Personal Art Blog

Sharing the lessons I teach at the Artist Guild and the personal discoveries in my art.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Linking The Darks - NM Farm

Mesilla Valley Farm, NM

6x8in oil on canvas panel  $135. SOLD
Purchase HERE

Artist Note.
Classes have resumed at
the Artist Guild of Southern New Mexico.
This was one of the demos
on Linkage.

Linking the darks in a painting
was a good way to start 
off the new semester. 
We all need a reminder after vacation 
of some of the basics. It makes it
easier to avoid what I
refer to as "spotty paintings" 
- caused by having light areas
in what should be the shadow pattern.

Starting with a Notan in
transparent oxide brown
with a touch of Ultramarine Blue,
makes it easy to follow the pattern
of light and dark.

Thanks for all the neat comments 
on my previous post about the snails.
Hope you will understand 
why I have not been
able to answer as
I have been rather busy.

The guild studio was all spruced up 
Carpet cleaned
Shelves dusted
Cupboards tidied
Tables scrubbed and easels checked.
Bins of colored papers to test 
shapes and colors -
mannequins, heads, hands, 
and Freddie the skeleton - all got cleaned up
vessels of all types
flowers galore
Fruit and veggies
The drink station.
Lots of different teas
Yes ...that is instant coffee...
No time to waste cleaning 
a coffee pot!

I love it when everything is tidy and clean.
Thanks for sticking around.

Now I am off to look at everyone's


  1. Hi Julie, thanks for reminding me of that important lesson, I am hoping to get back to my landscapes soon so I will file that gem away! Beautiful painting and your underpainting photo illustrates your point so well! Cheers :)

    1. I hope when you return to landscape you manage to keep the way you are producing your imagery now, Leesa. I am fascinating by your active surface and the content of your work.
      Linking the darks is also shown on the neat pastel demo on your blog. Just approached a different way.
      Thanks for the visit and nice comment.

  2. AWESOME post!
    I understand your excitement.
    I start my new classes in September...I can't wait = )
    Have a good time, JULIE!

    1. There is a satisfaction in getting back into a regular routine. We enjoy such a great group of artists at the guild - each passing on inspirational work and all of us learning from each other.
      Truly love your abstract done in the beautiful blues and corals of New Mexico. You would think you lived here.

  3. I've not heard that the darks should be linked so this is great instruction for me, Julie. Thank you! Love the painting, the softness...sigh... You gearing up for workshops with all that cleaning? You will have a blast, I know. Wish I could come out myself!!

    1. The principal is either the lights or darks should be linked. it is easier to show the darks linked in a landscape. I will be doing the lights linked soon.
      I would really love for you to get out here for a visit to the guild. keep it in mind, Sherry. Glad you like the painting.

  4. What a wonderful resource you have there for taking classes and being with like minded painters. I am glad for you and envy you at the same time!

    Linking darks and lights is always a good lesson. I've tried to do it myself and always find it challenging!

    1. You appear to be building up your own stash of art goodies, Libby.
      You are doing a wonderful job or linking shapes and color in your new work.
      We both love the challenge so I think we will not stay stagnant.
      Thanks for the visit.

  5. New Mexico is certainly beautiful, Julie. Amazing color and light!!!

    1. I totally agree - It is beautiful as you well know, Hilda. The light. It is funny how different the moisture in the air effects the light. I remember when Richard Schmid moved from Colorado to New Hampshire - especially for the misty light.I remember thinking he was mad to leave the sunshine but his work certainly is emotionally gorgeous from there.he know what he loved.
      Me - I love bright sunny days. I had all the rain I could handle in England.

  6. Thanks for sharing your process. Very nice finished piece. I always feel relieved when the cleaning is done and then I can really have fun.

    1. You certainly had fun painting that beautiful waterlily. LUCKY YOU!

  7. Notan. I have never heard the under painting refered to as such. Live and learn. Sometimes, I like the underpainting best, but the finished painting here looks pastoral, tranquil, lovely with the soft greens.

    The guild studio not only looks tidy, but well stocked with still life set ups, very nice. I have little room for such paraphernalia in my tiny studio. I wish I did. Question; I noticed plaster busts. Why is it advantageous to draw or paint them? Is the subject the lighting unhindered by color?


    1. I think any pattern of light and dark under a painting is called a notan no matter what the media used I find them invaluable to prevent me from getting a spotty or too many broken areas of contrast. I can be a champion piddler otherwise.
      The plaster bust are great for studying how light falls on the forms. You would have recognized the Asaro head if you new what it was so I highly recommend looking at this site

      John Asaro gave us a gift when he made this. Mine is at least 17 years old and has helped innumerable artists. They are a lot more affordable now. The booklet which comes with it is awesome.

      Love the hand on your new drawing, Linda. Hands are so hard to do for most people. You make it look easy.

  8. Love the fresh start. Here's to a new season.

  9. Love that you are all straightened out and ready to roll for new classes. That painting is lovely! The idea of a pattern of light and dark makes a lot of sense.

  10. The blues in your painting are dreamy and peaceful. Such a tender scene. The studio looks really great and I am sure everyone noticed it when they came back to class. Happy teaching and painting to all. Wish I lived close enough to pop in.

  11. Beautiful painting Julie, linking the darks is a lesson for me. One of the items on my list to is to attend your worshop oneday, Godwiilling 😀


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