Wednesday, August 17, 2011

When Is It Done?

I always have quite a few paintings going but seldom any finished ones to show. Finally this one is done. I started it at the end of a very long winter, with many gray Portland days, when I was hungry for a little springtime color. It was looking a little too sweet for me until I added some rough charcoal drawing on top.


I keep 4 or 5 canvases going at a time and rotate them on my easel to see what needs to be done next.

When I think one is getting finished, I leave it on my easel for a week, and if I can keep walking by without needing to change anything, I know it's done. This one sat in an almost completed stage for a while, but I wondered if the white spot on the left side was a bit too strong and drawing the eye.

Somewhere along the line, I learned that a painting should be satisfactory both right side up and upside down. So I turned this one upside down and left it that way for a while. Upside down, the white spot did pull my eye too much, so I toned it down slightly as you can see in the first painting in this post.


If you paint and don't already know about them, you should check out Nova Color paints. Fantastic acrylic paints at the best prices ever! They only sell directly to artists so you don't have to pay for all the marketing to get them into stores. I love them!

I use a big sheet of freezer paper for my palette of alizarin crimson, cad. red, cad. yellow, cerulean, ultramarine blue, and titanium white.


With two kids at home, it's always challenging to find a big enough chunk of time to paint. I can easily pick up stitching here and there, but I hate to set up a palette of paint and then waste it because I have to run somewhere. Recently, I made this great discovery. If I mist my palette and put a plastic bin on top, I can keep paints moist for a couple weeks. It's not pretty, but it bought me a lot more painting time.


10 comments:

Suzanne Reynolds said...

These are done, alright....done beautifully!! Love the pinks and greens. Wonderful paintings, Robin!

lynne h said...

wow WOW

LOVE this, robin...

xoxo

louciao said...

Lovely! I do like how you added the charcoal lines and shading to the painting, giving a greater sensation of depth. Beautiful colours--soft yet lively.

stephanie brockway said...

love your painting, Thanks for mentioning Nova apints I'll check them out, I'm trying to finish some paintings and will flip them over and see what pops up, I've been through every other palette trick, a plastic bin just may work!

Cotton Picker said...

Lovely painting. Thanks for sharing the tip about keeping acrylics from drying out. :)

Jack said...

Hi, Robin - I enjoyed looking at your presentation, though it's a bit out of my field. My wife, Bonnie, dabbles in the paint arts, though, and I forwarded your site to her. I'm sure she'll enjoy it, and may drop in to chat. Nice work...

Bonnie said...

Hi Robin! My husband Jack commented earlier on your blog and told you I might drop by. I checked out your paintings and they are really pretty! I love to paint and haven't been able to figure out just how to keep my paints from drying out... good info. Now I know! I'll save a lot of money on paints and pallets. Where do you get your freezer paper? I haven't been able to find any. I used to call it "butcher paper," but that was brown. Not the same thing. I also enjoyed your other interests, especially the prayer flags. You have a lot of interests and I am wodering how you find the time with 2 children! I have 3 grown children and 7 grandchildren who are here (4 of them anyway) off and on throughout the week and we are always busy. I need a vacation! I will follow more of your interests. The pillows give me a good idea for our place.
Very interesting! Hope to hear from you and wish you good luck in all your endeavors!

Robin Olsen said...

Thanks for the nice comments everyone! Bonnie, I buy big rolls of Reynolds Freezer Paper at Costco. It makes a perfect palette because it has a shiny, plasticy side that will not absorb moisture.

Paula McNamee said...

Love the color and bright organic feel of your painting. Thanks so much for sharing your painting process and palette. I really like the changes that you made to your painting- toning down the white and adding more color contrast with the hanging flowers. You inspire me to paint more.

Dayna Collins said...

Thank you for not only sharing your art work, which is ethereal and beautiful, but also some painting tips and techniques.