Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Cool Mountains

Brian Woodward     mountain scene

Northlight books supply terrific art books. If you haven't checked them out yet, go here:

I often request art books through the inter-library loan (if you haven't used this service, it's FREE and you can access libraries all over the province. Talk to your librarian!).  If I really like what I read, I buy the book.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Color theory

At the Headwaters Art Society meeting on april 18, 7 pm at the seniors centre, we will be talking about color theory. Please bring acrylic or water color, a couple of brushes and something (small 5x7) to paint on. We will be playing with color.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Acrylics like oils

 Buffy    12x12  acrylic collage

This is a good article on using acrylics. Unfortunately, I lost the publisher's information. I try to always give the writer credit and will be more careful in future.

Retarder is the key element. You may already be using retarder in your paint. Most brands direct you to use it in your paint - up to 15% retarder to paint. I have done this, but found that at 15%, the paint can lift off of the painting surface and/or take so long to dry that the paint is left with sticky feel. Furthermore, it may be become difficult to paint over top even after the paint has dried..

Instead, I recommend using a small spray bottle (like a miniature travel-sized hairspray size) filled with water and about 10 drops or one good squirt of retarder. Shake well. Whether painting in your studio or outdoors, first spray your painting surface to break the tension and allow for the paint to glide on. Don't overdo this part or you'll end up with a very, very wet application of paint (unless this is the effect you desire.)

Second, spray your paints as soon as you squirt them out on your palette, and spray lightly frequently so you to maximize your investment. You can go hours with just a spritz now and then without the need to discard paint.

Third, in your washing cup or jar, place clean water with a few drops of retarder added. Bingo! All three of your painting areas are covered with a light touch of retarder, enough to keep your work just wet enough to extend workability, but not enough to make a mush of your painting.

If painting outdoors on dry or windy days, you may have to add more retarder to your bottle, water cup and palette. When you want a passage or area of your painting to dry, it will in short order...shorter than if you added retarder itself into the paint.

I spray my canvas frequently when outside to keep the painting going. One of the hallmarks of oils is that you can work wet-into-wet. Doing the above allows you to do the same in acrylics.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Leslie Cartwright

Orange and white cat   Leslie Cartwright acrylic  16x20

I spent the afternoon helping Leslie set up a blog. I think we had fun! Go see her blog and leave her a nice comment. Her blog is listed on the right side of the screen under the blog list.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Caring for Brushes

Mountain Lion   Bill Doroshuk coloured pencil

We have some FINE painters down here at Headwaters Art Society and I am going to introduce them to you.

"I also want to share some tips about the brushes I'm using which are Silver Bristlons with very crisp synthetic bristles that are excellent for the type of careful brushwork I like to do. After rinsing them of paint in Gamsol and wiping them dry, I wash them with Murphy's Oil Soap. Using a ceramic or glass bowl I mash the bristles gently against the bowl which has a capful of MOS in it. You will be shocked at how long it takes to rinse the brushes completely of paint. Use only cold or tepid water and keep changing the soap and rinsing until the brushes are completely free of stain when blotted with a paper towel. I then dip them into brush shaper (by Houston Arts) and shape them so the edges are chiseled. If some of them need it, I make a little splint out of paper and wrap the tips lightly and tape them. Voila! They last quite well with the pampering I give them."
From the website of Mary Sheehan Winn :

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Nearly Done

 Handlebar   16x16 acrylic collage

I added purple paint to the shirt to enrich the texture and because I thought I needed the color. I softened the color areas around his hair so that it was a little less blocky. I painted the sky light purple but it looked too depressing so I made a lighter blue/purple mix to try to show how sunny it was (as indicated by the shadows). I decided that mountains AND trees were too much in the background so I deleted the mountains.

I'm fairly happy with this but I will let it sit for a bit and then try really hard to look at it as a painting and see what could be done to make it better as a painting. There is always a point were I have to forget about the photograph and look at it compositionally and design-wise. I like that I have about 60% in midtones, 25% in darks and 15% in lights. That is a nice ratio of values for a painting.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Village Arts at Panorama this Easter Weekend!

The Village Arts Co-op will being having demonstrations and wares for sale at Panorama's spring festival this Easter Weekend. If you are up that way, you should check out there marketing. Here's hoping they have LOTS of sales.