Thursday, January 27, 2011

''At the water edge'' 6x6'' oil on panel. $200.

''Treasure Hunt'' 6x6'' oil on panel. $200.

Russell Black - Tips & Hints

"A Road Less Traveled"
5 minute "doodle" sketch

I'm often asked by students, "How do you paint loose?" They think that "loose" is some style or special technique of painting, but it really is more of an outcome to an overall process. I end up with a loose painting because I follow a procedure that produces "looseness."

I generally ask the student their working process, and 99.9% of the time I get...

1) I take a photo of the subject,
2) I trace (or project) the photo onto the paper,
3) I try to make the painting look like the photo by using the smallest brushes possible, putting in every detail that I see in the photo, and making everything hard edged.

...and they wonder why their paintings are tight and overworked. Go figure.

One of the major problems in art today is the overuse of photography. Don't get me wrong, the camera is a marvelous invention and a useful tool, but in the long run, its nothing but a crutch and hindrance to your painting efforts. You become dependent on the camera and forget that art is about expression and not mere reproduction.

The first thing I tell a student to do is to lose the camera and get rid of it for at least a year (which often sends a ripple of panic through the entire room). Its all about process. If you begin a painting by using a tool (the camera) that produces nothing but hard edged detail, then how do you think you'll end up? That's right, tight and overworked.

I recommend that the student go back and learn to draw instead. Drawing helps the painter get to know the subject first hand, and my little 5 minute doodle sketches (above) are perfect for that. They don't take a lot of time to do (benefit) and they are loose interpretations of the scene (the major benefit). I start the painting process by staying loose (with the sketch) and simply continue on down that road. The sketch is loose, the brushwork is kept to a minimum, and I don't niggle the painting to death. The result, a loose painting.


To see my paintings, please visit my website at...

Sunday, January 23, 2011


10 X 10 X 1.5 ALL DRESSED UP

10" x 10" (25.4cm x 25.4cm)
$225 plus $4.95 shipping and handling in the US
E-mail me for International shipping rates or other inquiries.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Spilled Apples

Spilled Apples,
12"x16" Oil/framed
JoAnn Arnold. e-mail:

Friday, January 21, 2011

Provence Poppies

I did this pastel as a study for a larger acrylic painting. I was never happy with the larger painting and decided the smaller pastel had more energy. This art is available as a print in my Etsy store.

The quote at the bottom is by Ralph Waldo Emerson:

"Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful,
we must carry it with us or we find it not."

I have also designed a fun little ACEO print in a postcard style. ACEO stands for Art Cards Editions & Originals and are trading card size, 2 1/2" x 3 1/2".

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Russell Black - Watercolor

"Emerald Pool" - 22" x 15"

This is the painting from my new, instructional video (now in post production). It began with a simple doodle (see the article below), and was finished using a traditional wash & silhouette approach. To see a quick review of the steps involved, please go to my website...

Also, the instructional video will be available for sale after January 24th.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Russell Black - Watercolor

"Boxed Canyon"

This painting was done yesterday as an exercise in random brush strokes and color. I often approach a painting from an abstract point of view, and this one began in the spirit of simply, "let's see what happens if..."

Using a 3" wide flat, I stroked color on the paper with no pre-planned idea in mind. I just let the brush move over the paper in dynamic ways. That first wash was then allowed to dry and evaluated. The second wash started to define some of the "box" shapes, but I still had no idea what this was turning into. After this wash the idea of a box canyon started to appear on the paper and I went with it.

To finish up, I added the darks and some line work and presto, the painting. This method of working, without a clear idea or a value sketch, doesn't always work or produce a painting. For me, this was pure play time and I really didn't care if I made a painting or not. The "act" of painting, getting into the process and discovering what might happen during the adventure was the point of the exercise.

Sometimes, you can just have fun.

To see more of my work, please visit my website at...

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Point Guard

Patricia Christensen

"Point Guard"

14" x 11" Pastel on Canson MiTeintes

Private Collection
Accepting Commissions

My Blog ~ Patrice Paints

EBSQ Online Portfolio

Friday, January 7, 2011

Russell Black - Tips & Hints

Sketch "Upper Emerald Pools"

I do quite a bit of sketching, its 85% of the job towards a finished painting. This is one of my "doodles" that I produce when I'm just tinkering around with an idea. In this particular case, a scene from my memories of the Upper Emerald Pools in Zion National Park. The upper pool is quite a hike and I've only painted there on location once, so its easier to create the image back in the studio than it is to lug the equipment up this canyon.

The doodle itself began sideways (the image above has been rotated 90 degrees), so my initial intent wasn't the pools, however, when I rotated the sketch, there it was. Funny how that happens. At this point I'm ready to go to paint with this idea. For a short PDF file on how I produce my doodles, you can download a free copy from my website at

Scroll down on my home page to the article that I posted on doodles, and the "click here" link to the file is at the end of the article.

Thursday, January 6, 2011


Would you love to just curl up in the sun beside this soft little lamb?

Running the Ball

Patricia Christensen

"Running the Ball"

Pastel on Canson MiTeintes 14" x 11"
Private Collection
Accepting Commissions

My Blog ~ Patrice Paints
Online EBSQ Portfolio

Monday, January 3, 2011

Chickadee and First Snowfall

Patricia Christensen

8 inches x 10 inches ~ Soft Pastels on Sanded Illustration Board
"Chickadee and First Snowfall"
Available at my Etsy Store here
EBSQ Winner of Patrons Choice Award
"Let It Snow" Exhibit