Cadmium Orange (PO 20)

Cadmium Orange (PO 20) Information: Opaque, Lightfast Handling Characteristics: Saturated color when used purely and when tinted with white, cadmium orange desaturates immediately when mixed with other colors and cools down in temperature.

Cadmium orange is a difficult color to use in mixtures however it is indispensable when you need a pure orange tint to lay over other layers of paint. Every time I begin to question why I still keep this color out and keep it a regular color on my palette, I encounter a painting moment when I need to lay a pure orange tint on top of an area and it needs to be saturated and a most neutral orange (by this I mean something neither too warm of an orange or two yellow of an orange and an orange that cannot be mixed from other colors).

When painting flesh tones I use pure orange tints on my upper layers of paint, and am always amazed by how these tints lay down and glow above other colors. Cadmium orange also mixes very well with blues or greens when trying to achieve colorful grays. In fact, its tendency to desaturate the moment it is mixed with another color lends itself to making lovely opaque grays.

Row 1: Name: Cadmium Orange (PO 20) Manufacturer: Williamsburg Handmade Oil Colors My thoughts: I have been using the Williamsburg cadmium orange for the longest time, I like how it stays open on the palette for a long while, I like the tinting strength, and most especially I like the pure middle range orange it is. This is a pure pigment oil color made of PO 20, cadmium orange.

Row 2: Name: Cadmium Orange (PO 20, PR 108) Manufacturer: Winsor and Newton Artists Oil Colors My thoughts: the Winsor and Newton cadmium orange is just a slight tint redder than the Williamsburg. Not much but enough to make a slight difference when laying down a pale tint of cadmium orange on top of another layer of paint. One reason why this cadmium orange may stray towards the red spectrum on the color wheel is because it is a mixture of two pigments PO 20 and PR 108, which is cadmium red.

Row 3: Name: Cadmium Orange (PO 20) Manufacturer: Vasari Classic Artists Oil Colors My thoughts: In the autumn of 2016, I got the opportunity to explore using Vasari cadmium orange and it was a luxury. I especially enjoyed the smooth, creamy texture of this paint, the tinting strength is phenomenal. On the color wheel it falls within almost an identical color spectrum as the Windsor Newton cadmium orange. This is a pure pigment oil color made of PO 20, cadmium orange.

If money is no object, I believe I would use Vasari paint, whereas the Williamsburg cadmium orange is a great deal for its price.

Here is an image of my original swatches I did of the cadmium reds and oranges before I began to make the graduated swatches. ....................................

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.

My New Garden

"The lesson I have thoroughly learnt, and wish to pass on to others, is to know the enduring happiness that the love of a garden gives." ( Gertrude Jekyll)


It has been a while since I posted here. I find in times when so much is going on and with the ability to share small snippets via Instagram and Facebook, my tendency to share deeply also goes away. However this month I am choosing to slow down, and to start sharing more, in a slower, more meaningful way.

Garden Plan 1st draft {first draft of my garden plan}

This morning I am going to share with you what has me so excited, my new garden.

The autumn of 2016 was a whirlwind of effort that culminated with the purchase and move to a new home. November and December were all about packing up and physically moving into our new home. December and January were a whirlwind of boxes, gallon paint cans and all the paraphernalia that goes with a rapid push to get some of the rooms of our new home freshly painted and set up for how we want to live. There is still more to do inside however since February, my attention has been turning outside in focusing on how to move my previous garden to my new outdoor space.

This is what I have to work with, a beautiful, large yard that already had an established vegetable patch in the central open area that receives full sun for at least half of the day. I am so excited about what I’m going to grow here. 9032 Buckner backyard 2

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{the existing backyard}

The existing vegetable patch will be host to some vegetables, however mainly annual flowers like zinnias, cosmos and sunflowers will go here. The surrounding flowerbeds that I am creating will host my perennial plants.

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{the plan as of today, it may change, but pretty much this is what I am planning on implementing}

As you can see by my notations, I will have a main central garden, based on  classic English cottage gardens, with pebble paths and gathering areas.  The main one will be for meals and hanging out, and a second play space is for Naomi.  She still has her playhouse and sandbox, and this time the flower beds that surround her area will be filled up with flowers and plants of her choice.  Plus in the middle of the two squares that have (4) "L"s in them will be the peach trees she has been asking for.  She loves peaches and since I told her about how my grandpa had a peach tree in his backyard so he could go out and pick sun-ripened peaches, she has latched onto the idea and has been requesting to grow peaches in our backyard.  So this spring we will pick out two peach trees for her.  The Dahlia bed that will run along the north side of the yard may or may not be implemented this year, it all depends on how much I get done this month with regard to the rest of the garden.

Today the garden is still a construction site with some plants already placed with the vast majority of plants still over at the old garden. As you can see, the layout is established with the black garden fabric that denotes where the gravel paths will be. I used the lasagna method of establishing flowerbeds, this utilizes a layer of cardboard placed on top of the turf with a thick layer of compost and leaf mulch placed on top (5 to 6 inches deep). I then place my plants in each flower bed as I have planned and fertilize everything.  I will then layer another layer of mulch on top of everything once things are settled. 9032 Buckner today 20170308-01

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March is going to be a crazy month, full of digging, lugging and relocating my beloved plants. Some plants are especially sentimental as they are from dear friends and now I almost consider them family.

Pewter Reflections Painting in Root to Bloom Juried Exhibition

elizabeth-floyd Tonight, November 11th, 2016, is the opening of the juried exhibition "Root to Bloom - The Places Artists Call Home" at the Principle Gallery here in Alexandria, VA.

I am excited to have my painting Pewter Reflections hanging along side some extraordinary artwork. If you are local, please stop by and check out the exhibition.

Pewter Reflections and Sunflowers by Elizabeth Floyd, 18x24 inches, oil on linen

...................................................................... Framed Painting {18" x 24″ – oil on linen}

Painting Flowers from Life, a 2-day Workshop

This past weekend, I taught a semi-private workshop that focused on the joys and challenges of painting flowers from life. I was motivated to come up with this specific workshop because when I first began to use flowers in my still-life setups I often had my flowers fade and wilt before I had finished the painting.  And after years of trying out different techniques, I am now able to keep my flowers fresh for the duration of completing most paintings. 20150322 spring-wkshop-demo

{at the beginning of a demonstration}

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{further along in the demonstration}

Since I first began painting with oils it has always been my goal to paint from life when possible. I just love the immediacy, the sense of excitement and the connection that is built from sharing the same space with my painting subjects. Over the years I have been experimenting and improving upon the ways to extend the life of cut flowers so I would have more time to paint them.

I have read many gardening and flower arranging books, taken classes on flower arranging and even occasionally attended horticultural focused lectures and seminars, all in the goal to learn more and find ways to  include the plants and flowers I love into my artwork.

Over the years, I have picked up enough knowledge and tips that I can typically keep an arrangement looking good long enough to paint from the arrangement for a full five days, sometimes even more. And as I have yet to see any of this information available for artists who are also interested in painting flowers from life, I have put together a workshop that focuses on doing just this, painting seasonal flowers from life.

It was a pleasure to have three students participate in my inaugural workshop this past weekend.

The Human Figure by John H. Vanderpoel


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The Human Figure by John H. Vanderpoel

When I was still an architect, the majority of my focus in art was the figurative genre. This is because most of the classes I took then were figurative, and to me there is nothing more challenging or rewarding than drawing the human form and capturing a modicum of likeness and accuracy.

And being the diver that I am, when I was on my own I would take time to practice drawing the human form by copying out of books, and one of my favorite books to copy from was Vanderpoel’s The Human Figure.

So this summer when I needed to bone up on facial features again, I returned to copying from this book. But instead of using charcoal or graphite, I used oil paint. I switched my practice to oil paint because when you are painting, you are using masses to create form, where when you are drawing, you typically rely on contour and line to create form, and I wanted to practice my paint handling at the same time as I was practicing the human form.

Here are some photos of how I used this book to practice.

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Using a limited palette of titanium white, burnt sienna and ultramarine blue, I would copy out each small drawing that graces the margins of this book. These were all fast studies, I would set a timer for thirty minutes and try to complete each page of images in that time frame. The goal was to quickly discern the important shapes and try to capture it with speed and accuracy.

Nothing too precious, in fact I would take a photo of each session with my iphone and then wipe the studies down and start over.


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The text is extremely helpful in reinforcing what you learn from the act of copying out. So I encourage you to read each chapter at the same time you are copying the images.

The Human Figure


Nature and its Symbols by Lucia Impelluso


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Nature and Its Symbols by Lucia Impelluso

This book was given to me by some very dear friends, who knew that I would totally eat up a book dedicated to symbolism...


What I love about this book is that it covers seven different categories, from plants to aquatic animals. Though my favorite section is the one on flowers...

Each section starts with a few pages dedicated to just that topic, and with a write up about how and why the subject matter symbolizes certain ideas and then a few paintings are analyzed, showing how the artist used the symbolism to support the meaning of his painting.



After the general review of the category, specific examples are then further explained. In the flowers section alone, Lily of the Valley, Cyclemen, Jasmine, Tulips, and many others are covered. And this is how each section is organized.


This is a great reference book to have around. If I am noodling on a still-life composition idea and I want to make it a more meaningful piece, I will sometimes read through this book in the evening to make sure my ideas are correctly based.

Nature and Its Symbols (A Guide to Imagery)


Here is an interesting dictionary of symbolism for free found via Google Books

A Dictionary of Symbols by Juan Eduardo Cirlot


Roses by Vincent Van Gogh: Session 7

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{my setup}

Today was a day of progression. Working my way around the canvas.

Working on this painting has made me more decisive about my brushstrokes. My mentor, Danni Dawson, recommended that I do not try to copy every exact brushstroke, but instead I need to strive to emulate the gesture and energy that Van Gogh’s brushwork has. Saying all this, I also admit that at times I do observe brushstrokes, visualize making them exactly as they are on the canvas before me and then I return to my copy and purposefully paint the strokes.

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{at the beginning of the sixth session}

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{end of sixth session}

This practice of stopping to understand, imaging the sequencing and movement of laying down paint, and then actually laying down paint has made me more aware of how important it is to think while painting and how mental involvement is so important in gaining a positive outcome.

Creating art is as much mental problem solving as it is pushing paint around.

Loudoun County, Autumn, and Farm Animals...

loudoun-county-1 Hello my friends,

I feel remiss in not sharing all that has been going on in my studio and life lately... and ask for your patience as I regroup and begin to show you what I have been working on. There are many paintings to share, some have already sold, and others will be available for sale once I post them online...

As I still need to edit the photographs of these paintings, I thought you may like to see some snapshots from our weekend.


We headed out to Loudoun County for the annual Fall Farm Tour. I love going out this way in the autumn because of all the lovely views and the striking colors of the leaves.

In the past few years I have really begun to value the autumn and all its beauty.


We all had fun looking at the various farm animals. Naomi was particularly impressed by the different animals we encountered.

I forgot to take photos of the highlight of the day, I was too caught up in observing how the farm used an Australian Shepard to herd the flock of sheep in and out of their pen. It was so fun seeing how dog and man work together as a team to get some rather unruly sheep to behave.


I also liked seeing some beautiful morning glory vines taking over in a vegetable patch... making me realize I am not the only one who lets invasive weeds exist if they are pretty :)


This was my favorite shot of the day, Naomi hugging her Papa.

See you soon, Liz

Happy Monday to You!

Changes are afoot... Hello my friends,

Thank you so much for your supportive comments and emails last week. I am so happy to share with you that I am feeling better and think this concussion is now behind me. On Friday morning I woke up and realized that I did not have a headache, funny thing was I did not realize that I had had a headache until it was gone... but boy once it was gone it was like the whole world was in technicolor.

Have a marvelous day, and I will be back later this week with this month's Bountiful Observations painting.


Exploring Near Home...

20130620 greensprings-4 On Thursday, I was invited to attend a guided garden tour of Green Springs Park and Garden Center, its a Fairfax County park with several demonstration gardens and a historic house and grounds.  It was invigorating taking time to explore these gardens with a Master Gardener as our guide.

What struck me most about the gardens, was how textural the different beds were....

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It looks to be a hot and sunny weekend here in the mid-Atlantic region, and I am hoping to get a bunch of gardening done along with spending some quality time outside.

Have a wonderful weekend,


Visiting Whitby, UK {part 2}

Whitby is located on the mouth of the River Esk as it flows into the North Sea.  The coastal region experiences significant tidal variations, so the harbor area has tall seawalls and the waters are subject to very strong currents. It was amazing to see how low the water would get a low tide and then a few hours later the water level would be close to twelve feet higher. The city center hugs the River Esk, and is down in the valley.  A lot of the lanes are narrow and steep walking paths, cobbled and quirky.

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{River Esk at mid-tide}

The newer parts of the town (19th century and beyond) are built on the headlands, which were high above the seashore and river level.  So everyday when Naomi and I would head out from our cottage, we would head downhill.  Making the walk seem like a breeze.

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The Whitby Coast seen from the top of the headlands at low tide.  At high tide the water would be all the way in and several feet deep at the seawall.

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{our cottage for the trip}

In this post, I want to share some of the charming features we encountered in Whitby... how beautiful the gardens were and how the local architecture was so diverse and adapted to the terrain.

Along the harbor, some homes carved out their own private paradise... flowers grew everywhere, in cracks and crannies, lovingly in well-planned boarders, and in some gardens untamed and wild.

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Whitby also had its share of grand homes... can you imaging having tea in this beautiful garden? I think it would be like stepping into a Jane Austen novel...

Making a Coptic-Stitch Bound Sketchbook


efloyd-20130519-sketchbook-1 In a few weeks, I am going on a trip, and I wanted to bring along a special sketchbook. My goal on this trip is to spend a lot of my free time sketching using quill and ink, exploring the medium, recording what I am seeing, and practicing drawing techniques.

For about a month I looked around trying to find a resource that sold sketchbooks with high quality paper, such a Twinrocker handmade paper. I was unable to find such a source, so I decided to make a sketchbook myself.


Supplies Used:


Using this youtube video and this blog post as reference, I sewed together a sketchbook.


And now I am excited to start using it!


Life lately...

Monday was a busy day, I hung my first solo exhibition, Gifts from the Garden. The exhibition is a collection of floral still-life paintings, celebrating the sense of beauty I find in the natural world. Most all of the flowers and plant life in these paintings come directly from my garden. I find so much pleasure in the miracle of planting a seed and seeing it grow into a healthy and beautiful plant. 20130506 WAA-May-exhibition-2

20130506 WAA-May-exhibition-1 I am honored to be the May 2013 Featured Artist in the Vulcan Gallery at the Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton, VA.

This coming Saturday, if you are in the area and are free, please stop by to attend the opening reception. I will be speaking about the inspiration behind these paintings and will follow my talk with a painting demonstration.

When: Saturday, May 11th, 2013 Time: 6:00pm to 9:00pm, talk to start sometime between 6:45-7pm Where: Workhouse Arts Center Vulcan Gallery, Building 16, First Floor 9601 Ox Road, Lorton, VA 22079

And for the past few weeks, preparing some paintings for this exhibition has consumed my sole attention, except for when I am in the garden with Naomi...

20130503-naomi-watering-can {Naomi loves using the watering can}

This spring has been a particularly beautiful one in the garden.   After three summers of nurturing and augmenting my flower beds, I am really beginning to enjoy to fruits of my labor...  We have irises blooming now, and pansies, and forget-me-nots, and lilacs...


...the peonies are full of buds, and the dahlias and ranunculus are beginning to poke out of the ground, along with hollyhocks, cone flowers, daisies, and some lilies.

Naomi and I have also been busy with new plantings, we have added a new oriental poppy, along with a new rose...


...life is good in the garden.

Favorite Paint Mixtures: Permanent Rose (PV19)



With spring flowers blooming in abundance and as I begin to bring them into the studio to paint, I realize that Permanent Rose is one of my go to paint colors when my subject matter involves flowers. I love its bright rosy color, its transparent quality without being overly strong and staining.

This quinacridone pigment (PV19) is one versatile color. It also happens to be my favorite color to mix with neighboring reds, oranges, and yellows when I want a vibrant color but also want to allow for subtle shifts in value and tone.

In my opinion, it may be the hardest working paint during the spring and summer season.



For my examples today, I thought I would share floral images to reinforce how helpful Permanent Rose is when mixing the correct shades of pink, magenta, and lavender.  Permanent Rose is somewhat cool in its pure form, however it mixes especially well with yellows and oranges to emulate the glowing affects of yellow sunlight shining through translucent pink flower petals.



Permanent Rose is also a stellar color to select when you want to mix warm glowing oranges.  I have found that when I want a particularly saturated orange, I often do not use cadmium orange but a mixture of Cad Lemon or Cad Yellow Lt and Permanent Rose, to achieve the glowing bright orange I am after.  Permanent Rose also mixes well with Burnt Sienna, so when a muted orange is required  you will be able to mix a softened, less saturated orange that still has an earthy warmth to it.



In the previous two examples I shared how Permanent Rose shifts warm rather easily, however the nice thing about this particular pigment is that it also shifts cool into the purples and blues with ease.  Some of the most luscious purples come from mixtures with any of the Cobalt blues, turquoises, and greens.  And when you use a high concentration of Permanent Rose mixed with medium, this pigment will create some beautiful effects as a glaze.



Permanent Rose is a transparent, a quinacridone violet pigment, that is strong and clear, and makes lovely mid-tone pinks. I love how it mixes with other paints, those similar in color as well as its complementary colors. It makes really deep blacks/purples when when mixed with viridian. I have found that is color is amazing in how versatile it is. When I used to paint the figure more often, it was almost always a color I relied on to add the rosy blush to a fair-skinned model. And now that I paint so many flowers, it is a color I always make sure to have on my palette.














Interested in exploring more about paint and color?  I teach online classes that are all dedicated at learning how to improve your paint handling by focusing on mixing colors and learning about color theory.  Each class is 4-weeks long and taken at the convenience of your own schedule and in your own home or studio.


Want to learn more about painting with oils?  I have a teaching newsletter with actionable mini-lessons in each issue.  

Sign up here to receive more oil painting lessons.


Favorite Paint Mixtures: Alizarin Crimson

Favorite Paint Mixtures: Dioxazine Purple

Favorite Paint Mixtures: Permanent Green

Favorite Paint Mixtures: Cerulean Blue

Early Golden Twilight

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This painting is being delivered for a special show, the 3rd Annual March 150 Exhibition Fundraiser for the March of Dimes at the Target Gallery held in Old Town, Alexandria. Here is some more information about the show...

The Target Gallery and the March of Dimes are teaming up to raise money for both organizations with our 3rd annual exhibition fundraiser March150 (formerly titled "March Madness"). The show includes 200 panels of artwork created by local artists, each only $150 (and only $100 the night of the Art Party on March 15th), and a free kids art activity on Sunday, March 10th.

Art Party Details: March 15th, 7-10pm / $15 advance or $20 at the door Taking over the first floor of the Art Center, tickets to this festive event include:

*Artwork - only $100 each: over 200 panels created by local artists, each only $100, regularly $150

*Prizes & Raffle: Hidden behind select panels and also available for raffle are tickets to an exclusive dinner party where guests will enjoy each course in a different studio at the Torpedo Factory where they can meet the artists and learn more about their work.

*DIY and other Art Activities: The popular “Gum Art” painting is back, make your own wearable mini-collage at our button making station, and smile pretty in our custom photo-booth.

*Wing-Off Competition: Sample wings by Foster's Grill, Chadwicks, and Austin's Grille - then and vote for your favorite!

*Food & Drinks: Pizza provided by Bugsy’s, Cash Bar with beer by Port City Brewery, snacks and more!

things to share... virtual learning... workshop... and a newsletter...

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This morning, on my walk with Naomi, we observed many signs that spring is on the way. We enjoyed the warmer temperatures...  we saw green tips poking out of the turf and some bright crocus...  we heard the birds out singing, Naomi particularly enjoys mimicking the "cawing" of the crows...

All my senses are energized about the season to come... and in returning home to begin a new painting, I realized I also have some things to share with you...

...so much is happening and with the days getting longer, I am more and more filled with excitement for the season to come.

Have a great afternoon.


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