I hope you had a great weekend and a Happy Easter! We tried to have a weekend as typical as we could with cleaning, chores, and pizza/movie night. Jeff took advantage of the pretty weather and went fishing with Calvin. Sunday morning, we snuggled on the couch to watch our church’s Easter service in our jammies during a snowstorm. There was something sweet about it, even though that was far from normal! We’re back into school and work today, though, and hope to juggle it all a little smoother than we did last week.
On Friday, I had another live painting class. We worked on color charts and I was surprised again at the great turn-out and all of the beautiful color charts people shared afterward.
In the video, I show examples of different kinds of color charts, share how they are useful to improve your color mixing scales and get to know the colors in your palette, show how to tape off a chart and make a two-color color study. I also share some of my painting book picks for beginners.
As I did last week, I’m sharing three video-viewing options. Here is the one recorded on Facebook…
And here is the same video on YouTube for those who prefer to watch it there…
And here is a 2 1/2 minute timelapse video showing the process…
Since it’s not easy to see in the video, this is how a taped-off 9 x 12 color chart should look….
Since I went through the books pretty quickly in the video, here are links to the book recommendations…
I learned a lot about painting from books and have grown quite a robust library of art instruction books as well as reference books. What I learned early on is that some books get very technical and were way over my head when I first started. I just didn’t need to get that in-depth. I needed some basics to get me going. I found all of these books to be easy to digest as a beginner, but are still valuable as you continue to grow as an artist. They are very practical, approachable, and offer sound advice to help you improve your skills.
- Daily Painting – This book is my favorite all-around painting book for beginners.
All three of these books are similar in that they provide instruction on painting in broad strokes and learning to simplify scenes and focus on the most important elements. I am still trying to relax when I paint and not fiddle too much with the detail!
All of these books are good for landscape painting specifically if that’s your area on interest…
- Landscape Painting Inside & Out
- The Art of Plein Air Painting
- Oil Painter’s Solution Book – Landscapes
Next week, we’re going to paint some clouds! I love painting skies, but I really struggled with clouds in the beginning. I wanted to paint them well more than almost anything else, so I worked on them a lot…experimenting with different techniques. I definitely don’t have it all figured out, but I can paint a passable cloud now and I’ll share how to do it with you.
As we’ve done the past couple of weeks, we’ll meet on my Facebook page at 2:00 pm CST on Friday, April 17, 2020.
I am going to keep our supply list the same through these live painting classes, so once you have your supplies, you won’t have to buy more. The only thing you might want to add is more brushes, a palette knife for mixing, and canvas panels of different sizes. For the clouds specifically, we’ll use a smaller canvas size. I would suggest a 6×8, 5×6, 4×6 or larger panel that you divide into a couple of sections. We’ll try to fit in two smaller cloud paintings, so I can teach a couple of different techniques.
Here is a list of suggested supplies…
- Oil Paints – Buy the best you can. This is where you want to spend your money, because artist-grade paints have more concentrated pigments, so you can mix the colors without making mud. I like Windsor & Newton and Gamblin. (See below for some alternatives.)
- Gamsol (This is to thin the paint and clean brushes. You can also use turpentine, paint thinner, etc.) – Gamsol 14 oz bottle
- Container for Gamsol/solvent (You can also use a glass jar with a screw-on lid) – Leak-Proof Solvent Container
- Canvas panel (Buy the size of your choice. I would suggest 5×7, 6 x 9 or 8×10.) – Canvas panels on Amazon
- Palette – I use a wood palette, but you can order a glass one (white or gray), a paper palette (again, white or gray), or use a paper plate, a piece of cardboard, or even a piece of glass in a cheap/old frame.
- Paper towels
- Ziplock bag
- Soap to clean brushes & hands – I use Murphy’s Oil soap to clean my brushes and baby oil to clean my hands. You can also use an olive-oil-based soap or any soap that will clean off oil and grease.
- Easel – You don’t have to buy an easel, but could purchase an inexpensive tabletop easel. If you want to get a little fancier, you can buy a pochade box that has an easel and palette built-in. Really, though, you can paint flat or just prop your canvas up on some books or a cardboard box. Don’t let the lack of an easel stop you from joining us!
- Brushes – The specific ones I’ll be using are the No. 4 Eclipse Filbert (you can get it HERE, too) and the No. 1 Ivory Long Flat (you can get it HERE, too) both from Rosemary & Co. They have confirmed that they are still shipping out customer orders. If you don’t purchase those brushes, the key is to have one flat synthetic brush that is about 1/4″ wide and one natural bristle brush (hog’s bristle is fine) that is 1/4-1/2″ wide. The confusing thing about brushes is that the numbers, like No. 4 and No. 1 are not standard. Brushes can have the same number and be completely different sizes! So, go off of an estimated width of 1/4- 1/2″. We just don’t need huge brushes, since we’re working small.
For those painting with me, I’ll see you on Friday!
If you’re not into painting, I am working on some slipcover projects that I’ll be sharing with my “home people” soon!
Here are links to all of the other live painting classes…