Charles Eisener
  • Cortland, NY
  • United States

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Charles Eisener's Discussions

Malcolm's 10,000 hours

Started this discussion. Last reply by Wenda Spooner on Thursday. 1 Reply

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

What's Wrong Here?

Started this discussion. Last reply by KC Cooke Apr 11. 21 Replies

16 x 20 inch oil on canvas…Continue

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Latest Activity

Wenda Spooner replied to Charles Eisener's discussion Malcolm's 10,000 hours
"thanks Charles! this gives me hope :)  very interesting read. i love the things you make me think about. it is good for me!"
Charles Eisener posted a discussion

Malcolm's 10,000 hours

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 become world-class at anything.  More recent research by others has provided additional clarification.  It takes more than just practice; it requires "dedicated practice".  Doing color charts and repeating the same type of painting is practice, but not the dedicated type.Dedicated practice refers to…See More
Gina Peckford left a comment for Charles Eisener
"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."
May 20
Charles Eisener replied to Wendy Robertson's discussion Large Paintings
"Sometimes a grouping of "smaller" pieces can be just as effective as a poster.  Maybe you should look at the cost of a large print of one of your pieces and price that out for them, but I think the reality of frame prices would act as…"
May 19
Charles Eisener commented on Wanda McDonald's photo

Impressionist Landscape

"Golden's acrylic ground for pastels gives a similar gritty base.  While I have used both and have no real favorite, the Liquitex product is not as easy to find locally. With soft pastels, one daughter has been diluting the Golden product…"
May 18
Charles Eisener replied to Charles Eisener's discussion Hanging your work - Quick Clips
"The new system arrived and has been tried out.  Works very well!  I have attached two photos, one comparing the D-ring and wire fastener with the Quick Clip, and the other is the reverse side of the piece being hung - a matted…"
May 18
Charles Eisener commented on Russ Hager's blog post A different perspective on painting
"Hi Russ.  I have to agree with Karen - latex house paints are designed to have a limited life span, and the pigments are often quite questionable as well.  If you know the colour scheme for your painting, mix the complimentary colour and…"
Apr 29
Karen Ilari replied to Charles Eisener's discussion Hanging your work - Quick Clips
"Thanks for the info Charles! Very helpful."
Apr 23
Charles Eisener posted a discussion

Hanging your work - Quick Clips

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.  Turning over several of the works on display, I was very relieved to find "D rings" and vinyl coated wire on the larger pieces, but a strange black clip and cord method used on smaller frames.  New one for me!  So I asked some questions.They used the same sizes of "D rings" that I have been putting…See More
Apr 23
Charles Eisener commented on Wanda McDonald's photo


"Hi Wanda - I saw a recent video that covered this type of composition.  They suggested doing an undercoat of titanium white where you will be placing the brightest colours.  This gives a nice base for using transparent colours and glazes…"
Apr 21
Charles Eisener commented on Philippe JOLLIVET's photo

Chromatology study

"And we all thought that snow is white!!  Clearly, the value is more important than the colour.  There are some who argue that colour does not exist in nature, but is only an artifact created by the manner in which our eyes and visual…"
Apr 21
Charles Eisener replied to George Sapper's discussion Second guessed myself, bad idea
"Using random additives in acrylics always result in some type of consequence later on.  Some big name artists who first experimented with acrylics discovered that the hard way when their pieces began delaminating and/or disintegrating after the…"
Apr 20
KC Cooke replied to Charles Eisener's discussion What's Wrong Here?
"I've been away for a while,so hadn't seen this great challenge!. I read Sarah's reply, but not yours, Charles, as I want to give it a shot too. I agree with Sarah. It doesn't feel to me like there is a focal point. What stands…"
Apr 11
Charles Eisener replied to Marion's discussion Untamed River - palette knife and 2" brush
"Nice start!!  Like that you are warming it up a bit. Only thing that grabs my attention right now is the foreground.  If you want the surf action on the rocks to serve as focal point, you may want to re-evaluate your values.  The…"
Apr 7
Charles Eisener commented on Sarah Irland's photo

Lily of the Valley Circle3, feathered2

"This is from Sarah's post, with "Add Comment" button."
Apr 7
Charles Eisener replied to Art's discussion Comments.
"Have not noted a problem; this is sent from Art's post using the "Add Reply" key."
Apr 7

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 (22 comments)

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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!!

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

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…


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…


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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