Misty Night

Endless Dream

Oil on canvas, 5″ x 7″

I spent a long while thinking of what to title this, but I think this fits. Imagery of misty mountains stretching into the distance have always been a favorite of mine.

The two paints I used for this are slate black (PBk19, Williamsburg) and flake white hue (PW6 + PW4, Winsor & Newton). The slate is a good black. A little gritty, but very close to neutral and not overpowering.

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.

Northern Woods

Northern Woods

Watercolor on paper, Moulin du Roy 140lb cold press, 3 1/8″ x 5 3/4″

A cold winter night, with fog and stars.

Among the things that arrived from Dick Blick yesterday were many sheets of watercolor papers from brands I’ve never used before but wanted to try. Moulin du Roy is a French brand that I think I first noticed in that catalog a few months ago as something new. I got 1 or 2 sheets each of 140lb cold press, hot press, and rough. I really like this paper so far.

The watercolor paint I used is Dick Blick’s house brand of indigo (PB66). I’ve used a couple of tubes of their oil paint before, which is decent enough, but this is my first time with their watercolor. I was impressed by the strength of it, and it was very inexpensive.

Indigo paints come in 3 basic varieties. Originally there was genuine indigo, which is a fugitive pigment (it fades in sunlight easily). I think only Kremer Pigments currently makes watercolor paint with that, but there might be one other I don’t know about. This indigo used here is the synthetic version of real indigo, and this pigment is used by a few different brands of paint. I think it’s suppose to be more lightfast than natural indigo, but I really can’t guarantee anything. Lastly and most commonly the paint called “indigo” is actually just convenience mixture of various blue and black pigments, and sometimes possibly a little dioxizine violet, quinacridone violet, or some other dark color depending on the brand. I like the subtle color of this particular indigo and the strength of how dark it can be.

Firefly Forest

Firefly Forest

Oil on canvas, 5″ x 7″

Another experiment, this time with painting a night scene. I don’t remember all of the paints that I used, but this is the result of having various new paints on my palette that I was mixing to see how they would look and then wanting to use them on a painting so they wouldn’t be wasted. I mixed them all together into one blue color. I think it was mostly ultramarine violet and viridian, both from M Graham.

When I scanned this I did another experiment because with so much dark paint the light from the scanner was reflecting off every thread in the canvas it was hard to see the painting.

Firefly Forest Process

On the left is the original scan after the size was reduced. You can barely see the painting through all the glare. In the middle I flipped the painting upside down and scanned it again. It looks about the same, but the glare was on the other side of each thread. I then aligned the two scans, each on a separate layer, and set the top layer to 50% opacity. Lastly, in the right image, I made a new levels adjustment layer above both of those to adjust the light levels. The glare disappeared, the details were preserved, and the colors closely match the real painting, so it was a complete success.

Sunset Rainbow

Sunset Rainbow

I took this photo a couple of years ago out the window of a train while in the Utah desert. The sun was setting and suddenly I saw a strange rainbow. It was dark outside and I don’t think I remember any rain. I didn’t know a rainbow could appear in that way at that time of day, but I looked it up and they do but they’re rare. You can faintly see a second rainbow to the right of the brighter one.

Also I changed the blog theme a minute ago. I think this’ll work out better for posting wider images, like this one.

Night Forest

Night Forest

Oil on linen, 5″x7″

Painting in just black and white is a lot of fun, but thinking of a title for a painting is a little harder. Usually I wait until I’m trying to save the file so I can upload it and I think “oh, I have to name it now…” A lot of times I just name it what it is, like “waterfall” if it’s a painting of a waterfall. This time I thought I’d try something more poetic, but everything sounds so cliche and forced. Next time maybe I’ll write a title first and then paint what the words describe.

I started this painting with a mix of graphite grey (PBk10, graphite, cold dark grey) and davy’s grey deep (PBk19, slate, warm dark grey) from Williamsburg. I really liked how the mix looked, but it wasn’t dark enough, so after it dried I painted over it with German earth (natural PBk11, black earth) from Williamsburg and titanium white (PW6+PW4) from M Graham. I thinned that paint with Liquin from Winsor & Newton for most of it except the darkest parts that are pure black. Once that dried I finished by adding highlights on the trees and grass with thinned zinc white (PW4, very transparent white) from Daniel Smith.

Moonlight Fox

Moonlight Fox

Oil on canvas, 5″x7″

This started as just a practice with a couple of blues and terre verte, but then I tried making something of it. I’ve been wanting to paint a scene like this for a while now. Before painting the fox I photographed the background and drew the fox in photoshop to get an idea of how best to paint it.

The red paint I made myself, and a little bit of the white.

Mare Nubium

Oil on linen, 5″ x 7″

I had started this with some paint I made with charcoal, but I didn’t really make it properly and it wasn’t working out so I switched to pre-made charcoal black (PBk8) from Blue Ridge. It’s easily one of my favorite if not my favorite black paint because of how neutral it is and because it doesn’t overpower a mixture the way something like a mars black would. The white I used was zinc white (PW4) from Daniel Smith. This’ll probably be the last oil painting I post for a little while as I switch to watercolor, pixel art, and photography coming up.

I switched the theme of this blog last night and I really like it. Now the posts are easier to browse without having the entirety of every recent post displayed at once in a long list. Does it look/work better now?