Apptus Team Event – Video

Another FUN team building event in my favorite Italian restaurant in Burlingame. Lots of wine, passed appetizers and team spirit. Thanks Apptus for a GREAT team event!

Looking for something fun and creative to reward your employees? Look no further, as we specialize in hosting painting parties for company events.

Forget the “circle of trust” exercises or competing with each other in athletic scavenger hunt events. No one wants to be put on the spot at a company event. Painting is something that is fun, easy to do and non-competitive.

For more fun videos visit our YouTube channel.
Looking to book a future event? Email for details & availability.

[VIDEO] Saint Veronica Holiday Team Event

Saint Veronica Catholic School decided to have a “surprise Painting Party” for their Holiday event. Every year they try to add a new event and mix things up. VIPARTEVENTS hosted this Painting Party at Fattoria e Mare in Burlingame. The event lasted 2 hours and included wine and passed appetizers provided by Pablo, Chef/Owner. Everyone had ton’s of fun and came away with nice paintings!

Looking to have a fun and creative experience at your next team event? 
Call 415-286-3707

When is my painting finished?


Before we answer the question, “Which paints to buy, so many to choose from?”,  I thought we would tackle a more universal question all painters ultimately ask.
And that is … “When is my painting finished?”
Beginning students and established oil painters all face this same dilemma . Just when do you stop painting on your painting?

Here are my top 6 recommendations of questions to ask yourself about your painting.

  1. Check your drawing for accuracy. Look at all the objects and make sure the drawing is as accurate as possible. Check that all buildings, and building elements like windows, doors, and roof lines have the correct “one or two-point perspective” lines and that everything is consistent. Perspective is one of those things that viewers notice immediately. Similar to facial relationships in portraits.
  2. Can you improve on the overall composition? Sometimes nature needs a bit of help to make the perfect painting composition. This is where your “artistic license” comes into play. Look for dull and drab large color areas that might be improved by adding additional shrubs, trees or rocks to break up the area. You don’t want a large area to look like it is one big piece of construction paper having the same color. The goal is to make every part of the painting interesting, not just the main focal point or area.
  3. Check your color values. We have covered this in a previous post, but it’s worth repeating. Make sure there are no pure colors, like red and yellow, in distant objects. Distant objects should be lighter and bluer and more blurred. Look at distant objects close to the sky and remember that this intersection should be close in values. Lighter mountains should be touching the lighter sky above. Looking at your focal point, do you have sharp contrast in values and color to draw the viewer’s attention. Usually your focal point/area is the place where the “darkest dark is next to the lightest light”.
  4. Monitor your edges, soften when in doubt. This goes back to values and not being a slave to copying your photo. Most beginner painters always paint the distant mountain range, or tree line way too dark. When you ask them why, the answer is always the same, “because that is what I see in the photo”. Yes, cameras are designed to increase contrast, but they are lying to us as painters. You can prove this to yourself by observing the same distant tree line against the sky from direct observation. Walk outside and really look at things receding in the distance.  They do in fact get lighter, bluer and softer. Often the best thing you can do is take your Universal #6 round brush, your finger, and blur the edges between two objects to lower the contrast.
  5. Stop Early! It’s better to have a painting a little underdone, than overdone. More damage can be done in the last 5-10 minutes of a painting, by adding that “one last perfect thing”. Resist the urge and stop painting!  Beginning artists often lay down one great powerful brush stroke, and then remove all that greatness by fussing with it after the fact. Jerry Yarnell, a great acrylic painting instructor on PBS television, calls it “licking the painting to death”.
  6. Sign it and sell it! Now that you have checked the drawing, composition, color values and edges, it’s time to sign your painting. Most collectors want to see your signature on the face of the painting. Some artists use thinned out paint or they carve their name in the fresh thick paint showing the raw canvas below (my preferred technique). Whatever your style, please remember to leave room for the frame. Allow 1” below and 1″ to the side of your signature, so that the frame does not cover your name. Finally, sell that painting! The world is waiting to own your latest creation so don’t hide it in the garage. Share it with the world on Instagram, your website and Facebook.Next time we will tackle the subject of:
    “Paint Buying Pitfalls – A recommended Shopping List for the Beginner”

PS If you want to become a better painter & improve your skills as an artist, CLICK HERE.

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Michael Rodman – Oil Painter – Art Instructor.

Yikes, so many greens to mix

oil painting, oil pigments, color mixing,“Yikes, so many greens to mix”.

Beginning painters always struggle with mixing the “perfect green”.  There are lots of greens out in nature. Paint manufacturers want to sell you as many tubes of paint as you are willing to buy. So they mix up all these different greens. Some you’ll see are Brilliant Green, Chromium Green Oxide, Cobalt Green, Green Earth, Permanent Green, Olive Green, Sap Green and my least favorite, Phthalo Green.  Basically most  greens are a just mixture of the two primaries, Yellow and Blue.  I’ll be presenting an easy step by step process to mix all the colors from freshly cut grass to olive green oak trees.

Here are my tips for mixing greens:

  1. Keep it simple & limit your primary colors.
    You don’t need to buy 5 tubes of green, just to get the right color. The key to mixing greens is to practice mixing them with only a limited number of Yellows and Blues. I recommend using Ultramarine Blue to start, as it is the most versatile blue you can use for painting.
  2. Practice mixing a “Green Value Scale”.
    Imagine a Black & White value scale where you go from 100% Black, thru the values of 80%, 60%, 40%, 20% grey and finally 100% white. You have all seen this classical Black to White Value scale. Now replace the Black in the example with Ultramarine Blue and replace the White with a Cadmium Yellow Light or Med. Mix a “Greens value scale” like the photo above. Make sure you have a full “value step” or change in color from swatch to swatch. I recommend you save this exercise on a small 5×7 or 6×8 canvas board and write down the pigment colors used and the brand of paint for future reference.
  3. Next, vary ONLY your yellow pigment for more shades of green.
    Try using a cooler yellow like Lemon Yellow to get that fresh cut grass color. Or substitute Yellow Ochre, a desaturated yellow, for that earthy oak green foliage. All the time you are using the same Ultramarine Blue.
  4. Limit your color mixing to the “local color”, plus a lighter & darker version.
    I always try to mix the “medium value local color” of the object being painted. Mix a medium value green of the tree or bush you are painting using your favorite yellow and Ultramarine Blue (UMB). Next darken that same medium green mixture with more blue to make the “shadow green” value. Going back to the medium value green mixture, add more yellow to make the “highlight green” value. You should now have 3 different values of green, the lightest highlight, the medium value green and the darker shadow green.
  5. It’s all about brush mileage, so practice, practice and practice. Challenge yourself to mix as many greens you can mix using Ultramarine Blue only and varying the different yellow I have mentioned. Then replace the UMB with a Cobalt or Kings Blue by Rembrandt and again vary your favorite yellow.

FYI, I do NOT recommend using Cerulean, Manganese or Phthalo Blue ever. They are man-made synthetic blues, not normally found in nature. Also any paint name that says HUE or Etude, means they have cut the pigment strength of the paint with fillers, often marble dust, to lower the price and quality of the paint pigment.  

You get what you pay for. Expensive perfume or eau de toilet?  Would you rather eat Filet Mignon or ground beef?  Buy quality materials and use less of them.

Our next blog topic is: “Which paints to buy, so many to choose from?”
Going to the local big box art supplies store can be a challenge. Often the quality is low and the selection limited.  Medium quality paints are often labeled “Professional Grade” and marked up accordingly. Phrases like Etude, the word for student in French, are used to make lower quality supplies sound expensive, but they really are just “student grade materials”.

PS: Valuable tip: Look at the price of individual tubes of paint. If they are all the same price, regardless of the color, you are more than likely buying lower quality paints. Paint pigments vary in price based on a “SERIES number” from 1 to 5 printed on the paint tube. (Series 5 being the most expensive like your Cobalt and Cadmium pigments, while your earth colors, Yellow Ochre and Burnt Umber, are always Series 1 and less expensive.) Read the labels carefully.

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