Thursday, February 15, 2018

A New Beginning


          Yellow Rose Bud

                         20" X 16"

      Click to Purchase or get more info

Welcome to my new blog.  Let me introduce myself.  My name is Rita Johnson and I am an artist and instructor.  I have been painting for many years.  If you would like to know more about me, please visit my website at the link at the top of this page.

With this "Rita's Palette Talk" blog, I hope to share with you my insights and observations of the world around us as seen through the eyes of a painter. To capture that "Moment In Time".  My goal is to move, touch and inspire collectors, non-painters, beginners and those who having been painting for a long time.  

I rarely paint anything larger than life but in this painting, Yellow Rose Bud, I could not resist.  I was so inspired by its beauty that painting it smaller just did not do it justice.   As you will see in future posts I love darker backgrounds in my still life paintings and the drama that it brings.  The darker background with the warmth of the beautiful yellows and reds bring contrast to the painting.  I then added a few cool areas of red-purple in the calyx.  The painting turned out exactly as I had imagined it. 

Thought of the Day:  

The most important time that you can spend on any painting is the first ten minutes, for some it may take longer.  This is a time of not painting but thinking.  When you start a painting, it is important that you have a clear vision of the completed piece before you start.  Having a strong mental picture of what you wish to see on the canvas means that you think about the finished details of the painting. This could also include how the finished painting would look framed and hanging on the wall.  Once you have a vivid mental picture of the completed painting , you will be able to capture the image more clearer. 

Tip of the Day:

Because this is my first post on my blog, my tips may be a little basic for some of you but as I said, my goal is to reach painters at all levels.  So I will be starting with the basics and hope it just may be something you have not heard before or at least, a refresher.

It has been said that when the eye is open, it sees only three things, shapes, values and edges.  Let's look at each one briefly. 

Shapes:  Everything has a shape.  The simplest shapes to recognize are silhouettes or outlines of the whole objects. Almost as easy to recognize as  the over-all shape of the object are the shapes within it.   For example, we can recognize the shapes of light and shadow on an object.  Actually, these shapes are the most useful ones to the artist in creating the illusion of form or reality on the flat surface of a painting because they tell the true form of the object.

Values:  The second thing we must recognize in understanding the process of seeing is value.  Value simply means the lightness or darkness of a shape.  These can easily be seen in a black and white photograph.  But how does that relate to the painter?  The painter needs to recognize and understand that each color (Hue) you will be using to create a painting will also have light or dark properties.  For example, pink is a color of light value, where as violet is a color of dark value.  However, each color can be changed in value by adding either a darker color to it or a lighter color to it.  Value is most important to keep in mind.  If the value of a color is wrong then the whole color is wrong.

Edges:  As you look at the two factors above, (again using a black and white photograph for example)you will probably notice the presence of edges between shapes and different values.   Edges can be either hard or sharp, or soft and fuzzy.  For the artist, one important reason for seeing different edges is that it will enable you  to paint forms solidly and conveniently.  The edges vary directly with the form.  For example, see Five Basic Shapes below, the edge between the light and shadow planes of a cube or other angular form will appear very sharp, while the edge between the light and shadow sides of a cylinder or sphere will be soft and wide. On a smoothly curled surface like a sphere or cylinder, there is a gradual transition between the light side and the side which is in shadow.  This creates a definite area of halftone between the light and shadow which must be recognized and painted if we are to reproduce the illusion of the real object on our canvas. 

Five Basic Shapes,Values and Edges
Sphere, Cube, Cylinder, Cone and Solid Triangle  

Question of the Day: 

I invite you to ask any questions you would like me to answer about painting.  I will be happy to share with you what I know.  Please do not hesitate to email me at
I welcome your feedback.

If you know of any artist that may appreciate the things I am sharing about painting, please let them know about this blog.  I hope to offer more painting tips as this conversation continues.