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September 17, 2008

Weekly report delayed due to "IKE"

Special bonus at end of report.







A technique used to cover an area of paper to prevent it from being painted.

Ask yourself can I just as easily paint around the white area, before reaching the mask.

Remember these points, test on paper before using, never dry it with hair dryer, never apply to wet paper or remove when paint has just been applied.

Never use a good brush to apply fluid, a cheap synthetic,. rubbed across a bar of soap before dipping into fluid will extend it's life.  Wipe with tissue to remove excess soap

I sometimes use the end of a brush, toothpick, spatter with toothbrush drawing finger over bristles, sticks, palette knife etc.,etc.

You can get some nice effects by applying mask over already painted area, paint again and remove, this could be repeated again.

Remove dry mask either with rubber cement or clean finger.

From time to time you may need to rinse out the brush.  DO NOT USE WATER THAT YOU ARE GOING TO PAINT WITH.     The rinsed out fluid will float on the surface of water, dip in a good brush,  it will be covered with the film of mask, GOODBYE BRUSH.

The biggest problem with mask is the very hard edges that it creates.

You might want to try this, apply to damp paper it produces blended edges.

This only applies to the mask I use. tried all the others, Drawing Gum by Peblo is head and shoulders above them all.  Not thick, gummy at all, will produce very fine lines.  Always test on YOUR paper first.

You don't have to use Fluid Mask, Drafting Tape will also work, Wax Paper, Wax Candle.


Just lately I have been using----------------------Vaseline, yes Vaseline.

It has not stained paper and evaporates afterward.  Apply very thin, no blobs, leave about ten hours before you paint over, you should not see or feel the area that received the vaseline.

No expensive Fluid Mask, no worry about brushes. no worry about getting on clothing.

Yes I have seen students tip, drop, fluid everywhere.  No wearing out fingers removing same.

Vaseline is becoming my favorite mask.  Downside it is always going to resist Paint.  The white paper will always be there

Try taking a small bristle brush, dip into jar of vaseline, sign your name, don't forget to paint over name.

Those of you that are submitting their work for me to post on the World Wide Web and receive free comments, Please let me know your experience with Vaseline.




There are times when one is struck by a breath-taking scene that may never be encountered again.  The color picture I did resulted from just such an experience.

Should you lack a camera in a similar situation, put your pencil to use and do a quick sketch of the scene with detailed pencil notes about the actual color.  This will give you a chance to apply your knowledge about the warm and cool classifications of color because it will be almost impossible to remember each individual color by name.

A sketch like this, as you can see, is not too detailed, yet it includes the essential elements in proper relation to each other.

It will probably be helpful to analyze the drawing without the notes.  See how abstract the little tree at left and the larger one at right are.  Notice that the hills in the background are merely outlined and the woods at the left and right, as they get nearer, are still merely wiggly lines.  Buildings, too, are merely indicated rather than actually constructed.

When you get back to your base of operation, make an immediate color sketch based on the drawing and notes made on location as well as anything you may be able to remember and visualize about the scene.  This procedure will give you a solid basis for a future finished painting.

Note in the lower drawing how I have saved the center building and large tree for the last.  These are my darkest darks.



Here is the final painting in  color of the stages explained in the previous pages. In the sky, I first used a thin wash of Ochre with a touch of Antwerp Blue, emphasizing the Ochre.

I  then washed over that with Ultramarine Blue, introducing just a touch of Burnt Umber applied very lightly.  In this particular instance, I did not sponge the sky area; it was painted with a wash.

While the sky was still damp I painted the hills with areas of  -  blues  -  Permanent Antwerp, and Cobalt  -  spotting them in different areas but graying them all with Umber and Indian Red.

When this was finished, the darker areas of the mountain and background were painted, leaving only the areas that are to remain white unpainted.  I used Sepia, Antwerp Blue, and Burnt Umber, graying their intensities.  The trees and all details in the background were painted this way, using the colors of winter.

Next, the foreground of the road was painted and, when that was dry, the shadows were put in as indicated in the painting, this time using Cadmium Orange with the same Blues.  I finished by painting the house and foreground tree and other final touches.




Why it is so called The Valazquez Palette, as it was used way before his time is beyond me.

It consists of Ultramarine Blue (P.B.29) --- Burnt Sienna (P.Br.7) --- and Yellow Ochre (P.Y.43).

It is a challenge to use these three pigments, you will find an amazing range of color mixtures.

Ultramarine created delightful pigment textures and shadow darks when mixed with Burnt Sienna.

If you dilute this mixture a variety of pearly washes are possible.

Mixing Burnt Sienna with Yellow Ochre produces a dry golden grass look, which goes a greenish look with a touch of Ultramarine.

Try changing the pigments around  - use P.B.27 (Prussian Blue) as an alternative to (P.B.29).

See what happens?

Should see brighter greens.

Here are even more variations on this palette.

Burnt Umber for Burnt Sienna

Paynes Gray for The Blue

Raw Umber for Yellow Ochre

Here is a chart showing all the different combinations of Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Sienna shown in rows 2, 3 & 4.  Both pigments were Winsor & Newton.

You will get different results if you use different brands.

Hardest color to mix was the dark green for the trees.  There is only a very small window for this color to appear.

SO - do you need all the colors in the rainbow?

Master using just these two and you will be well on your way to being a good colorist.

William Russell Flint and J.S. Sargent were masters at pulling the full range of possibilities out of the combination of these two colors.

Once you feel comfortable using these two colors, add P.Y.43  -  Yellow Ochre,   Raw Sienna.

Why would I want to even mess with this, you will be saying.

The Velazquez Palette lets you concentrate on very subtle mixing variations.  Looking at the chart you can see all the color effects with minimal materials.

Also, you don't have the overwhelming distraction of hundreds of possible combinations among a dozen or so paints.

You will improve your sense of color harmony much quicker.

But you have got to pick up the brush and do it



Wet sky area, with a large 2" Hake Brush painted in Ultramarine Blue, then a mixture of Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Sienna (place in top right and left corners.)  Blot out clouds with tissues, top right and middle sky.


Ultramarine mixed with Burnt Sienna making a light Gray for shoreline in the distance.  Small rocks painted in.  More Blue added to the Gray for the water.


Burnt Sienna blocked in for the large rock.

When dry, add a dark mixture of Ultramarine and Burnt Sienna to the face of the rock.  Darks were added to the "blocked in area" forming the face of the rock.

Just an irregular placement with a round brush #14, of Ultramarine and Burnt Sienna (not mixed together).  Let them blend on the paper .  TIP - very few times do I mix colors together  in the palette, let them mix together on the paper.  Even lifting the board then watching colors blend together tipping the board back and forth.

YOUR FINISHED  -  see you next week.

"Ike" came to visited us (just a glancing blow) but only delayed our report one day.



This painting was specially painted for this lesson.  It would never have existed other than that.

Half sheet (22" x 15")  painting of mine framed matted ready to hang in gallery would sell for $750.00 and up.

Just one chance, one person, first e-mail receives, un-matted no frame, original, signed painting  -  $75.00 + shipping.  Payment details given the purchaser.

You will not be sorry.  Act now.

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