Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Zippo Lite

This is this week's Daily Paintworks Challenge painting. The challenge was to paint the Zippo lighter with only 3 colors: Ultramarine Blue, Burnt Sienna and White. 

I welcomed this challenge because I use those exact 3 colors all the time. I never create grays with black and white paint. I almost always use this combination because they make beautiful grays that can easily be adjusted to be either cooler or warmer according to the proportions of UM or BS used. Even what appears to be black in most of my paintings is not black paint. It is usually a mix. It is a key to creating more life and variety in darks and shadows. Many beginners make the mistake of not really looking at shadows and darks and will render them as grays mixed from black and white only. They paint what they think they know, not what they really observe. The result is always disappointing.

I added the flame to the painting so that it would not be a straight rendition from the challenge photo. I thought I was going to be less than successful in painting the flame convincingly without yellow and red, but I was happily surprised.


  1. I love that you added the flame to this. Great job.

  2. Thank you so much Stephanie! I am so grateful for all your kind comments.

  3. Wonderful job on the DPW challenge - your exceptional flame really made this unique!

  4. Hi Claire, Thanks, that's exactly what I was going for. The only disappointment for me was the photo of it. It was so wet that the brush strokes in the background appear to be more of a presence than they really are since it has had a chance to dry.
    I really appreciate the supportive commentary!