Red and Yellow Sunset

Red and Yellow Sunset

Watercolor on paper, 5″ x 7″

Originally I was working on a copy of a painting by another artist, who was born in 1880 but I couldn’t find a date of death. I wasn’t sure if the painting was still covered by copyright so I remade the composition while keeping the theme the same.

I made this using only watercolors that I had made myself- pozzuoli red (a natural red ochre), lemon ochre, and a 1:1 premix of ultramarine light and raw umber. Those pigments are all from Natural Pigments. I also used some smoked (carbon) black with pigment from Pebeo.

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. 🙂

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.



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.

Clouds and Waves (finished)

Clouds and Waves Finished

Oil on canvas, 5″ x 7″

Somehow the paint from yesterday evening was already nearly dry this morning. I know burnt umber dries fast but I’m wondering if the marble dust I mixed into the acrylic ground absorbed some of the oil out of the paint.

It’s afternoon now and I decided to glaze over it with a mix of putty (linseed stand oil, walnut oil, marble dust), some more of the burnt umber I made, and then from Daniel Smith I used some transparent blender, genuine lapis lazuli, and zinc white. The lapis lazuli looks good out of the tube but is such a weak paint that it just doesn’t live up to its marketing hype. It’s fairly good at glazing though. I don’t normally do glazing but I like how this worked.

Clouds and Waves

Clouds and Waves

Oil on canvas, 5″ x 7″

Sun setting behind low clouds while waves beat on the rocks.

I painted this using three oil paints that I made recently. The reddish brown I made today using Italian Burnt Umber Warm pigment from Natural Pigments. The black is Iron Oxide Black 306 Bluish, from Kremer Pigments. I also used a little bit of a violet earth pigment, Augite Porphyry Violet Light from Agulis Pigments, but it was mostly covered by the black at the top. The light areas are just the burnt umber scrubbed on thin and then scraped off.

I was using a stiff brush, a Titanium #4 bright from Robert Simmons, which has some dried paint in the bristles to make it extra stiff. It’s one of my favorite brushes.

Before starting this I wanted to smooth the texture of the canvas a little, but for some reason I still haven’t gotten any gesso since I ran out a long time ago. Instead, I took some clear acrylic gel medium and mixed marble dust into it. Then I spread it over this canvas board with a plastic palette knife. It seems to have worked perfectly. The deep gaps between the canvas weave were mostly filled in but there’s still enough tooth that it held the paint well enough.

The burnt umber also has some marble dust in it as an experiment. 🙂

Red Sunset

Red Sunset

Acrylic on canvas, 5″ x 7″

I painted this with a set of acrylic paints that my landlord bought for me, so I’m going to give this to him. It’s been a long time since I’ve used acrylic but I think it worked out pretty well.

Sunset Over Plains

Sunset Over Plains

Mixed media, watercolor and conte crayon on paper, 3.75″ x 5.25″

I’ve never tried using watercolor together with conte crayons before, so this is yet another experiment for me. I think it worked out well, so I’ll try this again.

The watercolors I made myself and include Italian dark ochre (one of my favorites of all my paints), yellow ochre light, and Nicosia green earth.

I’m actually having a little problem with the green earth since I didn’t use any preservative in it. Out of all 12 of the watercolors I made and put in tubes this is the only one that’s done this, but I noticed a few days ago that the tube was swollen very full. When I saw that I was like “Wait, did I fill it that much?” When I took the cap off a small amount of paint burst out of the opening and when I squeezed the end of it there was a large air pocket.

From what I’ve been told in the past it seems that whatever bacteria that may have been in the earth that was ground up into pigment are now eating the honey the paint was made with (even though honey is suppose to be anti-bacterial?) and are producing gas. So, basically, my paint tube has germ farts in it.

Since then it swelled again and I squeezed out more air, and now it’s starting to swell yet again. I may just squeeze out most of the paint into a container. Next time I’ll try making the paint with a tiny drop of clove oil added to the gum arabic to act as a preservative, and we’ll see how that works.

Red Sunset

Red Sunset

Alkyd oil on canvas, 7″ x 5″

Red clouds over a primeval land of sharp mountains.

I got these paints in my order from Dick Blick yesterday. This is my first time using alkyd paints. I’ve used Liquin, an alkyd medium from Winsor & Newton, but these paints have an alkyd resin already in them. Basically they’re just like normal oil paints but they smell a little stronger and dry a lot faster. I painted this yesterday evening and it was nearly dry to the touch when I woke up early this morning and dry enough to handle before the morning was over.

This is also my first time using paint from Da Vinci. I got their alkyd versions of yellow ochre, venetian red, mars black, and titanium white. Overall I felt that the paint worked out well, especially for the low price, but the mars black was surprisingly weak.

Mars Black Comparison, Da Vinci and Williamsburg

That’s a very large difference in tinting strength. Since I was working wet in wet (I had painted part of the sky behind the big mountain before painting the mountain, whoops) it was difficult to get dark blacks while using a black paint that’s overpowered by everything it touches. I would suggest that maybe the inclusion of alkyd resin dilutes the paint (I don’t know if it does) but the other three paints didn’t seem to have weak tinting like this.

Other than that, I liked how the alkyds worked out and how fast they dried, so I’ll probably be doing some more paintings with just these four.

Victoria Harbour Sunset

Hong Kong Sunset 1

Hong Kong Sunset 2

These are old photos from 2008. At the time my family and I were living in Korea on a 90 day visa. When it was getting close to running out for my mom and I we were considering taking a ferry to Fukuoka in Japan, staying there a couple of days, and then returning for another 90 days. I found so little information about the ferries available in English though that I was nervous about the idea of traveling a long distance to a city on the coast that I had never been to and then trying to figure out where the ferry would be without getting lost. Instead, we flew to Hong Kong because I at least knew how to get the airport.

We were only there for less than 3 whole days before going back to Korea, but it was a lot of fun. We took the ferry in the photo above on a tour of the harbor and were within walking distance of the art museum, a planetarium, restaurants, and a lot of other nice places.

Hong Kong Sunset 3