DaVinci Female


i am allergic to traditional solvents like turpentine, so i have to use water mixable oil paints – right now i am using Windsor & Newton’s Artisan series. i have used Reeves’ water mixable oil colors, but although they are cheaper than W&N and vastly cheaper than Holbein, i also find that the fluidity of the colors are lacking – i.e i need to use more medium to get a consistency and texture i can work with. also i feel that the pigment/tinting is not as good as in W&N.

Color Chart


i use water mixable linseed oil,  water mixable thinner and basic water mixable artis’ts medium (all from W&N) – what i do not use is water. yes it is cheap, plentiful and all that, but it tends to make the colors look ‘grey’, ‘listless’. water is good for cleaning the brushes, palette and rags with, but do not mix it into anything you want to put on a canvas.


… are very much about personal preferences, artistic style, and technique. personally i prefer to use synthetic filbert brushes. though some techniques (shummring) i use are done best with a traditional hog brush.


… are also very much about personal preferences. i will paint on anything that i can cover in a white acrylic base and place on my easel. if you feel that you want the canvas feel, but cannot afford a traditional canvas – a canvas covered cardboard is a good alternative. often artists’ shops will sell in packs of 10 on a discount if you buy the same size.

well i am running out of time here, so more on a later date – among other things – how to preserve specific colors i have mixed on my palette…


favorite artist – 3


since i have mentioned him as one artist whose technique i would like to learn, it is only fair that i add him to my gallery of favorite artists: Turner


Joseph Mallord William Turner RA (23 April 1775 – 19 December 1851) was an English Romantic landscape painter, watercolourist and printmaker. Turner was considered a controversial figure in his day, but is now regarded as the artist who elevated landscape painting to an eminence rivaling history painting.[1] Although renowned for his oil paintings, Turner is also one of the greatest masters of British watercolour landscape painting. He is commonly known as “the painter of light”[2] and his work is regarded as a Romantic preface to Impressionism. –

so let’s have a look at his work:

Fishermen at Sea-WilliamTurner

Fishermen at Sea exhibited in 1796 was the first oil painting exhibited by Turner at the Royal Academy.

i love this one because of the uniform color scheme broken only by light sprinkled throughout the painting.

in contrast the next one is resplendent with colors and hues and details – and the title is ingenious:


The Fighting Temeraire tugged
to her last Berth to be broken up
, 1838 – oil on canvas, National Gallery, London.


San Giorgio Maggiore at Dawn
Watercolour, 224 x 287 mm
Tate Gallery, London

look at that – it is almost monochrome with a dash of pinkish yellow…genius.


old palette1

something amazing happened the other day. i had run out of paintings to work on and picked up a wood panel i had prepared some weeks ago. i had coated it with white acrylic paint and then put it on a shelf. i found it under a pile of carbon-copy paper, and some of the carbon ink had rubbed off on the panel. first i tried to remove it with some of the thinner i use when i paint. didn’t work. so i tried acetone. well it melted some of the tape i had covered the edges, but didn’t remove the smudges fast enough for me, so i poured the acetone over the panel, and then soaked up the acetone with tissue. that worked, it better than worked. it etched patterns into the paint on the panel, clearing some parts of the panel of carbon smudges, diluting some other parts…and left an amazing ‘image’ – which i decided to ‘enhance’.



now it’s not finished, but it will be.

doing a turner 2


remember this post? well i finally dared to give it a try – i transferred the photo to a large canvas, traced the important parts and… then under painted in white, pale yellow, bright red and a grey i got by mixing alizian crimson, ultramarine blue, viridian green and titanium white:

Celna 1

i did a lot of blotting with a rag, to get rid of the brush strokes.

Celna 2

i let it dry out and then i added some more bright red and yellow and painted in the foreground in payne’s gray. again i did a lot of blotting with a rag. i really liked the almost three dimensional effect i got from the foreground against the background. it reminds me a lot of some background/foreground work done by Disney Studios.

a spanish lady


as i have said i have several paintings ‘in action’ at a time, to avoid creative boredom, and here is another one of those:


The Spanish Lady.

i started out with a collage made by my wife, transferred the ‘subject’ to a fairly large canvas. then i under painted the back-ground, the flower, and her dress in white, added the yellow and the ‘shadow-lines’ in the flower in red. here i am aiming at a more detailed, ‘photographic’ result in some of the details in the painting, and a less detailed, more expressionist, broad result in other parts of the painting. let’s see where it takes me.

work in progress 3


i have been busy, though i have let some paintings ‘rest’ – sort of fearing where they would go if i continued on them…

one of those resting pictures was this – Shabbat – which you might remember from this post. well, despite the Olympics, i had a violent need to paint on august 4 – and ended up picking up that painting and work on it:


i had run out of black and it takes a few days for the mail to deliver my order for 3 tubes of paynes grey and 3 tubes of ivory black. but looking around the net at various art sites i learned that by mixing alizian crimson, ultramarine and viridian green i could get black, so painting in the candleholder (which is made of iron) was not a problem. as you can see i have worked pretty hard. half-way through this i decided that instead of trying to paint the photo, i’d go with simply painting the SUBJECT, letting the brush strokes show and add texture. now this is not finished either, but i am confident that it will be eventually.

work in progress 2


i feared this subject, in fact i still do, because so many things can go wrong.

in a moment of weakness i decided to paint a portrait of my wife. i shiver at my audacity.

luckily i had a good photo to paint from – but no photo, however good can cover the lack of skill in the artist.

i decided that i wanted to go partly fantasy, since i am only using the photo for transfer to canvas anyway.


i manipulated this photo some years ago (blurred the background and touched up the skin).

tracing the basic components of this face turned out to be rather hard, since light is coming from two directions. but i did and then covered the ‘foreground’ in ‘painters’ tape, laid the background, blending and blotting the colors using tissue paper. once it had dried i removed the tape and under painted the entire area in white, making sure to let the drawn in details shine through, then i added color on some areas to make a basic shadow/high-light ‘template’.

Wife 1

i left the eyes, eyebrows and mouth blank, wanting to work in tight detail on those.

then a lot of stuff happened – i painted when i felt an urge, but honestly do not remember what i did to reach this (well, i do remember some:

Wife 1a

such as what i did yesterday – glazing the background (little pigment, lots of painter medium) making sure to keep the areas ‘clean’, thus adding depth and clarity. then i did the same with the hair (which i had initially under painted in cadmium yellow, medium shade, and accented in orange and burnt sienna) and the head-wear. i am more pleased with this painting so far (it’s not done, still need to work on the face…) than i thought i would be. i might not be GOOD at this, but i am not bad.