Monday, August 29, 2016

Wonderland Trompe L'Oeil Daily Paintings Up on Etsy

My two Wonderland Crayon daily paintings from last week are available in my Etsy store now. Be sure to follow me on Instagram to see what I finish each week. Thanks for looking!

"Alice and the Puppy," acrylic on panel, 6" x 6".

"Alice Growing Up," acrylic on panel, 6" x 6".

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Ebay Auction Starting - Study of a Man in a Cafe - Daily Acrylic Painting

"Study of a Man in a Cafe," acrylic on panel, 6" x 6".

I am really trying to develop the drama in my paintings, so I'm trying to work on short but extreme light and color studies, like this one. Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

How to Mix the Color Black in Acrylic Paint

"Dramatic Loaf of Bread," acrylic on panel, 8" x 10".

Last week, I painted this 8"x 10" bread painting with a rich black background, so I thought I'd quickly share how I mix my "black" paints. First, let me say that there are many color mixing theories, so that doesn't necessarily mean my method is right as much as it's right for me. But maybe it will be right for you, too!

I don't actually have any true "black" paint tubes in my assortment of paints. Technically, I have one, but I have only used it for painting the sides of panels on occasion and not in the actual paintings. Many oil painters use a color theory called the "Munsell" color system, which in fact, incorporates black as a direct way of adjusting the various values of colors; when I painted in oil, I did this, but in acrylic, which I work in now, I find that it just doesn't adapt correctly, so I adjust my color values a little differently. But today, I'm just going to tell you how I mix my black colors for painting black areas in my pieces, not for adjusting the values of other colors in my paintings.

To create a simple "black" that has a richness that straight-from-the-tube blacks can't match, simply mix 1 part brown to 1 part blue. My favorite go-to blacks are 1 part raw umber to 1 part payne's gray or ultramarine blue. For lettering, I use 1 part raw umber to 1 part cobalt blue. For a warmer black, 1 part burnt umber to 1 part payne's gray or ultramarine blue. Sometimes you may need to adjust the ratio a bit, so be sure to paint it on a test surface before you put it straight on your painting surface. I keep a piece of matte white foam board on my easel behind my paintings as a test surface (and to stop the paintings from falling through!).

You can also complicate the colors a bit more by adding a tinge of another color, like Jenkin's green, but I have found I like the simpler formulas.

If you have worked in acrylics for any length of time, you've probably experienced "color shift" - when the color dries slightly darker than when it's wet. This is why it's hard to mix the same color twice. So instead, I mix all of my colors in a little condiment container with a lid. I like Diamond Daily mini cups because they are small, inexpensive, have a lid and are disposable. It gives me just the right amount of paint, and if I store the container in a ziploc bag, it will stay wet for up to a week, depending on the colors.

I hope this has helped a bit! Happy painting!
Thursday, August 18, 2016

Ebay Auction Starting - Tangerine Color and Light Daily Painting Study

"Tangerine Color and Light Study," acrylic on panel, 5" x 7". 


Thanks for looking!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

This Week's Daily Paintings! Plus follow me on Instagram for daily updates!

This week's daily paintings! Four done, plus I taught a class, so not too bad.

I'll be posting for sale soon. Feel free to email me at if you have any questions.

For daily updates on my latest works be sure to follow me on my new Instagram account, @kimtestoneartist. (

Thanks for looking!

"Half Moons Cookie Recipe," acrylic on panel, 10" x 8"

Side by side comparison, subject and painting, of "Savings Account," acrylic on panel, 6" x 6".

"Soda Can Study," acrylic on panel, 8" x 8".

"Tangerine Color and Light Study," acrylic on panel, 5" x 7".

Monday, August 8, 2016

Daily Acrylic Painting - Everything's Coming Up Daisies

"Everything's Coming Up Daisies," acrylic on panel, 8" x 10"
I almost never paint flowers, but since moving north, I've really been loving the wonderful flower gardens my neighbors have. There really is so much detail going on with a flower!

Thanks for looking!
Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Shadowbox Still Life Commissioned Acrylic Painting

"Still Life Commission," acrylic on panel, 12" x 16"
 I just thought I'd share a recent commissioned work - one of the more complicated and challenging ones I've tackled! I used Ampersand Aquabord as my surface, which allowed me to have a much softer control over the paint, especially on the blurry areas and the many many flowers.

Thanks for looking!