1. When I am leafing it looks like blobs of paint. What am I doing wrong?
More than likely your canvas is too loose. You need a tight canvas. To tighten a canvas you can mist the back of it with water. You can blow it dry with a hand dryer. When it dries it will be tight as a drum.
You could also have too much paint on your brush and/or be applying too much pressure to your canvas. Your brush should be dry with small amounts of paint on the tip of the bristles.
2. When birds are flying over water, will they always have a reflection in the water?
If they are flying far above the reflective range, you will not paint a reflection. Most likely you are standing above eye level from the horizon or they are flying from above eye level of the horizon. If your birds were closer to the water, or just taking off from the water, there would be a reflection.
3. How do I mix flesh tones?
You begin with the same two basic colors, alizarin crimson (both oil & acrylic) and thalo yellow green (Grumbacher Oil) or vivid lime green (Liquitex Acrylic). You will add white to these two colors to create a Caucasian skin tone. To create darker skin tones you will add Prussian blue, burnt sienna, and dioxazine purple. All flesh tones vary so you will need to experiment with the various mixtures of paints. For a redder skin tone, you will add more burnt sienna. If you need a lighter skin tone, add white.
4. Can I mix different brands of paint together?
You can mix different brands of paint. The difference between brands is the strength of the pigment. A different pigment may change the color. It does not hurt to mix as long as they are both water-based or oil-based. You cannot mix oil and acrylics together.
5. Can I use Masonite board to paint acrylics or oils on?
Yes, Masonite boards can be used with these two mediums. It can be more affordable than canvas and you may prefer the surface to canvas. Most importantly, use untempered Masonite board and you must apply at least two coats of gesso to prime the surface. Sand between each coat with fine sandpaper.
Use untempered hardboard (masonite) because tempered hardboard contains an oily resin that in time could impair the adhesion of the gesso.
Masonite is a company. By calling a smooth one side, grid the other side, masonite is like calling a tissue a Kleenex. To check if the hardboard is treated is to take a piece of masking tape to a smooth untempered surface, right away fibers will stick to it, if it's tempered it won't. If it's the masonite it has a wax coat, tape will take a while before the sticky reacts with the wax.
Duron is a hardboard that is untempered. You can buy it from a building supplier. The sheets were untempered 3/8x 4' x 9'. Very smooth both sides fairly dark, very subtle small pattern can be seen (not felt) on the surface. You will not find this product at Home Depot, but they may special order the product.
6. I have a hard time painting on Masonite boards. My paint streaks and appears to dry very rapidly. What am I doing wrong?
Keep in mind that panels do not have a tooth like canvas. The paint cannot adhere the same way. When you work on a smooth surface, you have to build up the painting in layers (glazing). You may have to go over an area 4 or 5 times before you get good coverage. Also, be sure the paint has had time to cure, about 30 minutes between coats. The paint tends to dry fast and that is why putting one thin layer on top of another is the best approach.
7. What colors are in the color wheel?
Primary colors - red, yellow, blue; Secondary colors - orange (red & yellow), violet (red & blue), green (blue & yellow).
If you mix every color on your color wheel together, you get a rich brown color. This becomes your base color. If you add red to your base color (brown), you create a sienna color. By adding red or orange to your base color, you create the fall colors. Add yellow to your base color & you create an ochre color.
Remember we are not changing the value of color. Value is what you do to change the intensity of your color, or the lightness and darkness of a color.
Add green to your base color, which makes a nice olive color. Add blue to your base color and you create a stronger intense brown. Add purple to your base color and you create a nice burgundy color. This is very important in creating shadow areas.
You use the color wheel to create the mood of your painting. If you want to have a warm mood to your painting, add the warm colors red, orange, and yellow. For a cooler mood, add the cool colors purple, blue, and green. The more blue you add, the cooler it becomes; and the more green you add, the more spring-like it becomes.
Color Ranges: If you mix blue & green = blue-green, mix green & yellow = yellow-green or thalo yellow green, yellow & orange = yellow-orange, orange & red = red-orange, red & violet = red-violet. By mixing these colors, you create your different shades of color.
You always go to the opposite color on your color wheel to find its compliment. For example: green's compliment is red, blue-green's compliment is red-orange,yellow-green's compliment is red-violet. This is how you compose a painting correctly by using the compliments of color.
This basic color wheel is used for landscape and wildlife artists. Remember color composition is the key to a good painting.
8. How do I paint a chrome look, such as bumpers on a car?
Chrome is similar to painting water. It picks up the colors that surround it. Begin with a dark gray color and gradually add lighter colors to the area, such as, whitish green, bluish white, tan, rust, etc. Your highlight color depends on your color scheme. Use horizontal and vertical strokes and gradually work your way to a bright yellowish white for the accents. This takes practice and is difficult to explain so you will need to experiment.
9. I am having a difficult time creating graceful naked or dead trees. The more trees I attempt the worse they look. How can I master simple trees?
This problem is solved with practice. Of course you must use the correct brush (#4 script liner brush), the right amount of paint and water (inky substance), and with a light touch you can create beautiful trees. Remember, always start from the bottom, go up from the trunk of the tree, then go out to attach branches and always retrace your steps.
10. How do I make rain in a painting?
Put a light coat of water over the entire surface; mix in a small amount of white to create a light soft transparent glaze. While the surface is wet, take your script liner brush and load it with white paint. Make quick angled vertical strokes all through the painting of various lengths. They will blur a little into the wet background creating a soft rain like effect. It looks beautiful when done properly.
11. What are the true colors of the rainbow and how do I blend them into each other on my painting?
Begin with alizarin crimson, then overlap the crimson with cobalt blue; overlap the cobalt with cadmium yellow light. If using acrylics you will use a dry brush stroke with thin washes. You may have to use two or three washes to get the colors to work.