WIP, Glazing

Hello everyone, I hope you are having a good start into your week. I have been working on a couple of projects, and in case you were getting bored with the paint swatches, I thought I would mix it up a bit. Here is a work in progress:

IMG_4574

This painting is half-finished. I am waiting for the layer to dry in order to apply thin glazes on top.  As usual, some parts are dry and some aren’t. As you know I am impatient but I will preserve (note my spiffy new easel)! I am working from a reference photo but I wanted to paint a looser version of the original. I’m interested in conveying the depth of the beautiful and unearthly dark and light blue-green of the water.

I hope this one will turn out the way I imagined it.

Thanks for visiting,

Jeannette

Snob Paints (Michael Harding)

Hello everyone, yes it’s Friday! I hope your week has been good. As always, I’m looking forward to the weekend. As promised, here are swatches and first impressions of Michael Harding paints:

Format:
The left column shows the paint as they were squeezed from the tube labeled with the paint colour.

The right part of the picture is the paint tinted to increasing degrees with M. Graham’s Titanium White Alkyd paint. Please note that Titanium White does skew the colours a little cooler (Again, sorry about the quality of pictures).

Michael Harding
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Phthalocyanine Blue Lake:
This colour was one of the most pleasant surprises. Phthalo blue is one of the most strongest tinters but this one was quite easy to tame. It is very clean and you can get really lovely soft greenish blues.

Ultramarine Blue:
Very nice clean blue that leans red, a basic staple colour in most palettes. It is one of the oilier paints. After doing some research I found out that without fillers/additives, it’s difficult to get Ultramarine Blue to be stiffer. Some pigments need more oil than others when they are ground in their binder.

Terre Verte: 
A beautiful soft earth colour that is green-yellow. It has very low tinting strength and a velvety texture.

Magenta:
A lovely reddish-purple. Very versatile and useful.

Manganese Violet:
I love this violet because of the colour obviously, but also because it’s not obnoxious as some purples can get.

My overall impressions with Michael Harding Oils is very good. The company only makes oil paint. Harding himself is very active in sourcing pigments and I find the colour descriptions very helpful, since he is an artist as well.

The other thing that I appreciate is the packaging of the paints: the tubes have actual swatches of the painted colour as well as pigment name, pigment type, lightfastness rating, oil content, transparency/opacity, tinting power and drying time. Many reputable companies that sell artist’s grade paint usually list pigment name, opacity/transparency and lightfastness but not all of the other useful information that Harding provides on his paints, as in the picture below:

IMG_4563These paints are not cheap but they are less expensive than Vasari. So far they seem very nice. I still have to use them more to get a better feel for them. But from what I’ve seen so far, I highly recommend them.

I hope this information was useful if not interesting to you.

Thanks for visiting and have a great weekend!

Jeannette

Snob Paints (Vasari)

Hello everyone, I hope your week is progressing well.

As I mentioned in my last post, I acquired some new paints. These paints are some of the world’s best brands and especially Vasari is very expensive. Even more so because I’m in Canada and the exchange rate is abysmal. Vasari is a boutique paint and as far as I know, you can only order from them directly in the U.S. or from Jackson’s Art Supplies in London.

IMG_4522I also got some Michael Harding paints based in the UK (a top quality paint with decent prices), Blockx paints (an old and reputable company based in Belgium),  Mussini paints by Schmincke (a very reputable German company) and Williamsburg paints (a U.S. company that is now owned by Golden, a reputable paint company). And finally, I got some Rublev lead white paint from Natural Pigments. A couple of other brands that should be in the lineup is Old Holland and Maimeiri Puro but those will have to wait until another time.😁

I am going to post swatches of the paints I’ve mentioned here, but this post will focus on Vasari. I will post the other brands in posts to follow. I apologize for the quality of the pictures below as I was just doing these swatches for myself as reference. Then I thought why not post it for everyone else too. By the way, the white paint to colour paint ratio is very rough and I’m pretty bad with the palette knife. Hopefully, you will find it helpful if you’re interested in these paints.

Format:
The left column shows the paint as they were squeezed from the tube labeled with the paint colour.

The right part of the picture is the paint tinted to increasing degrees with M. Graham’s Titanium White Alkyd paint. Please note that Titanium White does skew the colours a little cooler.

Vasari:IMG_4547You can click on the image to enlarge

Paint colours from top to bottom:

Cadmium Lemon: I was surprised at how oily with was straight out of the tube. Nice colour similar to other Cadmiums I own but didn’t seem be overpowering, you can get some nice soft yellows when tinted down.

Genuine Naples Light: This was the most expensive paint not just because of the brand but from any manufacturer that makes it. And not many do because of toxicity/scarcity of the pigment. As you can see, it is a very different yellow that it hard to achieve by mixtures. When tinted down, you can get some really subtle pale yellows

Raw Sienna: Also a wet colour but beautifully neutral. I can see this being used quite a bit.

Ivory Black: A basic warm black that can tint neutral grays. I only have a cool black so it’s a welcome addition.

When I was considering the colours from Vasari, I wanted to get so much more. But because I spent so much on the Genuine Naples Yellow, I got more reasonably priced colours instead.

My first impressions of Vasari surprised me the most, I thought that I would hear the angels sing.. but it didn’t happen. I also new it was a “loose” paint but I was surprised at how oily or how much initial oil from the tube came out. I know you can l leach the oil out on a paper towel but it’s an extra step. There’s no doubt on the beauty of the colours but these are only swatches. I will have to see how they behave when I paint with them. As they say, the proof is in the pudding.

Stay tuned for more swatches and first impressions…

Thanks for visiting,

Jeannette

What’s New

Hello everyone, I hope you have been keeping well and the new year has been kind to you so far.

I have had a nice break. The first week of the new year was an extension of the Christmas break for our household, since the kids had the first week off from school. After that it was my birthday. I was fortunate/smart in receiving what I wanted for Christmas and birthday gifts (I told my DH exactly what I wanted: everybody is happy 😊). Below is a pic of my spoils:

IMG_4498 I got snob paints, my first real easel and an Ikea cart/taboret. I’m excited to take these babies for a spin. I will be doing some paint swatches and noting my impressions soon.

Keep well and thanks for visiting,

Jeannette

Painting #30 and a New Year’s Wish

Wishing everyone a healthy, happy, new year! Here is my last painting off my 30-Day Painting Challenge and the first painting posted for 2017:

#30 “Santorini Dreaming”, oil on birch panel, 8″x8″
img_4446This painting of Santorini signifies my outlook for this year. It looks fresh and warm with endless sun and bright blue sea. I am very happy that I was able to complete this painting and this painting challenge, that I imposed on myself😄! It was frightening but since I was committed by declaring it publicly, I was forced to complete it. In the end, I’m glad I did. I learned a great deal and I feel a great sense of achievement.

I hope this year will be fulfilling with new adventures, growth and gratitude. I am going to take a break from blogging and social media to reflect on my intention for this year.

A special thank you to all of you for reading my blog and supporting my work, I appreciate it more than you know.

Jeannette

Painting #29

Hello everyone, I’ve decided to post this piece today as the last painting that will be posted this year but NOT the last of my 30-day Painting Challenge. I will post my final piece on New Years Day. Here is painting number 29:

#29 “Study with Pinecone”, oil on birch panel, 4″x4″
img_4443This painting was done as loosely as I could. I like the light and the arrangement of the pieces. It was really fun painting the pine cone in a loose manner. I still feel the inclination to go in and fully render everything with details. But I will leave this as it is.

Only one more to go!

I hope everyone will have a great New Year’s Eve and stay tuned for the last painting from my painting challenge tomorrow.

Paintings 27&28

Greetings! It’s Friday and I hope everyone will have a great weekend. Here are #27&28:

#27 “China and Cherries”, oil on birch panel, 4″x4″
img_4440I am happy with this piece. I like the level of rendering, the composition and the colour harmony. I find it pleasing somehow.

#28 “Kitty”, oil on birch panel, 4″x4″
img_4441It was hard to find a reference of a cat that was not typical. There’s plenty of cat pictures online, even copyright free ones that are cute. I don’t know why I picked this one especially, but I do like the cats face emerging from the shadows and the colour and clarity of its eyes.

Saturday will be New Year’s Eve and I hope you will say goodbye to this year with a glad heart whether it’s from relief or fulfillment. Talk to you in the New Year!

Paintings 25&26

Hello everyone, I hope your week is going well and your New Years Eve plans are underway if you are celebrating. Here are paintings 25 and 26:

#25 “Brie and Blueberries”, oil on birch panel, 4″x4″
img_4429Here is a simple piece with cheese and blueberries. I like the contrast in textures of the dusty cheese and the glossy blueberries. I tried to be looser and tried not to overwork it too much.

#26 “Bread”, oil on birch panel, 4″x4″
img_4430I wanted to try something different in this painting. So I incorporated different effects of painting genres within an individual painting. For example, I used realistic rendering of the subject juxtaposed with graphic design elements in the background. Again, I tried to be loose in this painting and used a flat brush to achieve the flat “stripes” and soft transition of the background. I am pleased with the way it turned out.

This week is the last stretch for me, only four more paintings to go!

Until the next post,

Jeannette

Paintings 23&24

Hello everybody, for those of you who celebrate, I hope you had a great Christmas! Here are paintings 23 and 24:

#23 “Abundance”, oil on birch panel, 5″x7″
img_4420In light of all the festivities and food, I thought it would be fitting to do a painting of food. In this case, some delicious grapes and figs. I tried harder to be looser in this piece. It is apparent in the rendering of the cut figs. Other than the looseness of the figs, I don’t know if I like this piece that much. I’m afraid it looks like those typical still life ensembles with a bunch of food items and a jug or some other dinnerware thrown in. I don’t know why but I don’t like still lifes with more than a handful of items. It looks too busy and cluttered to me.

#24 “Study of A Happy Pig”, oil on birch panel, 5″x7″
img_4421This is a painting that I altered from the reference photo with a dark background. I don’t know if I like it or not. But, I can’t get over what I perceive as a smile on the pig’s face. The one thing that I do like about this piece is my treatment of the edges. I tried something new and loosely blurred the edges. I think it produced an interesting effect. Especially where the grain of the panel shows through.

I hope you enjoyed Christmas and all went well. I enjoyed this Christmas for all the usual reasons but also because it was my only day off from painting this month! It was a welcomed break. I will be resuming painting today and persevere for the final stretch this week. Six more to go!

Wishing you a great week.

 

Paintings 21&22

Hello everyone, it’s Friday, a welcomed end of the week. Here are paintings number 21 & 22:

#21 “Marbles”, oil on birch panel, 4″x4″
img_4411This painting was a study to render glass and reflective things. And as always, every painting is a learning experience. Since I don’t draw my reference onto my substrate when I start a painting, it was a bit nerve-wracking to do this piece. I usually just do a loose sketch with thinned paint. The spherical forms require precise lines and a steady hand; I don’t have the steadiest hands. In fact, my hands always shook a little bit. So, to render these spheres as closely as possible was tricky. But I like how it turned out with the different coloured reflective lights.

#22 “Christmas Wish”, oil on birch panel, 4″x4″
img_4413This piece is a little something I did for this special occasion. I hope it doesn’t look hokey but to paint something like an ornament or an exclusively Christmas image would be kind of weird if hung on a wall. So I chose a more “universal” image. I opted for the simplicity of a single candle. I hope you like it.

Wishing you all a very wonderful holiday. I hope you will be able to get together with friends and family. Whatever your interaction, I hope you will come away with a modicum of peace and a few laughs.

Be well,

Jeannette