Category Archives: Teaching

Upcoming Events

Hello,

I want to share with you all that is going on right now in the studio.

First off, I am preparing for a museum exhibition at the Bennington Center for the Arts in Vermont. The exhibition will open in September 2017 and run through December 2017, and I will post more about it as time gets closer and I have finally finished the painting for it.

Secondly, I have finalized my teaching schedule. Since we moved into our new house, I have had plans on organizing my studio and garden so I may host not only the weekly semi-private lessons, but to also teach seasonal floral painting workshops. This last week I have finalized the schedule and I am now beginning to promote these learning opportunities.

Semi-Private Lessons:

Summer term for the weekly lessons has one opening and we start the first Saturday after the 4th of July.
Fall term will also have a week-day lesson offered on Thursday mornings in addition to the Saturday morning class.

Click on link to learn more.

Seasonal Floral Painting Workshops:

Starting this September, I will teach three workshops a year that will focus on floral painting and the flowers that I grow in my garden as our artistic inspiration.

Click on link to learn more.

And in closing, if you want to know what I am doing on a day-to-day basis, be sure to check out my Instagram feed, @elizabethfloydart. This is where I post most regularly of work-in-progress images and snippets of my studio process.

Thank you for tuning in,

Liz

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Cerulean (PB 35 or PB 36)


Cerulean (PB 35 or PB 36)

Information: Semi-Opaque to Opaque depending on the manufacturer’s pigment
Handling Characteristics: a beautiful, lower strength pigment that mixes well alone with white, and with most every pigment on my palette.

Cerulean blue is one of my favorite oil colors and I always have it out and use it often.

Each manufacturer mills their cerulean blue differently, so for one manufacturer cerulean may be an opaque paint, and where another may be semi-opaque. Even with this difference from manufacturer to manufacturer, I love incorporating this pigment into my paint mixtures.

What I value most about this oil color is its soft blue that leans towards green. It is a granular pigment that mixes in a muted way with other more fine-grained pigments, such as quinacridone rose or viridian. And when cerulean is mixed with earth pigments, it will make lustrous and soft grays (mixed with umbers) or muted greens (mixed with ochres). I think an afternoon spent exploring and fiddling with different mixtures that cerulean can create is time well spent. (I wrote a blog post four plus years ago all about my cerulean favorite paint mixtures)

Because of the diversity and how manufacturers produce cerulean, I have found at times that I squeeze out as many as three different cerulean’s on my palette, this happened when I was working on the blue quilt in the double portrait of my daughter and her friend.

At other times, when I begin a painting, I think about what I want to achieve color-wise and decide before I start the painting which cerulean will best meet my painting goals. Currently I am working on a painting with a muted but lush background and only the semi-opaque, large grained quality of the Blue Ridge Cerulean will do because of its enabling properties to create the visual vibrations of broken color so well.

It is my belief that an artist must become intimately acquainted with each pigment used on their palette, this means you need to understand its physical and mixing properties, along with knowing if the pigment “plays well” with other pigments utilized on your palette. If a pigment is “bullying” in its staining and mixing traits I will shy away from using them regularly because it is so easy to go overboard and then my painting begins to be visually dominated with that specific color.

Cerulean is a color that “plays well” with all pigments. You can mix fantastic grays, purples, and greens on your palette with this pigment, and visually it also mixes well on the canvas when you lay a pure cerulean tint over a color saturated underlayer.

All in all, I just love working with cerulean.


Row 1:
Name: Cerulean (PB 36)
Manufacturer: Vasari Classic Artists’ Oil Colors
My Thoughts: The Vasari cerulean is made with PB 36, where all other manufacturers use PB 35. Because of this slight pigment difference the Vasari cerulean is a deeper more richly blue-green. It is one of the more finely grained cerulean’s, with an opaque covering effect. The colors straight from the tube is more reminiscent to me as the blue-green of a piquant feather–almost cobalt turquoise–that is just a smudge off from a purely saturated color, when comparing it to the other cerulean’s manufactured.

Even with its pure form being slightly desaturated, Vasari cerulean is a fantastic color to have at your disposal. I love how it is a bit more green than the other manufacturer’s cerulean blues and at times I will choose to use this cerulean just because it is such a stunning color and I just want to revel in its beauty and share it in the painting.

Row 2:
Name: Cerulean (PB 35)
Manufacturer: Williamsburg Handmade Oil Colors
My Thoughts: The Williamsburg cerulean is made with PB 35, same to the other manufacturer examples except for Vasari. This cerulean is a fine-grained pigmently dense oil color that is a pure saturated middle-of-the-road blue-green cerulean. It is creamy and texture and mixes on the opaque site because it is so dense in pigments. I choose to use this in my painting when I want a slightly stronger effect and mixing power with other pigments.

It is a joy to use and I have so much fun when it is squeeze out on my palette.

Row 3:
Name: Cerulean (PB 35)
Manufacturer: Blue Ridge Oil Colors
My Thoughts: The Blue Ridge Cerulean is also made with PB 35, and for the past five years it has been my predominant cerulean squeezed out on my palette. I discussed it exclusively in the blog post Favorite Paint Mixtures: Cerulean.

The reason why I like using this specific version of cerulean is because of its semi opaque characteristic and it’s somewhat larger grained granular texture. It is the closest version of cerulean in oil colors that handles like cerulean watercolor pigments handle. Because it is a bit more large grained than other manufacturers when you skim a layer of this cerulean over under layers of different colors you get the visual vibrations of broken color, the same visual effects the Impressionist strived for in their work, and something I personally also strive for in my paintings.

Due to its semi-opaques characteristic it is slightly weaker in mixing power with other pigments than the other cerulean manufacturers listed. However in this situation I like using it to my benefit in the visual effects I’m striving for.

Row 4:
Name: Cerulean (PB 35)
Manufacturer: Gamblin Artist’s Oil Colors
My Thoughts: the Gamblin cerulean is a very bright almost a royal blue. It mixes well and has good workability. I don’t often use the Gamblin cerulean because straight from the tube it is a bit lighter in value than the other manufacturers and I prefer starting with a slightly deeper in value cerulean when I need to use it straight.

Row 5:
Name: Cerulean (PB 35)
Manufacturer: Winsor and Newton Artists’ Oil Colors
My Thoughts: The Winsor and Newton cerulean is another excellent cerulean choice, especially if you are seeking the semi-opaque mixing attributes. I used to use it exclusively prior to discovering the Blue Ridge cerulean. This cerulean is creamy and fine-grained and handles well.

In summary, I do not have an absolute favorite cerulean, but use them as I need for my painting goals.

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These articles about my color palette and the oil colors I use are the result of my experience and continued exploration. I have purchased all oil colors on my own and I have not received any reimbursement from the mentioned paint manufacturers or art supply stores. The usefulness and perceived attributes expressed here in these articles are my personal opinions.
The oil color manufacturers that I will discuss in this series are: Williamsburg Handmade Oil Colors, Winsor and Newton Artists’ Oil Colors, Michael Harding Artists Oil Colours, Vasari Classic Artists’ Oil Colors, Gamblin Artist’s Oil Colors, Blue Ridge Oil Colors, Old Holland Classic Oil Colors and Rublev Colours-Natural Pigments.

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Cadmium Lemon (PY 35 or PY 37)

Cadmium Lemon (PY 35 or PY 37)

Information: Opaque
Handling Characteristics: Cadmium Lemon is a saturated cool yellow with minor green undertones. Cadmium Lemon mixes well with other colors and white.

As I described in the first post that introduced the Cadmium Yellows, the naming of cadmium yellows is not unified and standardized, instead each manufacturer employs their own appellation to the variety of cadmium yellows they produce. I like to organize the cadmium yellows into three groups: Cadmium Yellow Deep Value, Cadmium Yellow Medium Value, and Cadmium Lemon (coolest and lightest value of the cadmium yellows).

Today I want to focus on the last grouping, Cadmium Lemon.

Cadmium Lemon is a color I always keep out on my palette and I value for its cool yellow color. I like how it is a powerful pigment, when mixing it with lead white to make a very pale tint a small amount goes far.

Cadmium Lemon is a great color to use in flesh tones (I like paring it with cool transparent reds). Another helpful aspect of this oil color is that as a pure color tint of Cadmium Lemon and Lead White, when laid on top of other layers of paint it visually blends and creates a sense of depth and form. This spectrum of cadmium yellow may not be used as often as the Cadmium Yellow Medium Value however it is a handy color to always have out and ready on your palette.

When mixing cadmium lemon, I find if you want to keep the mixture saturated it is better to choose colors that are cool in temperature. For example, if you want to mix cadmium lemon
with a blue it’s a good idea to look at the blues on your palette and discern which of the blues are coolest in temperature. If you have three blues to choose from, cerulean, cobalt blue, and ultramarine blue, the coolest blue of these three is cerulean. By mixing cerulean blue with cadmium lemon your mixture will stay more saturated and pure in color. However if you would like to desaturate and mute the color mixture, the best choice is to select a warmer color. Using this example of blues, the warmest blue available is the ultramarine blue because it is a blue that has red undertones in it.

Row 1:
Name: Cadmium Lemon (PY 35)
Manufacturer: Winsor and Newton Artists’ Oil Colors
My Thoughts: The Winsor and Newton Cadmium Lemon is an excellent basic cool yellow color with greenish undertones. It is dense in pigments and mixes well while staying open on the palette for a long period of time. A tube of cadmium lemon from Windsor Newton will last a long time even when you always have some squeezed out on your palette. It mixes well with other colors and does a good job.

Row 2:
Name: Cadmium Lemon (PY 35)
Manufacturer: Williamsburg Handmade Oil Colors
My Thoughts: The Williamsburg Cadmium Lemon is slightly warmer than the Windsor Newton, Michael Harding, and Gamblin versions. As you mix in white it cools down rapidly and makes for a very pale tint.

Row 3:
Name: Cadmium Lemon (PY 35)
Manufacturer: Michael Harding Artists Oil Colours
My Thoughts: Recently I have been using the Michael Harding Cadmium Lemon and I really enjoy its handling properties. I believe it is slightly stronger in pigments than the Windsor Newton version and stays brilliant and clear and it’s pale cool yellow even in its palest mixtures. Creamy and soft in texture while maintaining its opacity makes this a lovely paint to work with.

Row 4:
Name: Cadmium Lemon (PY 35)
Manufacturer: Vasari Classic Artists’ Oil Colors
My Thoughts: The handling properties of Vasari paints are wonderful, they are lush and creamy. However the Vasari Cadmium Lemon color temperature is a tad warm (similar to the Williamsburg version) coming straight out of the tube, though it cools down quickly as it gets mixed with white.

Row 5:
Name: Cadmium Lemon (PY 35)
Manufacturer: Gamblin Artist’s Oil Colors
My Thoughts: It is my perception that the Gamblin Cadmium Lemon is the coolest yellow-green of my color scales. The oil color looks to be dense in pigments and handles and mixes well.  In my color scale gradient, the lightest tint is the least strong of the examples.

Row 6:
Name: Cadmium Yellow Light (PY 35)
Manufacturer: Gamblin Artist’s Oil Colors
My Thoughts: For these color swatch scales I include colors by similarity in the color spectrum, Gamblin’s Cadmium Yellow Light is a cool pale yellow almost identical in quality to the Williamsburg Cadmium Lemon and this is why I included this oil color in this grouping. The paint is dense in pigments and mixes well and if you do not have the Gamblin’s Cadmium Lemon you can substitute the Gamblin Cadmium Yellow Light.

Row 7:
Name: Cadmium Yellow Medium (PY 37)
Manufacturer: Blue Ridge Oil Colors
My Thoughts: This oil color is also a cool yellow and is similar to the other Cadmium Lemon color swatches. This paint is not as dense in pigments as the others are, thus it is not as opaque as the other Cadmium Lemon versions are. I guess if a pale cool yellow that is semi-opaque is needed this would be a good solution an option.

In summary, my favorite Cadmium Lemon to use for its clear cool yellow is by Michael Harding followed by Winsor and Newton. I also like using the Vasari version for its creamy texture and ease of paint handling.
………………………………

These articles about my color palette and the oil colors I use are the result of my experience and continued exploration. I have purchased all oil colors on my own and I have not received any reimbursement from the mentioned paint manufacturers or art supply stores. The usefulness and perceived attributes expressed here in these articles are my personal opinions.

The oil color manufacturers that I will discuss in this series are: Williamsburg Handmade Oil Colors, Winsor and Newton  Artists’ Oil Colors, Michael Harding Artists Oil Colours, Vasari Classic Artists’ Oil Colors, Gamblin Artist’s Oil Colors, Blue Ridge Oil Colors, Old Holland Classic Oil Colors and Rublev Colours-Natural Pigments.

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Cadmium Yellow Medium Value (PY 35 or PY 37)


Cadmium Yellow Medium Value (PY 35 or PY 37)

Information: Opaque
Handling Characteristics: Cadmium Yellow Medium Value is a rich saturated yellow and lies in the middle of the yellow color spectrum. Not too cold or too warm in color temperature and overall a lovely and versatile yellow to keep on the palette.

As I described in the first post that introduced the Cadmium Yellows, the naming of cadmium yellows is not unified and standardized, instead each manufacturer employs their own appellation to the variety of cadmium yellows they produce. I like to organize the cadmium yellows into three groups: Cadmium Yellow Deep Value, Cadmium Yellow Medium Value, and Cadmium Lemon (coolest and lightest value of the cadmium yellows).

Today I want to focus on the middle grouping, Cadmium Yellow Medium Value.

Cadmium Yellow Medium is a versatile color to have out. I use it for almost every painting in some manner. When mixing flesh tones, often cadmium yellow medium value is my base yellow mixed with cadmium Vermilion and quinacridone rose to create my initial warm flesh tone. If I’m working on a floral piece, I will use cadmium yellow medium to paint the petals of the flowers and to mix the greens for the leaves and stems. I do not like using green colors straight from the tube to paint green vegetation, instead I prefer to mix the colors as I want as this enables the greatest level of variety and nuance.

Cadmium Yellow Medium Value is an opaque pigment, so it is inherently strong in its tinting strength and can be used to great effect in many different paint applications. It works great when using a strong broken color methodology such as the Impressionist used. Or you can create visual depth and nuance when you lay in a cadmium yellow mixture into a previously laid down layer of transparent paint, playing with the visual effects of transparent and opaque paint passages.


Row 1
Name: Cadmium Yellow Lt (PY 37)
Manufacturer: Vasari Classic Artists’ Oil Colors
My thoughts: Cadmium Yellow Light manufactured by Vasari is a lush and densely pigmented oil color. It has a smooth and creamy texture and mixes well. This oil color is made with PY 37 which tends to be slightly cooler in color temperature than PY 35.

Row 2:
Name: Cadmium Yellow Medium (PY 35)
Manufacturer: Williamsburg Handmade Oil Colors
My thoughts: the Williamsburg Cadmium Yellow Medium oil color is another lush and densely pigmented paint, it stays open for a long period of time which is helpful. I like it’s warm color temperature and mixing capacity. I also like how it mixes when painting flesh tones, as I tend to jump around exploring the different paint manufacturers, when I paint portraits sketches I like to squeeze out this cadmium yellow.

Row 3:
Name: Cadmium Yellow (PY 35)
Manufacturer: Michael Harding Artists Oil Colours
My thoughts: My gut feeling about the Michael Harding Cadmium Yellow oil color is that it is a softer to handle, more creamy paint than the Williamsburg version. However they are close to identical in mixing even though straight from the tube the Michael Harding is a touch deeper in value than the Williamsburg, it almost matches Vasari and Gamblin “straight from the tube” color swatch. Another attribute of the Michael Harding oil color is that it also stays open on the palette for a very long time. Staying open is a feature that I particularly value in the paint I use because I paint almost every day and like to minimize the amount of time I need to dedicate to peeling off the hardened film on the oil colors on my palette. This may be a minor inconvenience, however it goes along way in earning my favor.

Row 4:
Name: Cadmium Yellow Medium (PY 37)
Manufacturer: Blue Ridge Oil Colors
My thoughts: Personally, I have been disappointed with The Blue Ridge Cadmium Yellows. I have such positive impressions of this manufacturer’s different blues (such as cerulean blue, cobalt blue, cobalt turquoise, and ultramarine blue) that a few years ago I purchased this manufacturers cadmium yellow range. My impression is that these oil colors are not as dense in pigments as other manufacturers make cadmium yellows. I have to go through 2 to 3 times the amount of volume of paint in order to attain the same mixing quality, and this bothers me. Other than that these paints do handle well, I like how soft and cream the they are but I do not use them often.

Row 5:
Name: Cadmium Yellow Pale (PY 35)
Manufacturer: Winsor and Newton Artists’ Oil Colors
My thoughts: The Windsor and Newton Cadmium Yellow Pale was the initial paint manufacturer I used because this is the manufacturer that my mentor uses. I enjoy using this paint however I have shifted away from this version because as the paint is mixed with lead white to a very pale tint the yellow shifts cool in color temperature, almost achieving a cadmium lemon color temperature. When I am using a cadmium yellow medium value oil color I want it to stay warmer in color temperature and not to shift into the cool greenish-yellow tones of cadmium lemon.

Row 6:
Name: Cadmium Yellow Medium (PY 37)
Manufacturer: Gamblin Artist’s Oil Colors
My thoughts: This version Cadmium Yellow Medium by Gamblin is a warm cadmium yellow that stays warm even in its lightest tints. It mixes well and is a dense pigment oil color, however I do not tend to use Gamblin oil colors often because I am not crazy about how they age on my palette, to me they film over and get tough after a while which makes me have to scrape off and squeeze out more paint then I would have to with other versions. This oil color is also made up of PY 37.

In summary, my favorite oil paint for Cadmium Yellow Medium Value is one made with PY 35, and for handling qualities it is a tossup between whether I use the Williamsburg oil color or the Michael Harding one.

………………………………

These articles about my color palette and the oil colors I use are the result of my experience and continued exploration. I have purchased all oil colors on my own and I have not received any reimbursement from the mentioned paint manufacturers or art supply stores. The usefulness and perceived attributes expressed here in these articles are my personal opinions.

The oil color manufacturers that I will discuss in this series are: Williamsburg Handmade Oil Colors, Winsor and Newton  Artists’ Oil Colors, Michael Harding Artists Oil Colours, Vasari Classic Artists’ Oil Colors, Gamblin Artist’s Oil Colors, Blue Ridge Oil Colors, Old Holland Classic Oil Colors and Rublev Colours-Natural Pigments.

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My Full-Color Palette: Cadmium Yellows


Over the next few weeks, I will cover the different cadmium yellows I like to use.

Each manufacturer has a different naming convention with regard to cadmium yellow. What one manufacturer would call cadmium yellow, another manufacturer will call the same visual color, cadmium yellow deep and another manufacturer may use the term cadmium yellow medium. Because of this variety in the naming conventions of cadmium yellow, I mentally divide my cadmium yellows into three categories: 1) cadmium lemon, 2) cadmium yellow (light or middle value), and 3) cadmium yellow deep (or darker than the middle range of cadmium yellows), with a subcategory in cadmium yellow deep for almost orange cadmium yellows.

Each of these three divisions of cadmium yellow has a place on my palette. I will describe them each in turn, starting with cadmium yellow deep.


My initial color swatches of the cadmium yellows.

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