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Puzzlewood

Puzzlewood

Oil on canvas, 7″ x 5″

When I started this it was to try out a new paint I had just made, but as I expanded the swatches and added more colors it began to look like a forest, so I named it after a place in England I’ve read about called Puzzlewood.

There’s a system to how I placed the swatches. Look at the far left column and go down to the 4th row, in the center. That’s orange ochre. The square to the right of it is the same paint but brushed thinly, and then to the right of that is a 50/50 mix of orange ochre with titanium white. So every color I used is a set of three swatches that includes one full strength, one thin, and one mixed with white. Above the orange ochre I mixed increasing amounts of lemon ochre and for each step I repeated that pattern of also including a thin swatch and a swatch with white. Below it I added burnt sienna dark.

Now look at the next set of three columns. The pattern is reversed so the swatches with white come first in the 4th column, then the thin swatches in the 5th, and full strength in the 6th. In the center I started with malachite. Above that it’s mixed with lemon ochre again and below it’s mixed with viridian.

The next set of three columns goes back to the first pattern. Venetian red is in the center, and it’s the paint that I had made just before starting this painting. This is actually where I started from because I didn’t plan out all of this before starting. Above it is a mix with lemon ochre again, but this time it’s different because the very top set is actually just straight lemon ochre, with none of the paint from the center mixed in. The bottom set is straight German earth. Again, I hadn’t planned out everything at this point, so the top and bottom swatches of the center column set is the only place that I actually used paint straight from the tube for either a top or bottom set.

Columns 10-12 start with viridian in the center and mix upward with more lemon ochre and down with burnt sienna dark. The last set of columns has burnt sienna dark in the center and goes up with lemon ochre and down with German earth.

Puzzlewood Guide

So here’s the list of each color I used and the brands-

1. Orange ochre – PY43, self made with pigment from Natural Pigments
2. Italian lemon ochre – PY43, Williamsburg
3. Malachite – synthetic malachite, self made with pigment from Kremer Pigments
4. Venetian red – PR102, self made with pigment from Natural Pigments
5. German earth – Natural PBk11, Williamsburg
6. Viridian – PG18, M Graham
7. Burnt sienna dark – PBr7, self made with pigment from Natural Pigments
Titanium white – PW6, Williamsburg

Morning on the Seine

Morning on the Seine 2

Oil on canvas, 10″ x 8″

I made another painting based on Monet’s series on the Seine, such as this painting. This is yet another painting that I started a couple of months ago and then finally got around to finishing just a couple of days ago.

I don’t remember what colors I started making this with, but at the end I painted over everything transparently using lapis lazuli (natural ultramarine, Daniel Smith), lemon ochre (PY43, Williamsburg), and a lot of zinc white (PW4, Daniel Smith). Getting a good photo with accurate colors was hard, so I did some editing to this and maybe the colors are close. They’re still a bit off though.

I think that the paintings in this series by Monet are among my favorite paintings. I keep them in a folder on my computer, along with many other artworks, that I labeled ur-poems because it was the best term I could think of for them. Everything in that folder are things that, when I look at them, seem to me to be the closest representation of an ideal in my own artistic vision that I want to achieve.

Deepest Forest

Deepest Forest

Oil on glass

An abstract experiment. I was making some oil paint today using terre verte pigment (PG23) from Sennelier and I liked the way it spread on the grinding plate. That’s a little more than half a tube worth of paint. Of course, after taking the photo I scraped it all up to put it in a tube.

Silver Forest

Oil on steel

I thought the paint on my palette knife looked like trees with a silvery cloud moving over them. ^_^

edit- aaaah! I knew I hadn’t posted anything in a while, but I didn’t think it’d been over half a month. I have a lot of paintings I’ve been working on, and a few are even finished or close to it, so… yeah. I guess I’ll have some more posts coming shortly. :)

Green Forest

Green Forest

Oil on canvas, 10″ x 8″

A dense green forest with a stream slipping through it. Loosely based on this painting by Arkhip Kuindzhi. I started this a long time ago but only as a sketch, and then recently I finished it. Besides the few colors I used for the sketch, I only used ultramarine green (PG24, Rembrandt), cobalt yellow (PY50, Daniel Smith) and lemon yellow (PY31, Michael Harding). The ultramarine green by itself is very cold and transparent, almost blue. It took a long time to dry. The cobalt yellow is also transparent and dries very fast. I used it to make all of the different greens and yellow greens by mixing it with ultramarine green. The lightest highlights are lemon yellow, which is opaque. Transparent shadows and opaque highlights seem to work well. I didn’t use any white paint this time.

Lately I’ve been busy in my garden. My back hurts right now from all the digging I’ve been doing to plant things, like the potatoes I planted this morning. It really wouldn’t take so long just to dig a little, but then I try to save every worm. ^_^

Memory of Summer

Memory of Summer

Oil on linen, 7″ x 5″

I was experimenting with some paints and decided to make something using what I had on my palette, which were mostly earth colors. I started by painting it all with burnt sienna dark, and then when it was dry I painted the scene on top.

Paints used in this mostly include-
burnt sienna dark (PBr7, self made, pigment from Natural Pigments)
orange ochre (PY43, self made, pigment from Natural Pigments)
yellow ochre light (PBr24, Rembrandt)
cobalt yellow (PY40, Daniel Smith)
titanium white (PW6, Williamsburg)
and a few random dabs of various natural siennas and red ochres

I really like the burnt sienna dark and orange ochres from Natural Pigments. Those are both high up on my list of earth colors that I like and they go together well.

Stargazer

Stargazer

Photoshop, 800×600

I finally wiped the dust off my old Cintiq (a screen that can be drawn upon) and made a digital illustration. I had started the clouds and part of the background years ago as a different project. At some point after that I drew the mountain, and then in the past few days I finished the mountain and clouds, added the observatory, and also the stars. The observatory idea is from a pixel art project I recently started that focuses on just the building, its inside, and part of the mountain.

Moonlight Tea

Moonlight Tea

Oil on canvas, 8″x 10″

Hot cups of tea enjoyed in the moonlight. I think it’s been many years since I’ve made a still life, unless I’ve forgetting one, but I thought I’d try it again. This is modeled after a cast iron tea pot I have with two iron cups, but I didn’t actually set it in front of me while I worked so the shape is a little different. For me it’s the idea that the painting presents that matters.

I started with an underpainting with a few alkyd paints but then I painted over it with Van Dyke brown (NBr8+PBr7, Williamsburg), indigo (vat blue 1 synthetic indigo, Utrecht), and zinc white (PW4, Daniel Smith). It’s my first time using a paint from Utrecht and I liked it. The photo I took of this seems to be showing the white areas as brighter than they really are.

There’s another still life of fruit I made recently besides this but I think it needs more work.

Sunset

Sunset

Oil on canvas, 10″ x 8″

I started a basic underpainting for this a long time ago but it wasn’t turning out like I wanted and I set it aside. Nearly five weeks ago I decided to repaint it using cadmium yellow light (PY35, Winsor & Newton), Indian yellow (PY110, Blue Ridge), Florentine red (PR179, Mussini), and titanium white (PW6, Williamsburg). For some reason even now there’s still areas of paint that are wet to the touch.

For the first couple of weeks I thought it was the cadmium yellow mixed with white that was to blame, but then a week ago I noticed some of the orangish Indian yellow was wet in places too, and just now when I picked it up I got red on my fingers. It’s finally mostly dry, but the places where it’s not don’t seem to have anything in common with each other. I didn’t paint thickly or use any mediums. Some areas that are a little thicker than others are fully dry, but the red that’s still wet was painted very thinly.

Maybe it’s been too cold in my house, since I don’t use my heater very often so I can save fuel, and that’s affected the drying? That can’t be it though, because I’ve painted at least one other thing with normal oil paint during this time that has dried without problem. Some pigments take longer than others to dry, and so do some oils, but nothing should take this long, so I just don’t really know what happened here.

By the way, I just placed an order with Dick Blick and in a couple of weeks I’ll finally be able to try out block printing.

Last Light

Last Light 2

I took this photo a little over two months ago while on a train passing through a canyon in the Rocky Mountains. It was evening and the sun wasn’t shining directly into the canyon, but the red rock walls above us were still lit and gave a golden glow to the river.

Clouded Wilderness

Clouded Wilderness

Oil on linen, 7″ x 5″

When I started this painting I didn’t have a plan for what I wanted to make. Instead, I painted shapes with yellow ochre domestic (Williamsburg) and an alkyd fast dry titanium white (Da Vinci).

As I slowly covered the canvas I thought of various ideas for what the shapes could become. It was between this or a sunset. If I had chosen a sunset I would have used the darker shapes as clouds and the lighter shapes as the sky behind them. Just to see how it would look, I started painting the shapes of mountains into the darker areas and I decided to go with that.

The linen panel I used was one I had already covered in some reddish paint, maybe Indian red or something similar, a long time ago. That color shows through a little in places where the paint is thinner or where the bristle marks cut down into the paint.

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