Saturday, February 29, 2020

Irish Soda Bread Recipe

Susan Collins' Irish Soda Bread
2 ½ cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
2 T. sugar
¾ cup milk
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
½ cup shortening (1 stick margarine)
3 T. vinegar
½ cup raisins

Directions: (pre-heat oven to 400)
1. Sift dry ingredients together in bowl. Add shortening and rub together using a fork until mixture feels
like bread crumbs.
2. Add vinegar to mix which will sour it. Make a well in center of flour mixture and pour in milk. Again
mix well and turn onto a floured board.
3. Shape into a round and put onto a greased and floured pan.
4. Make a large cross on top ¼” deep. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 min., then lower to 375 and bake for
15-20 min. more.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

How to Clean Your Brushes

How to Clean Your Oil Painting Brushes

this video by Karen O'Neil is really helpful.  I couldn't believe the difference it made in how nice and clean my brushes come out now.

You just need 3 glass jars with lids!  super efficient!


Friday, February 7, 2020

Flower Painting

I think the trick with painting flowers is to know how to simplify and to vary the brush edges.  Squinting helps.  Not every flower or petal needs to be exact.  Here's a beauty by Walt Bartman.

I've found that starting with just a few flowers helps or cropping and zooming in makes the job more managable.

These are a few flower paintings I did last year.  I noticed that the greens could be cool or warm and  the colors of the petals had temperature changes.

Work from life as much as possible.  Use your cropping viewfinder and edit out anything extra. Make a thumbnail study of the values. Pre-mix piles of the colors you'll need using a palette knife. Do lots of small studies. 

Here's a beautiful arrangement of flowers bought at Trader Joe's. 

Practice drawing parts of it.  Another tip is to use your cell phone to photograph and crop your composition.

See what it looks like in black and white.
There's an awesome phone app called: Notanizer.  Costs $2.99 and will put your photos into a notan, 4 levels of black and white and allows you to see the simple shadow shapes of your composition.
Have fun!