JENS MALMGREN I create, that is my hobby.

Josefin at the beginning of a new era of palette administration

Some years back my aquarelle painting abilities jumped to a new level. I recently was reflecting over why this happened and why. At that time I did not experience the jump myself. On the contrary, I was busy with the moment. It is now afterwards that I realize that I have gone through an evolution.

There was something that starting this and it was my friends Lucie and Jaap at Aquarelmere who convinced me to start painting with tube based aquarelle paint and a “The Finest Red Sable” paint brush instead of paint in blocks and synthetic paint brushes.

Actually the Red Sable paint brush replaces at least three synthetic paint brushes on its own. The crucial thing is that you can work much quicker with tube based aquarelle water paint and on top of this the Red Sable saves you much time because it can hold much water if you like; it can be sharp and fussy. These things used cleverly made it possible for me to move to another level. Now it is almost time to buy a new Red Sable paint brush because it has started to be really worn out.

With oil painting I just realized another crucial moment recently. Better palette administration! I have been reading oil painting books and they talk about the need for good palette administration but I have not been able to put it into action. Somehow knowledge from books about painting doesn’t get to me in a direct way. It is as if I need to invent things on my own and then I realize that I have been reading about it.

When painting portraits you need a good control of flesh colors. Some books come with the tip that you mix a general skin color and use that as a base for the entire portrait. So I take a heap of white and a little bit of red and a little bit of yellow to make skin color. This I mix together. I have done this for some time now. Two months ago I started to realize that at the end of the model sessions I had rarely used all the premixed skin color. Instead I have been mixing around the heap with yet more white yellow and red.

So the new idea is to put white and red and yellow on the palette and not premix these at all. This was on 29 January 2012 when I made the painting of Josefin. The white is zinc white. At the opposite side of the palette I placed burnt sienna and cobalt blue next to each other. These two are nice because they make anything from blue to red brown with grey in-between when you mix them. The real breakthrough came when I started to make a smooth transition from the bright light skin colors towards the dark grey blue area by making circular movements with the brush.

With the smooth transition on the palette I had a new tool for making portraits. I had millions of shades of skin colors and it was all ordered in a nice transition from light to dark. And now I started to use more of the paint that I had served.

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If you need to send me a link or something personal you can do that on jens at malmgren dot nl.

I was born 1967 in Stockholm, Sweden. I grew up in the small village Vågdalen in north Sweden. 1989 I moved to Umeå to study Computer Science at University of Umeå. 1995 I moved to the Netherlands where I live in Almere not far from Amsterdam.

Here on this site I let you see my creations.

I create, that is my hobby.