Personal Art Blog

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

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Adding Phthalo!

Adding Phthalo

9x8 oil on Black Canvas

Work in Progress.

Artist Note.

A repost.

A more decorative style painting
with a brighter palette.

Artist Note.

This was a demo using

Thalo instead of Ultramarine
Magenta instead of Perm Alizarin.

First, I paint right on the front of 
the clear glass jug 
with my Phthalo blue and then a
bit of the yellow  to make it greener
for another layer in the middle.

Why?...because I didn't
have anything in the right color
large enough to hold the peonies.

Above showing the 
painted front of a clear glass jug

A quick block-in

The black canvas
makes it easy to get the value pattern

This is still based on a
limited palette but replacing the
Ultra blue and Alizarin.
Sometimes, what you need/want to paint
cannot be managed with just one
limited palette. 
If you are painting near the coast for 
example, the aqua of the water
will need a green/blue.

Lively spring greens have a freshness
which the red in the Ultramarine blue
neutralizes too much. 

To make clear purples the Phthalo needs 
a cooler red than even the Alizarin
 so a substitute
with the Magenta works perfectly.
Here is the limited  palette
for this painting.

Cad Yellow light
Phthalo Blue
Titanium White


  1. Lovely lesson! Your home must always be so lovely with those flowers around. That reminds me, I need something new since the Poinsettia is gone. Have a wonderful day.

  2. Ahhh, I'm going to be a Julie Ford Oliver when I grow up. As usual, beautiful!

    1. LOL ...hope you do a better job than me!
      Sorry to learn of your injury, Blanche, but happy you are painting and I love your new one.

  3. Oh...I love that we have another opportunity to see how you think and work out your painting. I will stay tuned!

    1. Thanks so much, Joan. I admire you use of gouache. It is a great traveling medium isn't it? I sometimes mix Chinese white with watercolors for same effect.

  4. What a stunner! the colors are the BEST = )

    1. I love your colors in day 2 of the challenge but its the wonderful sense of movement I fell in love with.

  5. (Big Grin) Another one ZZZiiinnggging off the screen. What a gorgeous palette ... what a gorgeous painting. It's all so easy .... isn't it?? I shall copy all these posts down you know, and one day you might be surprised with a painting I achieve as a consequence. Thanks Julie

    1. Hi John. I was delighted to read that my good blogging friend, Carol Blackburn has discovered how entertaining and interesting your blog is.'Your painting is coming along really well.

  6. Love that you painted the vase before you painted the vase. That is so me! Love these peonies. I can’t wait to see some green and flowers here in Kentucky.

    1. Thanks for the interesting article on Ellis Wilson in your famous Artist Friday. I loved finding out about him.
      Have a great week!

  7. I am beginning to understand the lack of color knowledge on my part! Oh my!!! I love it that you actually painted right on the vase! Thank you so much for these lessons...

  8. I agree with the two comments right above ... and painting right on the clear glass vase is something I don't think I would have thought of. Thank you for this educational post! This is a WIP?

    1. I paint directly of fruit too - if I want a green streaks in a red apple for example. Acrylic comes right off non-porous surfaces after soaking with water.
      I am delighted to follow the painting you are working on to completion.Teri. Today's additions are spot on with the light hitting the roofs.

  9. Yes! I will keep 'watching this space' too!! Glorious palette, so vibrant, eye-catching, and perfect for these flowers. By the way, I also enjoy occasionally working on a black-toned canvas. As you say, it really adds punch, and works beautifully with these vivid jewel tones.

    How clever to paint the glass vase to suit your purpose! So inventive, but no surprise, it's characteristically Julie! (I love Blanche's comment, above.)

    1. Hello, dear Helene...old chum!
      Working on black gives it a more decorative and contemporary feel that I like but worry as the white ages and becomes more transparent that the glow will be lost.
      I grinned at Blanche's comment. She is a love!

  10. Very interesting lesson and so wonderful flower paintings !!!

    1. Thank YOU, Stelios, your painting is wonderful too!

  11. Spectacular bold colors , what a glorious painting !

    1. I thought the same about your new portrait. Her hair in particular is amazingly painted.

  12. Dear Julie - this was a great post. Phthalo blue is one of my favorite colors - although in watercolor very staining - so I find myself using it with caution...even though I love it. Your painting is just gorgeous. Hope you have a great weekend. Hugs!

  13. Your work is always so amazing Julie!!! Gorgeous colors!!!!


I love that you are taking the time to comment and thank you for it. I am sure other readers will enjoy them too. If you cannot comment through this format then email me at