Charles Eisener
  • Cortland, NY
  • United States

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Charles Eisener's Discussions

Autumn Leaves

Started this discussion. Last reply by Wenda Spooner Jun 17. 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. 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

Hanging your work - Quick Clips

Started this discussion. Last reply by Charles Eisener May 18. 2 Replies

Earlier this month I was in a frame shop in Raleigh NC operated by an artist who is also a certified professional framer.  She has lots of award ribbons to attest to her achievements in both fields. …Continue

Tags: Art, Systems, Acorn, cord, Clip

Painting on paper

Started this discussion. Last reply by Sarah Irland Mar 29. 2 Replies

Golden newsletter Golden today published their newsletter, which contains two articles regards painting on paper with oils, and with acrylics. …Continue

Tags: on, acrylics, oils, substrate, paper

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Charles Eisener's Page

Latest Activity

Charles Eisener commented on Wenda Spooner's blog post Life gets busy!
"Know what you mean about busy!  Current home still on market, but with a contingent offer, plus a new home 600 miles away to prep, decorate, and gradually populate with paints, paintings, and all the rest."
Charles Eisener replied to Elizabeth Amanda Elgin's discussion Winsor & Newton Professional Acrylics
"Hi Wenda! I have used fluid acrylics for model train projects for quite a while, so it was almost "pre-determined" that I would play around with them on canvas.  Both Golden products have excellent pigment saturation, so a little bit…"
Charles Eisener replied to Janet Rydberg's discussion Help on setting up canvas to start from a reference photo
"There are a couple different approaches to underpainting.  Monotone, complementary, and colour. Complementary uses the complement of the final colour, and lets some of the base layer show through the final layer.  Overall this tends to…"
Charles Eisener replied to Janet Rydberg's discussion Help on setting up canvas to start from a reference photo
"Janet - the waterfall would normally be sharper.  This photo was taken with relatively slow shutter speed, so it blurs the cascading water and dulls any highlights that may be present.  It does help with the atmosphere, but only works well…"
Charles Eisener replied to Janet Rydberg's discussion Help on setting up canvas to start from a reference photo
"Just a few quick thoughts without too much thinking (sometimes a liability!). Currently my eye is drawn into the picture from bottom right, follows the water up to the brighter yellows and sky, then circles to the left and back to the…"
Charles Eisener replied to Elizabeth Amanda Elgin's discussion Winsor & Newton Professional Acrylics
"Hi Elizabeth! "Acrylic" is a term rather loosely applied to a wide range of polymer emulsions, which may or may not actually contain acrylic polymers.  Acrylic polymers when wet are going to appear translucent and rather white when…"
Sep 10
Charles Eisener commented on Mary's photo

"Gifts of Asheville"

"The idealism of the signs is in sharp contrast to the reality of the steel barriers on the windows.  A sign of our times?  Like the way you captured the stucco walls, too!  Looks similar to photos I took around the studio…"
Aug 12
Charles Eisener replied to Kenneth Coon's discussion Question about Acrylics
"This got me thinking, because I have never seen anything from a manufacturer on the topic.  To that end I just posted the basic question to the Technical Support folks at Golden.  Will see what sort of response we get.  Doubt they are…"
Aug 6
Charles Eisener replied to Kenneth Coon's discussion Question about Acrylics
"Ken - Have had the same issue myself!  Latex house paint needs to be shaken/mixed at the store not only to mix in the pigments added at the time of purchase, but also to evenly re-suspend the various components into the actual fluid…"
Aug 6
Charles Eisener replied to Sandy Weems's discussion Question: Pre-Primed Canvases
"Hi Sandy! I have posted previously a blog on preparing substrates, but in a nutshell: Unless you are buying professional canvas (with its premium price),  you have no way to know if the manufacturer prep is decent quality.  With oils this…"
Aug 2
Charles Eisener replied to Micki Jerry's discussion Reflection help needed
"Hi Micki! As Karen commented, this is quite stunning as a photo!  For me, there are several things worthy of note in the original.  The use of telephoto lenses introduce  or magnify optical artifacts that we don't usually notice…"
Jul 31
Charles Eisener replied to George Sapper's discussion Lastof a series
"George - have not used Grumbacher acrylics for quite a while.  I did find the paint tended to get thick and unwieldy fairly quickly (have seen the same issue with W&N).  Different companies use very different polymer compounds as…"
Jul 27
Charles Eisener replied to Tony Marino's discussion Yellowstone landscape
"Tony - that's why they say that hindsight is always 20:20!"
Jul 7
Charles Eisener replied to Micki Jerry's discussion Mediums, Canvas, Board, Paper...
"This sort of topic always gets a wide variety of answers, and for good reason; we simply are not as limited with acrylics as are other mediums. I have painted on Masonite (brand name), Baltic birch, veneer plywood, canvas panels, stretched canvas,…"
Jul 7
Charles Eisener replied to Sarah Irland's discussion In a Slump.....
"If you read bios of "really big" artists, most have had the same issue at one time or another.  I think Dali would be the exception. .   .  In it's own way, probably is a mild form of "burnout" that just…"
Jun 30
Janet Rydberg left a comment for Charles Eisener
"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."
Jun 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 (23 comments)

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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! 

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!!

Charles Eisener's Blog

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…


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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