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More limited palette paintings

July 6, 2012

These 2 were done with exactly the same palette, green, blue-green, and orange red, mixes of these and white.  They were all pre-mixed from various tube colors.  I was surprised at how different the mood of the paintings turned out, even though the colors are the same.






Split Complementaries

June 28, 2012

I’ve been experimenting with painting with a very limited palette lately.  One thing I’ve done is use only 3 colors  plus white to see how far it could be pushed.  Here are some of the results.

These were done with yellow, red violet and blue violet.

And this one with green orange red and violet red.

More soon – I’ve been painting up a storm since I discovered limited palettes.



Some recent paintings

June 25, 2012

Well, I haven’t been blogging hardly at all for the last year or so, but I have been painting.  One of the reasons I slowed down on sharing my work here is that my oil paintings always look terrible in photos – at least my photos.  Recently, my friend Jean Marie, an excellent photographer and techie has offered to help me correct the colors and straighten the image, which I have a hard time doing with my point and shoot.

Here are the first three:

Still Life with Oranges

April 24, 2012

For some reason, when I paint in oils I always produce extremely tight paintings.  Landscapes are improving a bit, but I tend to rework still life subjects and lose all spontaneity.  I tried doing this one without any kind of underpainting or drawing.  I thought I was painting better, but when I stood back I realized I hadn’t stopped in time.  Or maybe that’s just me.


April 18, 2012

Some life drawing from last night. These were done in grey marker and graphite. Poses were about 5 minute (basically whenever the timekeeper had finished his drawing).

Les Carnets Baladeurs – sketchbook contribution

June 29, 2011

I hadn`t done one of these in ages, and when this sketchbook arrived I had a difficult time finding inspiration.  The theme is rêveries – dreams – or maybe daydreams is a better translation. The only thing I could come up with was a beach scene – a theme which had already been exploited by previous contributors.  As I sat and pondered this, I watched my cats dreaming about their hunting exploits, and, well, yes, that`s what I drew.  Here`s the post (in French but it basically says what I just explained).


Le carnet de Bibi est arrivé chez moi il y a un petit moment, mais je manquais d`ìnspiration (et de temps).  Ce weekend, en regardant mes 2 chats faire des rêves de chasse, jài trouvé mon idée.

Et maintenant le carnet sèn va vers Sofia….

May sketches, Continued and Discontinued

May 23, 2011

update :  this post is from earlier in the week but I hadn’t been able to publish until now.

I did try to keep up with the Every Day in May Sketching Challenge, but then internet went down for a week and I got really busy, and now I`m off to California until early June, so I’ll post the second group of 5, and maybe find the time to finish the rest while I’m traveling (although I have to admit that “draw some hair”leaves me totally uninspired and I kind of blocked on that one).  In any case, it will be fun to get back to some travel sketching, and I’m planning to meet up with my old sketching buddies, Jana, Marta and Desiree. Here then, are the  as yet unposted ones, and this blog is officially closed until June 4, at which point I hope to get back to some kind of regular blogging and blog visiting.

107 draw how you get your news – my neighbor, Mr Racine tells me all the gossip

&à! draw a lightbulb

109 draw a clock you have around your house – a view from the back yard

110 draw something with a flame or flames

111 draw a bowl – it’s wonky, but it wasn`t fun so I`m not doing it over

112 draw something fresh

113 draw a fence (my back porch is in the way, but the fence is there)

Draw something ugly you keep for sentimental reasons

the only trophy my daughter ever one for sports – in France they don`t give them out easily.  this was basically just for being on the swim all summer one year in New Jersey  and showing up for practice.  Not really her thing, but she soldiered through.

115 draw a shopping cart or basket – or bag?

116 draw something green

and that’s all she wrote until June.

May is for Sketching

May 6, 2011

I haven`t been too happy with my artwork lately and so have been keeping it to myself.  Wendy Shortland has invited me to join her Every Day in May sketching project, though, so it`s time to wake up a sleeping blog.

Here are the first few sketches, with a shoe instead of exercise equipment, as I don`t really use any equipment but I do walk a lot.  These were quickly done – maybe as I keep going I’ll find the inspiration to do something more elaborate, but for now I’m happy just to get it done.

The Loire

February 9, 2011

The Loire

Originally uploaded by csytoussaint

A postcard – sized sketch for a friend`s framing project. I`m trying to make a decent oil painting out of this scene as well.

Making Progress in Life Drawing (or at least trying to)

January 25, 2011

I’ve been doing pretty regular life drawing for a few years now. At first I made progress relatively quickly, having done quite a lot of life drawing when I was in my twenties.  But in the last few months I just couldn’t seem to do any decent drawings, and found my mind wandering, my interest waning.  It`s easy to find excuses – I don`t like the model, the pose times don`t work for me, it`s too hot in here….Of course I never actually bought into any of those things, but they do sort of float through your head when the drawing isn`t going well.

One thing I`ve tried to push forward is posemaniacs – last year I filled pages and pages with 30-second figures  – and this is an excellent way to get your speed up if you are disciplined enough to do it – which I haven`t been this year.

I also tried working through several life drawing books – most recently figure drawing by Michael Hampton. I filled pages with hands and feet (the hard bits for me) but again, I lack the discipline to work through it systematically.

And then, one evening as I felt myself wondering how long to the break, I decided to switch to my left hand.  This has been the most useful tool yet.  It forces me to concentrate, which focuses my interest – I find myself really enjoying myself and I like my drawings so much more.  They have a certain truth to them, even when they`re not  particularly accurate.  Here are a couple of 2-minute poses – not much time for drawing with the non-dominant hand.

Here are a few of the longer ones from the last three sessions – mostly 5-minutes but sometimes as long as 10 minutes. Once in a while I switch back to my right hand, but I`m not sure anymore which are which.  I didn`t always have time to finish, as you can see. While the drawings may not look generally better than what I was doing before, I can see definite improvement in things like hands – and I`m having so much more fun doing it, which is the main thing for me.




That`s what`s been working for me – and you?  I`d love to hear about what`s been working for you!

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