Charles Eisener
  • Cortland, NY
  • United States

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  • Ruth West
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  • Wendy Robertson
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Charles Eisener's Discussions

Drying time for Oil Paints

Started this discussion. Last reply by Karen Ilari yesterday. 1 Reply

I know that Karen's site is highly biased towards acrylics, but there are a number of members who use oils as well.  For either medium, I would highly suggest that you either subscribe to Golden…Continue

Tags: for, oils, time, drying, oil

Mark Twain

Started this discussion. Last reply by Karen Ilari Apr 14. 1 Reply

Came across a quote credited to Mark Twain some time back, and it makes me think every time I read it."You can't depend on your eyes When your imagination is out of focus."Perhaps it says something…Continue

Autumn Leaves

Started this discussion. Last reply by Wenda Spooner Jun 17, 2017. 7 Replies

This was done on Foamcore…Continue

Tags: Fluid, Acrylics, Texture, Paste, Crackle

Malcolm's 10,000 hours

Started this discussion. Last reply by Mark S Ward Jun 3, 2017. 3 Replies

This is loosely based upon a two-page article in the Mat 12, 2017 issue of The Week, a weekly news magazine.Malcolm Gladwell is credited with determining that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to…Continue

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Latest Activity

Karen Ilari replied to Charles Eisener's discussion Drying time for Oil Paints
"Thank you Charles! Good info to know!"
Charles Eisener posted a discussion

Drying time for Oil Paints

I know that Karen's site is highly biased towards acrylics, but there are a number of members who use oils as well.  For either medium, I would highly suggest that you either subscribe to Golden Artist Colors newsletter or visit their site regularly, regardless of the brand of paint you use.  Golden does not just manufacture paint.  They also do continuing studies on the properties of pigments, paints, light fastness, and archival issues.  Their current newsletter references the drying time of…See More
Charles Eisener commented on Sarah Irland's photo

Waiting for the Seed

"My understanding is that goldfinches tend to stay in flocks until later in the season when they pair off for breeding - around the time the thistles are in bloom.  Have not seen any this year either.  The new digs in NC had bluebirds…"
Apr 19
Karen Ilari replied to Charles Eisener's discussion Mark Twain
"Love it!"
Apr 14
Charles Eisener posted a discussion

Mark Twain

Came across a quote credited to Mark Twain some time back, and it makes me think every time I read it."You can't depend on your eyes When your imagination is out of focus."Perhaps it says something to you as well .    .     .       .  ?Feel free to add your own favorite quote that has some relevance to art, seeing, painting, or the like - and it doesn't have to be from Mark Twain!See More
Apr 13
Charles Eisener commented on Charles Emery's photo


"Good sense of depth and distance!  Using a more neutral colour for the darker values is a different touch from the blues commonly used for this type of scene.."
Apr 13
Charles Eisener replied to Charles Emery's discussion Rock Island
"Nice feel to this one, Charles!  Reminds me of the formations on & around Flowerpot Island near Tobermory, Ontario."
Apr 13
Charles Eisener commented on Charles Eisener's blog post Hansa Yellows & Zinc White
"While I like the Cad Reds, I do prefer the Hansa pigments to the Cad Yellows.  Golden notes two factors at play here; the tendency of manufacturers to follow the traditional ratings, and  an apparent change in the…"
Feb 24
Karen Ilari commented on Charles Eisener's blog post Hansa Yellows & Zinc White
"That's interesting about the gloss medium. I'll have to try that as Hansa Yellow medium is what I'm mostly using these days. Thanks for the info as usual Charles!"
Feb 24
Charles Eisener commented on Philippe JOLLIVET's photo

Manhattan Bridge

"Agree with both Sarah and Deborah.  The separation of the two main distance planes is very dramatic with the warm/cool contrast.  Very well done!"
Feb 2
Catherine left a comment for Charles Eisener
"awe... thank you so much... i am learning so much .. love it!"
Jan 30
Charles Eisener replied to Marion's discussion Lighting - best positioning
"The ceiling height is great - too low and it is hard to bounce the lighting.  Did not see the photo first time around . .  Your grey is a bit on the warm side, but probably not enough to worry about, especially with the light grey…"
Jan 30
Charles Eisener replied to Marion's discussion Lighting - best positioning
"Lighting is always fun!  How high is the ceiling and what colour is it?   Easel-based lighting is not usually a good option; it is too local, and the intensity drops off quickly, so lighting is not even.  Ideally, you want the same…"
Jan 30
Charles Eisener commented on Deborah Alavosius's photo

Barn Angles

"Very nice, Deborah!  Consistent lighting, and the geometry captured in a realistic manner.  Particularly impressed with the colour and texture in the foreground rocks.  New England for sure!"
Jan 16
Charles Eisener replied to Karen Ilari's discussion A Game!
"Hmmm.  Good center of focus, nice lead in, true to the criteria, and quite abstract in design; enough detail to define the setting but very loose overall.  I think you have a winner!!  Moody Blues? The studio is in NC and I am in…"
Jan 16
Charles Eisener replied to Marion's discussion Moonlit Shore
"Gel medium is really nice when you need to get a sense of depth or transparency, or even "dilute" your paints a bit.  For straight texture, I prefer Light Modeling Paste.  This is easy to apply, has less shrinkage, and dries…"
Jan 15

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 (24 comments)

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At 12:13pm on January 30, 2018, Catherine said…

awe... thank you so much... i am learning so much .. love it!

At 6:24am on June 25, 2017, Janet Rydberg said…

thank you for the greeting and the tips. I am starting at the beginning and am learning a lot. Starting with the color chart. I am pretty much self taught and need the beginner lessons.

At 6:03pm on May 20, 2017, Gina Peckford said…
Thanks, so much, Charles, for the welcome. Nice to hear you know Kingston! I'm very new at this and plan to start with Karen's tips about colour charts to get to know my colours.
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! 

Charles Eisener's Blog

Hansa Yellows & Zinc White

Posted on February 23, 2018 at 6:04pm 2 Comments

Golden's latest newsletter is an eye-opener.  As a direct result of their own research, they are discontinuing the use of Zinc Oxide in their oil colours.  This is due to the extreme cracking and delamination noted in relatively fresh paint films (2 years and 10 years).  Even dilution of Zinc White to under 2% in mixtures still produced the same degree of failure.  Part of this is due to the interaction of the pigment with the fatty acids normally present in oil paints.



Golden Crackle Paste

Posted on June 15, 2017 at 6:30pm 4 Comments

Think I noted previously that I like playing with shapes and textures; this comes from my photography background.  One product…


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…


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…


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