Saturday, March 28, 2015

An Alpaca Afternoon

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I have 2 faces for you today. One is human and one isn't. You be the judge.

This guy to the right is from my silly face file, though he's got more silly hair than face. I used the same pre-mixing technique as before. I don't have a lot to say about it yet, but here's my current list of pre-mixing pro's and con's:

Pre-mixing pro's:

  • Easier to keep the whole color scheme cohesive
  • Easier to mix in-between colors - just mix a little bit from two piles together
  • Easier to compare tiny shifts in value (which you have a LOT of in a face)

Pre-mixing con's:

  • It can be hard to get the same amount of color variety as when you're mixing one color at a time (like I usually do)
  • I have big piles of paint leftover that I don't know what to do with! I mix it all together in a big pile of gray, which gets bigger and bigger. It sits on my palette and dries out. I hate wasting paint!!! I'm sure there's a solution?


Colin Joyce said...

I love the left over paint too Carol. Like you, I hate wasting oils and scrape my palette, mix up loosely and store it in those little preserve jars you use at breakfast in hotels. I now have lots of slightly different ready mixed greys ready for the next painting.
By the way, everyone should own your book.

Lisa Daria said...

The faces look great - that ever growing batch of gray you mention is my favorite - I use it as a base and mix colors from it. . . and I even look forward to the pile of gray that settles at the bottom of my Gamsol container - I read once that painter Edwin Dickinson claimed it was a more subtle gray than anything he could mix and he was right!

Mary Pyche said...

The pile of left over piles of paint makes a good mid range gray to tone your canvas with for portraits if you do that sort of thing, but the pre-mixing helps with painting faster. I have paired down the number of pre-mixed piles in my efforts to be frugal and after doing an inventory of paint tubes, I shouldn't worry about wasting paint, but I should worry about using up the tubes before they turn to stone.

Mary Jo said...

A couple of things you can do with extra piles of paint:

1.) Keep in your freezer (can leave on your palette, if it's one that can be sealed w an airtight lid; or can scoop up piles with a palette knife and wrap individual piles in something like Glad Press-N-Seal). The paint doesn't freeze hard, so doesn't need to thaw. Not sure re: the "shelf life" in the freezer, but I've heard of people keeping it there for a few weeks. I've had no problem with freezing it for a week.

2.) Mix it all into a neutral and tint a bunch of canvases

3.) Haven't tried this personally, but have been told that if you have a sealable palette (eg. a Masterson Sta-Wet Premier airtight palette box) and use a glass insert, you can remove the paper under the glass, then pour water over the paint piles and cover. Later, just pour the water off and dry around the piles with a paper towel, then re-use.

Thanks for your great blog, book and website!

rotoqueen said...

Hi Carol!
On occasion, I paint backdrops for the theatre. The first, and most important, thing I was taught about mixing paint is to mix just what you think you need or LESS, but keep a record of percentages of your mix. You can always mix more. Local theatre usually runs on a shoestring budget, so it's very important not to waste expensive theatre paint! I use the same rule in my own oil painting. Hope this helps!

Helen said...

Little plastic containers with tight fitting lids?

Bruce Bingham said...

Hi Carol,

You can mix straight linseed oil into the leftover gray to keep it workable. Also you can put the leftovers on some wax paper and stick it in the frig or freezer and pull it out when you like. Tell your family it isn't ice creme;)

Nora MacPhail said...

So nice to see your portraits. They are sooo good!
Happy Painting,
Nora MacPhail

Anne French said...

Yes, save your gray piles in a covered palette box or other container in the freezer. Carol, I just bought your book and am so excited to start my daily painting tomorrow! It is just what I need...thank you!!!