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: 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.