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    All images are Copyright Protected and the property of Jamie Williams Grossman. Paintings and photos displayed on this site may not be reprinted, copied, downloaded, displayed elsewhere, or used for any reason without her written permission.

    ------------------------------------- CUSTOMER REVIEWS

    "OMGGGGG, Jamie!!!! It's absolutely amazinggggggg!!!!!! I loveeeeee it!!!!!! This is sooo much more than I could have imagined!!! Thank you!!!!"

    "It's spectacular, Jamie!!! How talented you are! We absolutely love it! And you are right-the frame is just perfect for it! "

    "Happy" with it is an understatement! My sister's husband said, "Wow, it's beautiful!" That's a lot of emotion coming from him! haha. And my adult daughter said, "OMG MOM, ITS GORGEOUS!". You have added to your fan club!

    "Jamie, your painting arrived in perfect condition! And, as I expected, it looks even better ‘in person’ than on the computer screen. Thank you so much for your careful packing and wonderful painting."

    "...Today I finally surprised [my wife] with the actual painting! It is her birthday! And I just wanted to let you know the we both absolutely love it!! She was so so surprised, and just speechless.... Thank you again for being so flexible and good to work with! It was such a joy preparing for today and I appreciated your professionalism throughout the process!"

    "I love the new painting! It's actually a little more golden and fluid than it looks in the pic and I love the movement; everything in my house is a little on the warm and yellow and gold side so it could hang pretty much anywhere. It's going to the framer shortly and I look forward to having it up :-)"

    "Jamie, it's lovely!!! Thank you so much for all the time and love you've put into it! You have no idea how much joy your work is bringing to me. I'm very grateful!"

    "I just wanted to share that my father-in-law absolutely LOVES your painting. He loves the frame and said that he's never owned a real oil painting. 😊 But most importantly, he loves the subject matter and he and my husband spent a lot of time reminiscing this morning about hikes they took there years ago. This part of the Hudson is, by far, their favorite! Thank you SO much for making this Christmas gift PERFECT."

    "Your paintings of my beloved Hudson Valley are stunning! I've always loved Hudson River paintings, and can't believe that I've found someone who is following in the great tradition of Cropsey and company! "

    "We received your painting yesterday and it's really very beautiful. Thank you again very much."

    "Your beautiful "Autumn at Rockwood" arrived in perfect condition two days ago. It is even more lovely in person than I ever could have imagined. Thank you so much for your artistry and your many kindnesses to me..... I will treasure both of my paintings very much ..."

    "I'm more than happy, I'm thrilled!"

    "I just wanted to let you know that I received [the painting] today! It is beautiful, thank you so much:)"

    "Your [miniature] Caillebotte arrived today. Wow, it's WAY better seeing it in person than viewing an image/photo of it. Spectacular..... Thank you so much!!"

    "It's beautiful. Thank you so much!"

    "Oh, Jamie! It is fabulous!!!!!!! I love it!"

    "Hi Jamie, I received painting yesterday. It's really beautiful! Thank you for sending so quickly. I'm sure it will give my friend hope and strengthen as she faces this battle with Parkinson's. Thank you!"

    "Jamie, My painting arrived Thursday and I love it. I will definitely order from you again."

    "[They] love the painting. They were so surprised. They really appreciate it and the thought and artistry behind it. They received many [wedding] gifts, and said this was one of their two favorites."

    "[My husband] loved loved loved the painting! It is hanging on the wall in my great room. It's just beautiful!"

    "Hi Jamie! The beautiful paintings arrived safe and sound this afternoon. I love them! (Boy you don't mess around with packing them ;) Thank you."

    "Hi Jamie –I thought you’d enjoy seeing “The Red Barge” framed. Until I give it to my husband on his birthday, I have it hanging in my office. I LOVE looking at it all day!"

    "I received the painting this morning. It is SO FANTASTIC!!!!!! I wish I would have had it done larger. Thank you! thank you!"

    "The East from Hunter Mountain painting arrived the other day. It made it through the snow and looks great. Thanks for everything."

    "Jamie, my wife and I love it. Thank you and great work. It was difficult trying to figure out a special gift for them......I'm very happy that I reached out to you. I know they will love the painting and the special touch you did with the card! "

    "Wow, it looks AMAZING! They are going to love it. I love the name too. Perfect. ... Thanks again!"

    "Your lovely painting of a sweet bird, framed beautifully, arrived last week.... I just adore it!!... I see it and injoy its beauty every day! Thank you so much!"

    "The painting is beautiful! I love it! "

    "Just a quick note to let you know your [miniature] Monet arrived in perfect condition. It looks fabulous!!! Thank you again so much."




    ------------------------------------------ If you haven't seen the two-DVD set, "The Impressionists", you don't know what you're missing!

    the-impressionists.jpg


    I rented it from Netflix and absolutely loved it. It is an enactment of the lives of Monet, Renoir, Manet, Cezanne, Degas, and other Impressionist painters living at that time around Paris. Fascinating and eye-opening!





Archive for the 'Demos/Work in Progress' Category

Posted by Jamie on August 30th, 2009

This is my first-ever video slide show! I hope you enjoy this display of some of my paintings that have been done with the slow-drying Golden OPEN Acrylics.

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Gateway to Storm King Mountain

Posted by Jamie on August 18th, 2009

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16×20″, Golden OPEN Acrylics on sealed, primed hardboard
$800.00 plus $35 shipping and insurance within the Continental United States. For local sales, shipping charge will be allocated to NYS Sales Tax. Please email me at JamieWG@aol.com for International purchases or with any questions.

Below is the painting in its initial form, as it came home from my plein air expedition. I was always bothered by that large piling so close to the center of the painting. Adjusting the composition, in this case, was very simple. By enlarging the piling to the right, I was able to remove that focal point in the center, rebalancing the painting. I think it works very well now! Below is the original, so that you can compare. Color and value differences that you see are due to the paintings being adjusted on different computers. (That gives you an indication of how different paintings can look from one computer to another, depending on our monitors and settings.)

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This was painted on location in Cold Spring, New York, facing Storm King Mountain. I paint all over the Hudson River Valley, and the Hudson Highlands region certainly rates as one of the most dramatic along the river. I had to wait a long time for the clouds to break before they struck the mountain, but once the sun broke through it was quite spectacular.

For those who like to see some of the process, here is a photo of the Quinacridone Gold underpainting that I did for this one:

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Happy Days

Posted by Jamie on August 10th, 2009


$115.00 plus $10 shipping and insurance within the Continental United States. For local sales, shipping charge will be allocated to NYS Sales Tax. Please email me at JamieWG@aol.com for International purchases or with any questions.


7 x 5″, Oils on canvas covered hardboard, unframed
Painting flowers always cheers me up. These should get some kind of a longevity award, having survived several days already and they’re still looking great. There’s a setup picture below for those who like to see what I’m working with. It’s a good thing you can’t see the rest of the studio; what a mess!

Sunbathing — Gourds Series No 4

Posted by Jamie on June 26th, 2009


8 x 12″, Pastels on Wallis professional sanded paper, unframed
SOLD! Please email me at JamieWG@aol.com to inquire about a similar painting.

Below is a picture of my setup, with the painting in progress.

Kaaterskill Clove from the Beaver Pond

Posted by Jamie on February 27th, 2009

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12×16″, Oils on canvas covered hardboard
$440.00 plus $20 shipping and insurance within the Continental United States. For local sales, shipping charge will be allocated to NYS Sales Tax. Please email me at JamieWG@aol.com for International purchases or with any questions.

Kaaterskill Clove was one of the favorite painting locations for many of the Hudson River School artists. Thomas Cole, Frederic Church, Jasper Cropsey and many others painted these mountains in centuries past. It’s easy to see why they were drawn to this dramatic location. The Hudson River provided easy access upstate from New York City and the Lower Hudson Valley. The mountains are only 10 miles inland from the river.

Here is an image of the work in progress, after the underpainting and initial color layer:

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Here’s how I set up to paint from the computer for works larger than 8×10″. I prefer this to using printed photos.

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The colors I used are:
Titanium White
Cadmium Yellow Lemon
Cadmium Yellow Medium
Raw Sienna
Cadmium Red
Cerulean Blue
Cobalt Blue
Ultramarine Blue
Viridian
Ivory Black

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These are the mediums I planned to use for the painting. It’s the first time I tried the Weber Res-n-gel, but it didn’t tack up as quickly as I’d hoped. I think I prefer just turp, or turp and a tiny bit of Liquin for the underlayers.

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I use a glass palette in the studio with a sheet of brown kraft paper below it. It is so easy to clean. I had a glass store cut this 16×24 piece of 1/4″ glass for me and grind the edges.

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I hope you enjoyed seeing some of the steps and materials used along the way.

Winter Moonrise

Posted by Jamie on February 15th, 2009


$115.00 plus $10 shipping and insurance within the Continental United States. For local sales, shipping charge will be allocated to NYS Sales Tax. Please email me at JamieWG@aol.com for International purchases or with any questions.

5 x 7″ beautifully double matted to 8×10″, Gouache on Fabriano Artistico 100% rag paper. Painting with mat will fit into a standard 8×10″ frame, or without the mat in a 5×7″ frame. Price includes double mat.

Many thanks to Connie van Winssen for use of a photo reference for this painting from her villiage of Westbroek in The Netherlands. I don’t generally paint from photos other than my own, but I was so captivated by the colors and mood of this scene that I just had to paint it!

I selected a warm, limited palette of colors: Yellow deep, Venetian red, Ultramarine blue, and white to bring out the rich warmth and glow of the scene.


Below, you can see what my palette ended up looking like when I was finished! I did wipe it off once during the painting process, after laying in the initial colors. When a palette gets too muddy, that mud starts making its way into the painting.

Here’s how it looks with the mat, ready for a standard 8×10″ frame:

Studio Tour—-Getting ready to get ready to paint….

Posted by Jamie on February 5th, 2009

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Sometimes I just can’t seem to get ready to paint. I use so many different mediums, and paint such diverse subjects, that my studio is forever littered with acrylics, gouache, watercolor palettes, sketchbooks lying around, canvases stacked up against the walls, still life objects lining the window ledges, and dirty water containers, not to mention all the things that end up in my studio that don’t even belong here!

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I woke up this morning thinking about starting a large painting. When I got to my studio, I took out a 24×36″ canvas and put it on the easel. All the furniture is on wheels, so I started thinking about doing some “easy” rearranging. Hahaha! It never works out that way. I was putting things away and moving things around, and by the time that was done, it was way too late to start something big.

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Here are my studio mascots, collectively known as Double Trouble!

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Even Lulu and Lucy thought I was crazed. They were very curious about the changes in their surroundings, and wondered what Mom was up to.

I figured I’d set up a still life and paint in watercolors instead, since I’d lost the morning already. Even that process seemed to go on forever today. Blue cloth or striped? Two clementines or a little blue and gold box? Brass bird or horse sculpture?

still-life-setup

I finally made my decision on the still life setup, but now we were already into the afternoon. The phone started ringing. My daughter came home from school. I have a meeting this evening and had to get dinner underway. The day was slipping away. It seemed the best choice was to take some more photos to share with my viewers.

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The image above shows the area where I have my computer and do many of my small paintings. If I’m not working from life, I look at the images on the computer monitor instead of printing out photos. The color is so much better, and I can zoom in as needed and make color/value adjustments. Plus, it saves all that ink and paper!

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My sister gave me this hanging storage device. I think it was designed to hang in a closet and store jewelry, but it’s perfect for paint tubes. My most-used colors are in a box near the easel, so this holds mostly tubes of less-used oil paint colors that I need only on occasion, and keeps them easy to locate, yet out of the way.

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My brother-in-law built this beautiful spice cabinet. It has a glass door with a key lock. When he moved to California, he didn’t know what to do with it, so I promised to put it to good use. It serves as a display/storage cabinet for my small still life objects and some smaller jars of mediums and pigments.

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Some time ago, I made and installed these drying rails in my studio for my small paintings. They can hold paintings up to 16×20″ in size. I bought the molding at Home Depot, painted it, and secured it into the wall. If I were to do it again, I’d add a 1×1″ strip behind it to make the shelves a little deeper, and the paintings more secure. I use a dab of blu-tack on the backs of the paintings near the top to be sure they won’t topple over, since my rails are so narrow.

Tomorrow morning I will have that nice still life setup and my watercolors all set to go, plus a large canvas ready and waiting. At least I won’t have to clean again!

Edit:
Some viewers have emailed comments and questions.

Hi, Jamie,
Thank you for these wonderful pictures of your painting room. There
are wonderful ideas in them, and hopefully one day I can implement
one or two of them. Right now my studio is too crowded to even work!
It’s an extreme project.
You are inspiring and refreshing to see!
Regards,
Marilyn
PS I love your two birdies. It must be nice to have them and their
chatter in the creative process.

Marilyn, thank you for your comment. Have you ever heard that annoying sound that a crow makes? Well, imagine that fifty times louder. And imagine two of them. Then imagine it in an enclosed room with little sound absorption. That’s what Lulu and Lucy sound like when they get on a rant! They do make cute sounds too, like a gurgling sound when I give them peanuts, and a purring sound when they sit on my shoulder sometimes. They make kissing noises and say “Kiss?” when they want me to come over. So, for anybody who’s thinking they are so cute and they should run out and get some Jenday Conures, be sure your neighbors live far away, and that you have earplugs within reach!
Jamie

Thanks for sharing your studio.
I have a couple of otherwise decent universities that say I am a sculptor. Lately I have been working on my studio. Sculpture studios never look as nice as yours, ever.
Thanks again
dave

Dave, I knew there was a reason why I decided to be a painter! ;) I have to say though, mine rarely looks this neat. That’s why I had to take the pictures—so that I can remember it was once this way!
Jamie

Jamie – Your studio looks great. I feel inspired. Right now I can’t walk in the room.
How long did it take you? Do you keep all the mediums in separate places?
Kay

Kay, it took a whole day. Yes, I do keep my mediums separate, and I keep my main colors separate from my extra colors, for the most part. I generally keep my main colors in a zip-lock bag, one for each medium. The bags are great because they take up the least amount of space, and I can just grab the bag labeled “main colors” when I’m on the run to go out painting. Extra oil paint tubes are stored on shelves in the garage, since they can endure cold temperatures easily.
Jamie

Red Blue and Green

Posted by Jamie on January 21st, 2009

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5×7″, Oils on Ampersand Gessoboard

$140.00 plus $12 shipping and insurance within the Continental United States. For local sales, shipping charge will be allocated to NYS Sales Tax. Please email me at JamieWG@aol.com for International purchases or with any questions.

These three, small vases were made by my favorite potter, Marilyn Price. Her work is at the RiverWinds Gallery in Beacon, NY, along with many of my own paintings. Very often when I go to the gallery, I see something Marilyn made that I just can’t resist. My latest acquisition was made last Saturday, when I purchased the blue vase in the back of this painting. I set it up with two of her other pieces and played with using a lot of strong, pure color.

Palette:
Cadmium Yellow Medium
Raw Sienna
Cadmium Orange
Cadmium Red
Permanent Alizarin Crimson
Cerulean Blue
Cobalt Blue
Ultramarine Blue Deep
Viridian
Ivory Black
Titanium White

Making Oil Paint

Posted by Jamie on January 14th, 2009

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I started making some of my own oil paint a few years ago when I was in search of a higher quality Ultramarine Blue. In using a limited palette at that time, I was dependent on the ultramarine for providing the basis for the dark side of my palette. I needed the deepest, darkest, most heavily-pigmented ultramarine I could find. The best solution to my problem was to make my own. I stay away from cadmiums and toxic pigments, and just buy those in the store. Some pigments mix up easier than others. Ultramarine is a cinch!

The photo above shows the materials I use for paintmaking. I made this batch of Ultramarine Deep today and took these photos as I went to show my process. Making paint is my version of playing in the sandbox.

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I begin with a nice big pile of pigment (above) on a 1/4″ glass slab, and make a crater in the center. I fill the crater with alkalai-refined linseed oil.

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I work the oil into the dry pigment particles. I add more oil a little at a time as needed. I suppose I could do this more scientifically by taking careful measurements, but as in cooking, I prefer to adjust as needed rather than following a recipe. Now it’s time to take out the glass muller.

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Contrary to what you might think, the paint becomes runnier as it is mulled. The glass muller crushes the clumps of pigment particles apart, so that the individual particles will be surrounded by the oil binder.

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Since the paint tends to liquify as the oil surrounds the individual pigment particles, you may find it gets too runny and you need to add more pigment. There is actually quite a fine line between too much and not enough.

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You may think you need quite a bit more pigment to increase the body of the paint, and then in a flash the entire mass becomes dry and unworkable. (above) A little more oil does the trick.

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This is what I consider mulled to perfection. The pigment is well mulled into the oil. You can tell from the sheen that there is enough oil so that the paint won’t be underbound. If I add more pigment at this point, it will likely clump together again.

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I’m done! I store these small containers of homemade paint in the freezer, and clean up the implements with mineral spirits or Windex. The paint containers will keep in the freezer indefinitely, as the cold slows the oxidation of the paint and the containers are airtight. I could put it into tubes if I preferred. Ultramarine pigment can get stringy when left sitting in oil, and since I don’t use wax or other additives in my paint to counteract that tendency, I find it keeps a better working consistency in the freezer.

Now it’s time to go paint!

Edit: I have removed the step of adding any mineral spirits at all, even in small amounts. I have done it both ways, and I think it is easier to gauge the proportions of oil and pigment without additional ingredients. Mineral spirits can result in underbinding of the paint, and it’s better not to take that risk.

Watercolor Wednesday—work in progress

Posted by Jamie on October 15th, 2008

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I know this looks like some kind of strange abstract in its infant stages, but stay tuned! Watercolor Wednesday will continue on Thursday this week, and I’ll post the finished painting tomorrow.

Finished painting can be seen by clicking here.

My Favorite Tree

Posted by Jamie on October 13th, 2008

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6×8″, Oils on sealed, primed hardboard
$150.00 plus $10 shipping and insurance within the Continental United States. For local sales, shipping charge will be allocated to NYS Sales Tax. Please email me at JamieWG@aol.com for International purchases or with any questions.

. Special: Free shipping within the Continental US until 10/16/08

This is my favorite tree along the lakeshore here. It turns this bright crimson color in fall, and I love the twists and turns of the trunk.

I painted this with my new little pochade box! It is the Guerrilla Painter Thumbox with the palette extension and watercolor palette. I filled the watercolor palette up with oil paints. That palette gets covered with the mixing palette, so the paints stay wet and it’s really fast to set up. Here’s a picture of the new box with a progress image of the painting:

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Canoing Through the Marsh on the Hudson River

Posted by Jamie on September 9th, 2008

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6×6″, Golden OPEN Acrylics on Ampersand Gessoboard
SOLD! Please email me at JamieWG@aol.com to inquire about a similar painting.

Above is the completed painting, and below is an image of the work in progress. I’d initially planned to put in foreground grasses, but after doing that, I felt the painting was more effective without them. So, I worked on it yet a third time, and took the foreground grasses out!

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It’s interesting how much the color of light affects what we see. The image of the finished painting was taken with the corrected light of my photo box, but the progress image was taken in cool daylight. The actual colors in paintings vary according to the lighting conditions where we view them.

I did the underpainting for this work with a color I’d not tried before from the Golden OPEN line—Quinacridone Gold. I love the warm glow that it brings to the work. I could get hooked on this color!

This is painted from a photo I took down in Constitution Marsh on the Hudson River. It’s been in my file of things I want to paint for a long time! With fall on the way, it seemed the right moment to pull out this lively autumn scene.

I’m still using an expanded palette because the paint is still wet from yesterday, and I’ve even added a few colors to the large assortment I was working with. So far for this painting I’ve used:
Titanium White
Cadmium Yellow Primrose
Cadmium Yellow Medium
Naples Yellow
Cadmium Red Light
Pyrrole Red
Ultramarine Blue
Transparent Red Oxide
Quinacridone Gold
Carbon Black
Jenkins Green

Magical Sunset and Demo

Posted by Jamie on September 3rd, 2008

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5×7″, Golden OPEN Acrylics on Ampersand Gessoboard
SOLD! Please email me at JamieWG@aol.com to inquire about a similar painting.

A few weeks ago, my husband and I drove to the other end of the lake to get western views of the sunset. We took loads of photos. This is my first painting from that series of images. I managed to stop myself a few times along the way to take some photos and post a demo.

I set up to paint with more colors on my palette than usual in order to get the more highly saturated sunset colors.

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As you can see above, I used a more expanded palette for this painting than usual. My color choices were:
Titanium White
Cadmium Yellow Primrose
Cadmium Yellow Medium
Cadmium Orange
Cadmium Red Light
Pyrrole Red
Quinacridone Magenta
Ultramarine Blue
Jenkins Green
Phthalo Blue
Carbon Black

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When I paint on a small board like this 5×7″ Gessoboard above, it’s hard to hold it and paint edge to edge. I use “blu tack” and affix it to an 8×10″ board. Then I can hold the larger board and be able to paint all the way to the edges without getting paint on my fingers, or I can set it down on a little tabletop easel.

My computer monitor yields stronger, more accurate color and chroma than a printed out photo, so I like to set up like this for small works and paint right off the computer screen. I use the old telephone book on the right to wipe my brushes before rinsing. It’s a great way to conserve paper towels and simultaneously recycle and old phone book. When the page gets filled with paint, I just tear it off, toss it, and go to the next page.

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When a painting has areas of light, highly saturated color, I always put that down first. That holds the chroma, and then I can paint into it. It’s a lot easier to dull down strong color than it is to get this kind of brilliance on top of a grey or dark color. You can see how I reserved all the areas of strong color here:

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Once the base colors and values have been laid down, I can start painting into them, creating variation, adding details, and adjusting edges. From the step above, it isn’t a long way to the finish line:

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How I Varnish Oil and Acrylic Paintings

Posted by Jamie on September 2nd, 2008

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I have 22 freshly varnished oil and acrylic paintings in these drying racks. Over the past several days they’ve been getting isolation coats and varnish coats. Many artists who paint in both mediums have asked me for information on my varnishing process, so I thought I’d take some time today to describe my process.

There are several different products that can be used to obtain a variety of finishes depending on personal artistic preferences. I love gloss varnish. It pops the colors and values and gives a shiny, professional appearance. I have chosen products to yield that result. There are many other good products on the marketplace too.

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I start with Golden Soft Gel (Gloss) and relatively soft, synthetic brushes to do an isolation coat on the acrylic paintings. Oil paintings do not require this step. I use the small container shown above to measure. The Gel gets diluted two parts Gel to one of water. I mix it up thoroughly in a styrofoam bowl.

I clean off the painting surface with a lint free rag to be sure there are no dust particles on the surface. Then each dry acrylic painting gets a thin coating, following the direction of the brushstrokes. One coat is generally enough to seal a relatively non-porous surface, such as my sealed, primed hardboards. Rag paper and matboard, even if sized before painting, generally requires 2-3 thin coats. You can tell when you’ve put on enough coats because the surface develops a soft sheen.

Many acrylic painters make the mistake of eliminating the isolation coat. That results in too much varnish penetrating through the surface of the support, and can cloud your painting. Also, it will leave an uneven finish. Putting on enough isolation coats to prevent penetration of the varnish yields a beautifully even gloss. It is well worth the additional steps! The second isolation coat can be applied several hours after the first if necessary. Be sure the first coat is dry, and not tacky.

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I like the Soluvar Gloss Varnish a lot for both oil and acrylic paintings. Be sure your oil paintings are completely dry before varnishing. That will generally take 6-12 months. Acrylic paintings can be varnished as soon as the isolation coat has cured. In dry, room temperature conditions, that should only take a few days.

Soluvar varnish is removable for cleaning, non-yellowing, and gives a great sheen. I used to use Gamvar, but found I had some adhesion problems on sections of some of my oil paintings, and the varnish would bead up as it was applied. I have not had that problem with Soluvar. I use the large, natural hair brush above for paintings 12×16 and larger, and the smaller natural/synthetic blend brush for smaller works. You need to work quickly with varnish before it dries.

I pour a small amount into a ceramic pot that I reserve for varnishing. I dip the bottom section of the brush in and wipe some off on the side of the pot. Varnish your painting section by section, overlapping sections as you go. I lie them face up once done until they are tacky. Although varnish should be applied too thin to drip, I always take that precaution. It’s better to be safe than sorry!

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I got inexpensive, small letter holders (above) at Staples, and each can hold five paintings upright. They are only a couple of dollars each, and about 4″ tall. I bought them a couple at a time as I needed more and more of them. Once the paintings have tacked up, I set them in the letter holders. The first photo in this post shows what the paintings look like when they are set into a series of these letter holders.

You can also see on that first image, that a fan above the paintings draws the solvent fumes out of the room while I work. I have another fan on the other side of the room, by an open door to the garage, that helps push air across the room and out. That way, my paintings will dry faster and I can simultaneously vent the fumes out of my work space.

Once the paintings are varnished, I give them a couple of days to dry fully (in dry weather) before framing them. I hope this little demo helps some of you who have been struggling with varnishing. If you’ve been avoiding it, you’ll find it’s a lot easier than you thought, and the result is well worth the little bit of time and effort. Your paintings will glow with a new life!

You can read more about varnish application techniques in this article on the Golden website.

Working Atop the Hudson Highlands—Work in Progress

Posted by Jamie on May 20th, 2008

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SOLD! Please email me at JamieWG@aol.com to inquire about a similar painting.
I was able to get permission to paint at the old Garrison Castle today. I stood out on an upper floor balcony, with a straight shot above West Point, upriver, through the Hudson Highlands and beyond. You can even see Bannerman Island next to Breakneck Ridge from here. The river does a complete, tight “S” curve at this point between West Point and Constitution Island. It must be quite the navigational nightmare for a large ship. It is a staggeringly beautiful view.

It started out as a sunny day, but quickly changed over to cloudy, and then the rain showers moved in. (The photo above, painted toward the end of my session, was clearly after the light had changed!) This is a very complex scene, with layers of hills and mountains extending all the way through the Highlands, to the cliffs of the Shawangunks, and even to the Catskill Mountains beyond the Gunks. Plus, all those buildings at West Point! The shifting weather made a tough scene even harder. I had to pack it in before I could finish. There’s not too much left to do on this; I’ll either finish it from a photo I took, or else try to get permission to return.

Here it is in its current unfinished state. It’s 12×16″, oils on canvas covered hardboard. I’ll post it again when it’s finished.

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Yellow Roses in Pastel

Posted by Jamie on April 19th, 2008

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12×9″, soft pastels on Art Spectrum sanded pastel paper
$325.00 plus $15 shipping and insurance within the Continental United States. For local sales, shipping charge will be allocated to NYS Sales Tax. Please email me at JamieWG@aol.com for International purchases or with any questions.

Everybody loves visiting an artist’s studio and seeing paintings come together, so I thought I’d share part of the process of this painting.

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Here’s a photo of my setup in my studio, along with the pastel in progress. The pastels on the paper towel are the ones I selected from my huge box of colors. Setting them aside like this makes them easier to find, and helps maintain a unified palette with good color harmony.

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Above is a photo of the full area of my studio where I was working on this piece, so you can see the whole pastel box. I think now you can see why I find it necessary to separate the colors I’m using in a particular work; otherwise I’d be forever looking to find them again!

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This is an image of the painting about 1/3 of the way through the process. The basic color plan has been made and the objects blocked in. Following this stage, it’s time for refinement. Most of my time on a painting is spent in the refining stages.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this trip to my studio!

Making a Multi-Media Laptop Painting Box

Posted by Jamie on March 16th, 2008

Here’s my setup while test driving the new box!

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Click on any images below for a larger view. The post below this one gives instructions for making the box shown in these images.

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I’ve had this idea brewing in my head for almost a year, and finally made my car/laptop painting box this weekend! I wanted something extremely lightweight. This is made out of a single sheet of black foamcore! I used foamcore to make my pastel boxes, and was amazed by how sturdy it turned out to be when constructed properly. I used the same techniques to create this painting box. Best of all is that it weighs only one pound!

The white palette is a foam meat tray. I found them in an 11.25 x 9.25″ size and thought that would be ideal for palette inserts for my box, and also to use as palettes for oils and acrylics in open studio. They are perfect for gouache and casein too! I found a place online that had them and ordered a case of 250. A stack of four can fit in this lap box.

Here’s what the case looks like when it’s closed up for traveling. It measures 17x10x2″. The front closures are velcro strips.

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The box is sealed with a couple of coats of Golden GAC100, so it can be wiped clean and should be fairly water resistant in case of water and paint spills.

Inside the box, there’s ample room for brushes, paints, several foam palettes, paper towels, a small solvent container like the mini one made by Guerrilla Painter, or a collapsible water container like this Aqua Tote for acrylics.

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I found the little containers (above) in the camping department at a sporting goods store. They have an air-tight seal, so I think they should work out great for holding and storing all types of paints. With these two, I can hold more than enough colors for an outing plus a way to store leftovers when I’m done. However, the box is deep enough to hold tubes of paint if I prefer to bring the tubes.

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I decided to make the back hinges out of heavy duty velcro. Because this box is for multi-media use, and I also plan to use it for painting in my car, I wanted it to be as versatile as possible. Velcro hinges make the lid completely removable if the car is tight for space and I want to separate my drawing/painting support from the box itself, or if I need to lie it flat for watercolor work.

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This side arm prevents the box lid/painting support from opening too far. I decided to use velcro for this feature as well, in order to have greater adjustment potential. The velcro “hook” strips along the side (above) and the back (below) secure the arm made of the “loop” velcro.

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The Aqua Tote water holder, below, is one of my favoite items of painting gear for water media. Not only does it pack up into a small space in the box, but it also serves as my brush holder, and is very lightweight.

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These are available online from Dick Blick, Jerrys Artarama, and ASWexpress.com.

Another helpful item I found recently was a package of small misters. These are helpful for keeping acrylic paints wet on the palette, as well as for moistening paper for watercolor and acrylic wet techniques. They are only four inches long and 1/2″ wide. I found them at my local Michael’s Arts and Crafts shop.

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Now that I’ve finished taking photos and typing all this out, I’m going to find something to paint and give my new box a test drive!

Update after field testing:
I’d suggest using duct tape for the back hinge instead of the velcro strips. I’ve found that I have yet to make use of the capability to remove the box lid, and the velcro strips keep pulling up.
Instead of office clips to affix my painting support, I am finding blu-tac much more convenient. It enables me to paint right up to the edges of my work.
The office clips can be used on the left side of the lid (if right handed) to clip some paper towels or a rag to the lid. That way, the left side of the lower tray can be reserved for paint tubes/containers, mediums, and water/turp.

I’ve uploaded these images large enough to be able to read the text. Just click on the images to see the enlarged versions. I hope many of you find this helpful to build your own lightweight boxes for those times when lugging a heavy setup is impractical.

For some unknown reason, I’m having to click twice on these pages to get large, clear images. If you click and the image is unclear, try clicking the image a second time.

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My permission is granted to download and print out the three images in this post for your own information and reference only.

Update after field testing:
I’d suggest using duct tape for the back hinge instead of the velcro strips. I’ve found that I have yet to make use of the capability to remove the box lid, and the velcro strips keep pulling up.
Instead of office clips to affix my painting support, I am finding blu-tac much more convenient. It enables me to paint right up to the edges of my work.
The office clips can be used on the left side of the lid (if right handed) to clip some paper towels or a rag to the lid. That way, the left side of the lower tray can be reserved for paint tubes/containers, mediums, and water/turp.

Putnam County Land Trust Headquarters—Chickadee Haven

Posted by Jamie on January 29th, 2008

Click image to enlarge:

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18×24″, oils on stretched canvas
SOLD! Please email me at JamieWG@aol.com to inquire about a similar painting.

This is a the headquarters of Putnam County Land Trust. It will be housed permanently over the fireplace in the building. The Land Trust has been renovating this building for years, and the painting will be unveiled at the grand opening in the spring. PCLT owns about 140 acres here. A local resident, with property bordering the preserve, left her house to the Land Trust in her will, to be used as a headquarters and for educational purposes.

This site is only about a half mile from me, so I’m very excited about doing this painting for the Land Trust!

Below are various stages of the painting in progress.
Second Stage:

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First stage:

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Fall Morning in Cold Spring on the Hudson River and demo

Posted by Jamie on December 4th, 2007

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12×12″, Golden OPEN Acrylics on sealed, primed hardboard
SOLD! Please email me at JamieWG@aol.com to inquire about a similar painting.

My painting buddy, Suhua Wood, found this amazing spot along the Hudson River in Cold Spring for us to paint! I started this painting on location a few weeks ago, but didn’t have enough time to finish it there. I finally finished it up from a photo.

I took pictures of the various stages as I painted. First I underpainted with Golden Fluid Acrylics, using Transparent Red Oxide for all but the lightest areas. Some light areas then got a wash of Transparent Yellow Oxide, and cool darks got some Ultramarine Blue.

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I pulled out some heavier bodied acrylics, and laid in the sky and water. You can see an image of my scene and setup here as I was working.

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Then I started working with the local colors I saw. The image below shows how much I completed on location, and how far I still had to go.

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I used a photo of the scene to finish up the painting, in combination with the information already there from having worked on location. Being able to do even a portion of the piece en plein air always makes a difference in the outcome.

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8×10, Golden OPEN Acrylics on Multimedia Artboard
Email me at JamieWG@aol.com if interested in this painting.

Finally this painting is done. Here is the painting demo, as promised. My palette consisted of:
Hansa Yellow Opaque
Hansa Yellow Light (fluid acrylics)
Napthol Red Light
Transparent Red Oxide (fluid acrylics)
Ultramarine Blue
Phthalo Blue
Titanium White

I started with the Transparent Red Oxide, using Golden Fluid Acrylics. After a few placement lines, I blocked in my midtones and darks:

Next, I added Ultramarine Blue for the coolest darks, and Hansa Yellow Light for the lightest areas.

Then I laid in my sky, using Ultramarine Blue, Titanium White, and a touch of Phthalo Blue to bring the sky back to a mid-blue and give it a little chroma boost. (I apologize for the glare in this image.)

Once the sky is in, I start working local color, allowing my underpainting to show through in places. This is where I left off the other day, when I posted the image:

From there, I added more variations to my colors, filled out the textures of the trees, and pushed the lights and darks to create more contrast. Then the finishing touches went in, like the tree trunks and the stone wall in the background. Voila…done!

I hope you enjoyed following along with me in the painting process!

Moon Setting Over Crow’s Nest Mountain, painting and demo

Posted by Jamie on November 1st, 2007

Click image to enlarge:

8×10, acrylic on Multimedia Artboard
$260.00 plus $15 shipping and insurance within the Continental United States. For local sales, shipping charge will be allocated to NYS Sales Tax. Please email me at JamieWG@aol.com for International purchases or with any questions.

This was painted on location from Cold Spring, New York, along the shore of the Hudson River. Crow’s Nest Mountain is actually 42 feet higher than neighboring Storm King, but doesn’t get as much of the publicity. The moon was setting over the cliffs, presenting an irresistible scene. I thought I’d show a demo of my process, so I took some photos along the way.

I started by mixed up a painting “medium” of Golden Acrylic Flow Release in a ratio of 1:10 with water, poured some of that into a little palette cup, and added about 25% Golden Acrylic Glazing Liquid (Gloss). I used that to dilute paint for my underpainting, so as not to underbind the paint, and to help the flow of the color.

I began drawing in a couple of lines with heavily diluted Transparent Red Oxide. Once the placement lines were in, I started blocking in darks with thicker paint, and used thinner washes on the midtones. Then I used Transparent Yellow Oxide over the light areas (except for the sky). Areas of this photo appear blue due to sky reflection; those areas are actually white.

Next, I pulled out some Ultramarine blue, and used that combined with the transparent yellow and red oxides to block in cool darks and start a green wash on the foreground. Adding Titanium white and just a dash of phthalo blue to the ultramarine, I blocked in the sky and some sky holes in the tree.

Below is a photo of the painting on my easel, with the scene in the background, so you can see what I was working on. Compositionally, I’d have needed a wider canvas to fit in these elements if I wanted to keep everything to scale. Instead, I compressed the scene, shortening the width of the mountain, and bringing the moon over and down toward the peak. (You can just barely see the moon in the photo of the scene, in the upper right corner.)

I added Hansa Yellow Opaque and Napthol Red to my palette, and started working on the local color. I wanted to bring out the warm tones in the cliffs, so started putting in the pinks and violets early on. The red underpainting helped with that, as well as giving that orangy fall atmosphere. Here it is at the “almost done” point:

Lastly, I added cooler colors to the cliff face and did a once-over throughout the painting, adding finishing touches and making adjustments.

I hope you enjoyed the demo and plein air painting with me!


SOLD! Please email me at JamieWG@aol.com to inquire about a similar painting.
6 x 6″, Oils on sealed, primed hardboard, unframed

Tilly Foster Farm is an old horse farm that was purchased a few years ago by Putnam County to retain as open space. It has beautiful rolling fields, old buildings and barns, and a fantastic overview of miles and miles from the top of the pastures. This painting was done from a photo I took there in the fall.

Making a Multi-Media Sketchbook
I’ve made a number of sketchbooks over the years and have recently been asked to share some of them. This is perhaps the easiest, most useful, and most versatile of them all. The biggest advantages to this design are that many different kinds of paper can be used for various media and effects, plus the paper can be removed easily for framing.

Use any kind of cardboard, foamcore, illustration board, or matboard for your covers. I used scrap pieces of matboard that I had around the house and cut two pieces to the same size. Purchase some ringbinder rings in an office supply store. I got mine at Staples (very inexpensive). Holes were punched in the matboard for the rings:

Next, cut various types of paper that you like to use for painting, drawing, and sketching. Be sure to cut the paper about 1/2 inch smaller than the matboard. When in use, you’ll be doubling over the matboard to serve as a firm drawing board. The matboard edges also serve to protect the edges and corners of the paper. Punch holes in the paper, making sure they line up with the holes you’ve punched in the covers. You can paint your cover to decorate your sketchbook, but I just left mine blank.

If you use a lot of wet media, consider a piece of foamcore for one or both covers, coated with a couple of coats of acrylic medium, to use as a painting board. You can even tape paper down to it that way after removing a sheet from the book, or use metal office clips to hold it. Oil pastel and soft pastel artists can include sheets of glassine with holes punched, to place between finished drawings.

Glue a pocket to the inside of the front cover. (See image below.) I used this to hold templates for standard sizes. If you have, for instance, a 5×7″ template in the pocket, you can pull it out to draw a quick 5×7 rectangle on a piece of the paper. Then you’ll have a drawing or painting that will fit perfectly into a ready-made mat and frame. The little pocket also comes in handy for photo references, drawings, a ruler, etc. I put a sticker on the inside of the cover saying “If found please return to” with my name, address and phone number.

You can click on the image below to enlarge it:


On the right side, the shiny plastic is a sheet of clear acetate. When working in colored pencil or graphite, I’d keep this under my hand to stop the pencil from smudging. I kept another sheet of it in the little pocket inside the cover. You can also keep glassine in the book, or whatever else you use to protect your finished work.

I hope this helps some of you who want a sketchbook that can do it all!

Chickadee Haven

Posted by Jamie on March 2nd, 2007

$150.00 plus $10 shipping and insurance within the Continental United States. For local sales, shipping charge will be allocated to NYS Sales Tax. Please email me at JamieWG@aol.com for International purchases or with any questions.

6 x 8″, Oils on canvas covered hardboard, custom framed (size is 10×12″ including frame)
This is a 6×8″ compositional study in oils for a large painting I’m doing for the headquarters of Putnam County Land Trust, which is the building in the painting. (It used to be called Chickadee Haven by its former owner.) It abuts their 140 acre Peach Lake Natural Area. I felt like having a little color explosion today, so I did it using Charles Sovek’s cadmium orange/cerulean blue light/shadow underpainting. I always like the vibrancy and depth that combination yields. I’ll be doing the larger painting with more of a yellow/violet color harmony, rather than the orange/blue. I’ll be holding onto this painting until the larger one is completed so I can use it as a reference.

Here’s a little idea of how this was done. I started with a mix of cadmium orange and titanium white for the lights, and cerulean blue for the darks. All light areas were blocked in with the orange mixture, and darker areas with the blue:

This is the beginning of the color-adding process:

A Day of Thumbnail Sketches in Ink and Watercolor

Posted by Jamie on February 18th, 2007

Click to enlarge images:

Today was a busy day and I knew I wouldn’t have time for a full-fledged painting, so I began the day by making a two-page grid of boxes in my sketchbook. That way, I could do small thumbnail sketches as I went about my day.

I used a Uniball Vision Micro pen to do all the drawing. For some of them, I used the little Koi watercolor box that’s in the sketch, with a water barrel brush; for others, I used the palette below with an Escoda #6 travel brush (the gold cylinder in the photo). I loved doing this “grid” approach to quick sketches. It made them feel managable on a day when I otherwise would not have done any artwork at all. It looks pretty cool in the sketchbook too!

Work in Progress Image 7—last section of the Wall Shelf

Posted by Jamie on January 31st, 2007


WHEW! I finally finished this section of the wall shelf. That red and gold espresso cup and saucer proved to be easily the most difficult still life subject I’ve ever tackled. There were several moments when I thought about removing it from the setup, and replacing it with something else. What a challenge! Not only was the color and glimmer of the gold tough, but getting the geometry right was extremely difficult. However, now I’m glad I climbed the mountain, and I can just enjoy the view!

Below is the painting as it stands thus far. I still need to paint the whole frame of the shelf, which is actually a beat-up old window frame. I’m sorry it’s not a great photo; I’ll get a better one when the painting is finished.

Work in Progress Image 6— Wall Shelf section completed

Posted by Jamie on January 29th, 2007

It’s time to get back to this big painting and finish it up. I completed the remainder of the section I started on Friday, and will be starting the last section later today.

Click to enlarge:


Here’s a sneak peek at the whole painting so far, minus the exterior shelf edge. The center vertical and lower right section are still unpainted. I’m hoping to finish up by the end of the week.

I’ve got just a section of a section to show for today. So much to paint, so little time!

Work in Progress Image 5—another section of the Wall Shelf

Posted by Jamie on January 25th, 2007

Click any image to enlarge

I’ve really been looking forward to painting this section with the figures, amber glass, and wooden clock. The little figures came with pianos and piano stools and were given to me by my dad, but they’ve temporarily suspended their duo to model for my painting. I got the beautiful hand-blown amber glass at a flea market. I saw it and just swooned! The wooden clock was a gift from a friend, and was made by her parents.

I still have a few little tweaks to do, but I’ll do them as I move on with the other sections, or at the end. I’m sure I’ll see more to do by then!

I thought it was time to let y’all take a peek at how the whole thing is coming along, so I’ve got two additional images for you. Below is the section I did today with yesterday’s section.

Below is a picture of my studio with the setup and the painting. The painting isn’t as wide as it appears here; that’s the photo distortion at work, and one of the reasons why I prefer to work from life. There is an excitement inherent in working directly from the source. I’d be very bored painting this from a photo, but the character of the objects, the way the light hits them and the warmth of the colors, is something I can really feel when painting from life. It transforms the experience.

Work in Progress Image 4—another section of the Wall Shelf

Posted by Jamie on January 25th, 2007

Click to enlarge:

Here’s another section of the 30×24″ painting of the wall shelf. This may still need a little more work on the leaves, but I’ll go back and do it at the end when the other sections are finished and I can better judge how it works as a whole. The image above was photographed with a very yellow light overhead. The color is actually closer to the image below:

Many have asked me to take progress images on the sections, which I keep forgetting to do! I remembered to stop for one today. It usually takes me three “passes” to complete a section. The first pass is a basic color stage, where I block in the main colors, lights and darks. Here’s an image taken at the end of that first pass. I usually stop then and take a short break, let the paint set up a little, and then work over all the elements a second time, pushing the lights and darks and starting to add more detail. On the third pass, I make sure the highlights and dark accents are strong enough, and tweak anything that doesn’t look quite right.