Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Gallery Verde

 Painting figures has been my dream, and it is still my dream. I hope my life is long enough and this dream can be fulfilled. I am taking baby steps. First I want paint figures as a part of landscapes. I don't have to work on details. I just need to suggest and let viewers to fill the blanks. 

Gallery Verde is located in downtown San Angelo, Texas. It is the meeting place of the En Plein Air Texas painting competition. I am very fortunate to attend this event. I am looking forward to seeing old friends and meeting new friends. 

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Gardener's Storage

 Continuing the exploration of shape designs. painting looks realistic enough, but my attention was on the geometric shapes. I used to use abstractness to enhance realism. Now my way of thinking is the other way around. This "other way around" thinking will take us closer to the truth. 

Monday, September 19, 2022

New Youtube Video: Painter's Guide App Tutorial


I have just uploaded a new video on Youtube. It gives a comprehensive overview on how to use our Painter's Guide App. Two years have passed since our engineers and I created this app, and many people has used this app to assist their painting projects. However, I have not updated you a detailed information on the functions of this app until today.

I have used Youtube as a teaching tool for more than a decade, but I was so stupid and didn't know I can make some money from it. For So many years I posted so many videos and got so many people subscribed my channels. Do you know how much money I have made so far? The answer is ----- a big fat ZERO.... I really did not know how to set my Youtube correctly. Recently, I really learned Youtube from Youtube. So, wish me luck this time. In addition, if you can like what I did and subscribe my channel, I will really appreciate your help. 

Friday, September 16, 2022

Tuscany Geometry

 I am testing new ideas using geometric shapes to create a design. Although you may still recognize the scene as Tuscany rolling hills, but I have minimized the realistic presentation as much as possible. So the abstract geometric design was my goal. However, the color relationship I try to be as realistically correct as possible so people can see this is still a landscape painting. Since I am so new for this idea, and I will not consider this design is a really good one, but it is a good start. I have enjoyed using knifes for this painting. I hope I can push this approach to get some good paintings.

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Download "Painter's Guide" app on iPad/iPhone


You probably already know that I have an app called the "Painter's Guide" running on my website to help artists paint better. Now I want to announce that this app can be downloaded freely to iPad and iPhone. If you go to my website > Apps > Painter's Guide (or http://www.qh-art.com/painter-s-guide-app.html), you will see the download buttons on the upper right corner. I have given detailed instructions on how to download this app on your Apple devices. We are not using Apple Store. I hope the download process is not too challenging. If it is for you, please do not hesitate to contact me. Maybe we should bite the bullet and put our apps on the Apple Store. What do you think?

Sunday, September 11, 2022

Positiveness of Covid


Positive means bad, and negative means good. Isn't that ironic. Recently, I was tested positive for Covid 19. I have to cancel the recent OPA event, which have been planned a while ago. I sincerely apologize to OPA for the problem I have caused. This painting was planned as my demo for OPA. Now, I have done it during my isolation.

I try to look into the positive side of being Covid positive. It is a good learning experience. Humans are invincible only in the movies. The Nature (or ourselves) can destroy our "long term" civilization so easily. The purpose that we come to (or come out of, to be more exact) the world is not to prove "I am better than you", but to witness the miracles around us. So be humble, respectful, and egoless. 

Friday, September 2, 2022

Demo 2 and 3 at SLC


I just came back from Salt Lake City. The workshop went well. Here are all the demos I have done. I feel very grateful that I have the opportunity of teaching. I tried my best to provide tangible information when I painted my demos. 

Friday, August 26, 2022

Demo at Salt Lake City


I am teaching a still life painting at Salt Lake City, and this is my first demo. I hardly have any colored objects in the setup, so it is good exercise of using colorful grays. 

Sunday, August 21, 2022

Specular Quartet

I usually do not paint tight paintings, and many people in my workshops expressed that they want to learn to be "painterly". However, this one is an exception. I worked on the details intensively. I have learned that a specific painting "style" is actually the limitation of the artist. If you don't mind to be "nobody", you have opened the possibility of being anybody.

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Timeless Beauty


Peace, Happiness, Love, and Beauty are the nature of our being. They can not be gained externally. They are always here. If you still look for them, you are moving in the wrong direction, because they never leave you. The flowers bloom only for a short while, but the Beauty is timeless. Therefore, stop searching, because you are Perfect.

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Silver Prismatics


"Silver Prismatics", 11" x 14". After exploring the unknown art world for a while, I came back to my comfort zone. I am painting still life again. As an old dog, I have had a hard time to learn new tricks. Now I am at home, enjoying my own cup of tea, laying back in the homey coziness. We love the world, but we should love ourselves first.

Monday, August 8, 2022

Backyard Apples


We planted an apple tree in our backyard about 15 years ago. For more than a decade, it did not bear any fruit. Finally, we saw a few apples in the summer of 2019. I took 2 photos of them and waited for them to ripe. But we are not lucky, The squirrels got them first. For then on, we have not got any apples from that tree. Our only harvest was two photos. 

I decided to paint from one of the photos. The result was not bad. I like the color opportunities and the shadow patterns casted on the fruit. I must admit this kind of heavy texture painting is not my cup of tea.  The true expert is Derek Penix. I announced Derek's Workshop in Austin recently. The registration has been very active. Now we have only 5 openings still available. So please take your action as quick as possible. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

New workshop announcement: Derek Penix 2023


Now we have adapted to the new norm, and I will gradually resume my usual art activities. Before Covid, I had invited well known artists to my studio to teach painting workshops. Now I am going to do that again. I am very happy to announce that Derek Penix will come and teach a 3-day workshop in Austin. Derek is such a phenomenal artist that his expressive brushwork has inspired so many people. I have been so amazed to see how he can paint so freely and abstractly but still be able to represent whatever subjects he paints so accurately, vividly, and dramatically.  I wish I could have that kind of skills in my art. So this will be a great opportunity we can learn from the master. If you are interested in taking Derek's workshop, please check: http://www.qh-art.com/derek-penix-2023.html for detailed information and sign up. I know the time is still early, but this workshop will be full in a very short time. So please take an action quickly. 

Sunday, July 31, 2022

Sunset at a campground


It is the last day of July today. I am so grateful that I have had a full month of painting time. It was so much fun to be lost in the wilderness and painting something that I don't have much experience with. I feel the last sentence of my previous post might have been misleading. I don't mean I want to destroy art or give up painting.  I was trying to say that the process of creating art is actually impersonal. I should not label that I (Capitalized) created that painting. As a matter of fact, every time I stepped into my studio, I really don't know how that painting will turn out. The best approach is simply going with the flow. I often feel surprised when the painting happens. That is right: "Happening" is the word I am looking for. If you are an artist, have you had similar experience? 

Thursday, July 28, 2022

The last piece of sunshine

I am still wandering in the Texas wilderness. With this painting I played the game of two light sources, one warm and one cool. Many people who have seen my recent paintings made this general comment: "Qiang, that does not look like your paintings any more". I agree absolutely. It is what I mean that I have lost my identity. I often ask myself why I paint. The reason is very simple: I want to be recognized. I feel good if I have got recognized. I feel I have accomplished something. That makes my life meaningful. Painting is the second face of mine, and the paint on it is the makeup. I want to my paintings look good so I can hide my weakness in other part of my life. However, I have understood now that my ego is the biggest trap of my life. I have lost my freedom with it, and I feel the hesitation to come out of my comfort zoon. I am suffering because of all the limitations I have. I have made my art. Now it is the time to destroy it.

Sunday, July 24, 2022

Two Trees

 After I give up my identity, I feel I am lost in the woods. The senses of freedom and lack of security combined, my art path has led me to the big unknown. I suddenly realized I genuinely know nothing. Having a brain is a serious disease. If you let it go, you will get it.

Friday, July 22, 2022

Hot Summer in Palo Duro Canyon

 The purpose of this painting was for me to learn and practice on how to paint shrubbery and grass. I used to use random brush works to hide my lack of knowhows when encountering brushy and grassy area. Then I will say I just want the area abstract so it will not compete with the center of focus. This time is different. I selected a ref photo which has a large area of shrubbery and I spent about 7 days on this painting and most of the time I have worked on those green areas. I will not say I have got those shrubs nailed, but I have gained some experiences. This is a relatively large painting. My green colors are still a little boring. As a piece for learning, I feel content. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Workshop Reminder


I will teach a 3-day still life painting workshop at Salt Lake City, Utah from August 26 to August 28.  This workshop is almost full, but we still have 3 openings. If you are interested in the way I paint, Please check: https://www.workshopslc.com/schedule/still-life-painting-with-qiang-huang for information and sign up.

Saturday, July 16, 2022

"Rock Solid"


This is a painting I created recently. You might have noticed from my recent paintings that I have gradually lost my style and even identity. The painterly brush works and the dramatical ways of using light are disappearing.

Here is the reason. I reviewed my art career and found that I have been spending more time as a teacher than as a student. I have found that so many things in art I don't know. The month of July is very special for me. I have not arranged any outside activities. The only thing I want to do is to paint and learn. You have seen I painted so many new things the first time recently: lotus, detailed trees, aspens, and rocks. I will keep on trying new things.

Since my sickness, I have realized that all things related to my ego, like reputation and so called "success" are actually meaningless. Moreover, It is not only meaningless, but a stronger ego is more harmful. Because the ego is the source of all suffering. Most of us live our lives based on a false belief that we are individuals separated from each other, and have a limited time on this planet. We are not perfect, so we need to work hard to improve ourselves. So our ego grows day-by-day. We feel that is the major motivation and that is the meaning of our lives. Now I don't believe this anymore.

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Cool Breeze Through Aspen


First time painting aspen. I have enjoyed it very much. The photo was taken last year in Utah. It was a cloudy day after a storm. The color temperature distribution had cooler light and warmer shadow. I like the color purple. It reminds me the cool weather in the parks. Austin was 107 F yesterday. It will be similar today. It is just another hot day in Texas.

Saturday, July 9, 2022



Did another boat painting. The scene was at Lake Martin, Alabama. I did a plein air demo at the site. Now at home, I used a photo and did a studio one. I enjoyed painting the water. It reflects so many colors. 

Thursday, July 7, 2022

Nature's Way


Painting a tree in detail is my first time. I usually paint trees as background to support a center of focus, but this time I just want to do a tree painting. I thought painting a tree is not as interesting as painting a building or a figure, but the result makes me want to paint more trees. The scene was at the Lake Summerville State Park in Texas.

Sunday, July 3, 2022

Afternoon at Tilghman Island


Happy 4th of July to all of you. The month of July is the time of Plein Air Easton, which is the event marked the starting point of my plein air painting journey a few years ago. Unfortunately, I am not attending Plein Air Easton this year. I did this small boat painting based on a photo I took from one of the previous Easton events. I really enjoy painting boats. The graceful curvatures, the color echoing of the water reflections, the illusive foreshortening of the perspective, and the vertical and horizontal rhythms of masts, posts, and the horizontal structure in the far field, are a few aesthetical elements of the marine paintings. 

Thursday, June 30, 2022

Lotus at Mayfield

 First time painting lotus leaves. The green is intense. I have to use Cad unfortunately. I have tried to tackle the color of green, but so far I still have not got it completely. Of course I can say: I go with the flow, or I painted intuitively, but .... I will continue to work on it until someday.

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Wild West


As an artist living in Texas, I need to paint cactus. I was at San Angelo State Park in June last year. It was the season that cactus bloomed wildly. I am glad I took a few photos with my phone. Now I have this studio painting done. By the way, I am preparing for a solo show in this December. This one will be shown in Fredericksburg, TX.

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Demo at Dahlonega GA


It has been more than two months since I posted previously on my blog, Facebook, and my painting email. I have received emails from my art friends asking if I am doing OK. I am so sorry I have not been up to the date on the Internet. I have to admit that I have been slowing down since my health issue last fall. Besides that I also have some IT challenges. I am in a transition time of moving out of Mac and going into the PC system. Without adequate know-how in computers, I am having a hard time to manage my online activities. In any event, I sincerely apologize my delay of keeping you posted. I have been busy in art. Since March to now, I have taught 4 in-person workshops, and attended two Plein air competitions. The painting image I posted here was one of my demos at the Dahlonega workshop. BTW, I do maintain active on Instagram because it is much easier to post with a smart phone. If you have missed my posts, I highly recommend you following my on Instagram. My Instagram ID is: qiang.huang. In a nutshell, I am doing fine. I am learning about life every single day, and hope someday I will reach maturity.

Sunday, April 10, 2022

Workshop reminder: May 16 -17 in Wayne


Teaching at Scottsdale Artists' School has given me confidence that I can go back my normal art journey. In May, I will participate the Plein Air Festival in Wayne, PA. I would like to remind you that I will teach a 2-day still life painting workshop right after the festival. If you are interest in getting a feel of my painting approach, this short workshop will be a good opportunity. Please visit the webpage: https://anc.apm.activecommunities.com/wayneart/activity/search/detail/10427?onlineSiteId=0&from_original_cui=true for more info and sign up. Thanks

Friday, April 1, 2022

Demos at SAS


I have finished my very first in-person workshop after my medical treatment. I felt very happy that everything went smoothly. I want to thank Scottsdale Artists' School for the opportunity and their special arrangement so I was able to cook for my special diet. I want to thank all the students for their support. I am grateful to my body, which educates me that human structure is much stronger than I thought. We are indivisible from the entire universe. If we can see through the illusive ego, we are actually Divine.  

Friday, March 11, 2022

A day of gray

 I admit I don't have much of experience of painting this kind of white flowers, so I struggled, but I did enjoy playing with the gray colors. Life is not always colorful, we had so many gray days. Sometimes, I feel depressed, and scared. They are all parts of life. We might not always feel happy and comfortable, but those gray days teach us. They are opportunities of learning. I say thanks to my gray days. 

Saturday, March 5, 2022

Eternal Glory


This painting has been done from the same bouquet of flowers for my previous floral work. There has been 9 days in between. I am so amazed that all those flowers did not collapse and die. I am even more amazed that most of them have even held their original shape for those 9 days without opening too big. The reason could be that they stayed in the dark most of the time because my studio is in the garage now. The existence of time is the biggest lie that we have believed.  The truth is that "Now" is eternal.

Thursday, February 24, 2022

Life Manifestation


My obsession of painting flowers continues. I feel they really manifest the true meaning of Life. Beauty, freedom, egoless, and being at the present moment. They come and they go. They maybe short lived, but they exist forever.

Saturday, February 19, 2022

Alive and Blooming

I named this painting: "Alive and Blooming". We are alive. We take this for granted until one day. Most people know it only theoretically, but some know it experientially. All those beautiful roses who modeled for me have passed away. They have demonstrated what "alive" means vividly in a very short period of time. However, we don't feel sad when those roses die, because we think flowers as entire species. Those individual roses have passed, but more will come. Similarly, if we don't emphasize too much our individuality, we will be a part of the eternity. 

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Sunflowers for Mary Alice


This one is a commissioned work for my friend Mary Alice. There is no cadmium colors in the painting. I am happy my painting momentum has come back. Painting is therapeutic. I feel very fortunate I have something I can concentrate on and over-ride all the other mental chatters. Painting is a cosmos event, the individual who puts colors on a panel is merely a carrier of the universal energy.

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Water Lilies for Helen


I did this relative large painting a few days ago. As a matter of fact, I was not feeling well that day. Partially it was because I had some reactions after my medical treatment, and the other part was my mood was unstable with all the challenges I have been facing lately. I started to paint without think about the results, I decided to surrender my self conscious mind to the flow of my body movement and what ever my heart leading me. During the painting time, I have bad body sensations and negative thoughts coming and going. I aware of them but tried not react to them. I was very surprised to find that my body is a way stronger than my mind. The best way to live is just let the body lead and do not think.

This painting was done for a friend of mine. I am so grateful that so many friends around me have helped me, and encourage me to come out this hard time, and became more mature as a human being.

Friday, February 11, 2022

Valentine's Day painting sale


You know I have painted a few small rose paintings recently. Now the Valentine's Day is approaching, I would like to sell those paintings. I will charge $300 for each plus $15 shipping. The size of the painting is 6" x 6" unframed. You may see the image of the paintings in detail and their titles on my blog: http://qiang-huang.blogspot.com/. I have 8 rose paintings available. If you are interested in purchasing, please email me as soon as possible. The availability will on first come first serve basis. I will send a PayPal invoice to collect the payments. I am sorry that I have announced this sale too late, so the painting may not reach you on the Valentine's Day. Although I am not a good business man, but I sincerely wish you all a happy Valentine's Day.

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Solvent Toxicity


Do you use solvent (or medium) in painting? I did, but I want to go solvent free as much as I can. I have put more info on my "Painting Safety" webpage. 

People who took my workshop have known that I like to use paper towel to wipe out the lighter area with gamsol. I tried the same technique with my today's paining without gamsol, and found out the result is compromised badly. I could not get the sanding out high light anymore. I reluctantly keep gamsol near my palette, but I put it in a small eye-dropper bottle so I don't have an open solvent surface to air. I may try Gamblin solvent free medium later. I also tried the water mixable oil with this wipe-out technique. I have not get a satisfied result yet. 

Saturday, February 5, 2022

Paint safety webpage

 I have just made a web page talking about the safety of oil painting. If you are interested to know how to identify the toxicity of pigments and the actions I have taken to be safer in painting, please visit: http://www.qh-art.com/painting-safety.html. Thanks

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Water Lilies Study 020222

 I did this small water lilies study to investigate the non-toxic green color family. I want to get rid of cadmium green. It is not too hard this time. I used ultramarine blue, radiant lemon, radiant green, Azo yellow, transparent orange. The green colors in this painting are high value low chroma. So it is not too hard. I have enjoyed my today's painting.

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Rose study 012922


I have adequate amount of understanding (I think) about non-cadmium red color family, and also I get a little tired of painting individual red roses. I mean the result was not bad, but I felt I became a sort of handicapped in painting after I started to develop my non-toxic palette. Many skills I used to have are no longer working any more. It just like our physical body. We take it for granted until we get into a injury. I must be patient during this healing time. I use to be so picky about the difference between oil primed and acrylic primed painting surfaces. Now I just laugh, and let it go.

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Rose Study 012722


The red rose opens up more, so I did another study. I have put transparent orange into radiant red created a much warmer and lighter red. I also use dark background this time. I used the water mixable burnt sienna and ultramarine blue made the dark. The issue with WMO is the viscosity. They are too sticky. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Rose study 012522


I don't paint many red roses, because they are so hard to do. Since I am working on my non-toxic red palette, I painted the today's study. I will say that the cadmium red light is a color that is very hard to replace. I use napthol scarlet as the replacement, but have a hard time to get the opacity and vibrancy. I used alizarin for the darks of flower. When I need opacity I put a little venetian red. For the high light I use radiant red. It might be slightly too cool. Anyway. the experiment went well, but not great.

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Rose Study 012222 Sold


After having a set of non-toxic colors for the yellow family, I moved on to investigate the red. I did this study using radiant red, napthol scarlet, quinacridone red, alizarin, venetian red, and portland grey deep. I feel I am in the right direction. Napthol scarlet still has some toxicity. I will keep on the research until I have a satisfied result.

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Workshop Reminder


I have recovered well from my surgeries and soon I will start to teach painting workshops. On April 26 - 29 I plan to teach a 4-day plein air painting workshop at the Tallapoosa School of Art at Lake Martin Alabama. At this moment we have 2 openings. If you are interested in learning my plein air painting techniques, please visit: http://www.tallapoosaworkshops.com/ for information and signing up. I am looking forward to painting together with you.

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Rose study 011822

 I feel satisfied with the rose study I did today. The paint opacity finally worked effectively. I did not use the water mixable oil today. I used regular oil but no cadmium and no solvent. The dark opaque color in the shadow was Portland Gray Deep and Transparent Orange to start with, then I add Permanent Orange and Hansa Yellow. The light yellow was Radiant Lemon. I feel Gamblin's Radiant colors have good opacity, and so does the Portland Gray. Now I have a set of non-cadmium colors to use for the yellow family. 

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Rainbow Roses

This painting took me more than a month to do. It was started around last Thanksgiving, and finished after last Christmas. So many things had happened during this period of time, visiting doctors, a surgery, relocate my studio, and holiday stuff. I was on and off painting and my mood was up and downs. Anyway, I have finished it. It works as a reminder to me what I have gone through. I was using regular oils for this one. Now the Beatles' song "Yesterday" is singing in my mind: Yesterday. All my trouble seems so far away. ...

Friday, January 14, 2022

Rose Study 011422


First, I want to thank all the friends who commented on my posts and provided me tips of using water mixable oil (WMO) paints and developing a non-toxic palette for oil painting. With this collective effort, we will eventually make oil painting much safer. My today's study is testing if  I can use WMOs on oil primed panels. Previously, I was using acrylic primed panels (or gesso boards). The result is not bad. I have not see major issues. My darks are WMOs, and the red, orange, and yellow are regular oil, but no cadmium colors. I still feel non-cadmium colors are all too transparent. I started using yellow ochre, but its opacity is still not as good as cadmium colors. I can not use brushes to paint because it gives a scratchy texture so the solidity of shape was destroyed. I have to use a palette knife to create the opacity I like. You can see that in the shadow area of the flower.  

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Rose Study 011222


I used the same palette I used two days ago, but introduced in Portland Gray Deep, and Transparent Orange. The opacity is still not ideal. Look at the petal on the right in shadow. It is rather difficult to make the color uniform. Can anybody tell me if it is OK to mix a water soluble color into regular oil colors? Thanks.

Monday, January 10, 2022

Rose study 011022


I have done another rose study today, I used ultramarine + burnt sienna (water mixable) for the dark under painting, then used paper towel and water wiping out the rose area. The colors for the rose were Hansa yellow, Indian yellow, Permanent orange, Quinacridone red, and White. They were regular oil colors, but there were no cadmium colors at all. I used Gamblin solvent free gel as the medium. No Gamsol this time. The result was not bad. The major issue was that the opacity was weak. The light area was easy. I can use white, but the mid value area is still weak. I may try some sort of ochre next time.

Friday, January 7, 2022

Rose study 010622 Sold


I have started painting again. I did this small study yesterday. I am experimenting the water mixable oil. I used ultramarine and burn sienna (both from Holbein) to mix my dark, and use my wiping technique with water to create the light shapes. Then I use regular oils for the color part. It feels the water mixable oil and regular oil go together OK, but I have no experiences and will know better in the future. If you are using water mixable oils, I will appreciate if you give me your advices. I am glad I did not use any mineral spirit for this study.