Golden Mountains

Endless Dream 2

Oil on linen, 8″ x 10″

Gold paint for the base layer and self-made terra verte for the mountains. While I made this I thought it was interesting that I was painting a thin sheet of golden clouds over mountains by having had first painted the clouds and then draping a thin sheet of mountains over top of them. The terre verte is transparent so the golden base color is showing through everywhere and especially where the paint is thin.

Night Snow

Night Snow

Oil on canvas, 7″ x 5″

This started out as a rough copy of a Chinese landscape painting I saw online but then I started painting the sky dark, adding background mountains, and so on, until it was very different from the reference. As with my last painting this is still completely wet, but I scanned it by placing the corners of it onto coins to hold it above the scanner glass.

The colors I used were my newly gotten brown ochre (PBr7, Blue Ridge) and a mix of various whites. I really like this brown ochre already.

Mars Yellow Paintings

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Click for larger size

Oil on canvas, 10″x8″

This painting is loosely based on a Chinese landscape painting I saw in a book of mine called The Jade Studio. It’s a very good book, but I don’t have it with me right now so I can’t look up any information on this painting or the others except what I had already typed. I only used mars yellow that I made myself and titanium white from M Graham.

I finally decided to try making some oil paint a couple of weeks ago with the glass muller I had gotten from Natural Pigments. So far I’ve only used it for making watercolor because I thought the cleanup after using it for oil paint would be a bit of a hassle… and it kind of was. I think the result I got was worth it though. I used mars yellow (PY42) pigment from Blue Ridge and walnut oil from M Graham. The finished paint was very soft and kind of goopy and ropey, which I like.

The only problem was that I made way too much of it. I made alla prima painting after painting with nothing but mars yellow, and sometimes white, trying to use up as much as I could.

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Click for larger size

Oil on canvas, 10″x8″

This is a copy of a painting from a series of paintings by Dai Xi (1801-1860). I think it’s leaf 8 of the first album from his “Double Album of Landscapes” if I’m understanding this book right, but I don’t have the title for this exact painting. I can’t seem to find this painting online to show what the original looks like. In my version I only used mars yellow. There’s no white paint or any other paint. In the lighter areas I thinned the paint a little (or a lot) using Gamblin’s Neo Megilp, which I recently got and wanted to try out, and the white areas are completely blank canvas. This was kind of an experiment because I don’t think I’ve left parts of a canvas blank before, but it can be done in watercolor so I tried it with oil paint.

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Click for larger size

Oil on canvas, 10″x8″

Another copy of a painting that I don’t know the name of from that book. It was a winter scene with a lot of snow and grey skies. This one also has blank canvas for white and thinned paint in the lighter areas. The original had some buildings too but I left them out. I think this is the only one I didn’t paint in one sitting, but I also didn’t paint over anything either so it might as well have been painted all at once.

Mars Yellow 3

Oil on canvas, 5″x7″

This isn’t based on another other painting, but I wanted to experiment with it. I already had a small canvas that I had covered in several coats of white acrylic paint to smooth out the canvas texture. I was planning on making a completely different painting on this, but I wanted to try this paint to see what kinds of brushstroke textures I could get on the smooth surface. I think it worked out well, except that for some reason even though the paint wasn’t very thick it took a long time to dry. I would have posted all of these a week ago if this had been dry but even still it’s too sticky to set on my scanner. I took a photo instead, in early evening shade, which is why the colors look different.

Charcoal Watercolor Sketches

Charcoal Watercolor Sketch 1

Charcoal Watercolor Sketch 3

Charcoal Watercolor Sketch 4

Charcoal Watercolor Sketch 2

Watercolor on sketchbook paper, 5.5″x8.5″

I recently got a new Chinese brush from Paragon and I made these sketches using German Vine Black (PBk8, made from charcoal) watercolor from Rublev. Nearly all of these were made with the same brush, except for some of the dark sky of the first sketch which was made with a Japanese brush from Yasutomo because I wanted to practice with that one too. The other three sketches were entirely made with the first brush. I’m very impressed with both brushes.

Hidden Waterfall

Hidden Waterfall

Watercolor on 140lb rough paper, 11″x15″

I made a copy of a small portion of a Chinese landscape painting in my watercolor book. The original painting is black and white. I don’t think the colors worked very well for this, but it was interesting to try. Two of the three paints I used are ones that I haven’t used in a long time so I wasn’t sure what they’d look like. The yellow I used I made myself using mars yellow pigment, but instead of using gum arabic which is what watercolors are normally made from I used powdered peach tree sap.

Falling Water

Falling Water

Black gouache on canvas, 5″x7″

The rocks are based on a painting that’s in my book of Korean landscape paintings, and the waterfall is based on some waterfalls that I saw in Japanese woodblock prints, but the composition I just made as I went. Until I had painted a few strokes and began shading what eventually became one of the rocks I wasn’t sure what I was going to be painting at first.

This was another experiment with using watermedia on a canvas board. I didn’t want too much canvas texture though so for this I made a mix of Golden fiber paste and some acrylic gel medium and covered the whole canvas evenly with a large spatula shaped like something you’d flip tiny burgers with. When that was dry I did a second coat with a mix of more fiber paste, some acrylic impasto medium, and some white acrylic paint because the paste wasn’t as white as I’d want. That got it acceptably smooth and cleanly white. It wasn’t until that was all dry that I started painting.

For my brush I used a size 4 round Textura synthetic brush from Raphaël. The bristles are very stiff and it’s made for thick acrylic paints and mediums. It even has “HEAVY BODY” written right on the brush. With this brush I was able to scrub the gouache into place using dry brush techniques for most of it. I was going to also use white gouache at first but I decided against it early on because I wouldn’t have gotten the same semi transparent greys.

Gold Mountains

Gold Mountains

Mixed media, 5″x7″

I wanted to experiment more with my Golden fiber paste, so this time I mixed it with gold acrylic paint (also from Golden) on a palette before applying it in two smooth coats on a canvas with a palette knife. I then painted on top of it with Blockx cerulean grey watercolor.

The fiber paste by itself produces a water absorbant ground that can have watercolor used on it to some extent, but the acrylic paint mixed in with seems to have reduced the absorbency to be very low and the watercolor mostly stayed on top. The gold areas aren’t quite as iridescent as they would be if it has just been the gold acrylic alone, but as the light shifts it still produces a golden sheen.

Mountain and Waterfall

Mountain And Waterfall

Acrylic on canvas, 5″x7″

This is a copy of a small portion of a famous Chinese landscape painting called Travelers amid Mountains and Streams. I didn’t want the uniform texture of canvas to show through the paint, so I first covered the entire canvas in fiber paste from Golden. Then I coated it in a layer of black paint and once it was dry I used a dry brush technique to apply white paint that clung to the ridges of texture. I liked how it looks like rocks with snow on them.

It’s been a really long time since I used acrylic paint, but since I have a lot of old tubes I can freely use them without worrying about wasting paint. If I don’t use them then they’re wasted anyways.

Yunshan 5

Yunshan 5

Oil on canvas, 5″x7″

I had some leftover yellow paints from a mixing test so I painted these mountains. The center mountain is nickel azo yellow (PY150). It’s a transparent paint so I painted from top to bottom each layer thicker than the last. Towards the bottom I was painting over dried layers with more paint so it’d be even darker. The lines between each layer are just little ridges of paint. At the end I added the clouds which are a mix of cerulean and cobalt turquoise. I didn’t end up using any white paint on this one, just two blues and a few yellows.

Yunshan 4

yunshan4

Self-made watercolor on Fabriano Artistico soft press 300 lb paper, 5″x8″

I’m finally back after being out of town for over a month and now I can get back into painting. Here I’ve depicted some of the ever clouded mountains of Yunshan using using some Italian Raw Umber pigment from Rublev that I made into watercolor myself.

Tomorrow I think I’ll edit and upload some of the 900+ photos I took out of the train window on the way back home. I also got a ton of new paints in oil and watercolor, so maybe I’ll post swatches and reviews coming up.