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Palette Knife Painting and Color Mixing History

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    A mixing Wheel

A mixing Wheel

   Palette Knife Set

Palette Knife Set

A Glimps of the World of Palette Knife Painting

Originally palette Knives were blunt thin blades made of different kinds of metals or plastic at first, they were originally used to mix paint colors, paste or marbling as well as to clean the palette, etc., Today artistic actually paint entirely with palette Knives and have developed a set of techniques on how to use them. Palette knives come primarily in two types: a symmetric knife resembling a rounded tip, suited for mixing paints on the palette the other; a symmetric knife with a pointed tip, lowered or "cranked" like a trowel, suited for painting on canvas.

Palette Knife Techniques

Welcome to the world of Painting with Palette Knives, I'm sure you have seen a few of them in use, Once you mix and moving paint around your pallets, you will become more comfortable in using them with or without your brush to apply the paint to the canvas, so it could be spread smoothly or slid into many forms or shapes.

Wasn't long before theirs became a demand for all different shapes and sizes, So today you can buy several different Types of Sets, with different steel qualities. It may appear that you have allot to read, but I assure you, it will serve you well, and not only give you a greater sense of understanding, but a stronger sense of confidence.

Thanks to all the painters out there using palette Knives we have allot of Techniques and Styles for us to learn and use. So before we get into these styles and techniques we will will review Tools and Supplies we'll need to begin our project. First we will choose a the size of Canvas, you want to start with. You can go to any Art Supply house and select any standard sizes pre-assemble Canvas 9" X 12", 12" X 16", 16" X 20", ECT. Choosing a Canvas is really a preference, later you'll consider things like size of your Display objects and flowers to use with your vase, then you will choose the style you’re going to use.

Ok, let's first review how Style's of Art evolved, I believe it will strengthen your approach to choosing the style you wish to use for your painting. So using a sort of History Road Map on how style evolved. Let’s look at the styles of Art in Ancient Rome, Greece and Other parts of the European theater.;_ylt=A0oG7hBrrhVO6wEA2SpXNyoA;_ylc=X1MDUCMyNzY2Njc5BF9yAzIEY3NyY3B2aWQDZGlvODkwb0c3djVmeHdOMFRoR0VJd0ZkWXkzTlVFNFZybXNBQzZGWARmcgN5c3AEZnIyA3NnLWdhYwRncHJpZAMEaXQDZ3AEbl9ncHMDMTAEb3JpZ2luA3NycARwb3MDNgRwcXN0cgNzdHlsZXMgb2YgQXJ0BHF1ZXJ5A2hpc3RvcmljYWwgc3R5bGVzIG9mIGFydARzYWMDMQRzYW8DMQRzZWMDcmVsLXNhBHZ0ZXN0aWQDVklQMDc3?p=historical%20styles%20of%20art&fr=ysp&fr2=sg-gac&pqstr=styles%20of%20Art

During the Republican period to about the time of Julius Caesar the first two styles were developed. The third style was developed at the time of Christ and the arrival of the Roman Empire at the end of the first century BC. The fourth style began about a 100 Years later.

All four styles are precise and accurate in procedure in the creation and forming of the Logical Reasoning of each. While creativeness structured their foundation, Expression brought about a new Deminsion in not only their Construction but also in their Architectual decorative trim where it became more alluring, like with Bathes, Temples, Arena, Columns, Pediments and so on. Roman architecture developed from an understanding of the Hellenistic Architecture of Greece. However, Roman architecture shows the influence of their development of new engineering skills throughout this age .The Romans developed not only new ways to build more efficient Buildings but also an entirely different purpose for the building to be built. While still showing the beauty that was skillfully achieved by the Greeks earlier and adding their own practicality and inventiveness, and these styles remain to this day.

What has been classified as the "first style" includes the art of painting on freshly spread moist lime plaster with pigment mixed in water aimed at coping the effect of precious marbles and other precious stones especially if they were difficult to cut and drag from Rock Quarries.

The "second style" includes the creation of illusionary scenary within in the boring wall or between columns so to give the appearance of skies, gardens and Structures receding into the distance. The "third style" reduces the columns and false architectural structures to simplified compositional devices which acted as decorative trim frames that would nowadays be refer to as "figurative paintings" of landscapes and still life. Note :( This is where we will start our lesson, using this style, its more fun to learn that way) but lets first finish are review. The "fourth style" was in part brought about by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius which buries Pompeii about 9 BC, at the close of the Augustan Era. Even though this puts a stop to the source of materials, but not the artistic production! In Fact this triggered the painter of this period to lets loose with of a mass number of decorative motifs laid out in rectangular structures and framing smaller panels which we today might well have painted on a canvas and. hung. There were three Main variants. first an architecture design which became more realistic and the "canvases" might well be remembered in our movies and History books of larger rectangular sections of white wall, framed by patterns, like chains of leaves dotted with small figurines, birds or jars which once dominated the cities of the past and now acts as Decorative trim during the time of Christ till the mid 1900s.

The wall surface of the fourth style thus becomes a physical surface again. Rather than a misleading image presented to the vision, as to becomes a support for the decorative medium (like the canvas of a painting). It is interesting to note how the pictorial discoveries of the fourth style were to be used again and again till mid 1900s for example, during the industrial revolution to decorate mass produced products such as ceramics. The Romans who were so keen on ornamentation in fact did something quite similar themselves with pottery

I know you’re dieing to get started, we have just a few more things to cover, but their very important, the placement of paint on the palette by colors, and caution to consider with some paints of paint. The History of Color, which will strengthen your ability to choose which colors to use in your paintings. Plus a little history on the how, when and why, they were derived. Ok! Great then lets get this under our belts so we can start painting.

Ok, now were ready to review and understand the History of colors and how the mixing came about , I figured you like to see a color mixing wheel, so I placed one at the beginning of the Hub.

Modern Paint with Acrylics

Modern Art With Acrylic Sticks

Modern Art With Acrylic Sticks

Modern Art at its Finest

Modern Art at its Finest

The Child

The Child

Modern Art with Oils

Modern Art with Oils

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A History of Colors including the MODERN era with a complete breakdown of the organic minerals, and Compounds as they became available to the art world and why.

Artists have painted images of the natural and supernatural worlds for more than 3,000 years. For their materials, prehistoric painters turn to the earths raw materials. As time progressed they brought about Compounds from mixing these materials, like iron oxides which yielded Silent colors of red, yellow and brown. Soon they learned Carbon made a strong black with a bluish tinge, and as the wheel of time turned they soon discovered that bone black makes a warmer color. Calcium carbonate (marble dust) is easy to find and make into a pigment. Until the Industrial Revolution, the majority of colors on artists' palettes were lightfast earth colors, which is why the Old Masters' paintings are mostly brown.

During the Industrial Revolution, oil colors were from inorganic pigments that are compounds of minerals, such as cobalt, cadmium, and manganese. These are the mineral colors, and they were developed for every hue on the color wheel. Their intense mass tones complemented earth colors on painters' palettes and replaced paints made from expensive semiprecious stones, highly toxic compounds or fugitive colors, which means that is not lightfast, or permanent and will fade over time.

Impressionism which was a 19th-century art movement that began as a loose association of  artists in Paris whose independent exhibitions brought them to prominence in the 1870s and 1880s especially sense Oil paint was becoming available in full spectrum of pigments packaged for the first time of oil colors in a tube and sense the Characteristics of the earlier Impressionist paintings was of painting that was painted outside the studio, of actually landscapes and Scenery this gave them the freedom to paint outside with out paints drying to fast, or drying out on the palettes before they finished. It also allowed them to mix more freely outside the studio. Which allowed them to them to paint natural light in landscape, portraiture and still life, and sense most colors of the natural world have a strong element of grey and. Mineral colors are also the most opaque artists' colors, so not having to mix them out side in the wind and sun gave them allot more freedom to stay focused on their painting.

Modern colors are very similar in mineral colors. Mass tone is a Hue of a paint color as it comes from the tube.) However modern colors and mineral colors behave differently when mixed with mediums, mixed with white (tinted), or mixed with other colors to produce secondaries. Modern colors are noted for their intense tinting strength and transparency. Most important, they do not grey down when mixed with white. You should also read on undertone

Innovation in color chemistry throughout the 20th century has presented painters with another full spectrum of colors of modern organic pigments. These pigments are called organic because they are made from chemical compounds with a central carbon atom. They are primarily made for commercial printing, plastics, and auto paints. Among thousands of new colorants made in the twentieth century, only a few, including phthalo, hansa and quinacridone, are lightfast enough to be used in artists' colors. These pigments we call the "modern colors."

Some believe it was unfortunately that many modern colors were introduced as "hues" or replacements for more expensive mineral colors such as cadmium and cobalt. Whereas others felt the modern colors took on their own characteristics. These become obvious when they are thinned or mixed with white or other colors. Unliken to the mineral colors, modern colors produce high key colors in masstone, transparency and tint. While their characteristics offer painters more color possibilities, modern colors can disappoint those who use them for natural light effects because they do not grey down.

Mineral colors
Many inorganic pigments are made by heating compounds such as cobalt and aluminum to temperatures more than 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit for long periods of time. High priced raw materials plus the high costs of manufacturing make cobalt and cadmium colors are quite expensive. Colors from this family of mineral pigments shift from light (Cadmium Yellow Light) to dark (Cadmium Yellow Deep).

They grey down when mixed with white which is perfect for capturing light of the natural world. Mineral based pigments have larger pigment sizes and lower tinting strengths than modern colors. They are leaner and naturally more matte. Mineral colors are mostly opaque. Ultramarine Blue and Viridian are exceptions; these are semi-transparent. Most mineral colors have excellent light fastness rating.

Modern Organic colors
Modern organic pigments are translucent made in high tech factories, or a group of Veteran Artists that come together to provide pure and high qualities supplies for the painting community and themselves. Most modern colors, including quinacridone, phthalo and perylene are transparent. Hansa and napthol are semi-transparent, Because of their small particle sizes and higher oil absorption (fatter). Modern pigments make colors of very high tinting strength that are naturally glossier.

Natural Organic Pigments, Such as Rose Matter, Bone Black and Carbon Black are created by one of the worlds best Paint Manufactories, Portland’s Gamblin Oils, Owned by Robert Gamlin. His Success seems to revolve around the fact that all his employees are artist, He has been quoted to say "That he believes they are his greatest asset." If you've ever been to New York’s Central Art Supply, you'll learn they have the highest regards to all their products quality, and carry the full line of each Product. Several Famous Artist that use Gamblins Paints are David Hockney and Jim Dine

Here are some valuable pairings of mineral and modern colors to explore so to boost or add to your paintings:

Cadmium Yellows / Hansa yellows
Cadmium Orange / Mono Orange
Cadmium Reds / Napthol Reds
Cobalt Violet & Manganese Violet Dioxazine Purple
Cobalt Blue & Ultramarine Blue Phthalo Blue
Viridian & Cobalt Green Phthalo Green
Alizarin Crimson Quinacridone Red / Magenta

Creating a Large Painting using Modern Technics and Paints Compounds:

Paint Mines and Pigments to Oil & Acrylic Paint

Acrylic Paint Set in Tubes

Acrylic Paint Set in Tubes

A Paint Mine where they get the Minerals to make Pigments

A Paint Mine where they get the Minerals to make Pigments

A Complete Oil Paint Set

A Complete Oil Paint Set

Another Paint Mine where they get the Minerals to make Pigments

Another Paint Mine where they get the Minerals to make Pigments

A Pigment Palette

A Pigment Palette

Another Paint Mine where they get the Minerals to make Pigments

Another Paint Mine where they get the Minerals to make Pigments

Pigments Set for Asdvanced Painters

Pigments Set for Asdvanced Painters

Now Lets discuss How Paints were Discovered and Manufactured.

Titanium White
is made from titanium dioxide which was first discovered in the late 18th century. High quality, pure titanium dioxide reflects 97.2% of incident light. It is the most brilliant of the white pigments. Note: Titanium White is non toxic and less prone to yellowing and cracking than Lead White (especially when a small amount of zinc oxide is added to the formula).

Zinc White is made from zinc oxide. As early as 1785, painters were using Zinc White instead of Lead White. Compared to all other whites, Zinc White has less hiding power. It dries more slowly so painters who want to paint wet into wet over a long time will find it useful. Note :( Zinc White is the coolest white). It has a slightly bluish cast. Being more transparent than other whites, Zinc is good for glazing and scumbling. Its creamy texture makes it a great choice when using impasto techniques or for making paintings in one sitting (alla prima).

For health reasons, white made from titanium and zinc replaced Lead White on the palettes of most American painters by the mid-twentieth century. But some painters still prefer the working properties of Lead White (Flake White).

Red brings thoughts of Love, High energy, Long Life, Healing and Safe. Artists have always wanted bright permanent reds and have historically worked with hazardous, rare, and expensive materials to get them. The artists' color Vermilion was originally prepared from cinnabar, a soft bright red mineral that is the principal ore of mercury. The mural artists of Pompeii used cinnabar from mines in Almaden, Spain. Since the thirteenth century CE, Vermilion has been artificially synthesized from mercury and sulfur. This Vermilion is a dense opaque color, but it may blacken when exposed to the air or when painted next to white lead.

The Red Earths is closely related to brown ochers and umbers and were common in murals and easel painting throughout history. Red earths are completely permanent and lightfast, but they are dull when compared to the bright reds made from mercury. Other brighter reds were made from organic matter such as the madder root, dried bodies of insects or pomegranate peel. But they were not lightfast.

In the mid 1800's Alizarin was artificially synthesized and the madder root industry was ruined. A "lake color," Alizarin Crimson is dihydroxyanthraquinone dye bonded onto alumina hydrate with an Alkali refined Linseed Oil Vehicle. This is then used as a pigment. Alizarin Crimson is a transparent cool slight bluish red which has a slight smoky glaze it is still used by allot of painters...

Cadmium Red was produced at the turn of the 20th Century. It is a bright red that had shades from orange red to maroon .It's a warm opaque paint and is lightfast, and considerably less toxic than Vermilion. Vermillion was basically replace by Cadmium Red by the around 1930 by most artists. It’s available in Light, Medium and deep dark also. Some common names are Cadmium Vermillion, Cadmium Bordeaux, Selenium Red and Cadmium Scarlet.

Since Cadmiums was developed many more reds have been manufactured into paint colors. These organic reds include: the semi-transparent Napthol and Perinone Reds and transparent Perylene and Quinacridone Reds these reds offer in light fastness over Alizarin.

Perylene Red is cool red with a yellow undertone. It’s a warm, lightfast red that is completely transparent. Napthol Red is a organic color which comes in Mid to Deep red and when thinned you can get closer to a rose red or Quinacridone Red .Napthol Red was originally introduced as a Cadmium Red Hue, Note: its important to realize that the two colors behave very differently when mixed with white. Cadmium Red greys down. Napthol Red does not. Quinacridone Red: Note: [some times called Red Rose] is a Cool lightfast red with high key tint. Useful in place of Alizarin Crimson where more intensified effects are desired through mixtures of paints so to bring out lighted or dulled colors, like when you mix Ultramarine with it to get a brilliant purple or Payne's grey for a dull purple.

Cadmium Orange
was the first true orange. It is a pure hue with excellent opacity and low toxicity compared to its predecessors. Around 1820, yellow cadmium sulfide was discovered as an impurity in the processing of zinc ores. The name cadmium is derived from cadmia fornacum, a type of furnace used to smelt zinc. In experiments, chemists used hydrogen sulfide to precipitate the yellow colorant from solutions of cadmium salts. By the late 1800's they discovered by gradually increasing the amount of selenium, they could produce deeper shades of cadmium orange and all shades of cadmium red.

Monoacetolone (Mono) Orange is a more modern high key color. It offers painters a pure hue that is more transparent than Cadmium Orange and remains brighter in its tint when mixed with white. Painters can also create subtle color shifts by applying various thicknesses of transparent orange.

the color yellow appears to have the highest reflectivity of any color. Today most painters will use Cadmium Yellow because of its brilliant and opaque. Qualities. Artists' grade Cadmium Yellow oil colors are made from chemically pure cadmium-sulfide pigments. Cadmium is a silvery metal that occurs in nature, but cadmium pigments are manufactured. Note: (Cadmium Yellow replaced toxic chrome (lead) yellows). Although more expensive than Chrome Yellow, Cadmium Yellow was used by landscape painters, including Claude Monet, because of its higher chroma and its greater purity of color. Note: Claude Oscar Monet was born in Paris, and enters the SwissAcademy by the 1900s he becomes a famous painter, I recommend sometime in the future you should read his Biography. .

Before the Industrial Revolution, painters used Yellow Ochre’s or Orpiment (sulfide of arsenic). Occasionally painters found some Gamboge, a strongly colored secretion from trees that resembles amber. Gamboge was used for glazing before Indian Yellow became available in the middle of the 19th century. To make Indian Yellow, cows were force fed mango leaves and given no water. Their urine was collected in dirt balls and sold as "pigment." The resulting artists' color was a warm transparent glazing yellow. But Indian Yellow was lost somewhere between the decline of cruelty to animals and the rise of manufactured pigments.

In the 20th century, the most transparent of the yellows that we call "Indian Yellow" is tartrazine yellow in its transparency, it makes a glowing warm yellow -- as if a painting were suddenly lit with summer sunshine. Tartrazine yellow in oil is only about as lightfast as Alizarin Crimson, which means that if a painting is subjected to strong sunlight there will be some fading. Indian Yellow will continue to be made from tartrazine yellow pigment until a suitable replacement is available. Painters who love the extraordinary effects that Indian Yellow produces, should consider the issue of light fastness and make paintings for interior spaces on which no direct sunlight falls, and or use a varnish with a UV absorber.

Hansa yellow pigments were first made in Germany just before World War I. They are organic pigments that are semi-transparent and lightfast (Hansa Yellow Light is Light fastness II, and Hansa Yellow Medium & Deep are Light fastness I). In their masstones, Hansa Yellows resemble Cadmium Yellows but the similarity ends there. Hansa Yellows make more intense tints and cleaner secondaries, especially when mixed with other organic (modern) colors like Phthalo Blue and Green. Because they are more transparent, Hansa Yellows have great value as glazing colors. Painters can also take advantage of the "temperature" shifts of the Hansas-from coolest yellow (Hansa Yellow Light) to warm golden yellow (Hansa Yellow Deep).

.Green is a primary of light but not of pigments. Originally Artists made greens by glazing Egyptian Blue (a glass variously compounded that is quenched and ground as a basis for glazes or enamels called smalt) over Naples Yellow (a naturally occurring lead antimoniate). Few green pigments are found naturally. Terra Verte, or Green Earth, is made from volcanic celadonite and/or a mineral of sedimentary origin. Green earth was used as a under painting for flesh tones in medieval painting (verdaccio). Brighter green colorants were made by mixing pale green earth pigments and fugitive dyes made from juice of rue, parsley or columbine.

Cennino d'Andrea Cennini (c. 1370 – c. 1440) was an Italian painter influenced by Giotto. He was a student of Agnolo Gaggi. He was born in Colle Val d'Elsa Tuscany. He is remembered mainly for having authored "libro dell'arte," often translated as The Craftsman's Handbook. Written in the early 15th century, the book is a "how to" on renaissance art. It contains information on Pigments, brushes, panel painting, the art of fresco, and techniques and tricks, including detailed instructions for under drawing, under painting and over painting in egg tempera. Cennini preferred Verdigris to green earth Verdigris ("green of Greece") is a bluish green pigment that was used by artists' of Greece and Rome and was found on the walls of Pompeii. Verdigris was a common color for draperies in Italian and Dutch easel painting from the 15th through the 17th centuries in landscape paintings Verdigris was often warmed with Gamboge: is a partially transparent dark mustard yellow pigment, Gamboge is most often extracted by tapping resin from various species of evergreen trees often know as Gamboge Tree, the tree must be at least ten years old before it can be tapped. To make Verdigris, copper plates were covered with grape skins. Their fermentation caused a green crust to form on the copper. Pigment was made by scraping the green crust off and processing it further with wine or vinegar. Verdigris is reactive and unstable, requiring painters to use isolating varnishes to protect its color. While searching for a warmer, more permanent color, some painters experimented with Emerald Green (SchweinfurtGermany). This is a poisonous copper aceto-arsenite that was most successfully used as a rat poison in the sewers of Paris.

Viridian (hydrated chromium oxide) was available as an oil color by 1838 and immediately replaced Verdigris and Emerald Green. It is brighter and more lightfast than Viridian. It has good tinting strength and is nontoxic. Cobalt Green which is made from a compound of oxides of cobalt and zinc, found favor with 19th century landscape painters after 1856. It is a pure green, completely lightfast and opaque, with low tinting strength. Cobalt Green makes valuable greys and is especially valuable for painting the American Southwest where green should be kept to a muted minimum.

Phthalocyanine (Phthalo) Green, first made in 1927, most closely resembles Verdigris. Beautifully transparent, Phthalo Green is completely lightfast and has an extraordinary tinting strength. Phthalo Green is a modern color. Phthalo Green is the cooler or blue shade, and Phthalo Green Yellow Shade is the warmer. Painters may find Phthalo Green Y.S. easier to use since most greens in the world have a high degree of yellow in them. Either shade can be used to "boost" mineral colors in their tints.

Blue is the soothing color of intellect, a symbol of devotion to noble ideas. While blue is abundant in sky and water, then came the beginning of the 18th century, the only blue oil colors were made from semi-precious stones, like lapis lazuli and azurite, or a ground cobalt blue glass called smalt. So Lazurite a Transparent blue which later saw Ultramarine Blue on painters palette's in place of Lazurite.

Painters who did not live in cosmopolitan areas or painters who were poor never used any blue at all. Painters like Jan van Eyck used lapis but only at the request of his patrons. Owning an oil painting made with expensive blues was a status symbol for Dutch merchants.

In the early 1700's, Prussian blue was discovered by accident while a chemist was trying to formulate artificial crimson. It was first precipitated from salt, potash and a chemical compound made from blood. Prussian blue has a high tinting strength and is lightfast. Prussian blue is especially beautiful in its transparency.

Note: [Cobalt Blue is considered "true blue.]" In the 16th century, cobalt ore was commonly seen shimmering in the lights from miners' lamps inside silver mines. The miners named the ore "Kobold"-Goblin. Cobalt Blue was first made from cobalt ore in 1775. Cobalt Blue pigment is perfectly lightfast and the most permanent of all pigments used to make artists' colors. It is expensive today for two reasons. The price of raw cobalt ore is controlled by the government of Zaire which depends heavily on cobalt mining revenues. And the cost of processing the ore into pigment is high because it consumes tremendous amounts of natural gas.

Ultramarine Blue was first made in the early 1800's from the calcination of sulfur with other minerals. Having nearly an identical chemical composition, Note: it replaced lapis lazuli. Almost overnight, the most expensive color on the artists' palette became one of the least expensive and the most widely available. Many shades are produced from violet to green. Today artists generally consider Ultramarine Blue a warm lightfast blue with moderate tinting strength and beautiful transparency. Artists have always recognized it as a great glazing color.

Phthalocyanine Blue was first discovered during the early 1900s, but wasn't developed as a pigment until 1930. The demand for the color came from commercial printers who wanted a cyan to replace Prussian blue. Note: Today the blues used in commercial printing are Phthalo. (Most red and yellow process inks fade but never Phthalo Blue! It is completely lightfast.)

Phthalo Blue is clean, pure color with great transparency and high tinting strength. Phthalo Blue is similar to Prussian blue in masstone. But each color behaves very differently when mixed with white. Phthalo Blue remains a pure intense blue, while Prussian blue gives up intensity and becomes a little smoky. Of the modern colors, Phthalo Blues are among the most compatible with the mineral colors. Once painters can control the color strength, they find that the Phthalo Blues make predictable mixed colors. Note: Try mixing Phthalo Blues with yellows to make greens.

There is violet light but no purple light. Purple is not abundant in nature. Phoenicians had to grind millions of mollusc "purpura" shells to make enough dye for their emperors' clothes. Purple is the color of power and of power corrupted, wine and wantonness. Note (: Usually a mixed color made from a cool red and a warm blue), purple symbolizes both sensuality and repentance. Purple is the color of Lent. Kandinsky [described] violet as red withdrawn from humanity by blue. Vasily Kandinsky was born in 1866 in Moscow and died in 1944; He was the Pioneer of abstract art, as well as an Aesthetic Theorist.

The compound manganese phosphate was first discovered in 1868. It makes semi-transparent Manganese Violet oil color, a warm, reddish violet with moderate tinting strength. Note: Cobalt Violet is a general name for several violet color cobalt pigments and cobalt phosphate was discovered just before Manganese Violet. Cobalt Violet is a pure hue that cannot be mixed from other colors. Cool in its pleasing color quality or tint, and Cobalt Violet greys down considerably when mixed with white. Considering its expense, Note: [Cobalt Violet is used mostly as a top coat color} (except for those who are trapped by its charms). The modern Dioxazine Purple has the strongest tinting strength of all pigments. A cold color, Dioxazine Purple is completely transparent and useful as a high key tint.

Note: [Some painters never buy violet or purple.] They mix it using Alizarin Crimson and Ultramarine Blue. While a decent color, the purple mixed using Alizarin Crimson is not lightfast. Within 100 years that mixture will not be purple, it will be blue. Mixing Ultramarine Blue with lightfast and transparent Quinacridone Red or Magenta will make a good permanent purple with a much higher hue.

Old Masters' paintings were mostly brown because most available pigments were brown. Earth colors are made from natural iron oxides that are found all over the earth in various shades of brown and muted shades of red, orange, yellow, and green. Other minerals deposited with iron oxides, such as calcium, manganese or carbon, effect their colors.

Ochre is clay and silica colored with various kinds of iron oxides. The famous "Terra di Siena" is a hydrated iron oxide from Tuscany. It contains silicates and aluminates that increase the transparency of the pigment. Umber is found in sites where naturally occurring manganese dioxide combines with the iron. Pigments containing manganese make quick drying oil colors. Burnt Umber and Burnt Sienna are made by roasting earth pigments until the desired reddish colors are produced.

In the studios of the Old Masters, painters pushed against the limitations of their colors. Sienna and Umber are key colors in creating effects of depth like Caravaggio's chiaroscuro or Leonardo's fumato with its almost imperceptible transitions from light to dark.

A hundred years after the Masters, there was a revival in their techniques. Note: [Asphaltum glazes were used to make oil paintings look artificially old.] Organic in nature, Asphaltum was coal black and crumbly. The pigment was not ground into oil but rather melted into oil and turpentine. Among the few transparent colors, Asphaltum was used in glazing and shading. But it was fugitive. By the end of the 18th century, painters were dissuaded from using the color because it caused paintings to fade and deteriorate at an alarming rate.

In the 18th Century Terra di Colonia or Cassel Earth was renamed Van Dyke Brown after the great painter who loved this dark transparent color. Known as an "earth pigment" because it was dug out of the ground, Van Dyke Brown was actually organic because it was derived from coarse peat. During the past decade, painters' interests have turned again toward the techniques of Renaissance masters. Like their predecessors contemporary painters are pushing against the limitations of their colors. We are asked if earth colors were more transparent hundreds of years ago. The answer is yes. Today's earth pigments are more opaque. The once rich deposits of earths in Siena, Corsica and Cyprus are nearly mined out. Today's earth colors must be mined from various locations and mixed together to achieve consistent colors. The result is a rise in cost and a decline in transparency. Painters have noticed this change. But there is an answer; stunning new earth pigments were recently developed to meet demands of industry. These are transparent forms of Mars colors (synthetic iron oxides) that have excellent light fastness ratings just like natural iron oxides.

Black, first among the alchemical principals, is the action of fire. Note: [Charcoal was probably the first drawing tool.] With white chalk and red earth colors, black tone formed the palette of prehistoric painters. Da Vinci counted black pigments among the most important to create tone, tint and shade. Tintoretto often under painted in black. While long associated with darkness and mourning, black has been a popular fashion color since the 16th century CE.

The making of the color "Elephantium" was first described in the 4th century B.C. Ivory scraps were tightly packed into clay pots, excluding as much air as possible. Covered with an iron lid, the ivory was heated in kilns to make Ivory black. This very expensive process was used until 1929 when the last factory in Germany closed. Before the 20th century, various organic materials, including animal bones, were calcined together to form different colors of blacks. Neither the warm, purplish “vine black” made from vines, wine lees nor were grape skins, nor a bluish fruit stone black, made from burning pits, completely lightfast.

Complementary is when two colors are mixed in the proper proportion, they produce a neutral color (grey, white, or black). Many Artist today use these colors to create the traditional set of complementary pairs: blue and orange, red and green, yellow and purple, So when you mix’s the blue Complements colors plus the pair (red + Yellow) colors to get Orange then you get a shade of grey Note: These are complement Primary colors Red, Blue and yellow, with the color derived from mixing any of the pair colors with a primary Color, you will produce a shade of grey. The use of complementary colors is an important process in which we bring forth the beauty of the neutral colors.

blue complements (red + yellow) = orange = Complementary Grey to this Color Set

red complements (blue + yellow) = green = Complementary Grey to this Color Set

yellow complements (red + blue) = purple. = Complementary Grey to this Color Set

Thinking greys made from black are lifeless, Note [some painters never allow black on their palettes because some thought that greys made from black were dull.] Today choose for the most part to only make greys from complements. Some believe over using black in a painting will make it look dirty. But neutral greys made from black and white are the same as neutral greys made from exact complements. Greys made from complements are livelier because they are incomplete mixtures.

In the 19th century better manufacturing methods for Bone black yielded darker, denser pigments that were less inexpensive. So bone black replaced genuine ivory black on artists' palettes. Essentially bone and ivory blacks are the same compounds of carbon and calcium, and pigment color and quality compare so favorably that artists' Note:[oil color made today from bone black is called Ivory Black.] Ivory Black is a good, all purpose black that has a weak tinting strength and is slightly warm in its transparency. This is a good choice for mixing greys, tinting and mixing with other colors.

Mars Black is an artificial mineral pigment made from iron metal. It is well named for the god of war. Mars Black has approximately three times the tinting strength of Ivory Black and is very opaque. Cool in its masstone and strong, Note:[Mars Black is often the choice of the Neo-Expressionists and others who want make black opaque marks in thick wet paintings.] It also is the leanest black and dries more quickly than Ivory. It is slightly warm in its tint. Mars Black is not as black a black as Ivory Black.

Van Dyke Brown is a warm black, which is completely lightfast, made from bone black and iron oxide. Payne's grey is the coolest black, made from Mars Black and Ultramarine Blue.

Copper Chromite Black made from the calcination of copper oxide and chromium oxide is a modern, more expensive black. Note: This Copper Black is truly unique. Without the addition of painting mediums, it dries to a matte finish and looks like slate. Its tint may be the most appealing characteristic of Copper Chromite Black. Its tint is truly neutral.

Palette Knife Art Lesson 1

Without You its Just a Room, With You it all takes on An Art of its own W/ You you as its Creator

Without You its Just a Room, With You it all takes on An Art of its own W/ You you as its Creator

palette painting by Anniewalker

palette painting by Anniewalker

Painting a Vase and Flowers with a Palette Knife

Painting a Vase and Flowers with a Palette Knife

Are you ready to Begin

Great! Let go shopping?

What I'd like us to have for our lesson is the following Tubes in acrylic a large tube of Quick Dry White 1. White Paynes Grey 2. Sky white 3. Naples Yellow, being that it has been essential to the landscape tradition because it has the quality of appearing to recede into the picture's distant plain sun unlike other yellows which sit in front of the plain. 4. Yellow Cadiumun Yellow Deep. 5. Phthalo Green, 6.Cobalt Green, 7. Burnt Sienna, 8. Quinacridone Red, sometimes known as Rose Red, 9. Pyrrole Red, A bright red color and comes from a company called Lascaux. 10. Dioxazine Purple, 11. Cerilium blue because is the most precise color of the sky, 12.Ultramarine Blue this mixed with Quinacridone Redmakes agood Permanent purple 13. Ivory Black, This is a good choice for mixing greys, tinting and mixing with other colors.

So I guess its time to check our list of supplies to be sure we have everything and discuss how we use the Knives.

1. Pallet (or paper Plate or medium weight board 1/4" thick) Note:[For Palette Knife your not picking your Paint Palette up, because you have the knife in one hand and the towel to wipe in the other.

.2. Easel (A stand for Canvas) Note: [You might want a Stool to sit on, not a chair. You can slide on and off easier, as you continually step to the left and right of your Canvas.

3. Set of Palette Knives (as shown) Note: [You’ll find below some Techniques on How to Hold a Palette Knife.

4. Set of Acrylics or Oil Paints Tubes (see attached List) Recommended, I felt acrylic would be easier at first, if your new to Painting, if not I believe Oil Paints would be a better choice. But please NOTE:[ Oil Paints require a slightly different style and technic, plus harder to correct mistakes.]
5. Set of Brushes 1/2", 1" & 2" Like: All purpose white Chinese cutter short handle or White Bristle Utility Chip Brush.

6. Canvas your choice (might want two 9"x12" and 12"x 16") Note: [I’ve include some Thoughts and at the end of this Lesson, an internet site you might enjoy, where an Artist created a video which will demonstrate how to build and stretch a canvas steps by step.

7. A Project to paint, Picture, Display or and object like a vase w/ a Flora Set up. (Flowers) Note: [Don't worry what size canvas you choose of the two, and which style of Vase, are the type of Flowers, I'll be there with you. You’ll see.

8. Roll of paper towels that are soft and cloth like (Tear off about 12 Sheets for this lesson) and cut 4 pieces of heavy white copy paper, into four equal parts and set aside color matching.

9. a several pieces of sponge in varying sizes, so if you want to decorate your vase and see how pieces of sponge can make paint a bit more fun, and even give you some nice results.

10. A pencil with a large wide lead, for rough sketches, found mostly at Art Supply Stores. And a small squeeze bottle of water. Note: [Some might wish to use a Grayish Hue on a small brush to lay out a few shapes, for rough location, they should be mostly transparent.

11. Rubber Surgical Gloves. [Recommended because some paint is considered Toxic]

Great, were almost their, lets first practice holding a Pallet Knife, so you get use to turning your hand and wrist all different ways while moving from side to side of the Canvas, So go up to the canvas with a clean knife, and try these moves, and every time you pull your knife away, take your knife and wipe it with a towel, even though its clean, Hey we might as well start off with what you will be doing over and over, so to develop an important discipline.

ok, here we go with the practice, and just so you understand why its important to practice first, I want you to get past that initial fear, and start building your confidence of using a Palette Knife, plus it will be allot easier for you once we start with the real painting, but even more important, is that paint is very expensive and I’m sure you don't want to waste it all on practicing any more than you have too..

Here are some Techniques on Holding and using a Palette Knife with or without paint.

So, let’s First start with a Flat Stroke W/ Large Knife,(Spreading) using the entire bottom evenly where we are barely touching the canvas, because were actually spreading the paint on the bottom of the palette knife, the harder we press down on the blade the thinner the layer of paint we leave. As a practice with out paint just barely touch the leveled palette knives bottom to the surface of the canvas, so to just get the positioning your hand and wrist move to the collation of the arm swing when moving to the left and right(side to side). Note :( In a real painting you'll usually do this in wider areas of your canvas, like when you first start.) Flat Stroke W/Small Knife, to place patterns like leaves and images, or smaller shaped items.

Next lets try Cut and Sliding, where we turn or knife slightly to a desired degree while lightly touching the edge to the canvas where you wish to start laying your paint and working it, by the degree of tilt you set so to run your paint out as you reach the pre-determined length you wish to reach or you slow your movement as you lift the knife away, so were actually in a constant and gradual tilting mode with the knife as were sliding the knife so to lay down the paint onto the canvas in the area we choose, The size and how we load paint on the knife is also important. So practice loading your knife on your palette, and Sliding it out as you vary your knife pitch(Tilt) start with a small amount , slowly increase, to see how far out you will slide the paint, before it runs out. Just think your laying snow on an edge of a mountain, and sliding it down its side. Don't forget to wipe your knife after each application.

Good! Now let’s do Dabbing / Touch and Pulling where we place the tip of a knife with a slight lift 15% degree so to place the color and pull away, leaving a touch of a color, if we level or knife and make a long pull, we leave a steam of that color. [Like doing a stem on tree branch, or the post for a street light.

This one is Large Knife Spreading & Tilting where you touch the Flat of the knives bottom or its Right/Left side lightly on the color you wish to apply, then place that part of blade lightly against canvas on how you wish to spread it. If you tilt it gradually you can spread it allot thinner or control the degree of application through the angle of the knife Edge. Note: (Thus the flatter the tilt the more paint you leave), Small Knife Spreading & Tilting this technique is especially good for Banana, Coconuts and Palm Trees, which have split sections, are brick and Stone buildings numerous application. Tilt and touch knife so to pick up exactly the amount of paint you want, you can test results first on the palette, Note: [choose your knife size to match the size of area you wish to touch, and don't forget to wipe after each application of paint.

Hey were almost there, Just two more. This one is called Tapping, where you collect the paint of pallet and then tap it on to the canvas, to return quickly for more after you had wiped your knife with towel in the other hand, so to keep each color pure from the last one used. [Note: if the color is the same and only hitting virgin canvas, the wiping isn't necessary, but good discipline.]

Ok! This is another one, Edge Cutting, and as it applies where you are going to be cutting a sharp edge or line into is paint or piece of work. Or placing a control edge, like one that is crisp or precise. You place your paint on one side of your Palette knife, then, place close to existing edge of a tree, cliff, or water edge, holding bottom slightly tilted and quickly or slowly pulling away, depending on the effect you’re looking to gain. Note you can again, do a test on your palette board first, once you obtain your desired effect, go to canvas, then come back and scrap palette paint back into original supply to keep from drying out to fast.

Now this could have been another one Spreading, but most use the brush to spread paint over larger areas of your paining, except when you want certain effect with heavier applications or layers of paint so to expose threw sliding them off to create different and unique colors with each pass or slide of the knife.

Last but Least Scrapping, this is where we go back and scrap away, dry paint because we made a mistake or we want the background effect left by spreading Paint, Hypar or glaze to get different effect that lay underneath. Note: Glazing is a term used for a thin, transparent layer of paint, particularly in oil painting and acrylics. Glazes are used on top of one another to build up depth and modify colors in a painting. A glaze must be completely dry before another is applied on top. Use extremely thin paint. The second secret to glazing is patience, don't go too fast. Build your colors and tones slowly, leave the painting to dry between each coat or layer of the paint (glaze) how simple is that? Here's one for the sky, Blend your colors in a circular movement, then take the edge of your large knife and scrape off most of the color. What that does is eliminate the texture, so it looks like a real sky, and then you can place your clouds, with out scrapping.

For the most part we actually use a pallet knife similar to a brush, but the Knife gives you a slight edge to cut better and allows you apply long smooth or jagged edges on creating many different patterns, by just jittering, wiggling or mashing your blade as you slowly pull your knife downward . The knife works great with areas you wish to tweak an Illus ional image or making detailed Flowers petals, Branches and Stems, where you show shape and form through thickiness. Another advantage is transferring a larger amount of paint to the canvas fast and clean, with a simple wipe process of the knife each time you use it, rather than having to clean a brush each time you switch paint color.

How to Stretch Canvas (Save Money} And buy pre-Stretch Canvas that’s pre-coated with Gesso, Maybe after you start painting allot and use allot of different sizes, it would pay you to start stretching your own. It requires allot of Tools, like a T-Square, Canvas Pliers, Hammer, Stable Gun and Stables and Stretcher strips for the size you intend to use. Then go to an Art store and buy pre-cut wood frame rails. Then there's Canvas, Gesso for Pre-Coating raw canvas. Then you will have to square your Canvas, so to be sure it will go into a Picture frame you should have already purchased, because you want your picture frames color to match your painted pictures color scheme. Ok here we are at the end of the page, and most likely ready for a nap, from all the studies and info, So lets take a break or a short nap, and lets say, meet back here in 2 hrs, wearing your most relaxed garden clothes and set up all your Tools, Place everything within arms reach and where you feel its all you. Then turn on your choice of music that doesn't put you to sleep and doesn't drown out the lesson. Ah this looks great; you did a nice job, so lets get started. Lets take each tube of paint and squeeze little on the palette along the outer edge say 2 inches in, leaving about 3 inches space between colors, Now before placing the whites first, Lets do something, take your arm and swing it over to your board acting as a palette, and to the furthest side away from you, great, place your Whites there. Then from the left start all your flower colors, then your vase colors. Ok that leaves your mixes first is your tone in which your going to outline your painting, as like a rough sketch. Ivory Black. Note: If you'd rather use your pencil you can. Just don't use to much lead, so to contaminate your painting
Ok you should have a back grown color in your picture or thrown over the back of your display, Use your Color wheel if your not sure what colors bring that about, if your a bit unsure, hey we can experiment, by just using a very small amount of our desired color mixed, ok be careful full tubes have a habit of burping , because of trapped air pockets, great now take a small amount spread it on one of those 4 inch Square of white paper we prepared earlier. Then match it up against the color you’re trying to mimic.

Ok, were doing great, now do the same with your Vase colors, then the Stems and other decorative colors that put in place to help create your display. Each in the order you’re going to apply them. The Flower Colors, Note: this might require two or three colors, because a Stem and Flowers have shadows change as well as lighting change that we have to apply in that order, First all the rough stems should be done with the Edge Touching,

Note: You might want to copy and print the knife techniques on your printer, so to hang in clear sight, even consider increasing the type size for ease in reading.

Ok now we must put in the Back ground, be careful for our first painting, that we don’t have allot of background, actually we could use our 2 inch brush and paint on a wallpaper pattern as the background by taking some of your Cerilium blue and mix with Sky White, mix your first batch to do the outer canvas in to about an 1" border around the flower arrangement outermost reach, ok now you can place a bit more sky white to your Cerilium to get a sort of Marbleized look in that 1" area around that which the Flowers will be most displayed in their finest beauty.

Now well do the Mix for the colors to match your background cover you picked for vase to sits as it drapes over the box or board you placed behind it, Some use a felt or piece of velvet, as the back ground throw, So using the colors that are created by the throw will be your challenge to mimetic to the edge of the vase with out touching it. Note: [this is going to be 3 or four different color mixes so to recreate the folds, to show the lighting and shadowing effect which appears. Then we can start painting the vase from the edge to the center capturing it’s ever glimmer and color change, because it's our first center of Focus, which will later help you convert to the flowers at the end of your painting. Ok, isn’t this Fun, but I believing its time to back away and take a break, and come back with fresh eyes! Note: this should become a standard practice in any art project... Ah your back! Greats let’s start by Experimenting...

Ok, now experiment, on the palette. Then start to do all your stems exposed in your display or picture, while I make us a pot of Tea. If you run into a problem, don't panic, with Acrylic everything is easily corrected, with just a bit of scraping and a new application over it. Oh yeah, speaking of shading you can, do a few smaller ones, for a sort of background casting, by placing some there with your knife(let it Dry) then scrape the top paint away, then high lighting the edges by cutting aside it your darker background color for this area of your painting, being careful not to touch or leave a high ridge from the knife of the mixture of Ivory Black with a bit of grey white, Note: you only need a small amount mixed, you could even apply with a small brush. Now you can actually start placing your back grown flowers, first the smaller off shouts, from the stems, then, the leaves which were going to use the Flat Stroke W/Small Knife, to place Leaves, with a sort of a quick Wiggle fashion as you pull slightly down depending on the size of leaf your working with. Note, if you actually have a leaf there, lets paint it on one side with some green paint, with a small brush, then take one of our white squares of paper and press the leafs pattern onto it, then place the knife slightly above it, as if you were creating it with the knife, this will really give you a true sense of what your going to create on your canvas, after a few times, you'll find it more natural, and won't have to do that any longer with that type of leaf. Great now we can do all the off shouts and leafing which won't affect our main Flower shaping area, Now remember the larger leaves, should be demonstrated the actual cuts and lifts that lie within the center of all leaves, just as nature made them, so if we use the small knife and place our final shading tone of green on our knife, so to cut lightly with our knife at a 45 degree angle as we quickly roll the blade flat as we pull away to get that up lift roll out, that most leaves have from the center vane cut, it's stronger in the back of the leaf, than at the tip, you will find this a bit tricky at first if the leaves are small, but practice makes perfect, so you might note: here that having a small practice canvas say 6" square, will be a nice item to have around to practice shapes and knife moves on, before actually applying them to your actual painting. Hey that’s what it’s all about, learning how to make it easier and more fun. For those that you may only do once in a blue moon, just use your palette, or our white squares of paper.

Ok! This is where we create our first Flower petal, once you master this, its all yours the rest of the way, for years to come. Are you ready or do you want to drink your tea first before it gets cold. Good taking breaks is smart, keeps you from becoming stiff or tight. Well, Lets start by creating just a few of nature’s finest forms of flowing beauty, throughout the world’s endless collections of flower designs, which our Creator created for us to be inspired by. Ok, have you got your practice canvas clean and ready? Wonderful, your going to be so proud of your self to day, now lets pick a really big and Beautiful Petal, good now mix your paints so to match its darkest shadow color, which is the part that attaches to the stem, Lock the angle of attachment and the rate in which it lifts from the Stem and curls out onto a slight dip so to create natures water bowl within each petals design so to catch those magic drops of mother natures rain. Of course I'm sure that you now see the rapid up lift to create the roll out and that under curl as if it was creating its most desirable lips, of course this is just a side view, its equally challenging to do a frontal view. but lets move along, Now once you have placed the undertone on all the flower petals, we'll go back and place the second shade or hue within the flow, which by now, should be obvious as you look at your display or picture over and over, memorizing its every entrancing sparkle of color, and for those lucky few who have been around flowers for years, that can recreate them on canvas from sheer memory. Now as we take this process to each flowers petal step by step, doing all the undertones shapes and shadows first throughout the canvas. We'll then go to the hues or shadowing change of the petals with our lighter shadings mix, to ah yes the final application of the brilliant sparkle of beauty that makes us all love flowers and when we see the finished application of those Bright Cadmiums we then see why we treasure the affects they bring forth in painting.

Just alittle something extra:

As you advanced with your Oil and Palette Knife Painting you will eventually keep your Personal paints on hand semiular to these colors and if they were all placed on a large palette they would be placed in a similar order: i personally only use 9 colors.

On the left side in an arch setting, in this order (first) 01. Dioxazine Purple, 02. Burnt Umber, 03. Burnt Sienna, 04. Red Oxide, 05.Yellow Ochre, 06.Naples Yellow 07. Quinacridone Magenta (Last)

On the bottom in an Arch also, place these colors: 08. Quinacridone Magenta, 09. Rembrandt Rose, 10.Cadmium Red, 11 Cadmium Orange, 12 Indian Yellow Golden, 13. Cadmium Yellow Medium, 14.Gamboge, 15.Cadmium Yellow Light, 16.Cadmium Yellow Pale, 17.Lead Yellow Lemon (Last on the Bottom Left of Palette).

The right side in an Arch (first on top) 18.Thalo Green, then, 19. Permanent Green Light, 20.Green Gold, 21.Yellow Green Opaque with 22.Lead Yellow Light at the bottom.

Information Site on deriving Complement Color Pairs to create livelier Neutrals.

Stretching your own canvas How to Stretch a Canvas


Lanny Bolz on July 25, 2013:

[quote]8192 characters left.[/quote]

Nicely put, Regards!.

Really many of helpful material!

Futamarka on March 12, 2013:

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Cemenoche on June 08, 2012:

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davida Reis on January 23, 2011:

Brilliant piece of writing, I certainly wasn't expecting to find so much info on paint & colours in a single article . thank you very much for sharing your knpwledge

Spider Girl from the Web on December 25, 2010:

Your hub is very information, glad I discovered you! Rated useful and voted up!

Amez (author) from Houston, Texas on May 06, 2010:

Well I Finally got around to Revising my Layout and adding the Pictures I collected, after all they say a picture is worth a Thousand Words. I sure hope you like these. thanks again for all your support HubMasters, I'm a HubPage Knight for Life.

katyzzz from Sydney, Australia on March 17, 2010:

What a wonderful amount of information, especially for those new to painting or wanting to launch out. Well done, an interesting hub.

knell63 from Umbria, Italy on March 12, 2010:

Excellent piece Amez, fully detailed history of colour, I loved it.

Holle Abee from Georgia on March 01, 2010:

I've dabbled with this a little. I did a palette knife shrimp boat that turned out nicely. Thanks for all the great info!

Bose In-ear Headphones on January 04, 2010:


Amez on January 04, 2010:

Hi Jill of alltrades, Just left your, Home page, Your truly a gifted writer, It seems you have been involved in allot of art projects your self. I truly appreciate your comments, anytime you wish to guide my writing feel free, I need all the help I can get.

jill of alltrades from Philippines on January 03, 2010:

I always enjoy reading anything about art. I found this very informative. Thank you for sharing Amez.

Amez (author) from Houston, Texas on January 03, 2010:

Thank you very much RosWebbART for your nice Comments, its Comments such as yours that motivate me to constantly message and improve my Hubs so to strengthen the Information and messages I wish strive to deliver, I look forward to reading your 9 Hubs, since like myself just started sharing my most inner self and thoughts. Thank You again.

Ros Webb from Ireland on January 01, 2010:

Very good article. You write well and provide some valuable information.. RosWebbART

Amez (author) from Houston, Texas on December 30, 2009:

I'm sorry I'm being so slow about getting this Hub out, I'm nearly done, so please bear with me, I want to really pass on a complete and gratitying Hobby.

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