Issuing the Call

Issuing the Call
Issuing the Call

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Art Prints

Friday, December 18, 2009

Just in time for Christmas

"Santa's Littlest Helper"

I've been meaning to get this painting up on the blog for a bit now. So here it is. For those of you who don't know, The model of the boy is my nephew (one of the hazards of knowing me is you never know when one of your kids will end up in a painting). For Santa I used my head and my wife for the body. I have this red bath robe that drapes just wonderfully on her (seeing as she is fourteen inches shorter then me). I love then old world Santa Claus, so this is the result of it. Also I love Victorian Architecture so I modeled the fireplace and room after that style. I've been kicking around the idea of painting another Christmas painting, maybe this time I 'll use a little girl.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The all important Painting Surfaces

Canvas. For me canvas is a general term I use to discribe just about any painting surface I use to paint on. In reality only part of the time do I use canvas or to be more exact cotton canvas. Let see I have used stretched cotton canvas (either pre-stretched or stretched by me). To stretch canvas you wrap it around stretcher bars which typically are made of wood.
In recent years a newer type of canvas has come out on the market. It goes by several different names like, gallery wrap, studio wrap, museum edge and creative edge, just to name a few. But they are all basically the same thing.
The canvas is stretched from the front clear around the sides and fastened in the back. Thus leaving the front and sides to be painted on. Plus these types of canvases tend to be deeper thus giving the artist more room to paint. I've seen them go as deep as six inches, looking more like a box then a panel. Plus because the sides are painted there is no need to frame these paintings. Thus saving money on not framing.
Another type of option is canvas board. Where canvas is adhered to a board.

There are many different cloths you can paint on after they have been primed with gesso. The two I prefer are cotton or linen, with linen being my favorite. I like the interesting and unique variety of textures linen creates with out being too rough. Now my mentor Greg Olsen is a bit more brave then I am. He has painted on all sorts of surfaces, from silk, to polyester, plaster (which he carved first to make it a relief carving then painted it), wood panels and hardboard (both having done paintings on the smooth side and rough side). Also to add more tooth (texture) to the painting surface you can add some marble dust to your gesso. A small amount is like 200 grit sand paper and a large amount it like 20 grit (Greg has also add so much marble dust to one of his paintings that the gesso was like very think paste. So he sculpted it into trees and rocks for a relief like sculpture and then painted it too). I like a very smooth surface, so needless to say these approaches to surface texture do not appeal to me.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Ah Paint

Paint. Enough said right? Well sort of. Like I've said earlier I paint with what is called a limited pallet. Which means I use almost just the primary colors to paint with and then just mix these colors to get all the colors I need. To do this you got to first understand at least a little about color theory. Which basically is for example red and blue make purple, or yellow and blue make green and so on. But then there are also warm colors cool colors and then there are opposites, color chords and even opaque and transparent colors. And on and on and on... There are collage courses and 'clubbing baby seal' size books just on this subject.
I don't want to scare any one with how complex this kind of topic can become. For me when I first started to paint I painted with a limited pallet more out of cost than out of any sort of artsy high minding ideals. An average tube of paint will run any where between $20 to $75 (at least for the type of paint I use, but more on that later). So I went with as few a colors as I could get away with. Which is around 7-9. Burnt Sienna (reddish brown), Burnt Umber (dark brown), Ultramarine Deep (blue), Titanium White, Cadmium Red Deep, Cadmium Yellow Light, Indian Yellow (a warm orange-yellow) and sometimes Dioxazine Purple and Raw Umber.
Next I took a sheet of mat board and cut it up into four inch squares that I gessoed (it's a type of primer). Then I would paint each square with a mixing of various colors to see how each color worked with each other. Red and yellow to make an orange color. After I had mixed all primary colors, red, yellow and blue. Then I mixed primary colors with secondary colors. For example red (primary) and green (secondary, made up of yellow and blue) make brown. And then depending on how much of either color you mix depends on the kind of brown you get, more red you get a redish brown and more green a greenish brown.
Now I need to warn people that when you first start mixing colors everyone seems to go through a stage of learning I like to call, 'the gray mud' stage. This is when no matter what color you are trying to mix, all you seem to be able to mix is a dead looking gray mud color. I went through it and everyone I have ever taught goes through it. This stage for most people is often the time when they quit painting (mostly because they don't have the artist disease too*). It is their first real wall. I pushed through it (and wasted a lot of paint too).

The type of paint you choose to use will in the end be more about preference or as I like to call it, how the paint feels as you mix it and how it feels as you apply it to the canvas.
The paint I use is called Maimeri Puro. It comes from Italy. I buy it from Jerry's Artarama online. The reason I use this more expensive paint is because the pigment that the paint is made from is ground to a much finer consistency then with other paints I have tried. The colors are also richer and brighter. Plus I need less of it to cover the same area as with other brands. It mixes easily and glazes much better then other brand too. which is very important to me because I do more glazing then I use to. Glazing is to apply multiple thin transparent layers of paint. But thats getting into techniques than tools, which I'll talk about later.

*The artistic disease - I once read another artist describe painting for them as a disease with no cure. All he could do is push it off for a little bit by painting. It is like a nervous itch that build up over time and the only way to make it go a way is to paint. This is painting for me too. I've met some artists who just love to paint. They will spend every waking moment in the studio painting. I always felt bad, because I didn't feel this way. There are times when I'm like this. But they are short lived and few and far between. When I studied under Greg Olsen he told me that there are times for him too that he really struggles to sit down and paint. He calls himself the laziest painter (I doubt this because he is prolific). After hearing this and reading about other artists I didn't feel so bad.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Brushes! The work horse of all paintings

There are three types of brushes that I know of or that I use. Flat, Bright, and Round. I for the most part just use flat for the bulk of my painting. And round for all of my liner work. I've tried Bright brushes off and on, but i don't like how they move the paint around. Just a little too smudgy for me.

This first set of brushes I either just use on Large paintings (24 x 30 and up) or in some instances I'll use them to blend two or more colors together. These range in size from one and a half to three inches in sizes.

This next set of brushes I use primarily for painting in large areas. For all of my temple paintings I used these brushes to paint in my sky's for example. The brush on the left is a new never been used brush. The brush in the middle is the same brush just four months of use. As you can see all of my brushes slowly spread out, no matter how well I clean them. From time to time I'll even use an ultra-sonic cleaning tool to clean my brushes. But in the end they all spread.

These next set of bushes are the same as the above brushes just smaller. I try to work with the largest brush I can get away with in an area so as to spend less time noodling away an area. Although recently I've tried using smaller brushes to improve the over all texture of my paintings. With all of my paintings which brush I use is really based mostly on how lazy I'm feeling and over all feel. Every artist has his or her own preference to brushes based on there own approach to painting. The only real way you can learn this for your self is to just jump in and start painting. I once had a dean of the art department at the University of Utah tell me that if you want to learn to paint, then just go and paint. The two best teachers for painting are Trial and Error. Experimentation is how I learned to paint ( and Greg Olsen's patience).

The last set of brushes are my Liner brushes. To the left is a new brush, the middle is one that has had it as a liner and the right one is one in which I trimmed down after it had spread. So that is the future of the middle one. I'm often trimming my brushes, especially when they start to spread out.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Behind the magic of painting

So I thought I would give a little behind the scenes look into not only how I go about painting but also what tools I use in doing this. This first image is of my pallet. I mix my paints on an old MDF board with a sheet of wax paper tapped down over the top. Usually I place the blobs of paint across the top, but sometimes I will haphazardly place paint all over the pallet. I paint using what is called a limited pallet. The colors are from left to right. Burnt Sienna (reddish brown), Burnt Umber (dark brown), Ultramarine Deep (blue), Titanium White, Cadmium Red Deep, Cadmium Yellow Light, Indian Yellow (a warm orange-yellow) and sometimes Dioxazine Purple. Another thing I need to point out is that I do not use any black when I paint. Black is the anti-color, it kills color, mutes it.
The brushes lay on the left. I have a drawer full of brushes in various states of use from new to desperately need to be thrown out bellow my pallet. But these are the one I'm am currently using.
The top left is my pallet knife that I use to mix my paints to get all the various colors I paint with. Sometimes I just use the brush I am holding to mix a color I need.
The spray can on top of the pallet is a fixative I use to help solidify a layer of paint so I can work faster.
The green-brown looking jar on the top right side of the pallet is full of mineral spirits. It is used to clean my brushes. It has a spring in it that I scrub the bristles on, thus aiding to the cleaning.
Next over is a container that says linseed oil but contains more mineral spirits.
And finally is a yellowish jar filled with an even mix of Galkyn and mineral spirits. This is my Medium. I use it to thin my paints to an almost water color consistency.

Friday, November 20, 2009

For some reason the images of the Temple paintings are up loading too dark. They look fine at the print's website at but not here. I'll have to fiddle with it later.

More Temple Paintings


At night when I'm waiting for paint to dry (I prefer to paint at night because it is more quite) I find myself blog surfing. Either by hitting the next blog button or by linking through peoples friends lists trying to get the 'seven degrees of Kevin Bacon' effect. Over the months of doing this I have come to realize I really suck as a blogger. Also some of these people's blogs are super artsy-fartsy. Which causes my extra X chromosome to flare up and make me want to stop painting and start blogging. Then I get all worked up. But then it hits me. Either I can keep painting or I can blog, I don't have the mental fortitude to do both (especially with Christmas coming, I've got the portraits to paint of my sister's kids for gifts and I just picked up 1 more commission to paint 2 more temple paintings, Provo and Manti temple). So for now my blog, facebook, link-in and twitter, will all have to suffer.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Temples on my mind!!

Nauvoo Temple 20 x 16 Oil on Linen - many have asked if this is "The Phoenix" Nauvoo Temple. It is not, but that one will be painted soon.

Logan Temple 16 x 20 Oil on Linen - I love the fall. The changing of the seasons and cooler weather. Plus my birthday is in the fall too.

Manti Temple 40 x 30 Oil on Canvas

Manti Temple (East Doors) 20 x 16 Oil on Linen

St. George Temple 20 x 16 Oil on Linen

Kirtland Temple 20 x 16 Oil on Linen

Monday, July 13, 2009

2009 - 2010 Season

So the Rive Gauche Art Gallery that represents my originals down in Scottsdale, Arizona have decided they want to for now only represent my temple paintings. I'm really surprised and excited. I will miss doing fantasy paintings (I'll try and sneak one in once in a while). But a while back when I was studying under Greg Olsen (I'm still his apprentice and will be for life). Greg asked me if I liked painting or do I just like painting fantasy? I of course said I like to paint. And so you have it, Temples. Plus it is a great way to represent the Lord and serve him at the same time.

So the Gallery ordered 10 smaller paintings 11" x 14" or 16" x 20", historic temples by the end of October. (I choose 16" x 20") Also I need to finish 4 - 6 larger ones too (Salt Lake Temple is done and the Manti Temple is almost done). These are 30" x 40 ". I was going to do one of them 48" x 60" (seeing as I have the canvas) but I felt it was just too big and the gallery owner agreed.

I've been really excited but I had no idea how I was going to pay for all of the supplies needed to do this project. So my wife, Liz had me put together a wish list as it were of supplies needed for the project and sent out an email to a few family members and friends to see who could help and who wanted to be apart of this Temple Project. 12 hours later her brother over in China called and said not to worry about it and that he payed for it all and the supplies would be here in a week or two. I was blown away to say the least. That night my wife and I thanked the Lord for his and many other peoples generosity and kindness.

So now I've got to produce 1 Temple painting a week. I would like to in the end paint 12. So I can put out a calendar along with my prints that I currently offer at:
I've all ready sold many prints of the Temple paintings too. It is interesting that in the seven months I have been painting Temples. I have had more interest in my art then in 10 years of painting fantasy. So when people ask my why the switch. This is what I tell them.

Well enough for now back to the Manti Temple Painting.


Jeff Brimley

Manti Temple Step 5

Finally done with the under-painting and I'm onto the sky.

Manti Temple Step 6

Here I've painted in the tops of the 2 towers. Now onto the body of the temple.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Manti Temple Step 4

In this step I added a layer of dark brown. I've started to also do some shading with this color. To get the various shades of color I simply removed paint with a brush and a rag. In doing this step I have to keep in mind not only the sun directly behind the temple but also the lighting on the upper towers and the non-directional omni light, which is the sunlight reflecting off the ground. Thus even in shadows objects have shading and highlights, otherwise objects in shadows would look flat.

Manti Temple Step 3

Ok here you see is the first step with the under painting. This is a single color of paint. I put it on with a rag and the scrubbed out the lighter areas. Now onto the next darker color.

Manti Temple Step 2

Well the drawing of the Manti Temple is finished.

Now onto the four tone under painting (you see what I mean as I'm doing it).

Friday, June 12, 2009

Manti Temple Step 1

I've gotten put of the habit of doing these step by step photos. So I've decided since this painting is (and most others from now on) going to be done in the newer style. Instead of trying to explain it to you all. I thought I just show you all.

In this photo you can see I've drawn in a rough outline of the basic shape and location of the temple in pencil (the left side of the drawing). Next I've taken a dark brown colored pencil. In the passed I've used a graphite stick that is sepia in color with a stylus that is both troublesome to work with and is only available from Australia. The colored pencil I'm using is from a cheap $5 colored pencil set you may buy for a child. In fact the box cover has a rather cartoon looking monkey, giraffe and lion on it. Now I've started drawing in much finer detail then I usually do, the finished drawing of the temple.

The next step after the drawing is finished in the next few days I will start on the under-painting.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Mount Timpanogos Temple

This painting was commissioned by a friend of mine. He is giving it to his wife for her birthday. It was the temple they were sealed in. The size is the same as the Salt Lake and Provo temple paintings, 18 x 24 oil on canvas.

This painting I painted in just under 6 hours. I painted it and gave it to my Mom as a Mother's day gift. I had some painting technique ideas kicking around in my head for some time so I had some fun doing them for this painting. I guess the hazard of knowing me is getting stuck with paintings I do as experiments. Although not all painting experiments turn out to be finished paintings. Some are really rough looking.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

This is my latest Salt Lake Temple Painting. This one is being sent down to the gallery in Scottsdale. It is 40 x 30 inches on canvas. I wanted to show the Temple reflecting in the pool of water but I did not like the straight on view (what makes a good photograph does not necessarily make a good painting). So as you can see I turned it slightly. Also I changed the proportions of the temple, and the lines, thus adding to the drama.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Temples on the Brain

I was recently approached by my Ward to do a couple of paintings to hang in the Young Women room. We settled on the Provo Temple because it is our district temple and the Salt Lake Temple because it is on all of the Young Women literature. I also felt that because the paintings were for the Young Women that they should also include all of the value colors.
As a result from doing these paintings I have had several requests for prints. Which will soon be available in the next day or two, both fine art paper and canvas. I have found a place online that will do prints on demand, framing and ship to anywhere in the world. Also as a result the gallery owner that represents my original paintings, Rive Gauche Gallery,, now would like me to paint 5 Temple paintings for him. Which I am now working on. The 5 I have chosen to do are the first 5 temples, Kirtland, Nauvoo, St. George, Manti and Salt Lake. Yes another Salt Lake Temple (the 3rd one so far). I'm going to paint the paintings less architecturally accurate and more emotionally and spiritually charged. The first 2 I am currently working on are the Salt Lake Temple (the canvas is 30 inches by 40 inches) and will be titled "Mountain of the Lord" and the Nauvoo Temple (the canvas is 48 inches by 60 inches) and will be titled "The Phoenix".

Friday, January 9, 2009

I was really excited to get the first Ogre painted. My goal for the other two is to make them more ugly and scary looking. I really want to see how far I can push this with out going too far. Even with Ogres there is a careful balance. I want kids (and adults too) to see the Ogres as scary and ugly but not frightening. I don't want anyone having nightmares after viewing one of my paintings. Accept maybe the nightmare of having not purchased it in time before some else has. But alas the paint is getting bumped aside again for a bit while I work on 2 commission paintings. I'm going to be doing paintings of both the Salt Lake and Provo Temples. Quite a different subject then Ogres, should be fun though.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Here are a couple of portraits that I painted of my brother's kids. I painted portraits of my brother's kids as a Christmas gift to him and his wife. I also did a couple of commission paintings over Christmas too (I decided not to take picture of them so that the images wouldn't accidentally get out before the husband could give them for Christmas). So it has been a busy Christmas. But I'm finally back to working on the Ogre painting. I should have a new image out on it tomorrow.