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Haiku -

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Haiku
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  • Haiku changed their profile picture.
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    July 16
    • Haiku
      Haiku
      Set up for first DMP painting 💛
    • Intothevoid
      Intothevoid
      Hey, great to see you up and running!
      Congratulations :)
    • Haiku
      Haiku
      Thank you so much @Intothevoid lovely to hear from you and hope all is going well with you and your studio! PS. I used paper to plot my composition before starting the drawing, was very helpful.
  • Haiku changed their profile picture.
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    June 17
    • Haiku
      Haiku
      First drawing practice painting. Will focus on colour matching & steps in the next one.
  • Amazing advice on DMP learning from @PaulB who spent a week in Mark’s studio. Paul, if you read this, thank you for all you share and do here. Blown away by your approach, your thoughtfulness, your artwork (and your work ethic too).

    Things I Learned (by @[email protected])


    • Take it slow. Correcting a bad drawing later in the painting is difficult, so  do it right.
    • Overpaint the black steps, and push the next step into it. This means that  after painting the black, it looks like a three-year-old painted it with a one inch brush.
    • Have faith in the process. Color match accurately, then place the color accurately. Don't look at the canvas and think "this is the wrong color" and adjust it.
    • How to paint a thin line with a fat brush? Paint as thin as you can, then overlap the next step.
    • Cover the canvas before any blending occurs, if even necessary. I used to think there was no harm in blending as I go. Now I know that when you have covered the canvas, it mostly works without any blending, and blending would only eliminate the texture, flatten an area, and waste time.
    • Wear dark colors. I thought this was an exaggeration, but sitting there under very strong lights and a wet canvas, I can see my face reflected in the wet paint. When I bring my hand to the canvas, the reflections obscure the color/value to the point where I can't see what I'm doing. Wear dark, it really helps.
    • Mixing all the colors is something done for several reasons. It keeps you focused on the process, and moving forwards, because you just work your way through them from dark to light. It also lets you cover large areas of the canvas without second-guessing it, and gets you to the end so much quicker.
    • The initial steps after black are supposed to be very small, it's about subtlety.
    • The more steps you have, the less blending you eventually need. A lot of the time you don't need any blending.
    • Mix a big puddle of black, you'll need it. Bigger than you think.
    • Use at least two brushes, one for just black, one for everything else. The more brushes you use for non-black colors, the quicker you can paint. Having that black brush sitting around was extremely useful for touching up little mistakes.
    • If you are painting texture, it doesn't matter what texture you paint, it just has to be a non-uniform area with no discernible pattern. Short brush strokes, rolling the brush, can achieve this. In my painting, you'd swear I painted a velvet background. I didn't. It's just broken brushstrokes and color. It surprised me too.
    • When making small brush strokes, don't be afraid to use vivid color.
    • When painting a reflected highlight, consider the area immediately around the highlight, it's usually a little muted and soft.
    • Work from photographs that are the same size as the painting, life-sized. I've done both, and this is much, much easier.
    • Don't waste time cleaning brushes. Just pull them through a paper towel and leave them overnight. No brush dip was used in the studio, no brushes were cleaned.
    • Never forget that you can mix your own black, and make it warm or cool as needed. The tube black is just one black, and doesn't always fit the need.
    The most important advice:
    • Take it slow. Stand back. Ask "which is more subtle?", and fix it.
    June 14
  • Finished painting enamel cup which started out as a PD drawing practice exercise. I just need to add a highlight when the paint is dry. So enjoyable and exciting to be painting in a sorted studio. Next painting will focus on colour/value matching/mixing in steps... 
    June 8
  • Haiku changed their profile picture.
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    June 7
    • Haiku
      Haiku
      Goal: BAP
  • Studio is officially ready today after mixing up my W&N paints with slow dry medium in jars. Painted a small colour wheel as a test run. Loved it! 
    June 4
  • Mark’s Notes on How to Mix a Single Color

     1. Mix a color on your mixing palette, making sure that it is at least a tablespoon or more of paint. Attempt to mix the color as best you can.

     2. Compare the color you have mixed with the stripe you painted of the previous color (the darker step before the one you are currently mixing). Ask yourself, "is this a good step?", and if the answer is no then darken your color or lighten it so that the step is about right. If the answer is yes, continue.

     3. If the color you mixed is a good step, then check the color's tone. Do this by painting the color on your color checker and then comparing it to the color in the still life you are mixing the color for. Be very sure to hold your color checker where the value matches. This is very important — there is no point even looking at the color unless it is being compared to that spot where the value of the paint on your color checker is the same as the value of the color in your object. Once you are sure the value matches, then and only then do you judge the tone.

    4. Now ask yourself the six questions below. If you can not answer one question, go to the next until you can answer the question. You may need to ask yourself all six questions. The six questions are: Which color is more red, the color on the color checker or the object? Which color is more orange? Which color is more yellow? Which color is more green? Which color is more blue? Which color is more purple?

     5. Make the adjustment to your color pile by adding the appropriate color. If your color needs to be more red, add red. On the other hand, if your color is too red, add the color on the opposite side of the color wheel (the opposite of red, for example, is green). Use your color wheel to guide you.

     6. Once you have adjusted your color be very sure to re-check your step. Sometimes when you add color to adjust the tone, you will also inadvertently alter the value as well, so you will need to re-check your step by comparing it to your last color stripe. If the value needs adjusting then you will need to lighten it or darken it until your step is a good step. Once you have confirmed that it is a good step, then and only then re-check the tone with your color checker and ask yourself the six questions. Repeat this process until you get a good color match. You are now ready to mix the next step in your color group.

    Summary: ID colour group, start w darkest black as starting step, create the next lighter step from there (then find that value in the subject with colour checker, adjust the colour to match, double check value again & proceed to the next lighter step). You will end up with one messed up experimental palette (which can be discarded) and one clean palette with all your steps marked out neatly for each colour group (darks on the bottom, highlights at the top). Your new (clean step) palette is the base for your painting. Begin and make small required adjustments (via further colour checking and mixing) as you go along, section by section....
    June 2
    • Haiku
      Haiku
      💭 Once you have ID’d the main colour groups of your subject... Start with mixing 3T of black 60% (blue + 40% brown then transfer to 2nd finished colours palette adding a stripe of black as your starting point to mix your first stepped colour group). Clean dedicated black brush in black paint & avoid milkiness... Now go ahead and mix each colour separately in a series of steps from darkest black to the highlight colours
    • Haiku
      Haiku
      Remember, you will always mix all the steps in every color group. Do not skip steps, even if you think a particular step is not in the color group — it is almost always there, though you may have to look really hard to find it. If you really explore by color checking throughout the color group, you will generally find every step.
    • Haiku
      Haiku
      To tone down a strong colour: add some colour from the opposite side of the colour wheel

      To lighten a colour: add white/yellow/both (look at the colours around them on the colour wheel to decide if you’re in the right ‘vicinity’)

      To darken a colour: add blue/brown/both
    • Haiku
      Haiku
      Too gray or too brown?

      If you think a color looks too "gray", that means it is too blue. If you think a color looks too "brown", that means it is too red or too orangey-red. Remember this when you are checking your colors. Often you will look at a color and see that your color is too gray or too brown… simply remember that "too gray" means "too blue", and "too brown" means "too red".
    • Haiku
      Haiku
      Notes on darkening a colour with burnt umber:

      When you are mixing the darker colors, use burnt umber as your red instead of pyrrole rubine or permanent alizarin crimson. It is more opaque and easier to work with, and the colors you mix with burnt umber will blend better with other colors when you paint.

      Obviously there will be times when you must use pyrrole rubine or permanent alizarin crimson, especially when mixing strong reds (like red roses or red lipstick). Purples will also need pyrrole rubine or permanent alizarin crimson.
    • Haiku
      Haiku
      Stain for canvas:

      1/3 quick drying burnt umber + 2/3 quick drying white = army brown (browner than khaki)
      Add spirits to make it ‘water runny’ and mix before applying for full coverage
      Allow 48 hrs before pencilling...
    • Haiku
      Haiku
      DMP slow dry medium recipe for COLOUR (see separate instructions for white):

      10 parts odorless mineral spirits (any artist-grade odorless mineral spirits will do)
      5 parts stand oil or linseed stand oil (this is viscous like honey and is not the same as refined linseed oil)
      1 part refined linseed oil
      5 parts Venice turpentine *
      2 parts oil of cloves †

      ADD 15ml clove oil for every tube of 37ml BURNT UMBER apart from this slow dry medium (add a little at a time and make up the difference with slow dry medium)

      First coat 250ml consol jar with medium (or clove oil when mixing burnt umber), squeeze in the paint, dip a stick into some oil and mix... add a little more medium... continue adding and mixing until you have a ketchup consistency. Err on the side of thick rather than too runny as the paint may still get a little runnier over time. Store mixed paints in fridge or cool spot (when not using for longevity)
    • Haiku
      Haiku
      DMP slow-dry medium recipe for titanium WHITE:

      10 parts odorless mineral spirits
      1 part stand oil or linseed stand oil
      5 parts refined linseed oil
      5 parts Venice turpentine (thick honey-like resin)
  • Notes from Mark’s Painting Process Tips: 

    1. Paint one object at a time (begin with the b/g surround)

    Finish it before moving onto the next object BUT first paint some background colour around the object you’re working on. ‘Painting in a bit of background around your object will help you see your edges better. If you just paint an object on the canvas with no other paint around it, your edges will look completely wrong even when they are right... The other thing it does is allow you to "bump" your lines around if you need to by "pushing" your lines back with the background color.‘

    2. Paint from dark to light

    ‘Do not jump around. It is easier to see your object develop if you paint in the darkest colors first, and then move on to the next value, and then the next, and so on... it is much easier to paint a lighter color into a darker color than the other way around. Trying to paint a shadow into a lighter color is very difficult to do without milking up your paint.’

    3. Over-paint your darks (but do not over paint your lights)

    ‘When you check your color, the tendency for most people would be to check the color in the center of reflection... instead, you should check the color around the outside of the reflection... Paint in that darker color first and then — and only then — paint a small spot more in the middle... So as you paint your still life it is always best to over-paint your darks instead of over-painting your lights. When you paint in a step, paint it slightly beyond where it goes, knowing that when you paint the next lighter step, you will push it back a little.‘

    4. Do not blend or ‘correct’ (until the entire canvas is covered)

    Paint in a stroke and leave it and continue this way until all the steps are painted and the canvas is covered. Do not judge, do not correct or adjust anything because at this early stage everything can/will look wrong. Why? You don’t have proper ‘reference context’ yet since the entire canvas is not yet covered. You will ruin your colour & milk up your beautiful rich shadows. Repeat: Do not blend/touch up until the entire canvas is covered. ‘Unblended color is "yummy" color... Up close when you are sitting at your easel it may look like "yuk” but step back and it looks natural and wonderful. Smooth blended color looks artificial.’

    5. Paint what you see via the colour checker (no improvements or exaggeration)

    ‘When you check a color, ask yourself how far to the left does the color go? How far to the right? How far down? How far up? Then paint it in accordingly. Don't make assumptions... Do not think you know better than your color checking. Resist the temptation to exaggerate what you see. Do not make the glow in the bottom of the vase brighter. Do not make the reflection lines stand out on the table more. Do not make your painting have more "pop". Amateur artists love to over-paint everything — don't do it. Simply trust your color checking, and re-check a color if you need to. Don't "let yourself go" and start playing with your paint. It is so much fun to exaggerate everything you see, but it will make your work look amateurish and unnatural in the end.’

    6. Paint ugly with a brush full of paint (value & colour is all you need to get right)

    ‘Up close when you are at your easel, your paint will look ugly, messy, and jumbled up. From a distance all that jumble makes the color dance and the surface seem "touchable". Smooth blended paint from a distance looks artificial... Paint with a brush full of paint, but not so much that you are creating reflections and glare spots in the paint surface. And never try to paint with too little paint in your brush. Trying to paint by rubbing paint on the canvas with your brush is not painting — the color will be different if the canvas is showing through. A little canvas showing through is fine, but make sure you brush is full of paint so your colors stay true.’

    7. Enjoy the process and savour slow time

    ‘You are learning a method, and rushing or taking shortcuts will only make it more difficult in the end. Once you paint a couple of paintings you will naturally begin to speed up. Before long it will all be second nature. And after you have painted with the method for a year or two, you can leave the method behind and paint however you wish — because you will know how to see, draw, and paint. At that point you will naturally avoid the mistakes that are very easy to make when you're still training yourself.’

    8. Cover the canvas & invite in the editor (trust your eye)

    ‘Once you have finished laying in all your color and you have finished covering the canvas for the object you are working on, at that point you will completely change your approach to painting. Where before I told you to trust your color checking and to never trust your eye, now you should trust your eye. It's important not to do this this until your canvas is covered! But once your canvas is covered, it's time to ask yourself "what is the difference?" Where before you could not trust your eye because of the blank canvas, now even a first-time painter can see differences easily.’

    9. Fix problems (‘What is the Difference?’)

    ‘Once you have covered all the canvas with paint, and the darkest shadows as well as the brightest highlights have all been painted in — no bare canvas is showing — at that point (and not before) you are ready to start asking yourself "what is the difference?" These are the kinds of questions you will ask yourself: Which is more subtle: the reflection in the vase in my painting, or the reflection in the real vase? Which is steeper: the angle on the edge of the eye glasses in my painting, or the angle on the edge of the real glasses? Which are fatter: the horizontal lines in the table reflections in my painting, or are the real reflections fatter? The list is endless. Look for the small (or large) differences and then fix them one by one.’

    10. Final polish & finish (do not overwork it!)

    ‘Do not overwork your painting. Stop sooner rather than later. Leave color unblended completely if that suits you. The more you work your paint — the more you blend and "fix" — the easier it is to ruin your color, especially the shadows. Instead of looking at the canvas from your painting position, step back every once in a while and look at the painting from further away.’

    June 3
    • Haiku
      Haiku
      Fat Over Lean: If your painting dries and you want to paint another layer of paint on top of your dried paint, it is important to make sure you are painting "fat over lean". That simply means that when you paint multiple layers of paint, the paint layers on top should have a higher percentage of oil (fat) than the layers on the bottom. So add a few drops of refined linseed oil to your paints when painting extra layers on top of your dry paint. This will ensure that the upper layer has more oil (fat) than the lower layers (lean).
    • Haiku
      Haiku
      Oiling Out Your Dry-to-the-Touch Painting: If your painting has dried and become matte, it will be difficult to see what your colors really look like as they dry, especially the dark colors. This is normal, and all quality oil paints become matte and "flat" as they dry. Blacks become gray, and color in general becomes less saturated and "washed out". Gloss varnish will bring back all the life to your painting — it will once again have all the depth and richness of fresh wet oil color. But if you plan on working on your painting further, do not use varnish! Not even a "re-touch" varnish. Instead, you will need to "oil out" your painting in those areas that have become matte. This will act like varnish to help you see your paint accurately so that you can continue painting further if you wish. You only need to wait until your paint is dry to the touch before you can oil it out.
    • Haiku
      Haiku
      Varnishing: Once your painting has dried for a couple of months (well beyond dry to the touch), it is ready to varnish. If you keep your painting in a very warm place — for example, above 85°F (29°C) — you can varnish it after about three weeks instead of two months. On the other hand, if your painting is stored in a very cold place while it dries, it may need to dry for twice as long before varnishing. I like to use a gloss varnish...
    • Haiku
      Haiku
      Going Forward with the Draw Mix Paint Method: In general I tell my students who want to learn to paint realism well that they should use the Draw Mix Paint method and follow it very strictly for at least five paintings (ten is even better). That means following my instruction "to the letter" and allowing yourself no "wiggle room". Once you have finished five to ten paintings using the method, then you can leave the parts you don't need anymore behind, or leave the whole method behind if you wish. Using the method strictly really will teach you to draw, mix color, and paint, so that you will have an "instinct" for drawing and color perception. With enough experience with the Draw Mix Paint Method, you really can look at a vase on a table and know instinctively how to mix the shadow color with oil paint. That is what the great realists could all do — and this is what the method will teach you.
    • Haiku
      Haiku
      Mark’s pro photography guide: http://www.drawmixpaint.com/classes/online/advanced-photography-guide.html
    • Haiku
      Haiku
      The Artists Handbook by Ralph Meyer
  • Mark on choosing your subject: 

    When you are choosing your subject and composition, you should work at it and give it lots of thought and consideration. Spend a few days or more deciding what to paint and exploring your ideas… then pick your favorite from fifty choices. Work hard at it. But once you decide you really like something and begin to work on it, from that point on never second-guess whether you like it or not. As you work on it — drawing, color mixing, and especially painting — you will very likely grow tired of it. It always happens to me. By picking it apart and working on it for hours, it will no longer create the spark it did when you first saw it and decided you really liked it. Remember, when people see your painting, they will be seeing the composition for the first time. It is very, very different! I wish I could walk into a room and view my own painting having never seen it before. But of course that will never happen. We have to accept this.

    June 3
  • Haiku changed their profile picture.
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    May 31
  • Haiku changed their profile picture.
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    May 31
    • Haiku
      Haiku
      First shadowbox still life set up for first DMP painting. Ready for ‘The Paint Horribly Challenge’ which I am now looking forward to. Working title: Gifts I May Still Use.
    • Haiku
      Haiku
      I had this up too long so changed the subject to a protea...
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    May 29
    • Haiku
      Haiku
      2019 Goals

      May: finish DMP course videos & complete basic studio set up (almost there!)
      June: finish 4 quick still life sketches ie. get a feel for DMP
      July: finish one longer study on small linen canvas (spend more time on concept, values, colour mixing & finishes)
      August: finish 4 quick interiors
      September: finish one large canvas (personal project)
      October: finish 4 quick portraits
      November: a month of doodling/sketching (hopefully a trip to Europe)
      December: plein air freedom and decide if painting is something I want to commit to fully 💛
    • Haiku
      Haiku
      Progress to date

      May goal: yes
      June goal: only did one painting but did get a good feel for DMP (was preoccupied with maintenance issues into mid July and battled to get back into painting mode)
      July goal: in process 💡