Sunday, June 28, 2015


I did this as homework for my last class with Karen. Thought it was simple, had good value changes and I thought the composition was appealing.
I tried painting a cool green background then painted my subject; it looked awful so I painted over with a bright red. Details added, it still is missing something. I will show Karen and see what I can do to punch this up a bit. I do like the garlic but the ceramic garlic baker is a bit lack luster.

Karen suggested trying a cool darker background to see which color improves the design. She liked the foreground but thought it needed more temperature color changes to emphasize the shape and cast shadows of the subject.


I do find that I am impatient with the time that it takes oil paint to dry.

The final layer was done with a palette knife and I darkened the values quite a bit.

Garlic- finished

Sunday, June 21, 2015


      Today we tackled simplifying a personal photo (or any subject matter) to determine the 3-5 values and to reduce the number of shapes to no more than 12.

     Here Karen is demonstrating her photo under tracing paper which acts as squinting the eyes would to see the proper values. She set aside three marking pens; black, middle gray and light gray letting the white of the tracing paper acts as the lightest value. As she colored she would edit out details to make a balanced design instead of adhering to every last detail of the photo.

Next Karen numbered the shapes reducing detail to stay under 12. After that she had a composition that will be paint brush sketched onto her canvas and off she goes painting knowing that her design will make a good work of art.

Tracing Paper

Red base coat on the canvas
Now it is my turn.                    
Final Product:


Saturday, June 13, 2015

ART BOOT CAMP- Lesson #2


I have no patience for making color wheels and value/temperature charts and thus I never progress beyond "do it my way".  Karen's art boot camp is gently forcing me to do my homework and I do see why it is important to do the charts, etc.

Put a good teacher in front of me and I will willingly learn.  
First we made a black to white value scale on six color boards. Each primary color will be lightened or darkened to match the value at the top of the chart. As I squint my eyes the values should slide down the chart as an equal value to the top black /white scale. This took time and patience for me.

We are doing temperature change as well as value change on the same chart we added a cooling or warming second color to see what tones it would produce. My biggest weakness is value change so I accepted the challenge. Did my homework; I am so proud of me.
 Oh my this took a long time plus I was getting used to using my new beginner set of oil paints.

There better be a really big prize in my next Jacker Jack box to reward me for this assignment!!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

ART BOOT CAMP- Lesson #1

In my last blog I mentioned that I had signed up for my friend's painting class. Only one class under my belt and I am pumped to paint!

As of today I am a dedicated acrylic or water based media painter but much to my surprise I am ordering a small introductory set of oil paints.  Karen feels I will get better results for all of my efforts plus plein air painting will be easier with oil because acrylics dry out too quickly on site, even with an extender medium.

Lesson 1:
*How to make a mother piles of paint, warm it up, cool it down, lighten the value or darken it.
*How to make it neutral to pop the surrounding colors.
*Oh, warm next to cool gives the rounding of an object.
*Here's a big one; use as few strokes as possible. Someone needs to slap my hand when I repaint over
& over until I reach mud and ruin a beautiful start:(
*Sky hole color: mix a color to match the sky but a little darker and muted. As the sky hole gets bigger it should get lighter. Use the edge of your flat brush.
*Dot-dash-dot for tree trunks and branches.

Homework: Bring black paint, bring a value scale and 3 photo to do a design simplification. We will have to identify only 12 shapes. This is one of my weak areas so I will take good notes and report back to you.