Art Techniques

Hints and Instructions

One Step at a Time

This weekend was an oil painting marathon. Six hours in two days. I really enjoy oil, the painting seems to emerge from the painting panel. When the color and shape are right, it looks “real”.

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Carol's moccasin left painted


So this is what happened, Carol and I are still put the “first sitting” on. That is the first layer of color.
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Margaret's right moccasin painted


Using fine bristle brushes, since they don’t come to a point like sable, use a smaller size. I like filberts, has a point and a slightly flat side of tip, making the brush more versital.
Now the hard part, look closely at moccasin(your object may be different). There are cool and warm tones on everything. Warm tones are the tones that are in the Direct light, Cool tones are in Indirect light. Wow! That really made sense.(just kidding) Here’s how I sort it out, top of moc is mostly warm tones.
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Direct light- where the light hits object


the sole/bottom of moc is cool tones(cool tones-reflected light from table, deeper, darker, larger shadows)
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Indirect light- No direct light- shadows and reflected lights


The side of moc are a mix depending where the light come from.
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Depending on where light is coming from


Now back to looking for where the shapes of shadows are and paint on your board. I am laughing, because this little task is the hardest thing to figure out. How to tune your eye, brain and intuition about painting to make this happen. 3 years in and I still very much feel like a novice.
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Carol's moccasin


Now to color!  Then mix the color as close as you can to the mid-range local color. The tan color of the suede moc. Not the highlights or shadow colors. Here’s where it gets tricky. Color mixing is practice and color chemistry.  It is about knowing what happens when you mix paint colors, there is no formula.
Back to suede color, it looks kind of yellowish, so mostly yellow ochre, with a little titanium yellow, add a touch of “red” and burnt sienna.
I work in two spots of paint, warm suede and cool suede piles.
So the warm suede adds the cad red light, burnt umber (to darken) and titanium yellow +touch of titanium white (to lighten)
On the cooler suede I add crimson (this is a super strong color, go lightly), raw umber (to darken) and titanium yellow (to lighten). The add a touch of medium to make it flow nice. Now you can see why it takes six hours and I only have half of one moc done.
Add in the drawing mistakes that were corrected. Most frustration comes back to incorrect drawing, at least I can see it earlier this time.
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Margaret's moccasin


We work very hard this weekend.
Have a Blessed Sunday! Wednesday! One week later! Argh!

Have a blessed week.

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Categories: alaska, Art Educations, art expedition, art supplies, Art Supplies and Equipment, Art Techniques, Art Workshops, Food and Restaurants, Oil Painting, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Pliene Air Travel Sketching: A Watercolor Workshop in Annapolis Md. Jean Brinton Jaecks.

Well to say the least, Carol and I have been art busy since last month.
Pliene Air Travel Sketching: A Watercolor Workshop in Annapolis Md.
Our instructor was Jean Brinton Jaecks.
Jean did a great job explaing how the light reflects off things light building and trees. She also explained how light looks when soming through a tree, it makes the tree glow. I enjoyed the workshop very much.

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Day One: We started sketching at St. John’s College. Then everyone did two sketches around campus. Lovely lunch provided at the boathouse on campus.

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Day Two: We hoofed into town (a few blocks) and sketches houses. Carol and I sat together so we have similar subjects. While we were sketching houses the owners came across the street for a peek and a chat.

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Everyone was crazy friendly on this perfect October weekend. The sun/light kept coming and going behind clouds.

Carol painting

So when they say paint the “LIGHT FIRST”, they mean it. I finally figured out what the teachers have been saying. Duh!
After a sketch in town we wandered back to the boat house dock to paint the College Creek. A water painting. Hmmm. I find watercolor very difficult. I am not painting fast or confident enough….practice! Practice!practice! Ugg…it always comes down to hard work…lol.
After a very nice lunch of soup and salad.

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Jean Brinton Jaecks critiqued our days work. Her critiques were spott on. I was able to see where I did nicely and where improvement was needed. (No, I did not rip up and start over, how tempting is that)
Few hints: bring paper in different sizes, no larger than 9×12 inches. Larger paper means longer time. Practice drawing BEFORE you go! Practice trees, buildings. Bring camera, charged phone, gloves for cold mornings and money for coffee. A little snack would have helped. Our lifesavers were are art carts.

They carry art “STUFF” and have an attached seat. For the old and weary it was a welcome spot.
The class write up:
Watercolor sketching is an optimum way to see and experience travel and understand the world around us.
This workshop will focus on the study of atmosphere in the landscape, architectural details and expressing light in its ever changing moods. Artists will explore and sketch on the St. John’s campus, College Creek, and the historic houses and gardens in Annapolis surrounding the campus. Travel sketching can be very portable, and choosing the correct materials is essential. Lunch will be provided by St. John’s College, and a critique will complete each day. Participants should dress for the outdoors.

Categories: Art Educations, art expedition, art supplies, Art Supplies and Equipment, Art Techniques, Art Workshops, Food and Restaurants, Oil Painting, travel, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Alaska oil painting

Carol has a different Alaskan  still life setup.

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Carol's basket and mocs

Carol’s will have a glow coming from behind basket area, very classic look.

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Carol's first color sitting

Now for the oil painters out there. Our colors are mostly Robert Doak Colors. Some Windsor Newton.
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This is our standard palette plus blues. The amber blob near the thumb hole is Maroger Medium it makes the colors more transparent and keeps the flexibility and intensity of color. Ohhhh so nice! Our painting are smooth in texture.

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Robert Doak Colors


NOTE:::: Right to left
Titanium White, titanium yellow, cadium yellow light, cadium yellow medium, cadium yellow dark, yellow ochre, burnt sienna,burnt umber, raw umber, black, pyrol crimson( does not fade, so they say), Cadium red light, cerulean blue, ultramarine blue.

Categories: alaska, Art Educations, art expedition, art supplies, Art Supplies and Equipment, Art Techniques, Art Workshops, Oil Painting, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Happy Fall and watercolor classes

This week has been cloudy, misty and downright wet. It has rained for three days straight.

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St Stephen's church in morning fog

The morning fog is thick. We have had the most wonderful sunsets, when it clears.
With all the rain, Carol and I have been busy watercoloring. We are working on the Val Webb watercolor lettering.

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Negative Space lettering by Margaret


First try… next is the letter bubbles.
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Margaret's


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Carol's


These bubbles are so much harder than they look. I am almost finished mine.
Carol finished her’s and is now on to the next couple lessons.
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Carol's lettering with floral border


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Carol's blue bird with banner


I think these two paintings by Carol are just beautiful.
The Val Webb class is wonderful, the videos are clear and concise. Very easy to follow along with Val. Only negative is that it seems like she shuts off access to videos after 3 months or so. I am not sure I can finish the class in time.
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Pear from Weds. Night Classes

On Wednesday night, I am taking a watercolor basics at the Perry Hall high school thru the county adult ed. Wow! What luck a friend Nancy Van Meter is teaching the class and is doing a great. I am learning so much. Watercolor is so tricky.

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Mini pumkin by Margaret


I am almost finished. I am working toward trying to get in 6+ hours of art work per week. Right now I am running about 4. The more time working the better I will become….thats the theory at least….lol. ( I don’t count painting and varnishing floors as art time 😦 I am finishing up my sons room floor)
I am looking forward to more painting.

Categories: Art Educations, art expedition, art supplies, Art Supplies and Equipment, Art Techniques, Art Workshops, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Alaskan Still Life Oil Painting

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Margaret's set up ,in shadow box

What a whirlwind this summer and fall. Carol and I are settleing back into monthly oil painting lessons. Our lessons are 3 hours Friday and Saturday evenings.

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Toning the panel with burnt umber

We are moving along on our painting.
Our still life is Fur cuffed Alaskan moccasins, alaskan birch bark berry basket and wild blueberries for a natural touch.

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Carol's first sketch

Carol and I loved the texture of the suede and the fur.  The subtle shades and craftsmanship of the birch bark basket is lovely to see and touch. We wanted to paint these qualities into a painting.

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My first sketch.

Carol had a great idea and ordered faux blueberries to paint. As we finish the painting we will place real berries in to bring out the more “real” qualities of the blueberries.
This weekend we started adding our color first sitting. This layer has a color changes by value, light to dark.
The details are few, the challenge is to get the color value and intensity to match.

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Carol's first sitting, beautiful

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Margaret's first sitting

Whew! Now to wait until next month!

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Categories: alaska, Art Educations, art expedition, art supplies, Art Supplies and Equipment, Art Techniques, Art Workshops, Book Reviews, Botanical Drawing, Food and Restaurants, Oil Painting, travel, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Post trip. Oil painting and jobs

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Going Home


Carol and I are busy planning our next Art Expeditions…
Fours weeks have past, since Carol and I have left Alaska. It seems like years have gone by. So many changes, some good. Some will see what happens. For Carol after a bit of jet lag, life is returning to “normal”. Art teacher by day and librarian at night. ….busy hectic schedule.
For me, school started promptly at 7:30am, the day after I returned. This summer brought changes, cut to halftime due to enrollment drop. So art teacher in mornings and cognitive brain trainer in afternoons. Well my days are long and steady.
Last week I resigned from part time teaching job. It’s a great move.
Carol and I have started new oil paintings. Alaska themed!
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Photo of Alaska still life set up


Soft suede mocisains with fur and a sweet birch bark berry basket with blue berries tumbling out…this will ne fun.
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Under painting by Margaret


Our teacher Scott Royston, loved the still life set up.
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Faux blueberries


Carol found (bought) faux berries that look so real.
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Carol's underpainting


On to new art adventures…

Categories: alaska, Art Educations, art expedition, Art Techniques, Oil Painting, travel, Uncategorized | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Wrangell Mountain Center

Carol and I showed up at 6 pm with bells on for our Natural History Field Sketching and Journaling workshop. We are hard to miss, two mid-age females who are very motivated to learn art…..

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Wood burning stove


Everyone at WMC was wonderful. Mary made a delicious soup and salad for dinner, we sat in the sales floor of the old hardware store. Long tables with plywood tops and benches all around for seating. It was chilly so Cobi’s dad kept the room warm with the wood stove. Ahhhh, warm dry heat, with the smell of wood stove. Sure beats the chilly heat pump at home.
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Main room at Hardware Store


We later went in to the other room for the evenings lecture and sketching class. Yes, I really love this part. I like traveling, but I love doing, making and thinking art.
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Skulls to sketch


Kristen Link taught our week long class. Kristen is well organized and really knows her stuff. Carol and I were introduced to our “classmates”, Rita, Cobi, Sam and Michelle. Just like at everyclass I have ever been, with great hesitation… we all introduced ourselves. Very interesting, we all like art.
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Feather to sketch


Kristen then went over the syllabus and displayed her sketchbooks. Impressive! A little sketching inside the room. And off to bed….

Categories: alaska, Art Educations, art supplies, Art Supplies and Equipment, Art Techniques, Art Workshops, Book Reviews, Food and Restaurants, travel, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

The Road to McCarthy: that’s a story!

After photo-taking event in Chitina, we pulled the car around the corner to see the sign “Pavement Ends”.

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Begining of the road to McCarthy


Then another sign that tells about McCathy road.  “Road ends at Kennicott River, 62Miles.
Limited vechicle services.
Drive at you own risk.
Watch out for loose railroad spikes.
Check locally from conditions and services beyond this point.”
Noone seems to know why the misspelling, mystery? The sign make you wonder what you are doing. You can even see the pot holes from the sign.

Well, we threw caution aside and drove the Road to McCarthy. Bless the road guys, except for a few sections with pot holes, the road was good, (not paved, but a good surface for a gravel road). Mostly two lanes wide, no guard rails(bit un-nerveing when a big RV is coming at you).

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McCarthy road


Many challenges lay ahead for the we don’t like heights and wobbly bridges …lol.. We drove for 62 miles over hill and dale..or more specific, three bridges.
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Lakina Bridge


The Lakina River bridge, wood bridge. The car was making a funny noise, so Carol was driving, we pulled over and I climbed under to see what was stuck in wheel well. 20 minutes later and my whole left side was muddy, I found , nothing. But the sound was gone, thank God for that.(Paul, really nothing happened!) We were on our way. The silty mud sticks like concrete to my sweater.
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The next bridge was Kuskulana bridge, 283 feet from river…. vertigo! Wood slats to drive on and the guard rail doesn’t look sturdy. We made it without fainting.
Then we drove to Currant Ridge Cabins.
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Currant Ridge Cabins


I walked into the office to pick up the keys, the owner asked if I was a local and why I was covered with mud. It took me several minutes to stop laughing to tell my story.
The cabins were lovely, hot showers,hot room heater and indoor toilet. Very clean! Only a couple miles from the last bridge to McCarthy. More to come…
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Dusty Car

Happy Travels

Categories: alaska, art expedition, art supplies, Art Techniques, Art Workshops, Food and Restaurants, travel, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 6 Comments

Guess what animal is related to sheep? 08-11-13

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Musk Ox

Musk Ox

Margaret and I stopped by Qiviut Alaskan Handknits shop.  Native Alaskan’s from different tribes knit tribe specific patterns of musk oz wool.  The musk ox (sheep family) sheeds wool.  The wool is gathered washed lightly and spun into yarn.  The wool is lightweight and soft to touch is knitted into a garment.  Don’t let the fine yarn fool you, the items knitted from the wool is incredibly warm. 

May the brushstrokes of God’s blessings paint the canvas of your life,
Carol

Categories: alaska, Art Educations, art expedition, Art Techniques, travel, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

Alaskan Native history and Art Galleries 8-10-13

Saturday aug 10- cloudy, mid 50’s, on & off moderate rain.
I am going to try to blog as I go. So this post will be updated until I run out of battery. (My phone is being used for everything gps,posting, email and picture. Of course phone too…)
Another great breakfast at Residence Inn, the staff is responsive, hardworking and very nice.
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Our first stop, Alaska Museum of Science and Nature was great place to learn and touch ,things. They had dinosaur bones, big game skulls and other things. When we were walking out of the museum we met the mural artist James Haven

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James Haven mural artist


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Alaska museum

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Alaska Museum


We stopped back at hotel to pick up snack and coupons. What we found was a sweet surprise.
After a quick lunch of Carl’s Burgers, hot fries yummy.
Carol and I spent the afternoon at the
Categories: alaska, Art Educations, art expedition, Art Techniques, Art Workshops, Food and Restaurants, travel | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

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