Painting Techniques by Judy Filarecki

New Article and Video on Painting Clouds

Painting clouds of all types are always a fun and rewarding way to start your painting.

I have just written an article and produced a video demonstrating how this painting was done.

In the article, I plan to demonstrate a series of different cloud paintings. This is the first of a cloudy summer sunset.

You can read the article and view the 13 minute video at:

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Focal Point in Painting

I just finished writing an article about ways to enhance the focal point in your paintings.

It looks mainly at landscape painting, but all of these concepts apply to any painting where you want to direct the viewer to the center of interest.

Rather than re-writing the whole ...
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Painter 12 Demo

I've been  having so much fun and productivity using Painter 12 this past year, that I thought I would share a video I made demonstrating how this recent abstract painting was developed.

It is interesting to watch for those who have never seen digital painting in motion, but it is also good for people who use Painter 12 and want to explore new avenues. The video is available on YouTube for you. I ...
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Digital Painting Tutorial

Looking for a fun and creative way to paint without the messy cleanup?

Here's a new Squidoo Lens I have written giving you some insight into digital painting. - Digital Painting Tutorial
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Water Soluble Oils Contest Winners

I recently ran a contest in Fine Art America for artists using Water-Soluble Oils. There were 29 submissions and voting was open to members and the public. Here are the results. Each one is outstanding in it own right.

First Place     Pachek

Art Prints
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Experimenting with

Recently I've been developing several different accounts for selling my artwork. The most recent has been through Zazzle. Here are examples of some of the products I have produces in my store, filareckifunart.

Browse other personalized gifts from Zazzle.
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Modifying an Acrylic Painting with Water-Soluble Oils

I finished an acrylic landscape painting in 2006 which has bothered me all this time. I finally analyzed what was bothering me and made changes to the painting using water-soluble oils.

You can see all the problems I identified and the changes I made in an article I just finished on Squidoo.

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9-11 Remembering

Sell Art Online

Canvas and regular prints of my newest painting are now available. I don't usually use this blog to promote a painting of mine, but this one is very special to me and very appropriate to the time of year. If you have someone whom you feel would cherish this as I do, click on the link to the left to get information about ...
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Hue,Value and Intensity

I have updated my Squidoo Lens,
and also my web page,

Both articles are designed to define what  "Hue," "Value" and "Intensity" are and then help you understand how to identify these three attributes of a color you are trying to mix.

They go on to explains the steps to take ...
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Setting Up an ETSY Shop

Setting up my ETSY Shop, Filarecki Fine Art, has been keeping me pretty busy these days. I haven't been doing any art fairs the past several years because of some health problems, so I'm left with a lot of inventory of prints that I would like to sell.

ETSY is a place where only things made by the seller can be put in their shops, with the exception of vintage items which still have to be handmade. I ...
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Using PhotoShop to Change the Shape of a Picture

I was just experimenting with digital editing to change the shape of a photo of my painting that I did not get straight. It wasn't hard to do in PhotoShop so I thought I would share the process with you.

Here is the original:

Here is the transformed one:

The first thing you have to do is create a duplicate layer of the picture. ...
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Painting Acrylics on Wood

I was at an art show recently at a beautiful religious retreat in the desert. I decided to paint the mountain of rocks displaying the Madonna and Child that I could see from where I was set up.

I chose to do a 6-by-8 inch painting on a wooden artist panel that was 1-inch thick. I also decided to be brave and be creative with the colors.

I first applied a clear acrylic ... << MORE >>

Introducing New Website for Judy Filarecki

Up to this time, my main focus in my website,
 has been in educating new artists in different painting techniques and other information.

More recently, I been busy developing a second website,

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Water Soluble Oils by Judy Filarecki

Click to see a  Slide Show of my work in

Water Soluble Oils


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Digital Paintings

I have been experimenting with digital art over the past two weeks. I have a trial version of Corel Painter 11. I definitely like it and plan to purchase it. This picture was one of my abstract attempts. Click on the picture to see more.



Painting Rocks in Landscapes

Painting rocks in landscapes can either be easy, or very difficult if you get over whelmed by detail in them.

Usually, I don't have problems with painting rocks.

But this time,

I ran into a boulder which had a formation I was completely unfamiliar with.

I didn't do too badly with the first under painting ...
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Sharing an Experiment I did in the Water Soluble Oils Forum

I'd like to share an experiment I did in the Water Soluble Oils Forum. It consisted of putting a clear acrylic spray over a watercolor, so I could add water soluble oils (also know as water mixabIe oils) over it to add something more to the painting without disturbing the background.

I had a watercolor landscape that I had done several years ago which I kept feeling was not finished. It was on clayboard, and I sealed it with a clear acrylic spray, so I would not have to cover it with glass. When I looked at it recently, I decided I wanted to add some horses to the landscape, but they could not be in watercolor since the painting was sealed.

I thought that the safest thing to do was to experiment by painting a small picture using the combination of watercolor, acrylic and water soluble oils. This way I could be sure that it would work before possibly ruining the bigger landscape I wanted to alter.

First I took a 5 x 7 clayboard and painted a watercolor background.

After several hours to be sure it was dry, I sprayed it with two layers of clear acrylic spray.

The next day I wiped on a very thin film of walnut oil over the entire surface to act as a bonding agent for the water soluble oils. This also helps to make the paint go on more smoothly over the acrylics.

I sketched Mozart, my cat, using raw sienna. Having the thin film of oil on the surface allowed me to make adjustments to the sketch without disturbing the background or leaving any residue color.

The next morning, I decided I didn't like the way the tip of the tail was, so I put a little walnut oil on a paper towel and wiped the end of the tail off an repainted it.

Because I was using water soluble oils rather than acrylics, I was able to do this very easily.

I was happy with the results and even added some more color to the background with the water soluble oils. I really liked the tail much better, too.

If you would like know more about water-soluble oils go to

Also, be sure to visit my web site for more information on painting techniques  at


Mozart    Copyright 2009 Judy Filarecki

Water Soluble Oils Forum discusses Different Brands

Our forum is growing rapidly and great discussions are developing.

One thread you should take a look at is

Artist members discuss the different brands of water soluble oils they use.

They not only discuss the paints themselves, but also the thinners and mediums they use to alter the properties of  the paints to meet their needs in a particular situation.

You are welcome to read all the threads to learn more about water soluble oils.

If you want to contribute to the discussion, join our forum by registering to become a member. It is free and there are no strings attached. We just ask that you share your knowledge and questions so we can all learn.

I look forward to seeing you all there.


New Water Soluble Oils Forum

Looking for a water soluble oils forum (also know as water mixable oils)?

Well, several of us who enjoy painting with water soluble oils have gotten together to create a forum for others who enjoy the same thing.

We are a friendly group of people from all over the world who love to share our work, knowledge, and experience, or lack of it, with whomever would like to share theirs with us.

If you would like to join us go to

This is a new forum so you can help form it with your great ideas,

Right now have
  • a place to introduce yourself and post some of your work
  • a general chat place where you can talk about anything you would like with other members
  • a place to make suggestions about what you would like to see on the forum
  • a quesion and answer thread with lots of great technical information about water soluble oils
  • a place to show completed paintings
  • a place for works in progress (WIP) for you to share and get help with if want it.
  • a critique corner
  • group challenges
  • and a Reference Image Library (RIL) for Members.

Also a fun thread called the Trash Bin where you can show some of your "not so good" work.

Give us a try. There is so much to learn and so much to share.

I look forward to seeing you on the forum.



The Art of Painting with the Help of Photoshop

The Art of Painting is something that just doesn't happen without effort and the right tools. One tool I use a great deal is Photoshop to help me plan out  a painting and get the feel of layout.  I'd like to share some of the process I used to get from a video to a painting.

First I took a video of the sunrise and panned the horizon so I would get all three of the mountains I can see from my backyard.

The following are the first, middle and last frames of the video saved as jpgs.  I did this with my movie editing program.


Next, I stitched the images together in Photoshop to get a complete panoramic photo.

And from there I started painting.  Of course, I modified things a little (or a lot).

The mountains look very small and far away according to  the  camera, where as when you see them in real life, they are much bigger.

When I made them larger, I found that I had to compress the Catalina Mountain Range if I wanted to get all three ranges in. If I didn't, the painting would have been 10 feet long.

As it is, it is 4 feet long by 2 feet high.

When it came to the foreground, I got my handy digital camera out and went down the road a mile to capture pictures of the Santa Cruz River where it flows in several streams.

By my house, the river flows through a deep ditch which isn't very aesthetic, and the reflections are hard to capture.

By adding the river in the foreground, I was able to create a colorful reflection of the sky.

Without that, the whole bottom half of the painting would have been a dull, non-descript space comparable to what you see in the original photograph.

To set the mountains back  in the distance, I added some saguaros.

The minute they were added, you got the sense of the distance and size of the mountains and the beauty of the sky at sunrise.

So there you have it. I went from a video of the sunrise over the Catalina Mountain Range to a complete painting making use of a video camera, a video editing program, Photoshop, a digital camera, a canvas, paints, brushes and imagination.

Hope this has inspired you to be creative with what you and your camera see.

If you would like to purchase a step-by-step DVD demonstrating how to paint clouds, mountains and foreground, go to

There is a 9 minute preview of the hour long DVD.

To learn more about painting, be sure to visit my web site

Judy Filarecki

How to Lighten and Darken Bright Colors: An Alternative for Changing Color Values

Recently, I finished painting what was going to be a red rose. Every time I do that, I run into the same problem...highlighting.

Traditionally you would change the color value by adding white and that would be the highlight.
I can deal with that with most colors, but not with becomes pink and that is not what I want.

I belong to a forum of artists at

and I asked if anyone had any suggestions for me regarding this. I  was referred to 

There are a whole series of free instructional videos you can view.

I was specifically directed to one by Mike Rooney where he demonstrated how to lighten colors without using white. It was fascinating and I strongly recommend that you look at it.

While I was there, I also look at one on his that demonstrated how to darker colors without using the complement of that color which would tend to gray it down and dull it. Of course, sometimes that is what you want, but other times, you want the color to darken without being dulled down. You can view this video at :.

I haven't had time to look at other ones, but t here sure is a wealth on free information at the

Check it out.


Rheumatoid Arthritis and Carpal Tunnel: An Artist's Nightmare

What does an artist do when her hands becomes a problem because of rheumatoid arthritis or carpal tunnel?
      I have just had to face these problem over the past 8 weeks.

I was getting very frustrated being away from painting for so long and decided that there was something I could do about it. After all, I had been a physical therapist for 40 years and had adapted things for my patients on a regular why not for myself.?

When I finally realized that I could do something, I came up with this idea.

Of course, it was like learning to paint all over again, especially since I am a very detailed person and this isn't really conducive to detail. Maybe in time as I practice, it will improve.

My plan is to drill different size holes in  tennis balls so they will accommodate different size brushes.

Just as I writing this, my mind is racing with all the possibilities. I just realized that I could probably use the same ball for three different sizes. That would definitely take up much less room in my paint box.

I was always told that "where there is a will, there is a way." I think I have found a way to overcome the hand problems I'm developing because of the rheumatoid arthritis and carpal tunnel. I sure hope so because there is an unending list of paintings I want to do before I'm finished.

Feel free to pass this on to others, and if you have any suggestions, I would live to hear them. Just send them to me in the comments section.

If you would like to see more of my paintings and get some painting tips, go to my web site


How to Keep Your Colors Vibrant

Are your vibrant colors dull?

Here is a painting tip on how to keep your vibrant colors brilliant.

Do you struggle with keeping you vibrant colors from becoming dull? I often did when I first started painting, but then I gradually realized what it was that  was making my colors loose their brilliance.

The secret to keeping them from being dull is to never use any color that has the third primary color in it.

For example, suppose you are painting some flowers that are just the most vibrant blue violet you have ever seen.  The complementary color to blue/ violet is yellow/orange.  The blue/violet is made up of red and blue as their two primary colors.  The yellow/orange is made up of red and yellow as its primary colors.  Yellow, as the third primary color in the mix, will result in dulling down your blue violet.

Of course you want to take advantage of this in areas where you want to make the areas darker.  Using the yellow/orange will enable you to create deep and shallow shadows which will give the flowers shape.

Keeping in mind that the third primary color will always dull the mixture of the two other primary colors, you can use this to your advantage no matter what colors you are using.

For more information on color mixing go to my website at

Analogous Colors: What are They

New Page on Analogous Colors added to Mixing Colors

When you are looking for information on mixing colors at ,you can find a new page talking all about
analogous colors.

We've all seen them and use them frequently in our color schemes when we decorate our homes, but we're not completely sure we know what they are except that they look good together.

To help you understand analogous colors better and help you choose more wisely, I have devoted a page on my website to explain them to you.

Take a moment now to go to analogous colors.

If you would like some home decorating ideas go to

How Opaque or Transparent are Your Paints?

Do you know which of your paints are opaque and which ones are more transparent?

How important is it to you to know this?

Do you have a pile of paints that don't always do what you want them to do, because they are not as opaque or transparent as you think they should be?

The following link is to an article I have just written which gives you a painting tip on how to systematically test your paints so you can evaluate and compare them. That way, when you want to add a highlight to something, you will know which paint or combination of paints to use to get that highlight to jump out at you.

To further expand this, I have written a new web page on my site to give you more painting tips on what to look for when you are buying paints with a specific opacity in mind.

You can read the complete page at

How to Tighten a Stretched Canvas

When you buy a stretched canvas or stretch one yourself, do you sometimes see buckles in the canvas that you want to get rid of?

Most pre-stretched canvases come with wooden or plastic wedges to use to tighten the frame. Or, you buy some when you get the stretch rails to do it yourself.

Well what if you don't have any of these wedges or you prefer not to use them?

I was watching Jerry Yarnell on PBS yesterday and he demonstrated a very interesting alternative to using these wedges.

As Jerry explained, the canvas is a cotton which will shrink if wet with water.

You have to wet the back side where there is no gesso sealing the cotton.

You spray a fine mist into the gaps between the canvas and the wood.

You only do a little at a time and keep checking to see if the canvas is tightened enough.

He did caution that if you spray too much, the canvas could shrink to a point of cracking the stretchers so do it sparingly.

If you would like more tips on varying art subjects and mediums, go to my website

Oil Painting Techniques using Water-Soluble Oils

Oil painting techniques are a little different when using water-soluble oils. They are a terrific replacement for regular oils if you have breathing problems or just can't tolerate the fumes from the turpenoid you use for thinning and cleanup.

With water-soluble oils, you can thin them with water or water-mixable linseed oil and clean up with soap and water.

The Problem
How happy or unhappy you are with the handling of these paints depends on how much thinning you do using water. If you only use a little water, they become very sticky and difficult to blend. If you use a lot of water to make a wash, they work beautifully.

The Solution
This is a painting I am doing using water-soluble oils. I learned from an friend on that you can use walnut oil to thin the paint, and it works wonderfully. The paints blend easily, have no odor and wash up with soap and water. It's great.

If you would like to know more about water-soluble oils go to my website

I paint in many mediums including oils, acrylics, pastels, and watercolors, but I am also asthmatic so  using regular oils just is no longer a possibility. I still love the way I can do skies and water reflections so easily with oils, that I am really excited that I can accomplish the same thing with water-soluble oils and walnut oil.

Book Review submitted to HubPages on Better to Give than Receive

I just finished writing an article for HubPages which is a book review of a unique book dealing with business success.

I stress that it is "unique" in that it deals with how, by giving without an expected return, results in business success and personal success are far greater than you could ever expect.

There are 5 principles which the authors refer to as "Secrets."  Each of the secrets are explained in spell-binding stories that hold your attention to a point that  you hate to put the book down.

These principles date back centuries but have been ignored in marketing until recently. They are not only effective for success in business but also in your personal life. For once, you are being taught to be yourself rather than the high pressure salesperson of the past.

To read the complete book review and find out what book it is, go to  Better-to-Give-than-Receive   This book is a "must read" for everyone. It is such a pleasant  surprise from the usual how to succeed in business books. I know you will enjoy it.

Pastel Art using Watercolor Techniques

New Web Page on Pastel Art at

Judy has written a new page on her site talking about pastel art and what you need to know to work with this unique medium.

As the page progresses, she will be showing you some of her work and give tips she learned along the way that created special results with the pastels.

Introduced on the web page is a new video she has produced on Pastel Art using Watercolor Techniques. A preview is available on the new web page, Pastel Art and also at YouTube

The video is a 2 minute preview of a more complete version. You can get the full version for free by going to Pastel Art Video

As with most of Judy's pages, they are a work in progress so check back frequently. There is just so much to cover in painting techniques and drawing techniques, that it is hard to complete one page at a time while ignoring the others.

Thank you for being understanding. There is so much I want to share with you and just not enough time.

We're now on Technorati

Technorati Profile

"How To Draw" comes to

comes to

To help people learn to draw, Judy Filarecki has added another page to her site. The How to Draw page discusses different methods that Judy has found helpful when first learning to draw.

Her first choice of drawing techniques to discuss is using a grid to draw an object you want to paint. She has produced an 8 minute video which shows the entire procedure for you.

You can view it on How To Draw 
or you can watch it and other videos she has produced on  YouTube .

After watching the video, Judy goes into what you learn by using this technique and then also talks about how to transfer your drawing onto the canvas or paper you plan to paint on.

The web page is a work in progress so there will be more coming.

Other drawing techniques will be discussed and demonstrated.

Go to How To Draw now and enjoy the video and all the information Judy is giving you.

If you are a Hub Page fan you can read an articles based on this video at How to Draw with a Grid.

If you are a Squidoo fan, check out my lenses there including
 Drawing Techniques

How to Paint with Watercolors: New Page on

How to Paint with Watercolors has been added to the growing number of pages Judy Filarecki has been creating on her website . Judy discusses watercolor techniques that she feels will be helpful to the new artist just starting out in painting with watercolors.

First Judy makes some comments about the differences between watercolor and other mediums.


Then she talks about the need to plan ahead so you maintain clean white paper in areas where you will need it later in the paint. She uses some of her paintings like this hummingbird to help illustrate what she means.

This particular one, she also used to demonstrate special effects you can accomplish when painting with watercolors.

The page is a work in progress but some of the topics which will be added include:
* Watercolor with Pastels
* Watercolor with Pen and Ink
* More Special Effects
* and  much, much more.
Take the time now to check out How to Paint with Watercolors . While there, take a look at the other pages. There are even some "How To" Video for you to watch.

How to Oil Paint, New Page on


Two weeks ago, while on a cross country trip, I took the time to create a new page, "How to Oil Paint" ,  on my website .

Because I was driving many long hours seeing some really beautiful sights and potential painting subjects, I only got a short section done talking about  the positive and negative properties of oil paints.

This is an example of one of my oil paintings which is included on the page.

I will be adding more as I develop the page and give tips on using oil paints.

I have also worked extensively with water-soluble oils which are similar in some ways but require slightly different handling than regular oils. I'll be discussing that also on the website page.

I hope you will  take the time to revisit my website frequently to see how it progresses. I enjoy sharing my experiences with the different mediums and passing on any tips I learn along the way.

Feel free to subscribe to this Blog so you can follow along more easily with the progress of the website and gain more tips as it goes along.

How to Paint Clouds: Painting Tips

How to Paint Clouds When They Just Won't Cooperate

I've painted many clouds during my career as an artist, but every once in a while I run into a problem.

I'm going to show you some samples of clouds that I have done and then show you  the one I had so much trouble with and what I did about it.

The first are some white puffy clouds with a little pink in them. I like to always add a small hint of another color just to add warmth to the clouds. This was done with water-soluble oils. No problem.

The second represents clouds later in the day with more gray and some yellow ochre and pink in them. This was  done with regular oils. No problem.


The third is early morning when the sunrises through the slight mist of the dawn. I used pastels to do this painting. With the texture of the paper, it was very easy to make the sun hazy around the edges.

Where I ran into the problem was with this one.

Do you see those clouds over the right side of the mountains?

My brain just did not want to accept that the light was coming from the bottom.

What Was My Solution?

I turned the picture upside down.


Now my brain could accept where the high-lights were supposed to be. I tricked it into thinking that the bottom was now the top.

I had tried to paint it three different times with the picture right-side up, and I had to blank it out and try again.

Finally early one morning I woke up and had the brilliant idea to turn the painting upside down. I had remembered doing just that in a wonderful book I had read years ago on drawing techniques,

"Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain."

It is a great book if you want to learn to draw. I highly recommend it. I've include a link to it.

I hope that you have found this article interesting and informative.

If you want to see more as I write them, please

Subscribe by filling in the form at on the left column.

I promise not to sell or give away you email address to anyone.
I hate spam and I'm sure you do, too.

I would also appreciate it if you would leave a comment.
If you have any suggestions for other topics for the blog,
feel free to tell me in the comments area.

You can see more of my art work and
 other painting tips at

Welcome to the First Blog on PaintingTechniques by Judy Filarecki

.        Welcome to my Blog on
Painting Techniques by Judy Filarecki

My goal for this blog is to provide interesting information on different painting techniques that I have used, or I have read about and think would be worth trying.

I do work in many different mediums so this blog  will have information for a wide variety of people.

What type of mediums have I worked in?
  • Acrylics 
  • Pastels
  • Watercolors
  • Oils
  • Water-soluble Oils
I would love to have you follow my blog.
Fill in the "Subscribe" information to the left.

I promise I will not share any of your information with anyone else. I DO NOT like Spam and I'm sure you do not either.

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