Posted in Uncategorized on February 16, 2017 by deborahrubin

Pthalo blue is always on my teaching supply list. Most educators shy away from this color because of its intensity. It is a transparent blue which means it’s a wonderful mixing color. Most painters use it for mixing as it will almost look neon by itself and is an unrealistic color. But, mixing it with other blues gives depth to the color. Mixing it with cadmium yellow makes a fab grass green. It will stain your clothes and the palette – not everyone’s idea of fun. But give it a try.

Happy Painting!


Posted in tips on February 13, 2017 by deborahrubin

To lighten colors in watercolor, we add water. The transparency makes the color lighter. Oils and acrylics use white paint. So, then when do we use white paint? Often it’s to add a reflection after the object has been painted – an apple, a car, white caps on water. It can also be used to create some colors you might not have in your paint box. A pink for example. Cerulean blue can be made by mixing phtalo blue, cad yellow, and white. An opaque lime green. It has to be used sparingly or often turns colors mucky and streaky.

Happy Painting!


Posted in tips on January 2, 2017 by deborahrubin

Your old brushes can be used for masking, mixing, and putting texture on your paper. If your round brushes are uneven, trim them with scissors. They often come in handy if children want to paint and you don’t want them to use your expensive brushes!

Keep Painting!


Posted in Uncategorized on September 13, 2015 by deborahrubin

Instead of spending $$$ for a small travel case of hard pan watercolors, buy a long plastic pill case that has a daily space for pills at your local drug store and squeeze out 2 yellows, 2 blues, 2 reds, and either black or white from your tube paint. The individual lids can be used for mixing the colors so no palette is needed. Cheap and easy.

Happy Painting!

Mixing Cups

Posted in And More on August 16, 2015 by deborahrubin

Often when I’m using a lot of one color, mixed or unmixed, I make a large amount in a small mixing cup. This allows me to never run out of the color if I’m in the midst of doing a big wash or something else. Mixing cups can be empty small wide yogurt containers, or small pudding/applesauce containers. You can also find inexpensive white cups, usually 3 to a package at the art stores. I find having my paints premixed in large quantities is essential. Nothing goes to waste. Extra paint can be stored in an empty container, like a baby food jar or poured into an empty palette well.

Keep Painting!

Mr. Clean Magic Eraser

Posted in tricks on August 11, 2015 by deborahrubin

Yes! In the cleaning supply aisle in the grocery store is Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. The original works best. Wet the sponge – you can cut it into small cubes –  and lift out paint that is dried and unwanted in your painting. You can almost get it back to white paper. This works better than a scrubby bristle brush but of course it can’t be used in tiny spaces like a brush. It will take off most anything. After a few uses, the sponge crumbles and needs to be tossed.

Happy Painting!

Figuring out the Contrast

Posted in And More on January 16, 2015 by deborahrubin

Grafix Clear-Lay makes a red acetate sheet 18 x 24 which is a great tool for showing the contrast on a painting.  Just lay it over a dried painting and you will see the lights to darks instantly. It helps understand values of colors in one easy step.

Keep painting!