Joy in toning a color
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Dear <<First Name>>,

Brilliant, saturated colors come out of every tube. How can we resist spreading them all over our canvas? Alas, acrylic colors are so seductive that we may overlook the elegant array of toned-down mixtures that can make our painting so much richer.

Representational painters develop a keen eye for nature's nuanced tones and how to match them. We abstract painters may benefit from some of that discipline.

Two Feet on the Earth and Two Arms in the Sky, Julie Bernstein Engelmann, acrylic on 300 lb cold pressed watercolor paper, 15.5"H x 22"W. Available 

Observation tells me that the more experienced the abstract artist, the more exquisite their color control.

As a young artist in New York City, I thought of myself as a colorist. Then I was hired as a textile colorist in the garment district. My eyes were opened!

The tonal subtleties that my experienced coworkers were able to mix, match, and harmonize were, at first, beyond my capacity to perceive. It took weeks to train my eye to see what they saw, and months to get efficient at mixing. But then something clicked. My eye became a machine that could analyze the quickest way to mix any color. 

The skill has stood me in good stead as an artist. So, to help students, I distilled the most crucial principles and the most useful color mixtures for abstract painters to experience and understand.

Would you like to see? In preparation for The Inspired Abstract next week, I made a video (see below). 

Here is one key point. How do we tone down a tube color just a bit? Making mixtures is relatively easy. What often eludes artists is how to slightly reduce the intensity of the tube color. Some artists reach for black, white, or gray.

Instead, go across the color wheel and take just a tiny tip-of-the-brush of the opposite color. Mix it in and watch your playful color transform into its elegant twin. 

This miracle at your beck and call is one of the many joys of understanding color. 

Yours in the joy of beauty and spirit,

Julie Bernstein Engelmann

P.S. A few updates: 

1. My Inspired Abstract workshop will be held live on Zoom next week, Mar 21-24 (Mon-Thu). Can you join us? So far, only three people are registered, so there's plenty of individual attention. Any questions, please hit reply and ask. 

2. I'm hosting a new, free, weekly painting hour over Zoom, called Paint with HU Fridays. Not your ordinary painting session ;) 

3. If you happen to be near Cottonwood, AZ, I'll be doing a 1-day in-person workshop, Create a Healing Painting, for the El Valle Artists Association on Apr 30 (Sat). Guests may register at a non-member rate (inexpensive). See the flyer here.  

Color Mixing for Abstract Painters (9:08 minutes). Download my free Color Mixing Tips chart to go with the video. 
The Inspired Abstract
4-day workshop, live on Zoom, with Julie Bernstein Engelmann
Register through the Sedona Arts Center

March 21-24, 2022 (Mon-Thu)          Coming right up 
10:00-3:30 AZ/PDT daily

This workshop gives you a powerful foundation for abstract painting. You’ll create paintings that embody meaning, naturalness, spatial depth and flow. A focus of the workshop is to find ease in bringing your mid-process “beautiful mess” to fulfilled completion.   Learn More... 

Beauty & Spirit Abstract Artist Circle
Small-group monthly workshops and sharing
Live on Zoom

April-August 2022

Beauty & Spirit Abstract Artist Circle is a community of learning and joyful support for your abstract painting practice.

Each month, be inspired by a workshop specially designed to enliven your inner and outer abstract artist. Creative visualization meets beautiful layering techniques in hands-on practice, feedback, and sharing.  Learn More...

Create while listening to a pure vibrational sound. Free!
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