Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Absence makes the heart grow fonder

On the easel today, Twilight II, pastel, 6x6 inches. It began with an oil wash then pastel. I took it to my Friday afternoon painting group and put pastel on and wiped it off for a couple hours. Back in the studio I did the same. Finally, to avoid ripping it up, I punched it up with blue Nupastel, a warm violet Unison and a warm white Terry Ludwig and then I turned it around and walked away believing I would be throwing it away the next time I saw it. But, apparently, absence makes the heart grow fonder because after four days of gardening I'm back in the studio and my first impression is hmmmm....instead of aaarghhh. There might be hope.

How this painting on the image to view the videos.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Two From My Book

I just finished packing up seven paintings to deliver to Attic Gallery, Camas, WA. Suddenly there is a big blank space on my Studio wall that makes me want to paint scenes to fill the space. Originally I hung paintings in the studio because of a lack of storage space. I enjoyed them but after just removing seven, I realize the paintings had actually become just wallpaper to me. Two of the paintings were painted for my book, "Pastel Drawing" and are the subjects for page 139. I would like to send them off to a new home. They are both available on my DailyPaintworks Gallery.

Where the Heart Is, pastel, 11 x 8.5 inches

Sunday Walk, pastel, 11 x 8.5 inches

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Checking up on myself

Left, Color Study 6x6 inches                Right, 25x25 inch pastel in progress
Switching my eyes and brain from my 6x6 inch color study to the 25x25 inch pastel on my easel requires stepping back, leaving the room, reentering with my eyes on the easel, etc. Another tool is to photograph the work in progress (shown above on right) and place the photo beside the photo of the color study with both the same size. Now I can see some shapes and compositional signposts I need to correct in the larger painting.

An even more useful look is comparing the two paintings as value only. Without the distraction of color, this comparison is very helpful for composition and directional elements. It's good to check up on myself so I stay on track with what I'm trying to accomplish.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Golden Afternoon III Update

For those of you just tuning in, I am repainting Golden Afternoon II. I'm using my 6x6 color study as my reference (see it to the right of my easel in the photo above).

When I started working on this painting, I shot short videos of each step but soon I got involved in painting and forgot to make more videos. If you would like to see the first five steps, the links to videos are below. Once you watch one video, you should be able to find the others on my YouTube list rather than coming back to these links.

See Step 1 video
First I brush off as much pastel as possible with a cheap "chip brush."

See Step 2 video
I can remove additional pastel, especially in the lightest areas with an alcohol spray and a cotton cloth.

See Step 3 video
I lay in the darkest areas with a dark soft pastel (Terry Ludwig brand)

See Step 4 video
After darks, I apply the lightest areas with a soft light yellow (Terry Ludwig brand)

See Step 5 video
With a hard pastel I lay in yellow areas (NuPastel brand).

OR...This is the link to all five videos in one Playlist.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Gamblin Gamvar

Rock Creek Winter, oil, 8 x 10 inches

The two things on my calendar today are 1) Finish tax prep for meeting with our accountant and 2) Apply the final varnish to my oil painting Rock Creek Winter so I can send it off to its new home. I was dreading spending the day working on taxes in a cloud of varnish fumes but I found a new bottle of Gamblin Gamvar. Nearly odorless and I love the semi-gloss finish. I'm having a cozy rainy/snowy Northwest  day in the studio.

Here is a link to a YouTube Video on how to apply this varnish.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

NYC show

Bells, oil, 6x6 inches
I'm happy to post that my painting, "Bells" is now in NYC at the Prince Street Gallery. It will be shown in the Women Painters Coast to Coast Show - opening reception is March 2 and the show runs to March 25. Available

Monday, February 20, 2017

Homeward Bound 15 years later

Homeward Bound II, pastel, 10 x 8 inches
Last week I was inspired by Facebook's "Throwback Thursday" to compare my first landscape to my most current landscape. Then, to entertain myself I was curious what the 2002 painting - titled "Homeward Bound" would look like if I repainted it today. The result is not as abstracted as I expected (or as I would like) but I'm pleased with it and I can see the maturity in my marks.
You should be able to click on this image to go to YouTube for the video

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The long road home

Morning Creek, pastel, 10 x 8 inches

The Backstory: It was nearly time to leave for my Friday painting group and I wasn't ready to go. I quickly found a reference photo on my computer, opened it in Photoshop, slid the color bar way over to warm and hit print. I grabbed it and a piece of Uart and headed out knowing this was not going to be my favorite way of painting. I like to start with an oil under-painting of a complementary color or a dark value. I do not like to start with a blank piece of light value paper.

Reference photo for Morning Creek
This is my easel, Uart and b/w ref photo. I sketched the scene with a red pastel pencil.
This is the long road home part. It seemed to take forever to get to the place where I would have started if I had applied an oil-wash under-painting before adding any pastel. The scene wasn't inviting when I stuck to the cooler colors in the reference photo, it needed lots of nuanced color to add warmth and depth. But, adding warmth changed it from a spring scene to summer or autumn. Here's a very quick video of me beginning to add some warmth. Link to YouTube Morning Creek Nuance.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

One more time!

Rock Creek Winter, oil, 10 x 8 inches   sold
One more time. I have been painting the streams and creeks in our area and I thought I was done with the Rock Creek - but then I started working in oil instead of pastel and couldn't resist painting this scene. It is available for purchase on my Daily Paintworks Gallery. Oil on hardboard panel, it is wet now but will be ready to ship in about 3 weeks. At that time I'll post it to my other online venues. I like to post available paintings on Daily Paintworks first for fellow-artist collectors.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Another creek, this time in oil

Grinder Creek, oil, 10 x 8 inches

Available now, will ship when dry. See the backstory below.

Last summer I was playing with acrylic paint (again!). Today I found this 10x8 inch panel with the first steps of an acrylic version of my colored pencil painting, "Sweetness and Light." A good surface to paint my first oil of 2017.

I mixed Burnt Sienna and French Ultramarine Blue and began laying in the new painting. After that, it was so fun to be painting in oil again that I forgot to take more photos. Below is the finished painting with the reference photo.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Goodbye Winter?

Rock Creek Winter #4, pastel, 5x7 inches Available
This may be the last of the Winter series of this subject. It is the end of January and it is beginning to feel like Spring! Progression steps of this one are on my FB page as a slide show. See my plein air set up, reference photo and steps below.  Goodbye winter?

I received a question from Diana H. about my set up when working outside the Studio.

1. Easel: My easel is a Soltek that I invested in years ago. Google Soltek easel to learn more about it. It has two built-in compartments. I used to have pastel boxes that fit exactly but now I use some of the foam from my Pastel Porter to hold my pastels in place. At the far left of this photo you'll see more foam pieces that look like little ladders or fences - I can't remember where they came from. I put these on top of the pastels before I close the compartment lids. (I could take the entire Pastel Porter with me but that would be another item to carry.)

2. Reference photo: You can see my reference photo in this shot. I print it out 5x7 (same size as the painting) on glossy paper. The photo is from our neighborhood, early morning a couple weeks ago when it was very cold.

3. Pastels: This portable selection is a mixture of various brands and a warm and cool stick of each hue as well as white. I also take my hard Holbeins and NuPastels with me when painting away from the studo. And, a few pastel pencils (as you can see in yesterday's post).

4. Paper: Still loving Clairefontaine Pastelmat in several colors.

5. Backing board is 1/2" Gatorboard and tape is Dick Blick Artist's tape, white, 3/4".

That's about it. If you have any questions, make a comment on this post and I'll answer on this post.  Steps are below.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Intuitive/Memory Painting

The second painting from my Friday afternoon painting group is called "Country Memory" because I borrowed a meadow scene reference photo from another artist to get an idea for a starting point on the scene. Then, I just painted from memory of all the country scenes I've known.

It is very relaxing to do this kind of painting after painting one from a reference photo. This one took about 10 minutes and it is more in keeping with the direction my work is taking these days: intuitive and loose.

Country Memory, pastel

No video or step by steps of this one but here is a link to my YouTube playlist. I can't believe I have made 15 videos!

Barbara Benedetti Newton Pastel Painting Playlist

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Steps to RCW #2

A good painting day last week at our Friday afternoon Paint Group*. I painted two little pastels.

For the first one I took a reference photo with me from the Rock Creek Winter Series photoshoot and spent about an hour painting this large scene in a tiny format. The paper is wine colored Clairefontaine Pastelmat. Here are the step-by-step still shots; scroll down to see the finished painting - available on DailyPaintworks - click the painting to link.

Rock Creek Winter Series #2, pastel
* Cost $1, 1-4 PM every Friday at the Maple Valley Community Center. All artists welcome, any medium. Bring whatever you are working on. See you there!

Monday, January 23, 2017


In this photo of my painting on right (and the reference photo on the left), I have completed the darks and the lights.  I'm using NuPastels and am concerned only with value at this point. Starting at each end of the value scale gives me a value "map" to help me make color choices.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

PAINT ALONG WITH ME? Rock Creek Winter Series: #1

I'm starting to figure out how to make a demo video - shorter is better for many reasons. But, if the video is only a couple minutes long (the average time a viewer is engaged) then it will be only a small part of the painting time. What can I do with that?

How about Paint Along With Me*? You can even use my reference photo (below) for this project. Each time I paint, I'll post a still shot of the painting as well as the video.
Above is the reference photo. Print it out for yourself in color and in gray scale.
This is how I begin. I draw an X through the ref photo and on my sanded paper. This helps me transfer the scene onto my working surface in the correct proportions. My painting is 7x5 inches and I'm working on Clairefontaine Pastelmat with hard and soft pastels.

When you view the Step 1 video, you may want to view the additional 8 short videos of this project or you can wait until the next day for my post and the link. The videos for this project are all titled BBNewton RCW1 (Rock Creek Winter #1). Click on the link below to see the YouTube video.

*I just came across a blog I forgot I had. I created it nearly four years ago and named it Paint With Me. That is where this type of post belongs but for today, I'm posting it here.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Baking Soda Fresh Start

ROCK CREEK TUESDAY, pastel, 7x5 inches.
See the video

Purchase the painting

Before it was "Rock Creek Tuesday", this piece of Wine Pastelmat had another image on it. Here's how I removed the previous pastel image with a "baking soda massage."

Monday, January 16, 2017

More fun on black paper

WINTER CREEK, pastel, 6x4 inches with white mat. Frames to 10x8 inches.

Available on DailyPaintworks
Winter Creek, 6x4 inches, Step 1

Winter Creek, 6x4 inches, Step 2
Winter Creek, pastel 6x4 inches

Friday, January 13, 2017

Voila! Mystery Solved (maybe)

Today my brain recalled more of the details of my mystery of years ago. I logged into my Comcast Email and VOILA! there, in the SPAM folder, were all my posts and all the emails and comments from YOU letting me know that you have been receiving my posts but for some, they started ending up in your spam folder. I suspect this pertains to those of you who have Comcast like I do. 

So, I called Comcast and explained my past experience of someone reporting my post as spam instead of unsubscribing and that created a spam filter that blocked emails. They looked and say they saw a spam filter on my account causing the problem and they say they fixed it. The real test will be tomorrow to see if I get this by regular email or if it ends up stuck in the service provider spam folder again. At the bottom of each post delivery there is this text (but it is small). 

You are subscribed to email updates from Barbara Newton Art Journal.
To stop receiving these emails, you may unsubscribe now.

I understand that sometimes blogs become irrelevant to our current lives. Please unsubscribe instead of reporting as spam! Thank you so much everyone! I am cheered to know that we are still communicating. If you have a blog, be sure you are on your own distribution list or you won't realize that this has happened.  I have just added the label "The Business of Art" to this post. Did you know you can search posts via labels?

Now, back to art. Yesterday, I painted the horizontal version of my 2007 painting Wild Meadow and I'm very happy with it! Seeing how my style has evolved over the past 10 years is interesting to me. Look for that in your own work.

Wild Meadow Dream, pastel, 5x7 inches sold
Thank you R.P. for adding this one to your collection.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

A new mystery

I have been blogging my Art Journal since January 2008. After a couple years and 227 posts later, subscribers and followers quit receiving my posts. Mysterious problem that was finally diagnosed as someone reporting the site as spam instead of UNSUBSCRIBING.

Before the mystery was solved, I started a new Art Journal and now, 7 years and 766 posts later, I noticed the last two or three posts have not been distributed by FeedBurner. Hmmmm....

So basically, this is a test to see if this post gets to you (and to me because I'm on the list).

Also, please let me know if you HAVE received these two posts via email subscription. Thanks for your help in solving this new mystery.

Click to link to post
Click to link to post

Goodbye October Lake

I have painted our lake in all seasons. Tomorrow, my "October Lake" will ship to new owner M.G. I thought you might be interested in my packaging for your own use. I taped the painting to archival foam core then cut strips of the same 3/8" foam core to fit all around the painting like a frame. this 3/8" insures that nothing will touch the image surface when I place another piece of foam core on top. I may choose different packaging methods for different surfaces. For Pastelmat, a piece of glassine or poly sleeve works well because that paper is super "grabby" but this method works for all papers especially if the surface is somewhat textured with my pastel spattering.

I have posted three paintings from my 2016 Rock Creek Series on the eBay auction at 2016 prices.
Rock Creek Series: #4

Rock Creek Series: #6
Rock CreekSeries: #1