.  I will post a winner on Wedneesday, February 18, and it is the winner's responsibility to contact me with a mailing address.  Good luck!  And have fun mixing your own celedon and other beautiful neutrals.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Studio Notes

Here are a few more of the all-over "atmosphere" piece I've been working on, others of which I posted last week. I really like the all-over subtle, low-contrast pieces, but it's definitely out of my comfort zone.  I allowed myself to wander back into familiar territory with the shapes.

Red on Red, 9"x12"
Burnt Orange and Brown, 9"x12"

Aqua and Rust, 9"x12"

Red Rocks, 9"x12"

Blue Stone, 9"x12"

Another Cliff Face, 9"x12"
 The pieces below are a few of a series I've been working on this winter.  They are 20"x20" on paper.

This is not finished.

This one needs to sit for a while.
Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

We Have A Winner

Thank you ALL so much for your kind comments on my guest blog post!  The response was overwhelming, and I wish I had a set of Golden paints for each and every one of you.  But I can give you a couple of downloadable "handouts":
THE WINNER IS... Christine Jermyn in Toronto.  Congratulations, Christine!  E-mail me with a shipping address and I'll get the paints out to you.

Meanwhile, since I can't do a blog post without some kind of image, I'll show you what I'm working on in the studio: a series of "pieces" (really, they are just experiments) exploring all-over atmosphere, color, texture, without strong contrast of any kind.
Well, this one has a bit of contrast, but really soft edges.

I like the really monochrome aspect of this one.

I like these last two, but they stray from my initial intention of being mostly monochrome.  Will keep experimenting. We may do a series like this (with all technique demos) in the Abstract Painting workshop.  But you could try it on your own.

Thanks again for all your terrific comments on my guest post.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Paint Giveaway and Guest Blog Post

As promised, I'm offering another giveaway of a set of Golden Fluid Acrylics.  Just go to my guest post on the Pacific Northwest Art School blog, where you'll see a new video.  Leave a comment on that blog to enter into the drawing, and then check this blog on Thursday, where I will announce the winner.  Meanwhile, here is a little archived video that features Golden Fluid Acrylics.
Note that commenting on THIS blog post will NOT enter you into the drawing.  Go to the Pacific Northwest Art School blog, and comment on my post there.  Good luck!

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Student Work in 100 Drawings Class

I just wanted to share with you a sampling of the fabulous work being done by participants in my 100 Drawings on Cheap Paper class.  This is all student work, posted anonymously, so please don't post on Pinterest or elsewhere.  Just enjoy!

These are all on 9"x12" drawing paper.  This is a lesson in which we are using black and white only:

The following are for a lesson on Shapes:

 I am having a LOT of fun with this class seeing all the fabulous work.  I'm offering it again in September, and then again sometime in 2016. Meanwhile several of my workshops involve working in series, particularly Balancing Opposites in Gloucester, MA, in April; and Abstract Painting: Series as Process on Whidbey island starting May 31.

Coming up on Sunday night: another giveaway.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Acrylic Paint 101, Part 2 - Layering

OK, here is another video demo on the basics of acrlyic paints.
  • Let your paints dry between layers.  
  • Pay attention to transparency and opacity when layering.

 Here are a few pieces that rely heavily on layering transparent and opaque paints:

10"x10", acrylic, collage, and drawing media on panel

10"x10" acrylic, collage, and drawing media on panel

8"x8" acrylic, collage, and drawing media on panel

You will get plenty of practice with paint in my workshops.  Coming up next is:

Art and Soul in Portland, Oregon 

March 2 - 8
5 spaces left in Big Fat Art
4 spaces left in Working in Series
My other workshops are full, but you can get on a wait list.

In April I am teaching for the first time at Northeast Art Workshops in Gloucester, MA

Balancing Opposites: the Yin and Yang of Abstract Composition

April 15 - 17, three-day workshop

Monday, January 26, 2015

The Winner of the Golden Fluid Acrylic Set

Is....  Melanie on Salt Spring Island, BC.  Congratulations.  Now, Melanie, YOU have to e-mail me to give me a shipping address.  If I don't hear from you in a few days I will pick someone else, but I hope you do check in to read this. 

To answer some of your questions, for info on High Flow acrylics and Golden Open Acrylics, go to Golden's web site or see my Tutorials page.  For information on acrylic mediums, go to Golden's web site.  For other brands, go to the manufacturers' web sites or see Blick Art Materials' videos.  The Utrecht matte medium does come in smaller sizes than the gallon I use.  Other brands of matte medium tend to be more fluid.

You can gain a lot of information by just playing with your paints.  Ask a specific question, and then answer it yourself by trying it out.  Can I use a hair dryer on acrylic paints?  Try it.  Is this paint opaque?  Try painting over black stripes or a strong color with it.  Can I mix brands?  Can I mix mediums?  What happens if I add loads of glazing medium to my paint?  What happens if I add water?

Ultimately, you gain knowledge of your paints by using them a lot, but the above resources, plus your own time and curiosity, will contribute as well.  Thanks for all your comments!!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Acrylic Paint Basics and a GIVEAWAY

I get a lot of questions about the basic aspects of acrylic paint - fluids vs. heavy body, opacity and transparency, drying time, different brands, and more.  So I made a little video demonstrating some of the differences between fluid acrylics and heavy body acrylics, including some student-grad acrylics, which are sort of in-between.  I also demonstrate a couple of things about opacity.
Read all about Golden Fluid Acrylics here. Watch a video here.

See an informational video about Golden heavy body acrylics here.

Utrecht Artist Acrlyics, owned by Blick Art Materials now
Holbein Acrlyic

All of the above are available at Blick Art Materials and many other art stores.  See my Favorite Materials Page for other suppliers (link in right margin). 

OK, now here is the good part: I have a set of Golden Fluid Acrylics to GIVE AWAY.
This is the set I'm giving away: ten 1-oz bottles of Golden Fluid Acrylics
To qualify for entering in the giveaway (randomly chosen), please comment on this post and make sure you identify yourself uniquely (not just "mary", but "mary in Illinois".  I will post the winner on Monday, and the winner is responsible for contacting me with a mailing address.  This giveaway is not geographically limited.

Next up in this "series" (not sure if it is a series yet) is a video about layering and drying time.  Let me know if there are particular topics you would like me to cover in "Acrylic Paint 101".  Think Basics, not fancy techniques but stuff about the paint itself.

Good luck!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Encaustic on Paper

I had another Wax Day the other week, with Jeri MacDonald (as soon as she gets her web site updated, I will post a link).  I love working with encaustic on paper.  This is 300# hot press watercolor paper, Arches, I believe.  We both work with encaustic medium, a few colors, oil stick or pigment stick, and a bit of oil paint. Here are a few of my 5"x5" pieces:
The pattern of circles on the left is incised with a stylus while the wax is warm.  Incised lines on the right, the dark ones, are rubbed with oil paint.

This one is probably not finished, well, definitely not finished. Not sure where it will go next.

The color in these that looks like Qinacridone Gold (an acrylic color) is Alizarin Orange.  I have it in encaustic paint and oil paint.