This quick and simple money saving tip is an easy fix to saving your crunchy old paint brushes. I mainly paint with acrylic paints and have spent a fortune on my brushes so I want them to last. I learned this technique of cleaning my brushes in coconut oil after taking a oil painting workshop. The instructor JJ Jiang stressed the importance of painting safely when using oil paints, which meant no harmful toxic chemicals like turpentine. He recommended using coconut oil to clean the oil paint off the brushes. I did an experiment with my old dried up crunchy brushes that I was going to throw out and it worked beautifully!
Watch the short video to see the process. Music FLOW by Jeff Kaale.
Steps to cleaning your Paint brushes with coconut oil.
Hope you enjoy this tip. Happy Painting!
Meet Bear the GORGEOUS German Shepherd! I had a blast painting this 16x20 custom acrylic on stretched canvas. Bear's owner Jeff is an excellent photographer so his reference photo was stunning!
3 TIPS I do when painting a pet portrait :
Below is a quick time lapse video if you would like to see my process in action :-)
I had the amazing opportunity to be filmed at The Arts Warehouse Delray with Tim Allen (TA) Walker of WPTV and WFLX FOX 29 on their "Shine A Light" segment.
The morning started at 4:15 am, and I’d never been on TV before; so...I had no idea what to expect! To keep my nerves under control, I treated TA as a one-on-one client. I walked him through the simple steps of painting his dog Tito just as I teach my students to paint their pets in my workshops.
I sketch the student's canvases with their pet’s photo. All the materials are provided, so this class is geared towards beginners who have never painted. I recommend painting the pencil line in grey acrylic for those afraid of losing the pencil sketch.
We pick the color background and paint the simple shape of the eyes and nose.
We refer the the “step-by-step” handout breaking down how to paint the eyes and nose.
With the eyes completed next, we take a light wash of color to cover the white of the canvas. I used pink and yellow in this example to represent the fur's highlights.
Taking a watered-down purplish grey, we do the same, but this represents the shadows.
Using white paint, we layer the brush strokes in the same directions as the fur naturally falls.
With this white dog example, you can now see how the highlights and shadows peaking through the white brush strokes.
And there you have it...TA-DA your beautiful pet portrait masterpiece!
If you are interested in future workshops at the Arts Warehouse, located click on the link:
Arts Warehouse Delray FL Workshops
If you are looking for ONE-ON-ONE painting classes, please email me to discuss teaching fees.
And Lastly…Thank you, @artswarehousedelray @timallanwalker @newswithsuze @wptv, and @wflxfox29, for showcasing my AWH Paint Your Pet workshop live on the “Shine a Light” segment.
Soooo Grateful to be part of the art community in Delray! 🙏🏼
Link for full WPTV News coverage
Thrilled to have moved into my new studio at the Arts Warehouse in Delray. I am involved in the Artist in Residence Program which provides studios for emerging and mid-career Artists in a variety of media such as painters, photographers, and sculptors. The Arts Warehouse is partnered with the Delray Beach Community Redevelopment Agency ('CRA") which hosts many events and workshops.
The Arts Warehouse is located at 313 NE 3rd Street, Delray Beach FL 33444, which is also known as Artist Alley. The City of Delray puts on the First Friday Art Walk every month from 6 - 9 p.m. This self-guided tour and year-long event invites you to explore the heart & soul of Delray's art scene, enjoying art galleries and working studios while you meet with many of Delray's talented, local artists.
First Friday Art Walk is a FREE event ~ just show up and start wherever you'd like, (LOL! Preferably with my studio.) Don't forget to use #DelrayArtWalk #colleenthompsonart or #artswarehouse when you share your Art Walk photos on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter!
Looking forward to seeing you soon!
My Last Painting of 2017
As the holiday season is winding down I now have time to blog. This is Tebow, he is a yellow lab and his painting was a surprise Christmas present for a 14 year old girl. Her mother sent me photos of her room so I could coordinate my color palette to her daughter interior design. I loved the composition of the photo and the expression on his face and placement of his paws.
I had so much fun painting him!
The finished painting is a 16x20 Acrylic on stretched canvas.
To begin the painting, I start by blocking in the general shapes of Tebow's head, eyes, nose, paws and rug with a dark Hookers Green. Then with white paint I add the highlights showing where my light sorce is coming from. I selected a blend of pinks for the background because that was the accent color of the daughter's room. I used Naples Yellow, Raw Sienna, Burnt Umber with hints of Light Violet and Teal in the braided natural rug to tie all the colors of the daughters room into the painting.
I was beyond THRILLED to meet Tebow in person when he came to get his painting!
A BIG thanks to all of you who are following my creative journey, I truly appreciate you supporting my passion!
Happy New Year to ALL those Fur babies out there!
Wishing you and your humans a Fabulous 2018!
Gratefully ~ Colleen Thompson Art
The Brussels Griffon is a breed of toy dogs, named after the city of their origin: Brussels, Belgium. I loved working from this gorgeous professional photograph which was taken by Tully's owner.
Tully's face in this photo has so much expression, it just makes me smile!
The painting was created on a large 30x24 wrap around stretched canvas. As with all my acrylic work, I start with a Cadmium red under coat. Next, I used a Hooker's dark green to place the general shapes of my composition in place while keeping it loose and simple.
Then I add white paint on top of the dark green to indicate the highlighted areas. The beauty of acrylic is that it dries so quickly, allowing you to adjust and correct mistakes easily. I continue to add layers of Naples yellow and Portrait pink to indicate light shining through on Tully's adorable face. Working with light and dark shades of green pushing and pulling the foreground and background together leaving specks of the orange/red undercoating peeks through.
This painting was so fun to paint, playing with the paradoxical idea of a tiny image with a large personality! As with all my pet portraits, my hope is that their owners look at my paintings and smile because they see the personally of their pets.
My apologies for not posting for a while, gratefully my commissions have kept me busy. Now that the lazy days of summer are here, I have a little more time to catch up on my blogging. 2017 has been an exciting year of learning new application and approaches to my creative journey. I took an acrylic workshop in January with the very talented artist Jane Slivka. Working with Acrylic paint is very different from watercolor mainly because you can use white paint, repaint over an area without making it muddy and create huge pieces.
The basic painting steps that Jane Slivka taught were simple. First, you paint your canvas a Cadmium Red also known as a "undercoating," allowing a warmth to your finished painting, as well as tiny slivers of bright orange peeking through as you cut-in your background.
Next, take a dark Hooker green (which looks like black) and loosely paint the general shapes of your composition. Adding white to build your details. In the reference photo, I didn't like that the dog's eyes were closed, so I used a different photo of a Yorkie to show more expression on the pup's face.
Adding layers of color on top of each other the painting starts to take form. My style of painting is loose impressionistic with a playful touch. Notice how the orange undercoat pop through on these close ups of the finished painting.
June 18th is father's day
A pencil drawing portrait of Dad's favorite furry face is the perfect gift!
This $100. Drawing Give Away contest is on my FaceBook page at Custom Pet Portraits By Colleen Thompson. Please LIKE and SHARE my page and post a photo of your pet in the comment section of this post. Be sure to have friends and family LIKE my page to vote for you pet. The photo with the most LIKES will be announced on Father's Day June 18th. You may also enter your pet via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will post your pet's photo for you. Good Luck!
Photoshop helped with this layout
These good ole' southern pups "Gus & Lucky" are a combination of two photos. It was difficult for their owner to get a good picture of both of them together, so I created this layout to show their love for each other.
In photoshop I removed the background and combined the two dogs, positioning them in a somewhat realistic pose. I now have my reference photo for the painting.
Before I start painting I do a quick value sketch and think about my color choices.
photoshop helping composition
Meet Teddy and Parker, adorable Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. I did a little photoshop flopping the right dog's head, so they are looking at each other rather than looking off the page.
I elongated the back of the lounge chair changing the format from square to portrait. The Beauty of watercolor is being able to layer and lift transparent paint giving the lounge chair a shear feeling
I am a artist who creates one-of-a-kind paintings inspired by the photos you treasure.