Thursday, January 7, 2010

Helen Van Wyck: She will teach you how to paint, or make soup.

Helen Van Wyck's color recipes is in my studio library. 

I met Helen when I was 13 years old and had just started lessons with Gloucester artist Ken Gore.  My grandmother, grandfather, great-aunt were taking lessons with Helen, and she had just released a new book on painting with acrylic paints.  I went to the book release, she signed my book, it too is in my collection.  It is the first 'how to' book I ever owned.  The most valuable lesson in her acrylic book was how to block in the head, to do portraits.

In color recipes Helen explains in very simple language and color accurate photos, the properties of pigment, paint and light.  The best information this book gave me is about reds.  Have you ever noticed that some reds (cadmiums) lean towards orange, and that cadmium reds turn dull when extended with white?  The best red to use?  Grumbacher Red!  It is a true red, leaning neither towards orange nor blue.  I stays bright and true in mixture and dries a bit faster than the cadmium reds. 

Helen writes in a warm accessible manner that makes me feel as if I am in her studio with her, learning how to paint, or make soup! 

So, if you are having issues with your color, and want to know how to make warm greens, which colors 'creep', which whites are warm or cool...get this book! 

 if you click through to Amazon from here, I will get a small piece of the pie for my recommendation.

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