Demo reference: water layers

The water reference is posted.
I had the primaries plus white in my palette. Acrylic demo-Ultramarine, cobalt, pthalo, & magenta.
Use prussian blue for deep dark blue mixing. Cobalt is nice for the middle layers and sky. Ultramarine is gorgeous for all over and remember it shifts towards the violet spectrum.

I shared with you the importance of quiet shifts in hues as the under-painting from the start. Add variety in those early layers shifting from greens, violets, grays to deep blues: keep the values (light and dark) similar. “Dirty” up the hues a bit to add a richer palette by playing with the complementary mixes. Be patient and add this “flavor” from the start. Work generally to specific; use larger brushes at the start. Then, the middle layer brightens a small amount 10%-15%-add lighter values in this layer. Remember scale matters: foreground has larger strokes, middle ground a bit less detail and smaller scale marks, background has less focus and far less detail. Hold off on the “sparkles” until the end of the adventure….and they are NOT white! Have fun with this. Keep your extender handy when you want to really work and blend the details; no need for extender in the first layers-you want those to dry quickly.

Next week is a full painting session; each of you focused on your new works. So many nice paintings are coming out of this class. It’s great to see.


The Carriage Barn in New Canaan has a color show exhibiting. I’m sure that is worth a peek-see. Carriage Barn Arts Center


The RAC gallery has the Under Forty Show. http://rowaytonarts.org/
Marine and coastal is the next theme, so think about submitting something if you are an artist member.


The Center for Contemporary Print Making https://contemprints.org/
has a beautiful show on exhibit. Miniature Print Exhibition. Careful, you will want to buy a bunch of these jewels. They are tiny and often exquisite.Screen Shot 2017-06-08 at 12.29.36 PM.png


Whitney (NYC) always has something interesting. Check this out.
http://whitney.org/Exhibitions/SunriseSunsetAllardVanHoorn

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Next week: full paint session. May 31

Next week is a full student paint session.

No demo. You will be working on your own masterpieces.
I have loaded images and a process file onto the Demo page of this blog for the tree sketch I worked on in class. That demo was in acrylic paints and so the instructions for paint additives are based on that medium/not oils in this instance; the theory and process remain the same tho. It was rewarding to hear your enthusiastic feedback. Please let your friends know about my class and approach/intermediate to advanced level. We have room to add more students. The more the merrier.

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The next demo will be covering the topic of brush strokes. Although this is truly a skill  that develops over time, you have asked for some guidance. I certainly will be able to give you some pointers: how to finesse your brush strokes, which brushes give you what effect, and stroke direction that either flattens or adds the illusion of form. Glad to help.

Demo week

See you all tomorrow.

The demo will begin early and last about an hour. Yes! do paint the full 3 hours if you want to work on your own pieces; remember I totally respect your precious few studio hours and it is never a problem if you are listening from afar and doing your own thing in session.

For those of you who love the demo’s, we are discussing landscape elements for compositions. How do you start and finish a study for trees, grasses, and groupings of foliage. (This will not be a demo on flowers. That is a whole other story 🙂

Johannes Itten’s contrasts apply for these studies: value, complementary pairs, hue, saturation, temperature. See you in the morning.



I visited an unusual gallery this weekend. Seven Bridges in Greenwich.

Seven Bridges

The collector is fond of realism. It is private: a friend invited me. It was a bit otherworldly but interesting. Private grounds, private galleries. Below are a few samples of the type of work I saw.

This week

So we have a demo this week. Remember, do keep painting on your projects if you love the paint time.

If you wish to sit in on the demo: We’ve decided on foliage as the subject-trees, grasses and landscape type imagery. Color Theory exploration will involve contrasts in value, hue, complementary pairs and simultaneous contrast. All of that! in a tree study! The demo this week will be in acrylic medium and I’ll share my enthusiasm for extender being added to the mix. The two approaches I will share will be scumble and wet-on-wet paint applications.


Bruce Museum. Greenwich

The Bruce has their annual arts and crafts show on the grounds today and tomorrow. And the Alfred Sisley exhibit is still on display. He is certainly worth a look; he was known for his skies and water. I am fond of the two large more impressionistic works towards the back gallery-the trees have a life of their own. Notice all the colors in the brushwork.

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Demo: value study/folds/drapery

Welcome new students.

The demo today began with Vermeer’s painting, The Kitchen Maid-his drapery and mastery of light and dark (value contrast). This was a good starting point for our painting class. See demo pix below.

Next week is a full student paint class. Many of you have started very interesting works.
I look forward to working with you. As a reminder, the Supplies page on this blog has a list of acrylic paint suggestions. I would suggest that you add a slow dry medium and a basic gel medium to your supplies. And if you have the chance find a color wheel, value finder, glass palette, spritz bottle and bounty paper towels, bring those as well. RAC does not supply paper towels.

Feel free to continue to practice these exercises. Bring them to class and let’s discuss them. And, of course, work on your own projects, as always.

email me if you have questions Email Lori

Value Studies

May 10, we will discuss the value of value studies. Most of the class will be devoted to you-all painting so bring in your projects and supplies. The first 45 min. will be a conversation about value contrast, Vermeer and warm and cool temperature in light and shadows. I look forward to meeting the new students.

May 10: New session begins

Welcome this week to a new painting session
at Rowayton Arts Center.
Color Confidence is a weekly painting group. Register here: Color Confidence Registration

Artists are working currently in oils and acrylics. I demo in both. I am also very happy working in mixed media, gouache, oil sticks and pastels. So bring the medium you feel comfy with and enjoy the lessons and the energy of the group.
This session is an 8 week class. I will demo one week for the first 45 minutes (then you paint until 1:00), skip one week/you paint, demo the next, etc. Each class has a focus of color and all of its complexities, mysteries and splendor. I am fairly random with the chosen topics but my students…so far…..have learned a lot from the vivid use of pigments, intelligent use of the color wheel (do buy one and a gray scale finder), and my practical methods for mixing and matching hues harmoniously.

In Color Confidence, I asked that you be self-directed and able to bring a project of your own to class and start and finish a painting. This is not an absolute beginners class (:/ I’m sorry). But, read this carefully, I have intermediate artists and advanced artists that fit together nicely. I work with you at your level individually and we all encourage, inspire and support each other. If you have concerns as to your level let’s talk.

The first topic I am planning to cover on May 10 is “Value creates form” (in warm and cool gray scale). Johannes Itten (color theory guru) identified seven characteristics of color contrast. Temperature (warm and cool colors) is one of those essential biggies as well as value (the light and dark of a color). The demo will be in gray scale tipping to warmer and cooler temps. In the last session, we talked about Johannes Vermeer and that as popular as he was in his day, he still could not afford the price of ultramarine ($$$ more expensive than gold in the mid 1600’s). He used a technique of rendering form in value first and then glazed thin layers of blue ultramarine over the rendered areas-all to preserve his precious pouch of crushed lapis lazuli (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultramarine). So we launch our discussion from this point-Vermeer, ultramarine blue, value contrast and temperature contrast. Following the discussion, you will begin to paint. Class ends at 1:00 but there is studio time open so you can continue to paint for about an hour before the next class begins (RAC is super generous this way).

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I look forward to painting with you on Wednesday. And if you are new to my class, scroll all the way down to the bottom of this page and click on the follow button to subscribe.
Lori Loh.

Happy! Yellows! Oranges!

We covered mixing with yellows and oranges this week.
It is interesting as you mix into deeper values with these hues how different the shades are. We all know how to discern a deep orange from a deep yellow now! And how to mix them. And, really important! how to combat the pasties-over whited high-lighted mixes.
We also continued the discussion on glazing. The when to, how to, and whys of glazing (for both oil and acrylic). You all seemed quite excited about trying this technique-that’s rewarding.


May 10 starts our new 8 week session. Please encourage your friends to sign up. We have room for more students. If you liked the class and benefited from my teaching, let others know about RAC and it’s classes (:-) especially mine).


A BIG thank you to my Match/April students. It was fun teaching you. I hope you move forward and continue with your studies. Take some summer courses. Remember that drawing is always a good place to start. Keep drawing-you need to understand what you are drawing-the lighting, the form, the values-for a solid foundation in painting.


Perhaps I’ll see you on Sunday at the opening. I’m still smiling rewarded that my painting is Best in Show.
More about “Neglecting Picasso”
I took this shot over a year ago at MoMA. I was captivated by the late winter light outside the window and the drama created by such deep shadows and equally dominant vibrant blue. Yes, I glazed ultramarine over my skies to get that saturation. And the winter yellow is cooler than you will see in the summer; it tips a bit green with more white loaded into the mix. The name comes from the fact that I was day dreaming and looking outward (typical) instead of looking at the Picasso retrospective, my intended focus at MoMA that day.

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April 26

We are sharing lunch on Wednesday.
Bummer, the weather looks terrible-rain. Maybe we can scoot over to 101 or Sails for a bite.

We are exploring yellow and orange mixing in the class demo this week. It is not always easy to identify yellows once pulled down in value-they make interesting green shades.

May 10 starts the new session. In the next group of classes I suggest we explore palettes for Johannes Vermeer, George Bellows, and the broad topic “palette-varied flesh tones”. This will be an eight week session so the rhythm will be lecture one week for an hour plus paint time. and the next week will be pure student paint time. So we will cover 4 topics in the 8 weeks. During paint time, as always, I will support you individually in your chosen direction and medium.
I finished this painting this week. I enjoyed exploring body, texture and transparency using cold wax oil painting. Yes, I glazed with ultramarine in the skies (one of our recent topics).

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New York Botanical Gardens has Chihully works displayed and is worth the trip (off hours as it will be popular) Even on an overcast day, the work was beautiful in the setting. No, I did not plan to match the schulpture 🙂
Also, ALERT, there is a plein air event there on June 11, Sunday, if that is your cup-o-tea.
chihully_NYCBot_17

Images for Varied flesh tones. Notice the complementary harmony: warm reds and cool greens.