Friday, March 23, 2012


First rule of paint mixing: Make more than you think you will use, then make more. I do not always subscribe to this rule because normally I have an infallible talent for color matching. However! That was back in high school. And the first time it happened was a battle between logic and inspiration; the instructor and me. And since I was doing water with lots of breaks and reflections I knew I was not going to need a lot of any ONE color let a lone ALL of them. Plus, God and I both knew I was being made an example AGAIN. And we (God, Fate & I) decided to stick it to her. But I still, until about 5 years ago had an Uncanny X-man power. But I digress...

This time, because I knew I did not want to run short of the blue like I did the violet purple for the Boss Lady's sign, I made tons! So what do you do with the leftovers?

Rescue a canvas from the Set It & Forget It Pile. I decided three fruits instead of four in the p series and had a 4x4 left over. So slap on two shades of blue, clean the brown brush off in the corner and across the top voila! A vibrant jewel tone piece of love.

And I  still have tons! But I can adjust shades and do some layering with more stencils when I figure out what the heck to do on this. But I kinda love it as is. Ran the leftover brown through a stencil and hit it with some brush handle dots to get this layer. Of course the stencil work across the top is sloppy. It's sloppier than I would like it to be, so that will get a layer of blue. And nothing feels quite right if it doesn't have words on it since I am such a font geek. But I really like how this is starting out.

oh and it needs a shot of something metallic. I am trying not to over do since it is a small canvas. But the funny thing is somehow this color is making my heart sing. Not Hills Are Alive with the Sound of Music sing. But like electricity humming through a line sing. Well maybe zing. It is energizing and I just want to run. Not sure what the artistic procedural equivalent is, but I kinda feel like running through a field of poppies while flying a kite in Summer with big poofy clouds until I'm out of breath. Usually I feel that way when I see what Michelle is doing (especially the new stencils. swoon!). Normally I do not do this to myself. I think if I can hit those notes inside me then I will invalidate the last post and stay excited about stuff.

The second rule of paint mixing:(for those of you playing along at home who thought I would gloss over the numbers) is to keep track of your mixes so you can duplicate the process. I know how smart that is because I keep getting told so. Since my Uncanny Ability is fading like I've been shot with the mutant solution I really need to discipline myself to do that. But it is also a visually stunning thing to do, like doodles in the margins of a notebook.

Since I did not do that. I will have to make a note of it. So, again, for those of you playing along at home.

DWK Blue Bold = Brilliant Blue (Artist's Loft) + Phthalo Green (Artist's Loft)
DWK Blue Light= Brilliant Blue (same) + Phthalo green (same) + Titanium White

DWK Chocolate Dark= Brilliant Red (same) + Pyrrole Carmine (Liquitex) + Phthalo Green (same)

Why two shades of red in the mix? Well, for one, I have discovered with a lot of trial + error that the red is really what makes the browns brown. If you mix a warm red and a warm green you get a boring brown. If you mix a cool red with a cool green you get a matte brown. Both boring and matte are dull. Especially when they are with other colors. So you need to add the opposite temperature red. It's like adding cumin to chili powder for a sauce. Without the cumin its just kinda meh. In this case, because I used the Phthalo to make the blue I used just a dash of the Pyrrole to cool off the chocolate and tie the blue and brown together.

WARNING: Do not mix warm and cool reds in even amounts! That just makes mud. For a more milk chocolate brown start with a big gob of the warm red tone and add bits of the cool red. The more cool red the darker the chocolate color. This brown looks like about 80% cacao.

The other thing about using swatches as you mix is that you can remember which formulas hit the mark and eliminate the ones that didn't work in the future.

Crap! I just realized (AGAIN) there really is math in art. But of course, eyeballing it works too. Eyeballing it in art is less detrimental than eyeballing it in the checkbook. :)

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