Monday, April 20, 2015

Outdoor Oil Painting Workshop Dates

Outdoor one-day workshop dates are finalized!  
Dates are:
Saturday, May 16 
Saturday, May 30 
Find all the details on the "Oil Painting Workshops" tab at the top of this page. Students always have a great time in these comfortable classes and learn a lot.  Join us!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Student Question: Old Paints and Other Art Supplies

Below is a question that came in today about art supplies for the upcoming class.  For other supplies, check the Supply List tab at the top of the page.
I am signed up for the class starting this week.  I went shopping for supplies,  but I have a couple of questions:

On the oil paints,  I bought the level 1 Windsor newton oil paint,  but I was concerned that I bought the wrong paint, as this paint can be mixed with water.  I can return the paints if I have the incorrect type.  Also, I have some paints that are very old (at least 20 years), can I use these or should I toss them and start over?

I went to Hobby Lobby, Michaels and Joann and could not find “Gamsol Mineral Spirits.  Do you have any suggestion on where I can buy this product?

Also (three question) do we need the Red acetate and color wheel for the first class?
Thanks, “J”

Answer:  Dear “J”
Winsor Newton makes several types of oil paint.  The water mixable oils mix differently than regular oil paint, so it's better to avoid them unless you specifically prefer the water mixable kind.  Regular Winsor Newton oil paints are a professional grade – they are the best of the WN Line, but also the most expensive.

Winton oils (also made by Winsor Newton) are a medium grade, priced more economically, and are better than the cheap student grade paints.  Winton is a good choice to begin with, then you can upgrade one color at a time as you run out.

Your old paints may be fine - they are made to last many years.  Just squeeze the tubes a bit to see if they are still soft.  If they have hardened and dried out, you can’t use them.  If they are just hard under the cap but soft below that, you can remove the cap, dig out the hardened paint with a small screwdriver and use the rest.  Sometimes very old tubes will leak;  throw these away as they aren't worth the mess!  If in doubt, just start fresh.

You can find the Gamsol at Guiry's, as well as the red acetate.  Get the smallest container you can find of the Gamsol.  You will need your red acetate for the first class, but not the color wheel.

I hope this helps!  It can be daunting if you've never painted before.  Feel free to write again if you have other questions.  I look forward to seeing you in class!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Outdoor Painting Workshops

Plans are underway for two outdoor workshops this spring.  Check the "Oil Painting Workshops" tab at the top of this page for details, and let me know which dates work best for you.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Painting Class Demonstration

The Advanced Oil Painting Community Education class at ACC had a great time during our last session.  The assignment was to mix a warm and cool version of each and every color in the painting, while still maintaining all the correct values.  This gives the painting more life and vibrancy. 

My classroom demonstration, a 9 x 12 study, is shown here.  Look closely at the warm and cool color notes everywhere.  Click on the picture to enlarge.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

How to Varnish a Painting

Many of you have asked about varnishing your paintings.  Check out the short video from Gamblin on my Facebook Page.
You can also use spray varnishes.  To prevent yellowing over time, avoid varnishes with copal or damar. Look for varnishes that specifically say "non yellowing."   Follow instructions carefully to avoid dripping or droplets of varnish on your painting.  Let me know if you have any questions or experiences to share.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Student Painting Critique

Hi, Students!
To encourage you to keep painting between classes, feel free to use this forum for help and suggestions. Simply email a photo of your work in progress along with your questions.  Let me know whether you prefer that I use your full name, first name, or just initials.  Feel free to comment on my comments!

If you aren't one of my students, I'm still happy to give you ideas as time allows, to help everyone to learn.

Dear Valorie,
I am working on this painting which finally makes me happy.  Any Suggestions?  I followed the old masters technique, re reading your notes and trying to apply them, instead of thinking I was applying them.  "D"

Your painting is looking good! The light on the buildings has a pleasing atmospheric quality, and the composition works well. The distant mountains recede back from the ones in front.  My eye moves from the building in front, up the road to the back buildings, then to the mountains.  Nice!  I also like your orange and blue complementary color scheme.  This painting has a lovely feel to it.

My suggestion would be to vary the background peaks.  They feel a bit too pointy and pretty similar to each other.  You could also change the angle of that background range.  If they really look that way, see if you can give them more variety in shape and size.  You might also gray down the blue in that range a bit to make it recede even more. Do the same for the sky - just tone it down a bit, and lighten it as it gets closer to the horizon.

The angle of the cloud shape behind the mountains resembles the angle of those mountains.  Can you break the cloud up and perhaps make it more horizontal?  Right now it looks like 3 almost parallel shapes - the clouds, background mountains and the right foreground mountains.  

You have some pretty intense blue right behind that front roof (I know you're not finished yet). You can keep it dark, just tone down the intensity to push it back. Lastly, don't forget to choose your focal point and give it more definition.

This may seem like a lot, but these are simple changes. You've done the hard part.  Let me know how it goes! Thank you for sharing your work!  Valorie

Friday, July 25, 2014

National Juried Fine Art Show, Louisville, CO

I'm honored to have my painting chosen from 560 entries for the

29th Annual National Juried Fine Art Show
 Louisville Center for the Arts
801 Grant Ave, Louisville, CO 80027
Sat. Aug 30 - Sun Sept 7, 2014 (closes at 4:00 pm Sun)
Opening Reception Sat. Aug 30, 6-9 pm.
Cheese & Wine Reception - Fri, Sept. 5, 4-8 pm
Various events during the week.
Presented by the Louisville Art Association

Please join me at the opening reception or visit the show!