Thursday, November 10, 2011

Molecular make-up?

Color mapping, Part 3
My road to how I taught myself color theory and how to mix paint.

  Example of CMYK to make black

So I introduced the subtractive color theory model in the last color mapping post. The subtractive color theory model states that as you mix your primary colors, red, yellow & blue, together in equal parts that they become darker.

To clarify this more we need go back to our school days of science and talk about energy and matter. All objects are made up of matter, which are in turn a grouping of atoms that contain energy. Light contains energy which is compatible with the energy in surfaces of objects, which absorbs the energy of the light. The molecular make-up of the object will determine what light energy is absorbed and what is reflecting back, which is the color that you see.

If a surface absorbs all of the light energy then it will reflect none of the lights energy and the surface will appear black. The energy that is absorbed will be turned into heat, that’s why an asphalt road will look black and be hot to the touch. A white surface of course does the complete opposite of black; the energy of a white surface rejects all of the energy of the light waves.

Now how does this work with color? A surface that is green will absorb all of the lights energy except for the green energy wave which is reflected back to you. If a surface looks red then the red light energy waves are being reflected while all of the others are being absorbed.  If an object looks like a red-orange then in this case the light energy of the red and the orange are being reflected back.

Learning this color theory model is what helped me to understand the mixing of physical pigment into mixtures of color that I wanted. This led me to the knowledge of “Color Bias” and that every tube paint is bias towards the warm or cool side of the color wheel. If you want to mix a nice and saturated orange you have to pick up the right tube of red and tube of yellow.

Color Bias and my six color primary palette discussed in the next color posting.

Other posts of interest:

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Robert's Holiday Drawing Workshop!

Saturday 12/3/2011, 9:00am-4:00pm,
1 hour lunch, bring your own.
Sunday 12/4/2011, 10:00am – 2:00pm,
1 hour lunch, bring your own.

Workshop location
1811 Huguenot Road, #304
Midlothian, VA 23113

$225.00 this includes your drawing paper and the frame!

Every year Robert draws a special drawing that encompasses the holiday season which he then uses for his holiday greetings card. Robert is giving you a special opportunity to join him on a two day workshop where you will draw along with him creating the same drawing that he is. The drawing is a surprise and you will not know what it is until the day of the workshop. It will of course have a bird in it, in past years he has used a snow man, snow woman and holiday lights. Wonder what it will be this year?

All you need to bring to this class is your drawing pencils (see material list below), and your patience! Robert will be supplying the drawing paper, the same paper that he uses, a 300lb. Arches water color paper that will already be prepped for drawing along with the contour drawing of the drawing. 

At the conclusion of the workshop on Sunday we will be scanning your image so that you may have a printable image that you can then turn around and use for your own holiday greeting cards. Also included with this workshop is a frame, mat and glass that Robert will help you assemble so that you can display your original drawing during the holidays for years to come.

The drawing when finished will be a 5 x 8 drawing and the frame will be a black 9x12 with a off-white double mat and glass.

**Lunch is bring your own, we have several places close by to ArtHaus that can be driven to and lunch brought back. Robert will more than likely be going over to Fresh Market to get his and anyone can join him!

This workshop is limited to only 10 artists, sign up today! The deadline is Monday November 21, 2011

Material List:


  • Pencils: 4H, 2H, HB, 2B, 4B, 6B (try to use the same brand)
  • Kneaded eraser
  • Rub eraser
  • Value finder
  • Pencil sharpener
  • Pencil lengthener

This materials list can be found and purchased online at
Workshop Location, nearby location & dinning:

 ArtHaus Visual Arts Studio

Nearby lodging:

Nearby dinning:
  •  Outback Steakhouse
    2063 Huguenot Road, Richmond, VA
  •  Firebirds Wood Fired Grill
    11400 Briarwood Road, Richmond, VA
  • The Fresh Market (Grocery Store with great sandwich makings!)
    1200 Huguenot Road, Midlothian, VA
  •  Plenty of sandwich shops & fast food.

This workshop is limited to only 10 artists, sign up today! The deadline is Monday November 21, 2011

Monday, November 7, 2011

Art classes & workshops!

Upcoming Art classes & workshops...
Individual attention. Creative exploration.

In each class, Robert lets students work at their own level, while encouraging them to expand their skills and problem-solve creatively, so every student comes away with a growing confidence in his or her artistic abilities.

Robert’s classes are for adults and teens. To ensure a creative environment with individual instruction, each class is limited to 10 students. Have a group of artists interested in taking a class? Please contact Robert for information about forming your group class.

Drawing classes…
Designed to be taken successively, the drawing classes are formed around lessons that build on each other, allowing students to develop confidence along the way. Students start with a fundamental course where they learn to see shapes, understand value and create three-dimensional drawings on a two-dimensional surface. Subsequent classes allow students to explore their artistic voice using perspective, architecture, and animals and nature before advancing to the capstone course, where they create more elaborate and thoughtfully composed drawings.
Current class listings...

11/09/2011 - 01/18/2012
11/30/2011 - 1/18/2012
12/01/2011 - 01/19/2012
12/01/2011 - 01/19/2012

Painting classes…
Painting classes are open to students working in oil, acrylic and watercolor and provide an understanding of the basic principles of painting, including composition and color mixing. The lessons are designed to build on each other, allowing students to develop confidence in their painting skills. Students should be able to see and identify shapes, understand value and be able to draw. It is Robert’s philosophy that to paint well, you must be able to draw well.
Current class listings...

10/30/2011 - 01/18/2012
11/29/2011 - 01/17/2012
11/29/2011 - 01/17/2012

Specialized classes…
Robert also offers a class to help students prepare their portfolio for application to a college or a county specialty art high school, and a personal instruction studio, which focuses on developing the student’s individual technique, creative expression and style.

Current class listings...

Personal Instruction
12/01/2011 - 01/19/2012
12/01/2011 - 01/19/2012

12/03/2011 - 12/04/2011

If you see a class that you are interested in please click on the title of the class above and it will take you to the ArtHaus webpage for that class.


Saturday, November 5, 2011

"The Snowman"

 My latest audiobook fix...

The Snowman (Harry Hole, #7)The Snowman by Jo Nesbø
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Great read (Listen)! The story kept me glued to my easel working. I had my suspicions of who the snowman was but didn't feel like I knew for sure so I was happy to find out that it was indeed the person who I thought it was at the end.

This was my first Jo Nesbo novel and will look into some of the other stories by this author.

The narrator was Robin Sachs on my audiobook edition, I enjoyed the narrator as well.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Passing a twig...

Work in Progress…

“Lark Sparrow (Temporary Title),” Oil on ½” prepared maple panel, 8 x 16.

I finished blocking in the first layer of color on this one late last week! I am happy with where everything is at on this painting so far but will be adding some more visual texture using different tones in the background sky. I was excited to see the same colors used for the patch of reddish brown on the Sparrows cheek and the highlighted rust on the barbed wire. That’s the type of thing that gets me excited about a painting.

The reference for this came from my visit to the Woolaroc Museum in Oklahoma which has a barbed wire display. Now that I find myself painting it I wish that I had paid more attention to the different kinds of barbed wire along with their history.

A Lark Sparrow is a large sparrow, it has a long tail with white corners, it’s under parts are whitish with a large dark spot in the center of the breast. Other than the striking face pattern there isn’t much else that I found of interest besides the usual “Bird Geek” stuff, that I love but you may not, was that they have a unique behavior during courtship. The Lark Sparrow passes a twig from male to female during copulation. I guess that would qualify as “Bird Geek” stuff! Simply fascinating!