Charles Eisener
  • Cortland, NY
  • United States
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Charles Eisener's Discussions

What's Wrong Here?

Started this discussion. Last reply by Wenda Spooner on Thursday. 8 Replies

16 x 20 inch oil on canvas…Continue

SIDS Update by Golden

Started this discussion. Last reply by Wanda McDonald Feb 17. 1 Reply

An email newsletter from Golden paints today has provided a new perspective on the sealing of hardboard (eg Masonite) prior to painting with acrylics.  In brief:1) With Golden Open acrylics, the…Continue

Tags: products, BIN, Open, substrates, SIDS

Disposable Gray Palette

Started this discussion. Last reply by Sarah Irland Mar 29, 2016. 1 Reply

I never was a fan of the wood palettes while oil painting as the warm background distorted my sense of colour.  Then came the white disposable palette pads.  They were OK, but made it hard to judge…Continue

Tags: mister, bottle, protectors, page, palette

The fine print

Started this discussion. Last reply by Linda Wooding Mar 1, 2016. 3 Replies

No, not a pictorial print, the text type!  One painting I have been working on dates back about 30 years since it was started, and at this point probably has over 40 layers of glazes.  Yeah, the fun…Continue

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Charles Eisener's Page

Latest Activity

Wenda Spooner replied to Charles Eisener's discussion What's Wrong Here?
"Down the road a bit"
Thursday
Charles Eisener replied to Charles Eisener's discussion What's Wrong Here?
"Hmmm.  Looks like I may have to stir the pot a bit. Where is the focal point or center of interest?"
Thursday
Charles Eisener replied to Marion's discussion Large paint brushes...what am I looking for?
"Other than Ampersand finished panels, I do two coats of sealer followed by two coats of gesso.  I previously used Golden GAC100 as a sealer, but recent tech notes from Golden state that their Gloss Medium is a better choice, especially with…"
Thursday
Charles Eisener replied to Charles Eisener's discussion What's Wrong Here?
"Thanks for the input, Brad! The tree trunk was done with a knife, leaving many facets that produce glare in the photo.  The trunk is not as light in the painting itself. My comments are otherwise reserved for the moment, in the hope that others…"
Wednesday
Charles Eisener replied to Marion's discussion Large paint brushes...what am I looking for?
"Nice question, Marion! For surface preparation, I seldom use brushes.  I like a bit of "stipple" on the surface, so typically use 4" rollers.  Full size rollers just take too much effort and water to clean.  If the…"
Wednesday
Brad Powell replied to Charles Eisener's discussion What's Wrong Here?
"Hi Charles, Let's see if I have learned anything from Karen shall we. Couple of observations at first glance. The shadow of the pine tree stands out as being quite dark and large for was appears to be a fairly sparsely branched pine tree. The…"
Wednesday
Charles Eisener replied to Charles Eisener's discussion What's Wrong Here?
"Thanks for your input Wenda!  I will make a more general response once it looks like interest has started to wane.  There is some glare on the tree trunk, but you did pick up on the texture!  This was one of my first attempts with a…"
Wednesday
Wenda Spooner replied to Charles Eisener's discussion What's Wrong Here?
"hi Charles :) its a pretty painting.  the shadows and the road lead my eye quickly out of the painting. you told me once, i should leave an entrance into the painting, and i can walk on the grass, but not the path :)  Is the sun directly…"
Wednesday
Charles Eisener replied to Charles Eisener's discussion What's Wrong Here?
"Although I have some photos of the gardens, I have none depicting this particular area.  I did enough in the plein air session that further reference was not deemed necessary.  Or maybe I was just lazy . . …"
Tuesday
Karen Ilari replied to Charles Eisener's discussion What's Wrong Here?
"Excellent idea Charles! did you use a reference photo?"
Tuesday
Charles Eisener posted a discussion

What's Wrong Here?

16 x 20 inch oil on canvas panel, begun as plein air with subsequent work at home.  Location: Public Gardens in Halifax NS.  Dated 1964.This one has been carried from place to place, but will not be moved to our new home.  I am aware of numerous issues with this piece, and I offer it up as a learning opportunity to others. …See More
Tuesday
Charles Eisener replied to Marion's discussion Painting kids on beach...do you pencil figures in first?
"Your concern is valid, and why I stated that there is often paint overlap on my drawing/underpainting.  To maintain a smooth brush stroke, I cannot stop on a dime, or a line - the stroke goes beyond the line. No problem!  When working back…"
Feb 28
Charles Eisener replied to Marion's discussion Painting kids on beach...do you pencil figures in first?
"Hi Marion!  This should get a few different responses, for sure.  I prefer to work from the background to the foreground.  Foreground masses may get blocked in or drawn, but typically they get paint overlap while doing the…"
Feb 27
Charles Eisener commented on Deborah Alavosius's photo
Thumbnail

Barn updated

"Love it, Deborah!  Sometimes it seems we are going around in circles, but if you compare this to your original post one can plainly see that you have come a long way in the interim.  Great job!!"
Feb 27
Charles Eisener replied to Marion's discussion Mountanin Range...
"Trust is a rather strong judgment of my input, and not really deserved.  I am an amateur, like most of the other members, with limited experience and a biased opinion that has gotten me in hot water more than a few times.  I may look…"
Feb 25
Charles Eisener replied to Marion's discussion Mountanin Range...
"Most people look at paintings from a comfortable viewing distance, typically anywhere from 24" for small pieces to 4-5 feet or more for larger works.  If you have to strain your eyes to see detail at those distances, there is too much…"
Feb 25

Profile Information

How long have you been painting? Doing any kind of art?
It's been a while
What other mediums have you used?
oils, colored pencil, digital, photography
Are their specific things you would like to learn?
Just looking to get comfortable with acrylics again after decades of no activity. The price of raising a family . . .

I started oil painting while in high school, and basically taught myself as we had no art program. First attempts were awful crude! And those 8x10 panels were just soooo big!

By the mid 50's I switched to acrylics as it took forever for knife paintings to dry, and the smell did not really please my parents. Unfortunately surface preparation was not a big issue back then, so a number of works fell victim to SID and got tossed out. That was not easy, but had to face the music.

Now retired, the paints are calling once more. Acrylics have changed a lot, and technical information is readily available to allow minimal risk of SID, for example. The colors from different manufacturers have a myriad of names, but can often be cross referenced via the actual pigment used. This is not infallible, as different quantities of the same pigment can produce different shades of paint, but it does provide useful comparisons.

Currently have two 16 x 20 panels on the go, both of which have multiple layers of glaze, plus a 9 x 12 based upon a photo taken a couple years back along the St Lawrence River in northern NY. There is no rush to finish these, so I am taking my time, and often go back and forth between pieces in the same session.

Before you can paint, you have to see. After my absence from the easel, I have to learn again to see. 

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Comment Wall (21 comments)

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At 8:33am on November 16, 2016, Wanda McDonald said…

Charles, it is very mild where I live....hardly ever freezes and this are not really out in the main elements, in fact the soil of this brick garden needs watering every couple of weeks during the winter, so I would water around them.. I also sealed the rocks before painting on them and then sealed them again after the painting was done. Will see how it goes.

At 2:12pm on October 16, 2016, Tracy Carr said…
Thanks so much!
At 4:53pm on October 9, 2016, Mary said…

Hi Charles:  I only wish I could compete with some of the talent up here.  It's a big artist community so there is always somewhere to go and look at other people's art work which I love.  Sound like you are ok where you'll be, whenever that happens.  Hope your daughter is safe and minimal damage. Mother Nature is having her way.  

At 4:51pm on September 12, 2016, Corinne Comeau said…

Hey, thanks for the info, I do know Andre and Maxine Boudreau (small world).  I just started painting in June so I probably won't be posting any photos any time soon, lol

At 10:05am on July 19, 2016, Lainie Hoglan said…

Thank you for the welcome, Charles.  I love the outer banks, NC, haven't been there in years.  But wouldn't trade Sedona for anything.  Relocated from Poconos 3 years ago, and been taking tons of photos, but want to get back into painting.  I dabbled with watercolors, took a couple of Community College classes about 10 years ago after retiring, and mostly did snow and stream, scenes.  It was gorgeous there in the winter.  Want to try acrylics now.  I keep looking out the window at the red rocks, down in my flower garden, and at my photos, and know acrylic painting is very different from watercolor, just need to jump in and get my feet wet, but decided to watch a couple of videos to get  a few techniques.  Really enjoyed the geranium garden series, so joined the group, but not sure what the group is all about, or how to post.

At 2:33pm on February 17, 2016, Philippe JOLLIVET said…

Hi Charles! I'm glad you gave me your opinion about my abstract (we should do that more often). It's very interesting, argued and helpful. The point is that I understand intellectually everything you explained but... I can't really feel it by myself (that's the big problem with abstracts).

(Moreover the left side of the real painting in more light than the photo.) So I think I'm going to let this painting in its poor condition. Don't hesitate to express a critical point of view on my paintings. That's the way to improve oneself. Thanks again. Philippe

At 6:03pm on January 18, 2016, Mary said…

Hi Charles:  Glad to be friends, thanks for asking.  We will almost be neighbors!  We moved here from Chicago in June, 2014 and could not be more pleased with our decision.  The weather is a big improvement - all seasons but especially winter.  

I hope this note reaches you the way you  mentioned - I'm a little challenged with this website.  For example, except for your train picture for your Grandchild, I can't find out how to see you other paintings! 

At 5:36pm on December 3, 2015, Catherine Agnew said…

OK, now I know I am a beginner....I have no idea what you mean....what is a "mister"? I went to Michaels Crafts and just bought canvas that were 2 to a pack....I am learning a lot already from being on this website! Thanks!!

At 4:07pm on December 1, 2015, Catherine Agnew said…

Thank you Charles for your kind message welcoming me to the group. I am semi-retired so time spent painting is a welcome diversion with winter upon us here in Nova Scotia. Have posted my first painting and will continue with Karen's tutorials and will post again. .....Catherine

At 5:53pm on November 13, 2015, Cindy Carriger said…

Charles, in response to your explanation of Yellow Ochre and Yellow Oxide...very helpful.  However, im not even sure where my orig. question is to go back and review it...and you said you put some green samples using both of the yellows, and im not sure where to view them either.  Thanks for going to the length you did in your explanation - im sure it will help other's too!  

PS love your photo's above!

Charles Eisener's Blog

The nature of Light

Posted on August 19, 2016 at 10:00pm 11 Comments

The main problem we seem to have with light is figuring out the quality of the source and how that affects everything else.  The reason this is such a problem is because we do not see things as they are; we see what we have been conditioned to see.  What colour is a banana? Or grass?  Or an asphalt roadway?  Conditioning gives us answers of yellow, green, and black, respectfully.  In reality, these answers are often wrong.

CFL and traditional fluorescent tubes have a notable green…

Continue

Cadmiums and Cadmium Hues

Posted on July 10, 2016 at 8:14pm 4 Comments

This also came up in Paul's post and I don't recall doing an update.  In early 2015 The jury was still out regards the future availability of cadmium based pigments.  There was a formal proposal in Europe that would have completely banned cadmiums due to health and environmental concerns.

Later in the year the proposal was rejected, partially based upon submissions from artists, professional organizations, and manufacturers.  Had it been passed, these pigments would likely have…

Continue

Muddy colours

Posted on July 9, 2016 at 11:36am 1 Comment

Once upon a time, when acrylics were relatively new to artists, we had problems mixing our colours.  Not only was there this strange colour shift as the paint dried, but our mixes got muddy (as in Yuk!) very quickly.

Reference to this can be found in many books and videos, and is often repeated by those of us who started out in oils and never had problems before.  So what gives?

Some sources suggest that limiting the number of pigments that are present in a given mixture will…

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Got the Blues? Part 3

Posted on May 14, 2015 at 7:07pm 4 Comments

This will only make sense if you have read Parts 1 and 2.

Cerulean Blue was at one point my primary blue for skies and water, and I could not understand why it was not more popular among artists. The obvious teal hue makes me wonder now why I was so slow to catch on. If you look at the mass tint, it is also clear that Cerulean will never result in a decent dark blue, the intensity just isn't there. The same applies to Cobalt Blue. Their relatively low tinting strength also makes them…

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