Tuesday 25 November 2014

Red but not really red

Carol said that most beginner painters paint apples with paint right out of the tube.  The red is so bright that it doesn't look right.  I tried very hard and there isn't a single red in this painting that wasn't mixed with something else.

Boy does she make painting apples look easy.

Please join me in my other blog 5 minutes from cool where I post my current paintings.

Thursday 20 November 2014

I knew it

Value does the work but colour is more fun.  First subject is saturation.  The exercise is to mix 2 primaries and then slowly add the other primary to desaturate the colour.  I used cadmium red, cadmium yellow and Ultramarine blue. The first column is an orange (from the red and yellow) and blue is slowly added.  The next is green added by red and the last is purple adding yellow.  The purple didn't really change that much - I guess the yellow is weak in comparison.  The final column is cadmium red desaturated by equal amounts of blue and yellow.

I mixed it with a palette knife and I was quite careful to keep the knife clean which is a habit I should develop.  

Grey or Gray - I never know which one is right and the spell checker isn't helping it accepts both.  I have always argued with teachers that it makes no sense to worry about complements.  For example to get the a red grey you have to  mix red with its complement  - green which is blue and yellow.  So you are mixing all the primaries.  I never understood worrying about the complement just mix all the primaries and you add more of any colour to get it to lean to the colour you want.  If you want a bluer grey just add more blue.  Carol agrees with me.  She just mixes red, blue yellow and sometimes white to get a grey. 

I told you so.

Monday 17 November 2014

How fast can you paint if you had to

This exercise was to arrange a still life and paint it in 20 minutes 10 minutes and then 5 minutes.
Can you guess which one is which?

They are in the order painted - 20 10 then 5 minutes.

Five minutes was a a fight but the others were enjoyable.

Saturday 15 November 2014

White on White

I have figured out my problem or at least one of them.  I usually work on Carol's book after I've done everything else and usually at the end of the day.  I am now changing it to a priority and going to work on  it first thing in the morning - after the dog, breakfast, a load of laundry and a couple of bills.

Still working on values - this time a light painting with secondary midtone and a smidgen of black.

5minutesfromcool.blogspot.ca S. Charto Light values

I don't think we will eat the egg that has been sitting under a lamp - the dog is about to get lucky.  

Friday 14 November 2014

Black on Black

I figured it out.  I mean I figured out how to get the dark values.  First cover your canvas with black paint.  I think it would have been better to let the paint dry but who has patience.  Put the subject in a box and then turn of the lights and paint in the dark.  Works for me.  The majority of the painting is black the midtones is secondary and the white is just a smidgen.
S. Charto 5minutesfromcool.blogspot.ca Black on Black

Just like the books says.  Tomorrow I will try to have a white painting - at least I don't have to paint in the dark.

Thursday 13 November 2014

Value (1)

This is a very short chapter but it is deceiving.  It is just like learning chess - the rules are simple but the game takes a lifetime to learn.  Values seem so simple it is just dark and light but training your eye to see them is not as easy as it seems.  

It is simplified to 3 values - obviously dark, medium and light.  Highlights are not included in the value scheme. Each painting should have the values divided into "dominant, secondary and smidge amounts".  Sounds easy doesn't it, well its not.  I tried a couple of paintings that, well excuse the expression, sucked.  

5minutesfromcool.blogspot.ca S. Charto

This one isn't bad but it still doesn't obey her rules.  Mid tones are dominant, light is secondary in theory and black is a smidge.  In reality it seem to me that white  and black amounts are equal. The background was toned and is peaking out.

I tried a painting with black dominant and I couldn't get it to work.  

At least I am painting in acrylic and can easily cover the work and try again. And in the imortal words of Scarlet O'hara, "I'll think about it tomorrow".

Tuesday 4 November 2014


The next exercise was to walk around your neighbourhood and take pictures.  I am a little incapacitated right now so I just hung my jacket  on my easel and worked on that.
I am so excited to be working on this book but painting for me is really hard right now.  I am not used to sitting while painting so I am finding it frustrating.  Oh well.  

It is poppy season now.  I make a poppy painting every year. I am a sucker for all those veterans who sell them and I am incapable of walking by without giving a few dollars.  So each of my jackets has a poppy.  One soldier I was talking to said this year the poppies are being bought up.  All of us are distraught over the events in Montreal and Ottawa where soldiers were murdered. Just buying a poppy doesn't seem enough.

That is it for chapter 3.  The book is full of beautiful paintings and I am wasting a lot of time looking at all the artist's websites.  Tomorrow is chapter 4 on values.    

Saturday 1 November 2014


Carol`s next exercise is a self portrait.  Boy did I have a tough time with this one.  I hurt my knee badly and I had to paint sitting down.  I just could not get comfortable, everything felt off.  I also didn't wear my my glasses.  I have heard of artists painting without their glasses to make everything a blur but between my knee and glasses I just couldn't wait until it was over.

Where did all those wrinkles come from.  I need a hair cut.