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Wide Sketches 2

Wide Sketches 2

I made more, thinking that it’d be easy. This one was a bit harder to think of ideas for, but I think at least a couple of them could become paintings.

Wide Sketches 1

Wide Sketches 1

Here’s the sketches I’ve made over the past few days. When I started at the top I wasn’t planning on doing this. The flat topped mountain shapes I was randomly drawing started to look like a good rock when I put trees on top, so it quickly became a panorama scene of trees and rocky crags. From there I thought I’d continue the theme of one wide scene after another. At least a few of these I want to make paintings of.

Ultramarine, Lapis, Indigo, and Indanthrone Blue Charts

Blue Compare 1

A while back I had posted this chart on a forum in response to a question about what these blue paints looked like compared to each other. The color isn’t 100% accurate but it’s close enough to show how they compare. The box on the right shows color averaging from the first 1:1 mix with white for each paint for comparison.

Ultramarine
This is a workhorse paint. It’s a very good, strong, easy to use, and useful color that’s reliable to not fade. Every brand of paint sells this and it’s always one of the least expensive from any of them. It’s hard to find a more perfect paint. Almost every paint set for students includes this. For most artists that I’ve seen, if they only have one blue on their palette, it’s usually this one. This is sometimes referred to as “synthetic ultramarine” while talking about lapis lazuli, which is natural ultramarine.

Lapis Lazuli
Natural ultramarine is the opposite of synthetic ultramarine in almost every way. It’s weak, dull, very expensive, only available from a few brands, and difficult to use in many painting styles because it’s so transparent and so easily overpowered by anything you mix into it. You can see this from how light it becomes when mixed with the same amount of white as any of the other paints on the chart were. It’s good for glazing because of its high transparency, and in watercolor it’s actually useful for its high granulating texture. Other than that I think a lot of artists tend to have high expectations for this famous paint that’s spoken of so highly in much of art history but when they actually try it themselves the paint doesn’t match the hype. There’s different grades of pigment depending on the purity and to make this from the highest purity would be extremely expensive. I think it’d be better to just use synthetic ultramarine.

Indigo
Natural indigo is known to fade and I don’t think anyone makes paint with it anymore. Synthetic indigo is PB66, only used by a few brands, and I’ve read conflicting reports about its lightfastness. Almost all paints named “indigo” today are just mixes of blue and black, sometimes including other pigments such as a little violet, with each brand using their own mix. The synthetic indigo in this comparison is very slightly bluer and less grey than the mix below it (which is made from phthalo blue, lamp black, and ultramarine), but if you wanted the mix to be bluer it would be easy enough to just add a small amount of extra blue to it. Doing this would avoid any question of whether synthetic indigo is actually lightfast and you wouldn’t be confined to just the few brands that make it. If you want to use a so-called “Zorn palette” (usually yellow ochre, vermilion or light cadmium red, ivory black, and white) you could consider indigo instead of pure black to give the palette a little more flexibility. Greens would be slightly easier to mix and the cool greys would be a little more believable as “blue” when placed next to a bright red than simply mixing black with white.

Anthraquinone, Indanthrone, or Indanthrene Blue
The name depends on the brand, but I call it indanthrone. The popularity of this slightly reddish blue seems much lower than many of the others because I rarely see it on anyone’s palette. I think it’s usually somewhere in the middle of a brand’s price range and is clearly not as intensely chromatic as ultramarine. It has much more tinting strength than ultramarine though, so a smaller amount of this paint will go further in mixes, possibly offsetting the price. It also seems a little more opaque than most blue pigments. I used to use this a lot early on when I started painting and was exploring different pigments, but I haven’t used any for a long time now. Maybe that’ll change.

Secluded Waterfall 2

Rocks and Waterfall 2

Black watercolor on paper

I made a new version of that previous painting today. This time it’s made almost entirely with just two black paints I made myself- slate (PBk19, pigment from Kremer) and shungite black ochre (PBk10?, pigment from Natural Pigments). Early on I had used a small amount of the charcoal black from the last one but I ended up covering that one small area with the darker black ochre. This time I used a black goat’s hair quill mop brush from Da Vinci for almost everything, except a few corrections at the end. It’s a much coarser hair that doesn’t come to a sharp point at all, more of a thick and rounded blunt, and has almost no snap. It holds a lot of water though and can be used in a way very similar to a Chinese brush.

Secluded Waterfall

Rocks and Waterfall

Black and white watercolor on paper

The black is German vine black (PBk8, charcoal) from Rublev and I used several different whites. This started out as a painted version of a sketch I made. It ended up with many differences, especially in the foreground which was originally going to be only water. The only brush I used is a long goat hair Chinese brush that holds a very sharp tip. There’s a few parts that could have been better but I like how this worked out.

Ink Landscapes: Mountain Rain

Ink Landscape 1

Chinese black ink and white watercolor on paper

A quick sketch using a Chinese ink stick and stone to make the black ink, and snow white Korean watercolor from ShinHan for the rain.

Tiny House

Tiny House 1

Blender 2.71, rendered in Cycles with 3 renders of 300 samples each and combined in Photoshop to reduce noise.

This is my first finished 3D project after I finally gave Blender another try a week and a half ago. It’s a free 3D program and I’ve been wanting to do something 3D for many years, but the last time I tried I had no idea what I was doing. Back then was basically just me opening Blender, looking at the interface, and thinking “huh?” before closing it. This time I watched a series of tutorial videos on cgcookie.com and it’s actually fairly easy to pick up on. Most of what I did here was covered in those beginner tutorials.

One idea I had for 3D work would be to make a few houses like this, copy them until I had built a village, and then I could position the camera wherever I want to get references for paintings that would have accurate perspective and shadows.

My computer is a bit old though. I’m still using my late 2008 aluminum unibody macbook, 2.4GHz core 2 duo, nvidia geforce 9400m 256MB, 4GB ram (recently installed, all these years I’ve been using 2GB), and a new crucial M500 ssd (a bit harder to install because I had to use pliers to get an overtightened screw out of my macbook). I figure with those two recent upgrades I’ll get by for at least a few more years with this.

Fleeting Moment

Fleeting Moment

This was based on a photo of a snowy forest, but it was just trees. I made this entirely with an old tube of sepia (PBr7+PBk6, Holbein) and a new tube of snow white (pigment not listed, Shin Han). I got the snow white cheap a few months ago, a 50ml tube for only about $2 if I remember right. I’ve never used their paint before and I wanted to get one or two others, especially a black, but all that was left in stock was white.

Sunlit Clouds

Sunlit Clouds 1

Sunlit Clouds 2

Sunlit Clouds 3

From the photos I took on one of my train trips, during the winter. I think this was sunset, but I’m not sure now. The way the sunlight was slipping out from behind and between clouds and hills seemed interesting to me.

This past month has been so hot that I’m too busy in the cool mornings to make art and too hot the rest of the day to have the energy for art, or anything else. This is the time of year that I wish it was winter again. Starting with this post, everything will have snow until I’m not hot anymore.

Also, I’ve made a few changes. A few of my old posts I’ve deleted. Some of them had pixel art that I thought was too similar to the kind of work you’d see in a video game, and because I’ve come to view those as very unChristian and regret that I ever played them in the past I’d rather distance myself from them in my art now. I’ve also disabled likes on my posts for now because I thought I was focusing too much on blog stats. I really appreciate comments though and I always like being asked questions. :)

30 paintings for June

As I mentioned last post, I did a 30 oil paintings in 30 days challenge for June over in this forum thread (I’m yellow_oxide). For me it was an extra challenge because I had travel plans for this month and also my church follows the Sabbath on saturdays in which we rest from work, so in all I only actually had 18 days to do all 30 paintings. Some of the paintings may be a little rushed because most days that I painted I was doing 2 paintings, and couple of times I got behind and needed to do 3.

Most of these I painted on half of an 8″x10″ canvas board, with one painting on the top half and one on the bottom half. A few of them are on matte board scraps that I covered with gesso or on a 7″x5″ canvas board. Most are original but a few are based on paintings from either Van Gogh or Monet.

Overall I think this challenge was a lot of fun and helpful. Ideally I wouldn’t be so rushed, but because I didn’t feel like each painting had to be a masterpiece I was also more able to experiment with, ideas, paints, and mediums that I don’t normally use. If I do this again it won’t be a month with travel plans though.

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