David Dunlop Lectures - We will keep Adding New Lectures, so please check soon

Lecture Notes on “Use, History, and Composition With Color – Part 1”

Hi,I try to paint along with your show, but I never seem to have the colors you use.  Do you have a list of the most common colors you use? I can't always understand what you saw when it comes to the colors.
Peggy from Parker, CO

Hi, Peggy. My palette changes with each artist or school of artists that we present. For example, I used an impressionist palette  with the American Impressionists and Monet which included emerald green, a favorite color of theirs. It also included cadmium yellow when I painted Van Gogh because he loved that color.

When I painted the Hudson River school painters I started with Transparent Red Oxide( an inorganic iron oxide based pigment which is the basis of Burnt Sienna) a critical grisaille(or substrate) color for Gifford, Kennsett, and Church.
So, you see the palettes varied depending upon the subject of our show.
Always I used a titanium white because we can't buy the lead white that 19th century artists used.
If you were to ask me personally which colors I use I would have to tell you it depends upon the painting.
If you were to ask for a complete Impressionist palette it would again depend upon the artist although, most (from Monet to Cezanne) had the following colors in common: white, emerald green, cobalt blue(sometimes synthetic ultramarine blue, vermillion, cerulean or a blue green, cadmium yellow, and depending upon the artist,  a violet(from cobalt violet to mauve) and again, depending upon the artist either a carmine or its new equivalent(1865) alizarin crimson and burnt sienna. This list includes only colors that were commonly shared.
The list for Hudson River painters would not be so bright. It would include black, white, ultramarine blue, burnt and raw sienna, several ochres, vermillion, and prussian blue. Different artists tried divergent palettes but these were commonly shared colors among many Hudson River painters.
I hope this list helps.

I'm wondering abouut the brush you use because it doesn't look like a typical oil paint brush.
Stephanie from New Jersey

Dear Stephanie,You are not alone with your brush question.
I want to first explain that you can use all sorts of brushes in sorts of media. You can use watercolor brushes with  oils and acrylic brushes in oils or watercolors. All  brushes can be used in all media but, their effects will vary in different media. They are just marketed as medium specific because its an effective marketing strategy. In fact today some manufacturers have adopted a new strategy by offering brushes suitable for all media. I
The large brushes you have seen me use are either the 1", 1 1/2", or 2" synthetic watercolor brushes or  1" inch ox bristle brushes. The softer and pliable synthetic watercolor sables  are what I generally use but, if I wish to stipple or sgraffito with drier stiffer paint I will switch to the ox bristle.
Best, David

Would like to know how David transports his wet canvases from place to place when he is traveling.  It was just such a problem that pushed me into acrylics.  I would love to go back to oils if I could solve the wet paint problem. Amy from Hanover 

Dear Amy,
Because my paint surface is then when traveling...all I need is one day in the sun( especially an Italian, French Provencal, or  Spanish summer sun) for my paintings to dry. When I take a group of students with me to Europe to paint I advise them to be prepared to paint in watercolor, acrylic, or pastel on the last day of the trip.  I also can recommend a pochade box for shipping wet paintings. But, the most practical pochade box for transporting small oils (approx. 12x12) has to be custom made. My son, Max, ( who is the student in the Cezanne and Renoir shows) has design-built such boxes. He is able to transport 20 12x12" wet oil paintings ( on board) in one such container ( container's dimensions are approximately  16x14x14).

First I just caught your show on Landscapes in Time and love it -- the best I've ever seen on TV as it combines art history and technique in different genres...   I do have a ques as I was looking at the gallery and would like to understand the reason of painting on aluminum and steel.  Also is there a prime used on the metal??  Another question is what is used in the demonstrations on TV - it was mentiioned as being hand primed linen, but it doesn't look as though  it is stretched but more like paper -- or is it just the perspective that makes it not look as though it is on stretchers.  Thank you for your show and insight.   Wish I could get to CN.

 The Linen is hand-primed in France (it's a quadruple-primed Belgian linen). It's identified as Artfix L84C. I buy it in rolls and then cut off pieces as I need it. the rolls are available in 6 yds or 11 yards and are each 85" tall....Warning: they're not cheap. I tape the linen to foam core when I am painting on it. The material is quite smooth and flexible. The multiple coats don't provide thickness as much as they provide smoothness.

I really enjoyed the DVD on Watercolor. could you tell me other ways to coat the paper I use for watercolor?

Here are some options:
1. If you wish to work with eraseable washes and a soft edged effect to your watercolors then, prepare your paper with a coat of acrylic gesso.(doesn't need to be thick).
2. If you want  a particularly forgiveable (eraseable with water) surface but, are willing to work with stiffer (not runny) watercolors try painting on denril vellum( you just paint on it and no preparation is required.) or, coat your paper with Golden's acrylic varnish - matte, satin , or clear will all work.
3. If you want to use washes and dry brush techniques then, coat your paper with mineral spirit soluble acrylic varnish(also made by Golden and it comes in a can). This product may need to be thinned so that it soaks into your paper and does not leave a trace of itself on the surface of your paper.
4. Avoid staining colors( like alizarin, the pthalos, prussian blue, and cyan blues) these make good watercolor glaze(finish) colors but are not removeable  unlike cobalt blue or gamboge yellow or scheveningen red middle(an old holland color). There are lots of these  transparent, and opaque non staining colors. Check your tubes for an indication as to whether the color is staining, nonstaining, transparent etc.
5. Remember, even a heavily sized watercolor paper can be eraseable with water if the paper has not been soaked(soaking removes the sizing).  All watercolor papers have some sizing(glue), some more than others....if it doesn't have sizing it isn't a watercolor paper it is a sketch or printmaking paper.

I purchased Program 2 - Acrylic and I can't determine what David is using to create the atmosphere at the bottom of the sky--is it titanium white mixed with lavender?

Dear Lee - It is a combination of titanium white, pyrrol red and a little cerulean blue. There may also be a tiny bit of the hansa yellow. Thanks for watching - I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Contact us for more info