Arteza Water Color Brush Pen Review

My husband always spoils me and for Christmas he gave me a huge set of Arteza Brush pens.   I’m mainly an oil painter but I love to dabble in other mediums.

I found the colors a bit strong but you can blend and dilute them with a brush with water.  The set does come with a little brush that holds a reservoir of water.

 

 

I found that it was hard to blend the intense color if you wanted a more delicate background such as this sky.

 

Here we are half way through.

The finished painting, a cabin in the Finnish woods.

I tried to do a second painting after this, that involved a lake, a dock and some boats.  The dock was grey and I had already used up most of my neutral colors above.   After I didn’t like the dock, I tried to cover it with water, and the paint was translucent and wouldn’t cover up the white/partially painted greyish dock.    So I’ve found they tend to give up the ghost rather quickly.

Art as an Anti-Aging Strategy


Nuts and Bolts-Growth and Practice -Fluid Acrylics

In order to grow as an artist you need to learn.  Sometimes you learn from classes and books and sometimes you learn by trying different things.  Doing the same thing over and over, if it is not working, is not the answer.

Lately I’ve been working in oils and playing with perspective.  But while I was online getting some supplies, I came across Golden Fluid Acrylics. I went on You Tube and found many artists doing some fantastic work with them.   One whom I find very soothing to watch is a gal MelyD.artist. She comes out with some great work as well and it’s fun to watch it develop.

So of course I had to try it as well.   I found where I wanted to take my experiments were different than the way she worked and that is how art works.  Creative efforts often spark more creative efforts.

So here is some plain acrylic paint mixed with Matte Media.  I call this one You Make my Heart Melt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course I had to go on and play some more.  This one is mostly fluid acrylics with a little painting on top.  I call this one Meeting the Genius.

 

 

Conjuring the Storm

 

 

The Conversation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Surfing the Mindscape

 

 

I find I like to use these acrylics to make a complex background and then either enhance the elements with a little painting or paint over them.  It’s always fun to try a different direction.

Painting with a Circular Composition – The Cobb Lyme Regis – A Safe Harbor and Lavender in the Hills

Gallery

This gallery contains 2 photos.

My husband is from the south coast of England and loves the area.   I decided to paint one of his favorite landmarks in the area, The Cobb.   I do have a mantra to “paint what you know” and … Continue reading

My Magazines

Some collections I have put together you might like:

 

View my Flipboard Magazine.

View my Flipboard Magazine.

View my Flipboard Magazine.

My Visionary Art

I like to paint in a manner that could fall into the genre of Visionary Art.  I often dance around that term because there have been so many great visionary paintings I a tremble to even attempt to put myself in their spheres.

Many visionary artists paint after being influenced by Psychedelics and some can be found on this blog post: http://www.arthistoryarchive.com/arthistory/visionary/

But historically there have been many painters that have been visionary without the use of chemicals, where artists have painted an unseen, a  world not viewed with the mundane eye.

 My own art comes from dreams, a deep respect and contact with nature and a strong yoga and meditation practice. With that caveat, here are some of my “Visionary” paintings.

Moon Meditation

challis-moon-meditation

Energy Rising

challis-energy-rising

The Long Journey

The Long Journey

No, I’m Not Done Yet

No I am not done yet

The Far Shore

The Far Shore

The World Tree

challis-world-tree

Owl Storm Eyes

small owl storm eyes

In Your Dreams

In Your Dreams

Ride the Wild Seahorse

small ride the wild sea horse

The Mating Game

small the mating game

The Power of Nature

The Power of Nature

Gerd

spiraldancefinalThe Kleshas

klesha good

Meeting the Genius

Meeting the Genius

And of course more to come

 

Mischtechnik 2016 A Loving Portrait

Who doesn’t want to live forever?  I thought it was time, before my delightful hubby and I get too wrinkled to attempt a portrait of ourselves.  I love Lucian Freud’s work and think he was incredibly skilled but I didn’t want to wait until we are like this self-portrait he did that can be seen in Vienna.  I of course then had to watch a video about him and his art, and found he was a great fan of Cremnitz White, which I have on order.  This is a lead based white paint, so don’t eat in your studio while using it.   The video I watched on Lucian Freud can be found on YouTube here: A Painted Life   I love the emotion he conveys although he obviously was a haunted and tortured individual who didn’t play well with others.

lucian freud self portrait

Back to my painting.  My husband and I went out to our favorite French restaurant and dressed up for an anniversary one of the staff took a fabulous photo of us.    I decided to use that as my reference photo, along with peeking over my wine glass at dinner, an assessing, did dear hubby have a few little crows feet, how did the cleft of his chin look in profile?

A book I referred to was

Human Anatomy for Artists: The Elements of Form by Eliot Goldfinger.

 

This year, I used a marble based gesso to cover my boards.  The white is so white it hurts your eyes. If you are just tuning in you might want to read my post on Mischtechnik.IMG_0339 (Copy)

Next I spent a fair bit of time looking and reading about the anatomy of the face and neck.  And then spent a couple of weeks on an initial sketch.

JandDsketch (Copy)

And here is the initial glaze, I used iron oxide red.  It was still wet in this photo.

janddglaze1ironoxidered (Copy)

Meanwhile, as I wait for this to dry, I’m reading another book and learning even more about portrait painting.  It has an excellent section on blending colors for the skin.  I’m only half-way through, but I’m sure this will be a better painting because of it.

Portrait Painting Atelier: Old Master Techniques and Contemporary Applications

by Suzanne Brooker 

 

The next step, after it was fully dried, was to work on the highlights creating more tones, with the egg tempera.  I freely thinned the egg tempera with a little cold pressed linseed oil, so I could have different shades of white.  Some I used undiluted and some thinned.

portrait iron oxide with tempera (Copy)

And of course wait.  I usually keep a second painting going and work on that while I’m waiting.  This year its a semi-abstract in acrylic paint that has lots of free movement and invention and dries fast.  The antithesis of this.

Another glaze, this time I used transparent yellow ochre.  In the past I used a bright primary transparent yellow, but I like the warmer tones of the earth reds and yellows.

portrait transparent yellow oche (Copy)

Ah, finally we are starting to see some of those magic mid-tones arise out of nowhere.  I had on a top that was covered in black sparkles and I want to show that, but I’m not sure whether I have a handle on it.  I have a few points of light on it, but I’m not sure if they work yet.

Here is the white tempera on the highlights after this glaze.

good white over ochre (Copy)

Now the blue glaze.

blue glaze good (Copy)

Technically I should do another layer of the white highlights, but I like where I am.  I am going to start glazing local colors as soon as this dries.  Oops…I forgot to take photos of a couple of glazes.  Don’t worry you didn’t miss much, just the first coat on the walls, shirt and shawl.

work-in-progress-skin-white

work-in-progress-pink-tones

october-2-pupils-black-neck-full

judyanddan-portrait

 

Nuts and Bolts-Photographing a Textured Painting

Have you ever finished a painting, loved it and couldn’t wait to photograph it to share on social media?  But after you photographed it, it had shadows, glare and all sorts of blips and blobs highlighted that made it look awful and nothing like what it looked in life?   Recently I finished a painting that was textured and had a number of layers of glazes that gave me that problem.

I want my photographs of my art to look like the painting, not better, not worse.  If I were to sell a painting online or submit it to a show and the painting looked substantially different than the photograph, it might cause disappointment or even (horrors) the thought I was trying to put something over on them or hide a flaw.

There are a couple of quick fixes for photographing a textured painting that has a glaze on it or a varnish.  The easiest is to take the painting outside and photograph it in natural light.  Try to light your painting at an angle and visually adjust for glare.

OK, so you tried taking outside and playing with that angle and this angle and it still didn’t work.   Then do the following:

Use two lights at a 45 degree angle to the painting and try some filters.

I paint using artificial light.  Specifically, I  use 2- 2200 K lights on stands with diffusing umbrellas, in studio with the walls painted white.  Which gives me a nice soft daylight.  The benefit of this, is as the sun rises and gets stronger or as it sets in the afternoon, my light doesn’t change, so I don’t change my pigments in intensity because they look different under different lights.

A good link talking about lighting, color and temperature, can be found here.

The next thing is to orient your light at 45 degree angles to the painting.  But there is still a lot of light bouncing around.  You then need to add polarizing filters on your light, or camera or both as done in this article on documenting art.

Take a moment to look at your setup as if you were the camera.  Is there light bouncing off an area causing a highly visible glare?  Play with your lights.  I use a liner polarizing filter and manually adjust the focus on my camera.  If you plan to use auto focus use a circular polarizing filter.  I am not, at this point, using additional filters on my lights.  A circular polarizing filter may bend the edges of your painting a bit.

This is the first time I’ve used a filter.  The one on the left is filtered and on the right is unfiltered.  I felt I lost a little of the line definition on the filtered.   But I lost the glare and the tones show up better.  But once again, a photograph never quite looks the same as the painting viewed by the eye.  So I leave it up to you, to filter or not.  My goal is to make the photograph look as much like the original painting as I can.  I also manually focused as a linear polarizing filter works better that way.

crows filtered and not

You may be one of those people who buys a fancy camera with all sorts of bells and whistles fully intending to learn how to use each and every one, but after a brief time with it you find leaving it on auto and auto-focus suits you just fine.   And you go to buy a filter for it and search for  “polarizing filter for my brand of camera”.  And you can’t find a single one, only packages with prices you can see might be a bit of a rip-off.  Look on your lens, take off the lens cap and look at the area directly around your lens.  Somewhere there will say what mm the lens is.  My Cannon 60D is a 67 mm lens.  So when I went and searched for 67 mm polarizing filter I found a much larger array of choices.  I know, “duh”, why include this?  I figure if I wasted time doing it, someone else might and I could save them some time.

Another alternative, is to scan your art.  If it is just for your own records and the work is small you can probably use your in-home or in-office scanner.  If it is a larger work, you plan to make and sell prints, you may wish to take it to a facility that has large format scanners and experience in scanning work of your type.

Happy Painting!

 

 

 

Inspiration, Little Books and Plans or Ditch the Selfie

I love little books.  Pretty little books for writing notes in, books with thicker paper for drawing and silk and art covered books I always plan to fill with wonderful poetry but never quite do.  I love filling them cover-to-cover and I’ll share some of what I put in one of them below.

I was quite inspired by this little book I bought in Katonah, NY yesterday.   I love the cover, the fertile Goddess figure inviting me to embrace my art and fill it with wondrous views of my world.

goddessbook

goddessbookback goddessbook interior

 

But usually I find the plans I make for a little book usually turn out differently than what I first imagine.   This is my little book I started doing sketches in for 2014-2015.  I find when I am stuck waiting somewhere, rather than moaning how my time is being wasted I pull out a pen or a pencil and start scribbling.  I keep a mechanical drawing pen and a drawing fountain pen filled with scribblers ink in my makeup case, in my purse.  Time then flies, and I find sometimes my scribbles are just scribbles but sometimes they crystallize a memory.  None of these are meant to be great drawings.  Some only took 30 seconds to do.   I’ll share a few I like below.

The 2014-15 drawing book.  booksketch

It’s nothing particularly special, it’s about 5 x 7 inches so I can fit it in my purse or hold it and sketch wherever I go.  Such as,

30 second drawings at an art gallery:

book fig2

bookfig1

 

 

 

 

 

Or a moment when housebound during an icy winter storm:

bookfig3

 

 

 

 

For the next I must introduce you to my dog, Gwyn, a wonderful energetic English Shepherd that usually looks like this:

bookdogairs

Yes, that is all four paws not touching the ground!

 

 

 

So when I spotted a rare moment of repose:

bookfig4

 

 

Of course I was inspired.book fig 6

 

 

But sometimes life drives art, when I saw this of course I had to draw it:

bookbaddog

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fortunately, the little book and it’s drawings still exist.  Documenting my visit to an art gallery, friends, an ice storm and doggie mischief. bookchewed

 

 

 

 

 

My new book will be filled with wonders.  Some will just be playful scribbles, that I won’t share with anyone, but I will enjoy in the moment.   I will crystallize moments in time that should not be forgotten in a way more personal and lasting than a social media selfie. And with every line I make, I get just a little bit better as an artist.

I encourage you to get a little book.  Fill it with doodles, sayings, quotes, poems, or lists.  It will become something more than the sum of its parts when you have filled it cover to cover.

Meanwhile,  I have a request to go out and find some inspiration outside.

bookbehindbars

 

 

 

 

 

Mischtechnik II: From an Ugly Duckling to a Swan

This was the second Mischtechnik painting I did.   There were a few stages where I really felt like I had created an ugly duckling that just wasn’t going to work.  But here they are from start to end.  I didn’t take a picture toward the end of every single step, so know there were a few more steps than shown.  In contrast to my first painting, this one was done on board.  My post on making egg tempera or emulsion can be found Here.

IMG_9152

IMG_9154

smallrw-dan

IMG_9199 IMG_9231

 

spiraldancefinal

 

Title: Apparition of a Local Form (above)

Another playful one I’ve done in this style (I’ll skip all the steps as I gave you above) is The Monster in the Closet (below).  What if there were monsters in your closet and what they really wanted were your accessories? (Grin).

the monster in the closet