Author Archives: Georgia Youngs

Lets wrap it up

Hi Folks,

Lets wrap it up!

I have been quite tardy in sending out my art blogs and to be truthful I have no excuse other than I’ve been busy.  But I thought I had better send one more for this year as my token Christmas gift to you all.

An over view of my year in teaching has brought some new insights for me on why people ‘create’  .  I hosted 3 art shows this fall:  1. for my adult students and another for my young students and lastly one for myself.  I found it interesting people’s expectations and reason for participating in these events , including my own.  On one hand if we look at the monetary gain , modest at best,  no one in their right mind would think about making a living by creating art in any form.  So why do we bother coming to class or sit in our studios and paint?    Good question you may ask!   We do it because of the joy it brings us.  We do it for it the challenges that face us on deciding what colours to use or how to create an image others will enjoy.   Art is a solitary endeavor, yet during the time we spend within our own minds we find through all the frustrating challenges, peace and contentment.  How many people do you know who seek happiness and never find it?  Yet you have found the secret !   So keep on painting and as an added bonus, as you have also discovered,  that coming to class  opens up an even great door, a door of  new found friendship and companionship.

To all of you I wish you a very happy holiday and a happy and healthy New Year

Happy Painting

Cheers   Georgia

As some of you know, the Canada Anti-Spam Legislation has come into force July 1 2014.. This is just a reminder that you are on my email list because at some point you gave me express consent to be added (e.g. you added yourself on my website, art show guest book or you requested to be added to my list). If for any reason, you disagree or you simply want to remove yourself from my email list, please just reply to my email address



Taking Your Own Photos


Hi Folks,

Now that  the summer is here and you are either traveling or gardening you  may find that you want to take photos of those amazing places you are visiting or your lush gardens.  This is a good thing,  so I am going to repeat some information I sent out over a year ago along with some new information that should help you take better photos.

When using a photo I have a stock saying  “what may be a good photo may not make a good painting”.   A good photo needs to have all the same components as the ones needed in a great painting.   It needs to have:  a balanced composition,  3 focal points, good colour and tone.

Most of you now use digital cameras so you can review your last shot to either delete it and/ or see how you can change or improve it. Here are some suggestions on taking better photographs:

  1. Pick a theme
  2. Decide on a specific day and time, so you have nothing else to think about or do
  3. Always be on the look out for new places or things of interest
  4. When taking your photo find the focal point or point of interest and zoom in to it
  5. Preview you photo to see if your eye moves around to points of interest naturally. There should a flow between to the points of interest – no more than 3
  6. Never centre your main object
  7. Once you have decided on your main focal point move your camera a little to the right or left or up or down to see other possibilities /ideas
  8. Bracket your shots – taking 3 – 4 in slightly different angles
  9. Think outside the box i.e.  kneel or go to higher ground
  10. Take your time – so it may be best to go out alone
  11. Keep it simple
  12. Take your time and for still life set the stage, eliminate unwanted objects and consider the light you want to use i.e. natural, evening , morning, back lit etc.

If you find a developed image contains too much  detail or ‘information’,  you can simply crop into the image by placing some white paper over the areas you want to block out  and you will be delighted by what you see.

Editing is different in that it is not cropping but simply eliminating some of the detail. i.e. you don’t need to paint all the trees or branches or people that are in the photo.

Then when you are almost finished your painting and you find yourself nit picking over details this is probably the time when you should stop painting and stop comparing your painting to the photo.  Stand back, put your photo away and look at your painting only and see if you like it. You probably will!

Remember if doing a commission NEVER let the client compare the photo to your rendering as they will only start to see how it differs and even if they love your work they will want you to change it.

Happy Painting



As some of you know, the Canada Anti-Spam Legislation will come into force July 1. This is just a reminder that you are on my email list because at some point you gave me express consent to be added (e.g. you added yourself on my website, art show guest book or you requested to be added to my list). If for any reason, you disagree or you simply want to remove yourself from my email list, please just reply to my email address

Your Palette


 Hi Folks,

Here is, as you all know, one of the issues that drives me crazy!   Why students have such messy palettes?  You should keep your palette organized!   This means you place you colours in the same order each and every time – not all over your palette willy nilly.  A good order is as follows:

Top centre      White

Top left           Your yellows

Middle left     Orange                                                                                  Middle Right              Blues

Bottom Left    Reds                Middle Bottom          Purple                   Bottom Right             Greens

This arrangement means all your warm colours are on the Left and most your cool colours are on the Right with purple at the bottom.

Also place your dollops of paint on the edge of your palette,  again not in the middle, there by leaving all the centre for mixing.  And by dollop I mean a nickel size worth, not a little smear.

When mixing your colours, do it in front of the colour you are using i.e. if mixing green it should happen down by the greens.

Why all this fuss, because keeping your palette organized helps to keep your mind organized and you never having to second guess where colours are or what colours you used.

Find a good palette you can use over and over again.  There are some that are better than others and if in question ask your art instructor who will have some good ideas.

You can always use disposable ones, they are especially handy in a classroom environment.

In my studio I can keep my palette operational for weeks by simply misting it and placing Saran Wrap  lightly over it and tucking in the edges.

Happy Painting



Yes, please go ahead and  forward this email to a friend.  To Unsubscribe or Change Your Email Address, please  email me at


Grays – how to make

Hi Folks,

I bet For those of you who have taken any of my art classes you never thought I talk about Gray . I know I am always going on about NOT seeing Gray as I am always trying/ hoping you will see colour.  When folks find Paynes Gray – they feel they have found manna from heaven as all they have to do is mix it with White and they have Gray!  Groan!  Or even worse they simply add White to Black to create Gray! Bigger groan!  So what’s a person to do when there is Gray?  Yes, I used the Gray word and didn’t choke or turn into a toad.

Making ‘Gray’ came about from a student experimenting with paint a few weeks ago.  I was making my rounds as usual around the room and came upon this student and looked upon her palette and there it was ‘Gray’.  I pounced in my polite way and asked ‘ how did you make that’. She said she was mixing Cadmium Orange and Ultramarine Blue to make Brown and then she added White to try and lighten it and it turned Gray.  No way I said. Couldn’t have happened.

But here I am to announce to one and all I learned something new and it has been there for all of us to make all along – those illusive Grays.  How odd we start with trying to make brown using Cadmium Orange and Ultramarine Blue and then add lots of White and then more Blue as needed.  It makes a very warm and lovely Gray.  Add more White to lighten and more Blue as needed.  You can make a Green Gray using Cadmium Orange and Hookers Green which makes a lovely soft Orangey Green great for those areas in the back ground and then add White to make a greeny Gray.  To make a purple Gray use Cadmium Orange and Dioxazine Purple which again make a very soft orangey purple again great for back grounds and then add lots of white for that purpley Gray.

I am always saying I learn as much from my students as they do from me and here is a great example of it!  So embrace your new Grays created through using colours.

Have not heard enough or tired of learning more about me, go to this new web site  It has been created to offer news about our community and the folks in it and I was honoured to be selected to be part of this newly designed site.  Enjoy!

Happy Painting

Cheers Georgia

Yes, please go ahead and forward this email to a friend. To Unsubscribe or Change Your Email Address, please email me at

How to ignore the details and why painting for short periods is best



Hi Folks,

Now that you are getting back in the groove one of the more common problems I find students are having is fixating on detail.  I know it is easier said than done to try and not see all those itsy bitsy branches or all those little flowers but try you must.  One way to over come seeing all that detail is to squint.  You want to blur your vision so you see only blocks of colours and shapes.   Then paint those block areas.  The Rule of three  i.e. three brush strokes and stop,  will also help.  Another way is to turn your photo up side down and paint that way.  You will be amazed how this takes your mind set out of seeing what it is exactly what you are painting.  I have a few students who start their painting this way all the time.  Another way is to take a blank piece of paper to cover your photo leaving open only a small area you want to focus on.  Once you have blocked in your painting you go back and start putting in more and tonal values and some ( and I mean a few ) subtle details.

lately I heard a few students commenting on the lengthy time they were spending painting at home.  I was amazed how they would spend 5 – 6 hours  a day, each and every day painting.  Painting while not a major physical activity does require some strength as well as intense constant thinking about colour, composition and  design.   I find I can only maintain my focus for 1.5  – 2 hours at a time.  After that I find I am exhausted and can not concentrate or focus clearly on what I am doing.   I think if you can spend a good 1.5  – 2 hours every day or every other day,  you will find you are more productive.  After that I think you tend to make too many mistakes and all that extra time is spent correcting them.   So don’t feel guilty about not painting for hours and hours.  I think those short bursts of intense concentration and painting will produce better results in the end.  You want your picture to look fresh and not over worked.

Happy Painting



Yes, please go ahead and  forward this email to a friend.  To Unsubscribe or Change Your Email Address, please  email me at

Artist Block – How to Over Come


Hi Folks,

We’ve all heard about writers block but  ‘ artist block ‘ ?   Not sure if there is such a term but there should be.  This week as all my classes started up for the winter session I’ve never before heard so many students complain about having trouble finding their groove.  If I had a nickel I’d be rich for every time I heard  “I don’t know where to start”,  ” I’m so confused” ,  “I can’t seem to find the right colours”,  ” I don’t what image to paint”,  ” I’ve not painted a thing since the end of the last class”,   and on and on.  You get the picture. No pun intended!   I figure there must be a full moon and all this rain doesn’t help!

So,  how does one motivate oneself?  How does one get over this impasse / slump?

There is no simple answer but I think the following may help:

I think the first step is not force the issue.  Accept the fact there are days you simply do not want to paint. Give yourself permission to put your brushes away,  go for a walk, phone a friend, read a book,  do something that will make you happy.

When you are ready,  take it slow.  Which means don’t take out your largest canvas and attempt to paint the most detailed image you can find.

I suggest you use an  8 x 10 or slightly larger.  Find an image by your favorite painter,  crop a section of one of his/her paintings and copy it.  Get immersed in their style and brush strokes.  Give yourself an hour or more to finish it.  Relax and sit back and admire your accomplishment.  Nothing is more inspirational than finishing something you like to motivate you to do another.

I also think for those of you who have been painting for awhile there are a few things you should consider.

1.  It may be time to get some new brushes

2. Because you are choosing  possibly more advanced images to paint you may have to consider you should also invest in some new colours .  The basic colours I suggested you purchase for the first session are just not enough any more.

Think positive thoughts.  Keep those images you completed last year that you loved near you, to remind yourself what you can do.  Take a photo of it using your phone so you can look at it when you come to class.  I am surrounded by own images in my studio.  I love looking at them to  remind myself  of how and why I did certain things.  Even the Cezanne I copied  I keep close as it reminds me when I start to use too many brush stroke,  to use the Rule of Three and to stack my colours, therefore  letting the eye do the blending.

Hope this helps.  Nothing is more frustrating than not knowing what to do next.  Take heart the feeling passes.

Happy Painting



 Yes, please go ahead and  forward this email to a friend.  To Unsubscribe or Change Your Email Address, please  email me at