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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Cynthia Howard Says, "Paint Where You Are Going"

Cynthia Howard is a well-known and loved MAG member and last night we were treated to her demo on painting a water landscape with water-soluble oils. She says she likes to paint places where's she's been or wants to be. As you're painting a landscape, she says you should ask yourself, "Where are you going?"

Cynthia talking about her "precious" which are brushes
she would never use to "smoosh" the paint

Cynthia works with water-soluble oils because it is healthier for her. When she first got into painting, she found the chemicals involved with regular oil paints irritated her. She also is a cancer survivor of 16 years and found while enduring chemo treatments, she had visions of waterfalls. A lot of her works feature waterfalls or moving waters which gives her comfort. Her demo Tuesday night was of a coastal scene.

With the exception of Sap Green, Cynthia
likes to mix her own greens and includes indanthrone blue and 
diarylide yellow in her palette

What did we learn from Cynthia? Here's a sampling of tidbits:

  • Make room in your freezer for your palette. Don't throw away good paint! Freeze it and let it thaw... then use it!
  • "Smooshing" is Cynthia's word for scrumbling. Use it to make background trees and as you come forward into the foreground gradually add more and more detail.
  • Break up the greens with reds, like burnt sienna, cad red and purple-reds.
  • With water-soluble oils, you can lift paint by scrubbing with water and a stiff brush.
  • Use thinners to make the paint into a watery glaze to spread over certain areas.
  • Use a watercolor pencil to draw on the canvas prior to painting. It will dissolve into the paint.
  • "Lay it and leave it"... don't overwork an area with too much painting.
  • She loves how water-soluble oils works on watercolor canvases. Try it!

Cynthia's palette at the end of the demo

Cynthia is also a strong proponent of color charts

MAG's program chair, Nancy Kennedy, is getting together a date and time for a workshop with Cynthia. Be on the lookout for more information. 

Thanks, Cynthia, for a "smooshing" good demo and look forward to doing more with you.

In addition, thanks to Cynthia Powers for some of our photos! And to Eric Casaburro for being our camera operator during the demo. 

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