Australian Fine Artist

Mixing Greys

A basic lesson that any painter needs to know is how to mix a variety of greys without having to use a blend of black and white, or Paynes Grey.

Greys are a very useful tone when painting “tonal” paintings, or for creating atmospheric perspective.

The basic method to remember is that opposite colours on the colour wheel will “knock’ each other out creating a very dark grey. By adding a small amount of white the grey will become apparent for each of these mixes.

The great thing about mixing your own greys is that you can make a range of cool or warm greys, or greys that hint at one of the colours you have used to create it. for example you may want a greenish grey, or a warm purple-grey, so you can use a mix of colours to achieve these.

Try mixing a purple with its opposite colour in equal portions and then add some white, or a mix of blue with orange then adding white.

Another mix to try that I also use instead of black, is an equal mix of Alizerin Crimson and Viridian. Together these create a beautiful near black, but when white is added result a beautiful grey. By altering the proportion of one of these colours to the other you can either warm or cool the resultant ‘black’ or grey.

These methods can be used with oil and acrylic paints, and I have also tried it with water colours, but thinned the mix with water to allow the white paper to do the lightening instead of adding white. In the case of water colours adding white will make the paint opaque and ‘milky’ which is not the best or traditional look for this medium.

To see more examples of how to mix a variety of greys visit the Winsor & Newton web site at:
http://www.winsornewton.com/au/masterclass-video-mixing-greys-using-acrylics?utm_campaign=AU_MASTERCLASS_VIDEO_44&utm_source=emailCampaign&utm_medium=email&utm_content=

Until next time, happy painting.

Janice.

Scumbling is a method used when painting that I have recently taken up as part of my repertoire for gaining depth and unity within a painting.

It could be compared to glazing, as the use of transparent and semi-transparent paints is involved. The difference however, lies in laying down a darker background, then adding a transparent white, waiting for it to dry, and then ‘scumbling over darker transparent colours to either unite the painting with a similar tone or temperature, or to create a specific colour impression.

One of my best examples of scumbling was used in a very large work over 4 canvasses. I wanted to give the painting depth and pull it together with the use of scumbling with lighter and darker alternate cool and warm tones. This also gave the impression of the metal objects in the painting, which I was very pleased about.

I use a mix of Liquin and Linseed oil to get a little more drying time, but if you want one layer to dry very quickly, use the Liquin on its own. Liquin dries fast, sometimes in a matter of hours, so you need to be sure about what you are doing.

If you want to watch a short video about this method of painting look at:

http://www.winsornewton.com/au/masterclass-video-scumbling-with-oils?utm_campaign=AU_MASTERCLASS_VIDEO_32&utm_source=emailCampaign&utm_medium=email&utm_content=.

Happy painting!

Odds & Sods. 2015. Oil on 4 90x90cm canvasses. © Janice Mills.

The First of Five Workshops with David Chen

Last semester ended with us understanding more about skin tones and how to use edges, tone and colour to place the model into a scene.

This semester we began by going over David’s philosophy for the workshops and his experience as first, an art student learning Academic Art Training at university (something that is not widely covered in Australia) and later as a practising artist and art teacher.

The technical issues that David has overcome during his 40 years as an artist and teacher are invaluable for students to learn as we take on the difficult subject of the human body.

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Painting Nudes 2017

The Final of Five Workshops with David Chen

During this workshop, we learnt about another method of working the model into their surroundings. Rather than having your subject, be it a human figure or even a still life or an animal, looking like they are part of their surrounds, and keeping the painting interesting takes planning and often altering what you see to what you want. During this workshop, we could either take from the objects surrounding the model and apply our imagination to make them work, or use vignetting (leaving areas of the canvas white) to merge parts of the model into the background and surrounds.

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Adding depth and texture to your paintings

If you like the texture of paintings that shows mounds and gullies of paint rather than the flatter surfaces typical of traditional tonal paintings, you may want to consider using modelling paste with your acrylics.

A similar product is available for oils, and is as easy to use. It is typically called impasto. Both of these products added to the paint will add a large amount of volume without taking away from the intensity of the colour. If it does change to another brand. Good quality ones which I have used are Winsor & Newton and Atelier.

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Painting Nudes 2017

The Fourth of Five Workshops with David Chen

This workshop followed on fromthe previous subject about “loosening up” your painting style. One thing that I have noticed over recent years is how edges can make or break a painting. The softer and “looser” result that you may be looking for has to do with how you approach painting edges, particualrly those on you main subject in relation to the surrounding composition.

There are a few different methods to help with creating interesting edges that also bind your subject to their surroundings, rather than having them look like cardboard cutouts.

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Letting the Paint Do What it Does

Water colour painting  can be a challenge. A lot of artists avoid it as it tends to do what it will on the paper. Interestingly, you can have control over your water coloours depending on how you use them, and really, some of the beautiful affects gained when allowing the paint and water to flow and merge can be a delightful happy accident or surprise.

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Painting Nudes 2017

The Third of Five Workshops with David Chen

When I began training with David Chen, my goal was to not only learn the principles of Modern Impressionist painting, but also to ‘loosen up’ my style a bit from what i saw as sometimes ‘stiff’ and contrived results. Sometimes the details become so important that I forgot to place the subject within and connected to the foreground and background in which it was situated.

Context is just as important as your focus and main subject, and when the subject began to look disjointed, unrelated or worse, like it has been stuck or pasted on top of an unrelated scene, is when I start wondering how this could have been avoided. My thought was that if I could put more planning and less effort into my paintings, that would be a start, but what kind of thought and what kind of effort?

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How Important Are They? Why do they deserve your suppport?

There may be a lot of people who wonder why we have public and regional galleries. Surely they are just for people who love art or who are in the arts professions? What is not always explained about visual art in particular, is that even if you are not an artist or even in an accepted creative profession, or learning one, the methods of creative thinking and problem solving that artists do, is also useful in science, engineering and other professions.

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Impasto for Oil Painting

Adding Texture and Volume to Your Paintings

If you have ever tried to create volume to your paintings by using your paints alone, you have probably encountered the same problems that I have in the past.

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