The Trip That Failed – Travels and Painting

So I went to Berlin, intending to paint every day.  Instead, I ended up relapsing into the infection that I had before – apparently the antibiotics didn’t work.  At about 30 days of constant sickness, I ended up going to the doctor in Germany, who tried another antibiotic.  So I spent most of the trip simply sleeping/laying down/resting and bone tired, the kind of lethargy only a body wide infection could cause.  Imagine having the flu for 30 days – this is how I felt!  Not to mention the 13 hour flights, the layovers, and jet lag.  So far, I am at least coughing less.

So I’m back, now I can paint again because I can suffer in my own home.  I couldn’t find anything to paint and my wonderful other half suggested I paint this vase – problematically, the light kept moving across it but hey – at least it’s painting!

4″x6″ oil on linen.


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Thank you for reading everyone!


A Look Inside My World – Art Tips by K.L. Britton

I’ve always shied away from painting hands.  I have two major portraits that included hands, but in 90% of my paintings, I only just “indicate” the hands.  There are some major reasons for this:

Hands take almost as much time as portraits for me.  They are so incredibly detailed, and there is a lot of measuring.  For me, the amount of work that goes into a hand might even be MORE than a portrait, since portraits are my focus and have become easier for me to complete.  It’s all about practice time, though.

Alla Prima Hand Oil Painting Tips and How Tos

Instead of shying away, I have decided to embrace all of the things that bother me on a regular basis: Hands, Ankles, Feet, Legs… Arms.. Noses!  Pretty much everything!  Since I have my happy little Edge Pro Gear Sketchbook easel setup, it’s easy for me to go from one study to the next.  It’s also easy for me to sit my little easel in front of the TV and paint from the couch with a movie on.  So here is my start of a hand study.  You may recognize this from the digital version I did before.

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The block in is just large shapes.  I’ve broken it down into a rectangle and some sausages of varying widths.  Remember that the thumb comes from the side of the rectangle, the fingers from the top of the rectangle, and the knuckles will be settled inside the rectangle.  These things are hard to explain in words, but I highly recommend finding those large shapes with hands.  Use angles to find out how your fingertips flow, as you can see I outlined the “angles” of the fingertips before I drew them in.

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Here’s the fun part.  Instead of doing one middle tone across the hand, I used variations.  Darker values for the farther planes (the joint of the thumb closer to the hand rectangle, the plane of the hand that’s not highlighted, and several sections of the fingers.)  This helped me visualize these fingers as three dimensional.  Another couple things I do for fun: Add cad red or alizarin crimson, or a mixture of the two, to all the mixtures of paint that come from the fingertips.  If you look closely, the tips are a bit reddish.  Another area I use this mixture is the knuckles.  These two areas get and show a significant amount of blood flow.  I enjoy exaggerating it.

Stay tuned for more tips as I work my way along this study.  But I will let you know, I’m packing today to leave for Berlin tomorrow!  I will be painting out there, so this hand study might be put on hold until I get back.  I’ll have plenty to share in Berlin, though!

Thank you for reading!

Studies for Days – the Nose Knows – K.L. Britton Art

Yesterday’s adventure involved watching a movie while painting a nose study.  Why a nose, you may ask?  Because in my original painting of this portrait, the nose and right eye both came out a little off.  Instead of shying away, I’m practicing, and when I put it all back together again, maybe it will improve my results.  This is also what I teach my students in my personalized online art classes.  

You’ve got to start with the basics, and then take the time to put them all in the right spot.  The struggle with my beginner students is their desire to put all the details in, and ignore the overall picture.  Often, this will lead to one very realistic eye in the right place, one less realistic eye in the wrong place, and the other features breezed over  in a game of face roulette.  Learn how to do the details (eye, nose, lips, etc) and then take your time putting them together.  Check in a mirror, check in a thumbnail, step way back to check, and then check again.

K.L. Britton Art tips Noses Oil on Linen

Thank you for reading!!


More paintings, because that’s how I roll. K.L. Britton Art Los Angeles

K.L. Britton Los Angeles Gallery of Art small Painting

The Sailor, 6×6 Oil on Panel – Available for purchase here.

One of my other obsessions is fountain pens.  This is a Sailor 1911 Extra Fine with a beautiful gold nib and it writes like a dream.  Had to paint it, of course.

Los Angeles Gallery of Art K.L. Britton

You can find the digital version of this study a few posts back.  I may do yet another – this stunning study by Sargent uses a very limited palette, almost a Zorn palette, and yet it conveys so much.  His is unfinished, and so is mine.  6×6 Oil on panel.

Los Angeles Gallery of Art - K.L. Britton Edge Pro Gear Sketchbook Pro Setup in Malibu

My Sketchbook pro setup in the wild.  What an easy setup – I was on, painted, and cleaned up in under an hour!

Thanks for reading!

Oils for Days – The Edge Pro Gear Sketchbook Pro Effect ;)

So in recent news, I got my Edge Pro Gear Sketchbook on the 25th – and I love it.  That’s the long and short of it.  I’ve been able to use it for small studies and since they’re small, I’ve been doing tons of them.  Here is a selection of my first couple.

K.L. Britton Los Angeles Gallery of Art Edge Pro Gear Sketchbook Pro Setup Review

My setup in the wild, on my beautiful Koreatown balcony.  I love the rich historical architecture here, and every sunrise and sunset is an incredible inspiration.  The huge advantage of being in L.A.? The weather is good 99% of the time.  Here is the first study I did on the 28th.  Yay.

The Details:

What I love about the Edge pro gear sketchbook

Portable, easy, strong clamps.  Easy remove palette, so I can stick it in the fridge when I’m not painting for a day.  The magnetic turp jar has never fallen over… It’s a world record!   It also contains a gentle cheese hole area where you can wipe your brushes, my brushes come out 90% clean, and I usually only have to soap them once to finish the job.

K.L. Britton Los Angeles Gallery of Art Edge Pro Gear Sketchbook Pro Setup Bad Review

What I don’t like about Edge Pro Gear Sketchbook, the bad review.

I really only have one complaint… maybe two!  My main gripe is just that my long handled brushes don’t stay on well.  Since they don’t hold on both sides on the tables, they are easy to knock down.  However, my standard handled brushes work great, and I’ve simply switched to a more portable setup with the standard ones!  Easy fix.  My other complaint is that I got a far, far better tripod than the one they sell for a fraction of the price.  My tripod is sturdy, reliable, and beautiful, and cost about $70 on amazon.  It’s more or less an off-brand.  The one they offer online only holds about 2-3 lbs, so if you want to use this tripod with the bigger Edge Pro Gear, you can’t.  The one I got weighs almost the same as the one they sell, but it holds up to 8 lbs – so I can use whichever setup I want when I get myself the larger Edge Pro for Christmas 😉

Overall, it has increased my productivity a millionfold.  I’ve finished more oil paintings in the last two weeks than I had in the whole blackout, where I was concentrating on drawing.  I am very, very pleased.

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Thank you for reading!

The Watercolour Phase – Recent Works

These are my Watercolour specials.  Lately, I’ve been carrying a Nanami Paper standard, tomoe river paper sketchbook and my trusty Kuretake watercolor markers.  They go in any of my bags and are light, easy to carry.  Since they’re markers, they don’t require much mixing.  I’ve also been using an awesome watercolor set I was gifted, along with a water brush.  With the water brush there’s no clean up time, and the markers and colour dry pretty fast on the tomoe river paper.  I’m loving them.

K.L. Britton Art Diamine Terra Cotta ink and Pilot Falcon with Waterbrush on Nanami Paper Crossfield

Alternately, I draw with one of my fountain pens (mostly my Pilot Falcon) and a water soluble ink.  Then I take the water brush and just go right over it as seen here.  Burnt orange is my favorite colour of all time.  This is Diamine terra cotta.

Kuretake clean color real brush watercolor markers - K.L. Britton art

Kuretake clean color real brush watercolor markers on Nanami Paper Seven Seas Crossfield

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Kuretake clean color real brush watercolor markers - K.L. Britton art

Two sketches from the Huntington Library in San Marino, California

Kuretake clean color real brush watercolor markers flowers- K.L. Britton art

Kuretake clean color real brush watercolor markers Lavender - K.L. Britton art

More Florals with the Kuretake markers.

Kuretake clean color real brush watercolor markers Portrait - K.L. Britton art

This is the new sketchbook I’ve been carrying around.  It’s a Nanami Paper Seven Seas Standard in A5 size.  It takes the Clean Color Real Brush by Kuretake perfectly.  I love the way ink writes on here as well – you can see the Gray Iroshizuku Kiri Same  ink from my Pilot Falcon SF behind the colours.

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The watercolour set by Kuretake with waterbrush in the same sketchbook.  So easy and portable, I truly love it.  I’ve been using it nonstop, everywhere.

That’s all for now!  Thank you for reading!

In the Wise Words of DJ Khaled – Another One

Los Angeles Gallery of art artist K.L. Britton Bouguereau study

Graphite Study of Bouguereau painting featured in the digital study I did in an earlier post.

K.L. Britton Los Angeles Gallery of Art Oil on Linen 20x20

This one is for sale – I believe it’s 20×20, and here I really had a great time putting the ground on.  You can see the beautiful crackle of paint in the background.  Another thing I love to do is put those colour bursts in the core shadows.  Mmmm.

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This was my first pastel.  I like pastel, but don’t love it.  I think pastel can indicate landscapes in an incredible way, I admire deeply those who have skill with it (but it’s certainly not me!)  I would like to use it more often and learn it.  Very fun.

Los Angeles Gallery of Art Artist K.L. Britton Gouache

My Gouache on moleskine study from quite a while ago.  I’m surprised this one didn’t get posted.  It was 36 degrees outside when I sketched this and I couldn’t use gloves for some reason.  My hand was killing me by the time I was satisfied.  Good times.  I loved Philly!  Probably not as much as I love L.A.