My Blog About Art
Stuff I've learned lately July 10, 2018 19:11
No matter how much I need a good green or a peacock blue, the phthalos are not it. I had a hankering to paint iridescent blue dragonflies and hummingbirds for some reason, so I pawed through my collection of blues and greens and came up with:
1) two versions of terre verte (a dull dark green made of earth)
2) chrome oxide (good color, but very opaque and slow drying)
So I ordered the two blue phthalos (green and red shades) and two green phthalos (yellow and blue shades) in the Winsor Newton oil paint versions. Also got some quinacridone magenta for the halibut.
I got them on Saturday and right away remembered why I had quit using them so long ago--they look like markers to me. In fact, I am sure that the pigments in blue and green markers are phthalos. I am not a fan of colors that reminds me of markers.
Now, I know that the green phthalo blue shade can be a great "mineral" glaze for rocks. So I tried some. Yes, but it also reminded me of markers. So I am glazing over it with other stuff.
In particular, something I found when I was digging through some forgotten tubes of paint: cobalt green.
When I was painting with watercolor in tubes, I really hated cobalt blue. I thought it was just one hell of a dead color. To me, it just looked like something that would give us cancer. Just dead.
Then I switched to making my own watercolor paints
And the incompetent jerks at Shopify lost the rest of my blog post. Because that's the way they are. Stupid, incompetent jerks who absolutely are incapable of providing a blog platform that does not delete one's work at random times.
Screw you, Shopify. You are maroons, as we used to say.
Lines June 30, 2018 11:27Maybe that's why today I noticed something about my paintings. They made heavy use of lines. I think I posted about this a while ago, saying that since I had developed a tremor due to ageing that I was going to be avoiding using lines so much as I usually did. But this morning I could see that nothing of the kind had happened.
Paintings of Sunsets June 28, 2018 09:32Since switching to oils, I have not tried a sunset. I remembered too well how crappy my acrylic sunsets turned out--so crappy, for the most part, that I didn't display them or just painted over them. The closest I could get was a nice lavender dusk.
Avoiding the trap of reference photos June 23, 2018 15:44Some people use reference photos as a sort of sacred text for their painting. They will even project it onto their support and trace over it. For me, a reference photo can be a valuable aid for getting some interesting shapes, but if I start trying to copy the colors, it can easily turn into a trap and the resulting painting just looks dead somehow. So usually I morph my reference photos in some major way.
Just what I need - another medium! June 19, 2018 08:44Right away I can see that I can actually learn to use Photoshop Elements for this purpose. A lot of stuff I have tried to do just messing around is explained in the first chapter or so. So now I am looking forward to making more art, this time digitally.
My new studio June 18, 2018 12:36Back in January, I brought this up to the rental agent here, and he got back to me around March with a basement room for rent in this complex about a two-minute walk away from my loft. It was 300+ square feet with three ten-foot-high north-facing windows. It is partially shaded by a retaining wall and a slope up to the front parking lot (on which a huge mass of Japanese knotweed is now growing).
Abstraction May 26, 2018 13:11One reason why I love abstraction is because of the burningly intense colors some artists use. I love color. I also feel like abstraction is ready-made for the depiction of the spiritual. It hitches up to a different part of our brain than representational painting, IMO. And for me, it more easily and more often attains a mysteriousness that I want my paintings to have as part of my representation of the world.
Sick from OMS: Not as toxic does not equal non-toxic May 21, 2018 11:59This morning I woke up horribly dizzy, nauseated, feeling feverish and just plain sick. I thought I must be getting the flu again. Took my temperature and it was normal. Had a dry mouth although not dehydrated. Drank some spearmint tea for the nausea and debated going to the doctor because of the dizziness.
The mug project May 11, 2018 15:47 2 CommentsOne of the podcaster's recommendations was putting art on mugs. I figured I could make little watercolors of plants and use those. I cranked the numbers and was astounded at how many I would have to sell to make what I am making now from Alchemy Works. I thought it must be a mistake. But it wasn't. The difference was that the cost of my business is 2/3s of my gross, but with this new business, the cost of doing business would be 1/2 the gross, and the boring work--making, packing, and shipping--would all be done for me. Holy carp.
Making stuff and finding stuff out April 18, 2018 20:16So I decided to try painting with straight walnut oil. No alkyd. Even though I knew that this would lengthen drying time a lot. But it was an experiment to see if my eyes would not burn.
Aquapasto February 04, 2018 19:59A couple weeks ago I bought a medium made by Winsor Newton and others called "Aquapasto." This medium is meant to give a small amount of texture to watercolor brush strokes. It's based on a 19th-century formula and consists of gum arabic and fumed silica, so it does not take the user out of the watercolor category.
Holy fish scales! January 18, 2018 08:16 2 CommentsThere are also the few pigments that have such fine mica particles that they are iridescent in the way that nature is. This is exactly what I am looking for to add to surface layers of abstract paintings. I experimented with mixing these pigments with just casein binder and also added them to some random, low opacity colors (they are supposed to work best with transparent pigments). They worked wonderfully.
Art and Shitholes January 15, 2018 05:57IMO, we need political art and art that is social commentary as much as we need art about spiritual stillness. Maybe more. Because the difference between art that is political and agitprop is that art has the capacity--the opportunity--to be subtle, to make us question, whereas agitprop is usually part of an echo chamber.
Chameleon Colors and the Pigment Jackpot January 12, 2018 07:20I recently came across sites that sell pigments for use in cosmetics, including nail polish (which is just acrylic paint), and yesterday I sent for some samples of what they call "chameleon colors." Other pigment vendors call them interference pearlescents. I've read that such pigments don't work in matte binders like casein, but I will experiment and find out for myself.
The Goblin Color: Cobalt January 08, 2018 20:06Today I ordered a bunch of cobalt pigment dispersions from Guerra: Cobalt Bermuda Blue, Green Yellow, Titanate Blue Green (which I think has great possibilities for moonlit mist), Green Blue (reminds me of spruce trees), Forest Green (great landscape green), Blue Green, and Nickel Green (another good possibility for mist - shown).
More colors January 03, 2018 10:45I've been learning more and more about casein and finding out just how very much this stuff is capable of. Lots and lots of glazes, for a start. I haven't had much of a problem with lower layers of paint lifting ever since I quit dipping the brush in water. I just clean it off between colors and then dip it in binder before I dip it in paint. That really helps.
Lots of paint under the bridge December 26, 2017 10:10I like that the casein paints I make are not at all chalky or high in tone like I read they would be. I like that I can get a lot of contrast, which I read I would not be able to do with casein (must have been about the casein emulsions). It's really nice that they don't have a smell and they clean up with water. They are really intense because they sit mostly on top of the support. I'm getting the hang of how to mix the binder with the pigments, and I made the right decision to use pigment dispersions instead of sticking to dry pigments. The latter are very romantic but messy, and neatness is not my strong point. And the dispersions allow me to use all sorts of vivid synthetic pigments that would be hellish to try to mix dry for various reasons.
New colors, new paints September 24, 2017 10:46I found a place that supplies pigments to artists, and what's especially interesting about them is that they sell not only dry pigments but pigment dispersions as well as a variety of viscosities of acrylic binders. The dispersions mean that you can mix your own paint without having to worry about wearing a mask, contaminating your space, or using a muller. You can make these dispersions into acrylics, watercolors, and other stuff. They have a bunch of them.
Speaking My Own Language July 24, 2017 14:14I started my most recent painting over three times (one of the great things about painting flat with acrylic is being able to start over on the same support). First, I tried some color combinations that I've always liked but never used. I realized that they just weren't me and that I should avoid using these combos in future and instead seek out the colors *I* like to paint with.
The Necessity of Changing My Style June 17, 2017 20:08 1 Comment
Supports: Wood Panels June 05, 2017 11:45 2 Comments
Rose Moon and Vibrating Color June 03, 2017 08:18
In Spirit of Rose Moon, I let myself play with color a lot more. I worked hard with many layers of glazing to get a good gradation in the sky area of pale yellow to pink to blue. My efforts paid off, I think. Read more...
Painting Gimmicks March 26, 2017 18:05
Gesso & Brushes January 24, 2017 09:31 1 Comment
I've been messing with gesso a lot. I love the smooth surface I get from using the clay scraper, but it is incredibly messy, so I tried applying it with rollers and then sanding. Read more...
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