Friday, August 23, 2013

Pinocchios Done

Carlo Lorenzini was born in Florence in 1820, of humble parents. 
One day, he wrote, he met in the street an urchin who made a deep impression on him: this boy was to be the inspiration for "Pinocchio." 

 He took the pseudonym of Collodi from the village of Collodi (near Pescia, in Tuscany) where his beloved mother was born. He never married and never had children.

In 1881, Collodi wrote a story for "Il giornalino dei bambini." He was in urgent need of money, and his "Pinocchio" was born out of inspiration and out of necessity. In sending in the story, Collodi wrote to the editor: "Ti mando questa bambinata, fanne quello che ti pare, ma se me la strappi, pagamela bene, per farmi venire la voglia di seguitarla." (I am sending you this children's piece. Do with it what you see fit. But if you snatch it up, pay it well, so that I will feel like continuing it.) The story was called "Avventure di un burattino," the adventures of a puppet.

My "Pinocchios" are also from Florence, Italy.  These little wooden toys are sold all over the tourists spots around Rome and Florence.  There is even an all Pinocchios store in Florence.
A magical place for so many reasons.  I must return someday!

"Pinocchios", Watercolor, 13" x 16"
©Carmella Tuliszewski 2013

What fun this was!  I will have to try some other toys in the future.

Thursday, August 15, 2013


I am starting two paintings. One another Gem and the second my "Pinocchios". Back to our Italy trip for this one. 

I always start with a very detailed drawing as you see here. One, because I love to draw and two, so I can really give all my attention to the painting process once I start. I start with the background of a crumbly concrete street.
"Pinocchios",  14" x 16"
©Carmella Tuliszewski  2013

I first paint in a liquid mask to protect the areas not part of the background. You see here my tools of choice for applying the mask, which is a liquid latex, and dries very quickly. I first dip the brush in a little liquid detergent then in the masking fluid. This protects the brush and makes application a little easier.

You see my handmade color charts ready to go but more about that later. Now to finish the background.

The background is in and the mask is removed. I am not totally finished with the background but it's enough to move onto the figures and return to tweek. I never use black for forming or shadows but blend two complementary colors, in this case, Cadium Orange and Ultramarine Blue for this neutral backdrop. I anticipate this making the reds and greens to come on the figures really pop.

A good days work starting the color and style for my Pinocchios. At this point I can see where I need to adjust color as in warming up the wood color on the limbs and glazing a little orange over the red to brighten it up. Not sure about that green right now-wow-am I picky! 

I have been posting real time progressions of "Pinocchios" on my FB Fan Page.  Please stop by to visit and like this page by clicking the FB badge to the right of this post.

Thursday, August 8, 2013


The beautiful Primrose is a small flower forming in clusters.  There are over 500 species of Primrose in a multitude of colors.  I have chosen the deep red to represent the January birthstone Garnet.
I have also always loved the white "piping" around each pedal as a natural contrast.
A basic red of Alizarin Crimson is glazed with Permanent  Rose, Permanent Carmine as well as various violets, indigo and hunters green.  The glazing gives the coloring that deep, rich hue needed for this flower without heavy pigments turning the surface muddy.

"Garnet"  (January)
Watercolor, 8" x 10"
©Carmella Tuliszewski 2013

Sorry about the not so smooth progression here but I just got invloved and forgot to stop and photograph!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Red Lilly

The birthstone for January is Garnet, a deep red stone.
The inspiration for this month's flower came from my own neighborhood.  On sunny days I take some time to walk around my neighborhood with camera swinging around my neck just looking.
I will sometimes even go into backyards (if there are no fences to climb!) and snap a quick photo.
But these red lillies did not require any tresspassing on my part.  They were in abundance in my next door neighbors front yard.

I often find reds difficult to work with.  They dry considerably lighter than they appear wet so that nice deep color I thought I had, vanishes quickly.  This is where glazing really comes in handy as overlays of rich color will usually do the trick.

Something I always do when I think I am finished with a painting is to photograph it and put it up on my monitor.  I do this because for some odd reason I can see adjustments I need to make much  better up on the screen that I can by looking directly at the painting in front of me.  Weird, huh!
I thought so too until I heard another artist mention this on a Blog Talk Radio Show.
Try it next time you are about to pack away your paints for the day!

"Garnet" (January)
Watercolor, 8" x 10"

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