Painting flesh

People find painting people and portraits difficult. Even artists who can paint complicated landscapes without too much difficulty stumble when they attempt people. Why? Part of the answer is the uncanny valley. The uncanny valley refers to the mechanisms people have for recognizing other humans. It turns out that these complicated mechanisms are difficult to…

New paint order from Blue Ridge

The more I use Blue Ridge oils, the more I like them. I continue to use their flake white, of course, but I’m enjoying their entire lineup. My recent small order contains colors I use all the time, cerulean blue and permanent crimson, and others I’m testing–terra rosa and cobalt teal. Earth colors like terra…

My visit to Cedar Point

Cedar Point, a Disneyland-like park on Ohio’s Lake Erie, is only a half-hour trip from my house. I picked the perfect day for my visit last week The weather was fine and because it was a school day, the crowds were smaller than normal. Finding parking was easy and the line to get in was…

White Balloon 3rd session

By my 3rd session with the painting titled White Balloon, I finally have the entire surface covered with paint. One issue large paintings present (White Balloon is 40″ x 54″) that is not encountered on small canvases is coordination. It’s too easy to work out the details in an area only to discover the area…

Leaded oil completed

I began my latest batch of leaded linseed oil on July 27, 2021–38 days ago. I protected the oil from debris with a cover. I gently rocked the tray periodically to prevent surface skin.  When I checked the oil today, it was thick and sluggish which means it’s ready to decant and store. Forgetting to…

White Balloon 2nd session

Last time I wrote about getting my painting titled White Balloon ready–the preparatory drawing and the first painting session. I am carrying the painting forward with this update. Here is White Balloon after my second painting session. You can better see the painting’s bones in this photo. It’s going to take time to put flesh…

New painting prep

My newest painting, White Ballon, is the standard size for me, 40″ x 54.” The drawing is simple–really the plan for the painting. I define the shapes and clarify the relationships between objects: light on dark, light on light, light on dark and light, etc. For large paintings like this, it’s immensely helpful to address…

Ketman

Ketman is a strategy to avoid trouble that is used by people who are out of step with the prevailing authority or orthodoxy. It’s a way to dissemble. At a minimum people practicing ketman must self-censor their speech. When silence isn’t enough, ketman-practitioners find ways to appear to actively support the regime. When ketman-practitioners cannot…

Beach market photos

I use my Nikon Z7 camera all the time. Nearly all my paintings include elements from my own photographs, typically mashups of several photographs. Summer is a great time to take photographs, of course. I stay alert for festivals, fairs, or other events that promise to provide a harvest of usable photos. Next week, I…

Thomas Crow

Thomas Crow is an American art historian. For a short time, his interests overlapped with mine, which is how I became aware of him. Some readers might know that I am a fan of the French artist J.L David. Early in his career, Crow wrote a book focused on David and his circle, Emulation: Making…

Cleveland’s van Goyen

My next video about painter’s paintings is on van Goyen’s painting titled View of Emmerich in the Cleveland Museum of Art. Van Goyen is another artist from the Dutch Golden Age. He is a contemporary of Rembrandt and is from Rembrandt’s hometown, Leiden. I started making art-related podcasts a couple of years ago. Discussing artworks…

Get the lead out

OK, the title of this post is a bit of misdirection. I mean to say ‘get the lead in.’  Quick-drying oil is very important for oil painting. Not only do quick-drying oils enable artists to finish paintings quickly, drying oils improve the way paint handles. It gives artists more control over the paint–an altogether good…

Death of a brush

Serves me right. After I bragged about how rugged the Old Holland sable oil brushes are, this brush died, as you can see. It lost too many fibers and lost its usefulness. It lasted longer than most comparable oil sables, however, so I’ll buy more of them. In defense of Old Holland, oil kills sables…