Monday, November 25, 2013


"First Snow-Big Cottonwood Canyon" Julie Jacobsen

You might not see much difference between this step and the final but it does have some subtle differences.  In order to keep pulling the eye back into the distance I had to dull some of the oranges on the right side of the road.  Bright colors come forward and duller ones recede.  That's due to the atmosphere-the air-that layers over things.  Da Vinci was a master at this.  If the rules aren't followed then you'll have a flat painting.  I even dulled the pine trees in the upper right corner so they would recede.  It's a little hard to tell from this but I even dulled the road the same way.  That helps to 'lay it down'.  Now you might think that it's not as perfect as a photograph.  But do you really want a photograph on the wall as a painting?  Paintings are interesting because they have that 'painterly' feel to them.  That's what makes it inviting. 

I think this is why paintings stand the test of time.  Otherwise when photography came out paintings would have been dropped.  Same comparison to electronic books and regular ones.  There's just something about the real deal.

I hope you agree and I might have taught you something about creating distance.  I'm sure I taught about this in a much earlier blog.  Anyway want to know more?  Let me know and I'll post some other great ideas that will help.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

THE PROJECT CONTINUES......creating distance and movement

The latest step in the new painting

If you had seen yesterday's post you would see that in the step below I've started adding the pine trees and snow.  I also put in an underpainting of blue as a base for the foreground snow on the side of the road.  Notice the blues are different.  The one closest to the front is a brilliant blue and the one towards the back is cerulean blue.  The brighter color will bring this forward and the duller will push back.  A careful plan to lead the eye the right way when I put the snow on top of the blues.

I used a natural sponge to swoosh in the purple/brown on the hillside.  It's preparation for the bushes to go on top.

I've put another layer on top of the underpainting for the road.  The road is not really an exciting element but it will help to create distance and lead the eye back.  

Notice the mountain in the back recedes because I layered a veil on top of it.  This is just a semi opaque milky wash (with some other colors mixed in) to layer the atmospheric air on top-more creating distance.  I want to create movement as if one is traveling down the road-which we were-and the scene is flying by.

 It's been such a nice Sunday and now it's time for bed.  How wonderful it is to get painting again!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

MY NEW PROJECT plus the usual fixes of other paintings

It's just time to begin a new painting.  I've been fooling around with the markers-just like I did with mosaics-but there comes a time when I realize that I'm neglecting my biggest talent and that is painting.

"Julie - Kauai 10th Anniversary"  Julie Jacobsen
But let me back up.  So for the last month I've been redoing some of my paintings.  I'm just one of those perfectionists and can't stop until I have things done satisfactory to myself.  So first I started out by repairing my mouth.  This is part of a set of 2 paintings that I did of my husband and I on our 10th wedding anniversary in Kauai.  We went for a hike on Makana Mountain-made famous in that it was superimposed out in the middle of the ocean to be the mysterious Bali Hai in the movie "South Pacific" .  I love that movie.  So when we started hiking the trail I had tears in my eyes.  We took pictures and years later I did these paintings.

"Chris - Kauai 10th Anniversary"  Julie Jacobsen

Then I had to fix a hand on another painting-which I'm not going to post because I don't like it that much-but I'm satisfied for it to go back on the shelf (see what a perfectionist I am!)

"Mackintosh Apples" Julie Jacobsen

In this painting I brightened the sky through the window in the upper right corner so it will say 'sky'.  I pushed back the yellow tile into the shadows more because the bright yellow was competing with the apples for attention.  I could still push them back into the shadows more but I think it dulls the painting.  This painting is only 5" x 7".  Very small and I'm not satisfied with the frame.  It's just a temporary one but I do like this painting.  It's very homey.

Now back to the original idea of what I'm starting.  There's nothing better to get me going than to have to do a wedding present for one of my nieces and nephews.  In this case it is for Ali.  Here are the first 2 steps:

Note:  I just finished a wonderful book called "Heaven is Here" by Stephanie Nielson.  She is the creator of  It is a wonderful true story about the plane crash she and her husband survived and their difficult recovery.  Reading about how she finally was able to get back to blogging I realized that I've neglected my blog.  She inspired me to be more consistent in posting.  I guess I just realized in the past that I could spend all my time blogging and not painting.  But I guess that's not really true because I waste time doing other things.  So I might as well start posting more.  I hope my readers will get something out of what I post.  Please let me know if you are interested in my postings as it really is fun for me to hear what you think.