Paint a Pepper!

Hi friends! This is the latest in my Quarantine still life series…

In today’s video I’ll share some tips with water mixable oil paints as I demonstrate how to paint this pepper.

The paints and brushes I used can be found in my new signature set from Jerry’s Artarama! These techniques can also be applied to traditional oils or gouache, and if you work fast enough, acrylics so use what you have and paint along! Below is the reference photo.

I recommend taking a reference photo when painting food or flowers that may deteriorate before you finish the painting. I took the photo above with my cellphone. You don’t need anything fancy.

I am so pleased with the way this painting turned out and it was fun to paint too. I hope you are safe and healthy and til next time happy crafting!

If you paint with oils you will want to read this!

Hi friends! After watercolor oil paint is probably my favorite medium. I love the smooth buttery consistency, the rich glossy colors and the creamy blending that I can achieve with this medium. I even like the smell of the oil paint! It’s not all sunshine and roses tho. If you are using traditional oils you will need to clean your brushes with some type of solvent. I rinse my brushes in solvent, wipe off the excess and wash with brush soap. Today I’ll share how I conserve my solvent so I get the most for my money, keep it in my brush tank and out of the environment!

I use a silicoil brush cleaning tank (affiliate link) but you can make a similar contraption if you like. I use Lavender brush cleaner because I like the lavender smell. If you prefer and odorless option I recommend Gamsol. You can also use hardware store paint thinners. The artist grade solvents can be pricey so it’s really worthwhile making them last! You will need your brush cleaning jar plus two empty glass jars with lids. I use washed spaghetti sauce jars for this.

FYI: solvent refers to your paint thinner of choice: Turpentine, Gamsol, Odorless mineral spirits etc

  • Step 1. Let your brush cleaning tank sit for a couple of days if you can. you will notice that you have a clear liquid on top (the solvent) and a opaque gunk on the bottom (paint and oils that have settled out of the solvent.)
  • Step 2. Pour off the clear liquid into one jar.
  • Step 3. Gently shake the brush cleaner and dump the solids into another jar. You might want to pour a bit of the solvent back in the cleaning tank and shake again to clean out the rest of the solids and pour that in with the solids.
  • Step 4. Pour the reclaimed solvent from jar 1 back into the brush tank and top off with fresh brush cleaner if needed. Next time you do this you will be able to pour a bit of clear solvent from the solids jar into the solvent jar. You will keep adding the solvent to the solvent jar and the solids to the solids jar until the solids jar is full. At that time you can take the jar of solids to hazardous waste disposal. Never pour paint of solvents down the drain. *Your town office should be able to tell you where to take your paint, if not contact a paint store.

Saving money and saving the environment go hand in hand when it comes to oil painting! You might be wondering why I don’t just use water-mixable oils and not bother with the solvents. Honestly, if I was just starting out that’s what I’d do but I have a lot of traditional oil paint to use up. I used to teach 2 adult oil classes a week and I had a lot of supplies and mediums already. When watermixables first came out they weren’t as nice as they are now, they were still and kinda weak and just not as pleasant to work with. They have gotten A LOT better over the years but honestly, I still prefer my traditional oils and it’s not much more bother if you have a brush tank set up as I do. I also find that traditional oils keep longer. During my recent oil painting month I used some oil tubes that were nearly 20 years old but I find watermixable oils dry out in the tube after a couple of years. That would not be a problem for someone using up their paint in a reasonable time but I had my old teaching supplies to get through. I hope you found this helpful and happy painting!

Playing with oils: Wood Duck

Hi friends! Today I thought I’d share an easy painting I did in oil paint. Feel free to give it a try in gouache of acrylics of you don’t have oils.

Today we will be using the supplies in the December 2019 Smart Art Box. You can subscribe to our sponsor Smart Art and receive a box full of surprise art supplies every month or purchase past Smart Art Boxes here. Feel free to use the supplies you have on hand if you don’t have this kit.

Supplies:

  • Oil Paint (Van Gogh)
  • Brushes
  • Turpenoid brush cleaner
  • Oil painting paper block (Hahnemulhe)
  • Palette
  • Reference photo

I hope you are having an amazing day and til next time happy painting!

*Sponsored by Smart Art Box

How did the Oil Painting Challenge go? Well…

Hi friends! Today is December 1st and I thought it would be fun to look back at my November art challenge of oil painting. You can see the paintings I did in today’s video.

Was the challenge a success? Well, define Success. I challenged myself to paint 20 paintings and I only got 12 done so in that respect I failed. That said These paintings were in addition to my normal workload and I really enjoyed my painting time so that was a success. If I hadn’t challenged myself I would not have done any so I’m calling it a win. I wanted to do 45 minute paintings and many of my paintings took twice that long so I probably spent the amount of time I had expected to paint but with less output than I hoped. I’m still calling it a win.

I’m not doing a challenge in December. I want to slow down and enjoy the holiday’s with my family. The kids are sophomores and junior in high school so I know I don’t have too many more Christmases with them at home so I want to make the most of it. I will be ready for a challenge in January, maybe I’ll revisit oils or (gasp) give acrylics a whirl. I am honestly kinda excited to use those Golden Open acrylics I just bought. I’ll keep you posted.

I think challenges are important. I had struggled with burnout the past couple of years and having personal goals seems to be an antidote. Getting better at something, learning and improving is security that you will have these skills in the future no matter what happens in your current situation. Education is not something that just happens when you are in school. If you always push yourself to learn more and be better you can stay in the atmosphere of growth.

I think we can stagnate as we get older and that was definitely part of the burnout and funk I was in earlier this years so I’m gonna fight like heck to stay out of it from now on. How do you stay inspired in your art? Let us know in the comments below and we can cheer each other on! Happy creating!

Catching up!

Hi friends! I am catching up all right! I totally forgot to post this on Sunday when I uploaded it to YouTube and I am trying to catch up on my oil painting challenge to paint 20 oil paintings in the month of November and I am only up to 12! I’ll post a recap at the end of the month. I am not sure I’ll get 20 done.

This was a fun painting and came together pretty quickly. You can see the timelapse below:

Supplies: (affiliate links used) *Affiliate links to Arteza, use coupon code PROMO10 for 10% off.

  • Oil paint colors- Yellow ochre, burnt umber, Alizarin Crimson, Pthalo Blue, Ultramarine, Titanium white
  • Brushes: Assorted smallish brushes ranging from 1/2″ wide and smaller (flats, filberts and small rounds)
  • 5″x7″ canvas panel (Arteza)
  • Optional: oil pens
  • Reference photo

Just a Reminder…

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My watercolor Handpainted Holiday Class is on special for 50% off through 12/1/19 with coupon code XMASTREAT or by clicking this discount link.

I have a new watercolor up on YouTube tonight and I will post that here tomorrow. I hope you all have a safe and happy Thanksgiving and til next time happy crafting!



Sketchbook Sunday: A Lesson in Values

Hi friends! I get the opportunity to view and critique student work every day and the most common issue I see is weak values. Today I am going to give you some tips to help assign values for depth, volume and clarity. I hope you find it useful in whatever medium you paint in!

I will have a 2 hour narrated tutorial of this painting in Critique Club in a couple of days but for a rundown of the concepts you can watch the time lapse below.

Supplies available at sponsor Jerry’s Artarama! Use coupon code: frugal20FS49 for 20% off $49 + Free Shipping (Excludes: Sale, Super Sale, Egift Cards, Buy It Try It’s and Vendor restricted items. Look for the green coupon eligible icon on the product listing.

Supplies:

I hope you had a good weekend! My oil painting challenge is going well but I am going to need to buckle down if I am going to get my 20 done by the end of the month. I think this painting is #7 or #8. I am enjoying it! Til next time happy painting!

The Antidote to Feeling Bad About All of Your Art Supplies…

Hi friends! I love it when I set a personal goal and it ends up having positive side effects I didn’t anticipate. When I decided to paint 20 mini oil paintings in November it was more of a way to beat the “winter blues” and ride the high of having an art goal like I experienced during Inktober. I had really missed painting in oils so I thought hat would be a nice medium to focus on. I didn’t expect the other positives…

I had A LOT of oil paints back from when I had a downtown studio and taught two oil classes each week. I bought my oils in large economy tubes and had jars of mediums and brushes galore. Luckily oil paints hold up well and I haven’t found any spoiled paint in my stash. With each completed painting I felt lighter, any guilt over having so much paint dissipated with every canvas panel I used up. Knowing that I was putting the stuff I had (and my time) to good use while I worked on improving my skills was the shot in the arm my creativity needed. I loved that I didn’t have to run out and buy something new to improve myself.

I would wager that many of us have an excess of some supply we bought years ago when we were really excited about a project. The more those supplies sit around we either feel bad about them or become blind to them. Neither is a great solution. I think many of us think if we use up our supplies on a project that doesn’t turn out well it is a waste but think of the waste of space the supplies take up if they are not getting used regularly. Or the waste of supplies if they dry up or go bad in the package. Even if you paint an canvas and it is “bad” you have created something. You may have failed at the idea you had in your mind but you succeeded in finding out what didn’t work. Often the painting looks different the next day and you can always try scraping back or adding more paint. You can even cut the canvas off the stretcher bars and staple on some fresh canvas and try again if you feel bad about wasting a canvas.

Nobody creates a masterpiece every time, especially if they haven’t done it in a while so why do we think we need to produce a winner every time we sit down to paint? I’d go as far to say that if you do create a great painting every time you sit down to paint that you are not challenging yourself and trying new things. With failure comes growth. Life if made in the mistakes and so is art.

I hope this post helps you lighten up your expectations a bit in your art journey. Take care and happy creating!

P.S. I’ll have a new real time watercolor tutorial for you on YouTube this evening and tomorrow here on the blog:)

DIY Drying Rack

Hi friends! This month I challenged myself to paint 20 small oil paintings, I quickly realized that I would need a place to safely dry these out of the way so I created this drying rack that I can put up on a shelf in my studio away from my work area and my cats! This is what I came up with:

I built this from some leftover foam board (foamcore) I had but you can also up cycle a couple of cardboard boxes to do the same thing. This is sturdy, lightweight and should last a long time.

Supplies:

  • Foam board/foam-core or cardboard
  • craft knife
  • Hot glue (duct tape could also be used but I think it will be more difficult.
  • Yardstick

I love crafting with foam core, I have made many storage items over the years with it like this ribbon storage and this ink pad holder. There is so much you can do with it! Some viewers on YouTube said they were going to make a card display for craft fairs using a similar method to my drying rack and I thought it was a wonderful idea. What have you made with foam core? You can find it at the dollar tree or order it in bulk from any big art supply retailer. Happy crafting!

Painting the same still-life in watercolors & oils

Hi Friends! Woah, this has been a busy week! I just realized I had forgot to update the blog in a couple of days, my apologies! I stated a new personal painting challenge (20 oil paintings for the month of November) and I have been finishing up a new watercolor class (more on that tomorrow!) and it has kept me on the move! Today I have a tutorial of this watercolor painting:

I took this reference photo the other day because I wanted to paint it in oils as part of my November personal challenge. Part of the challenge is also working from my own reference photos as much as I can.

Here is the oil version, I think I need to wipe out some of the reflected highlight on the bottom of the grapefruit because it makes it look a bit moldy LOL!

I enjoyed painting it in oils so much that I wondered if it would be fun to paint with watercolors (a media I am much more proficient in) and I recorded the results in today’s real time tutorial:

Supplies (affiliate links used)

Which version do you like better, the oil or watercolor? I have really been enjoying the challenge of getting back into oils but I find myself fussing too much in an area and basically redoing the same spot multiple times. I think I need to set a timer and when it goes off be done with it. I don’t mind spending the time if I am making progress but fiddling doesn’t improve my skills or the painting so I am trying to identify when I do that and break myself of that habit. I hope you have some art goals you are working towards, it makes the journey so much more rewarding:) Til next time happy creating!

Sketchbook Sunday & My November Art Goal!

Hi friends! I really enjoyed participating in, and finishing, Inktober this year even tho some days I didn’t feel that motivated to do my daily drawing. That said I always felt better once I started drawing. I thought I would be relieved once I drew my last Inktober drawing but instead I felt a bit of a let down. I took November 1st off to rest and reflect on October and then it hit me! I really love having a goal to work toward and I love completing things I set my mind to. During this eureka moment I had another idea to do my own November challenge. I have a stack of small canvas panels and enough oil paints to choke a horse! I used to love to paint in oils so I decided to paint 20 mini oil paintings this month! Here is the one I did yesterday:

It was fun! I am keeping the size small, I have nineteen 5″x7″ canvas panels and a few other oddball small sizes kicking around so I am set there. I was hoping for each painting to take about 45 minutes which I think I will get to once I knock the rust off LOL! The avocado took about 2 hours to paint but I loved it! The Iris took me 1 hour 20 minutes so I am moving in the right direction. I waste a lot of time fussing and overworking an area and then having to rescue it and I attribute that to being out of practice. Both of the paintings were painted from my own reference photos and I liked that. I am going to try and work from my own photos as much as possible this month as I rely on stock photos more that I want to. You can see a timelapse if the iris painting below. You might remember we painted this in watercolor a couple months ago, I really liked this flower! I took the photo in my sisters garden. I’ll take a proper photo of this painting in the morning once the shine dulls and post it on Instagram.

Supplies (I am using a variety of brands, I don’t notice as much of a difference in oil paint qualities as long as you go with a recognizable brand you should be all set) *Affiliate links used

  • Oil paint in colors: Titanium White, Yellow Ocher, Alizarin. Crimson, Sap Green, Ultramarine blue, Burnt Umber (I listed a couple under $20 sets if you want to try oils) Water mixable option with colors needed (rinse brushes in water while painting and clean with soap and water after, good if you don’t want to use solvents) or Traditional oil paint with all colors needed (clean up with paint thinner, then soap and water)
  • 5″x7″ canvas (affordable multi-pack of different sizes)
  • Pentel oil pastels for sketching
  • Assorted brushes (smaller ones, 1/2″ flat and #8 round are the largest ones I am using) I am not very picky about the majority of my oil brushes but for details I like the Royal & Langnickle Fusion line.

I hope you liked the time-lapse, the real-time version will be in Critique Club in a day or two. Critique Club is a membership group where artists can upload 2 paintings a month for detailed feedback from me and also get access to 2 new real time tutorials per month as well as all past Critique Club tutorials. There is also a monthly prompt design to stretch you out of your comfort zone and inspire you to create but you can work on whatever you like even if it doesn’t fit the theme of the prompt. I meet you where you are. Cost is $5 a month. If you want to level up your skills as an artist please have a look and see if it would benefit you. Thanks!

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