Sunday, March 28, 2010

Teapot and Tea Ball

Teapot and tea ball
Oil on canvas


  1. There are some things in this painting that are working soooo nicely, Jim........I really like your color palette, as well as the wonderful reflection in the table top.

  2. Thanks so much for the comment.
    I threw this image up last night to get a look at it, and had not written any comment about it. Because I had not decided if this work was resolved.

    It has been a difficult piece with all of the gray tones, black objects, and cast shadows.
    I used mixtures of ultramarine blue and burnt umber to get those charcoal neutral grays. And ultra. and sienna for the warmer blacks and gray. Those subtle color shifts do not translate very well in this format.

    I definetly struggled with this piece.
    But it is time to move on, maybe in the future I'll consider it a good learning experience.

    Leonardo da Vinci is quoted as saying, "Art is never finished, it is merely abandoned."

  3. Really nice piece! Very mysterious. Thanks for the follow. Cheers, Tonya

  4. Queria muito ser artista plástica quando criança e, realmente, eu tinha muito talento. Desenhava bem demais. Por falta de incentivo ou motivação, fui direcionada a outras áreas e aos poucos fui perdendo a intimidade com os traços, as cores. Hoje tento me aproximar da arte através das palavras, músicas, vídeos amadores, arte de circo. Nunca vou desistir da arte.
    Parabéns pelos trabalhos. Venho sempre por aqui agora. :)

  5. It is a fantastic job!. I appreciate your art, thanks for sharing.

    Thank you so much for visiting my blog and join me in it is a great honor coming from an artist like you

  6. This is wonderful, the objects slightly hidden in the dark and then peeking out into the light make this especially intriguing.
    Beautiful work.

  7. Tonya,
    Thanks for the comment.
    I am fascinated by your prints. Very interesting work you have.

  8. Byanka,
    Really wanted to be an artist as a child and, actually, I had much talent. Draw too well. For lack of incentive or motivation, I was directed to other areas and was gradually losing the intimacy with lines, colors. Today I try to approach the art through words, music, amateur videos, art circus. Never give up art.
    Congratulations for the work. Always come here now. :)......

    Thanks for the thoughful comment.
    There are so many avenues to express oneself, it actualy sounds lke you are very motivated to create.
    And yes, "never give up art."

  9. Carmen,
    What a nice compliment from such a wonderful watercolorist.
    It is very much appreciated.
    Thank you.

  10. Claire,
    The large shadow patterns was what interested me in that still life.
    I was not certain it worked, am so glad to received some positive feedback on it such as yours.
    Thanks for stopping by and I am looking forward to your 100 day challenge.

  11. I really like the light and shadow divide in your painting. I've been trying lately to do that with a subject viewed in full light. (seeing it in light but painting part of it in shade) It's a challenge I'm not completely up to, but it's been rewarding enough to want to keep trying.

  12. Hi Jim , I really like this painting of yours !!!
    ciaoooo (:

  13. Hi Jim,
    Thanks for following my blog, because this has led me to your beautiful blog. I've painted for a long time in acrylics, but have recently started painting in oils. I've been painting mostly alla prima, and have not ventured into the process you use, but you've inspired to me give it a try. My biggest problem is figuring out mediums. I was using Galkyd Lite by Gamblin, but now am only using Gamsol to thin the paint for the underpainting, and Linseed oil when I need to make the paints move more freely. Any recommendations?

  14. Claire
    Thank you and your welcome.

    As far as which medium I use, it varies upon the type of painting I am doing and the effects I wish to receive. Most of the mediums I use are a stand oil based mixture; on location for sketches I use mainly a copal medium.

    Anyway in the past I got very frustrated when I asked an artist this very question, because I could never get a direct answer and the books on painting tend to quickly gloss over this question and subject.
    It took me some time and experience to learn why.

    Oil mediums are sort of like Grandma’s meatloaf recipe. What she used may have been just perfect for her but you may have to alter it some for your own taste.
    What medium an artist uses is always based on what they want this medium to do. Are they painting directly or indirectly, are they using transparent glazes or semi transparent passages, are they building upon an under painting, etc.? As you can see this becomes a very personal formula as an artist develops his or her style. So there is really no one size fits all.

    But there are some general basics about mediums that may help you get started. . Fat over lean is the basic rule for creating paintings that will last. In the indirect painting approach the painting must be built fat over lean, meaning that each layer of an oil painting needs to contain more oil than the dry layer underneath. The basic principle is to ensure that the lower layers dry faster than the upper layers. If the upper layer dries first, this will result in cracking. Keep in mind that some pigments contain more oil than others; oil paints that look shiny on your palette are FAT and oil colors that look more matte are LEAN. So the use of pigments that contain an inherent amount of oil should not be used in the lower layers.

    In the direct, working wet-in-wet (alla prima) painting approach, completed with out allowing layers to dry, observing the “fat over lean” rule is not as critical, because you form just one paint layer.

    Understanding the components and characteristics of a medium is helpful. The main ingredients in a medium are normally a resin, a varnish and a solvent.
    The reason for several ingredients are that resins such as dammar varnish although durable and dries with a hard film can become brittle, and oil such as linseed or stand oil are soft and flexible but can remain tacky. The two together compensate for each other. And finally a solvent such as turpentine is used to change the viscosity, make the thick mixture fluid and brush-able. The oil-resin medium has dozens of variations, using different oils and balsams all of which have subtle and unique characteristics.
    But the dammar, stand mixture is a good medium to start with, often referred to as a student medium, I still use it often. From which you can formulate a medium that performs the way you paint.

    A mixture of 1 part stand oil to 1 part dammar to 5 parts turpentine is a good general purpose painting medium. It can be used alla prima or as a glaze.
    Start with a greater percentage of thinner/turpentine mixed in with the medium and gradually reduced the amount as you built up the layers fat over lean.
    In the bottom layer: The paint is often thinned with turpentine and a small amount of medium. In the middle layers: The medium is fatter with less turpentine.
    In the top layer: Little or no thinning of the medium.

    A simple method to help gain experience and get use to working mediums is to premix formulas. Such as a small bottle of medium 1-1-5 for the lower layers, 1-1-3 for the middle layers and a 1-1-1 for the final layers. Keep in air tight jars, uncovered the solvent naturally evaporates, and the medium is continually getting fatter, which if you paint every day, is another simple way to have sequential layers become fatter. But to begin with the three jar method will offer more control.
    (continued below)

  15. A couple of final notes and cautions, when using mediums less is more, always use as little as possible. Mediums are just an additive we use to change the consistency of paint, we paint with paint.
    Stand oil tends to impart a high level of gloss when used with dammar, if your work is becoming too glossy then your medium is too fat or you’re using too much medium. If gloss is a continuing issue you can always switch to a refined linseed oil until one gains control. If turpentine is a concern, than use Gamsol, but I would stick with that brand for the other ingredients.

    Painting is a never ending experiment.
    Hope this was of some help.
    Best of luck.

  16. Very nice work and great information.

  17. Hi Jim

    Thanks for the comment on my blog :-)
    Some very nice still life work here and interesting to see that you use the grisaille method. I tried but gave up ;-)