Warming Up

Spring is here! It officially arrived about a week ago, and I’m more than ready for warmer days. During the winter we had our share of snow, ice, and bitterly cold temperatures, so spring weather feels delightful! With the arrival of the season, I’ll be able to visit our city park more often, hiking the trails there, taking photographs that I’ll later use for landscape painting, and doing a bit of sketching in the open air.

My art work is “warming up” in other ways, too, most noticeably with my palette. I’ve always been drawn to cooler colors, but in recent weeks as I’ve studied more color theory and have worked more directly with the principles I’m learning, I’m discovering that I really enjoy adding more warmth to my paintings.

“Warming up” is also related to “practice sessions”. Athletes stretch as a “warm-up” before strenuous exercise work-outs or games. Writers often “warm-up” with short little bursts of writing before settling into longer, thoughtful sessions. Musicians run through a few scales or practice pieces in order to “warm-up” for a performance. In the same way, as an artist, I enjoy doing small-scale practices to “warm-up” for larger art works.

Here is today’s warm-up, a warm spring scene with a warmer-than-usual color palette:

These warmer colors — with cool shadows — represent a new direction for me in my art. I like painting with cadmium red and cadmium yellow. I like adding a bit of transparent oxide red to warm up my whites, and I’m appreciating cerulean blue and cobalt blue for skies and sea.

Even my rocks are sporting more colors these days. It’s fun to paint scenes with warmer and bolder colors, and hopefully you’re beginning to feel at least a touch of “mood and atmosphere” in my paintings, even in these little “warm-ups”.

I liked this painting of “Flowers by the Sea”. I hope you like it!


  1. I think I’ll comment and mess with you even more. Why do you care about block design? The design of this page is unbalanced. The art is too small, especially since you want to be a painter without the necessary skills. What do you know about writers or musicians? Nothing. A good writer starts by editing what he/she wrote the day before. Then, they settle into writing. Practice writing? That’s rich. Musicians don’t play a few scales. Most do a version of a sound check well before the listeners are ever in the venue. That can last anywhere from 30 minutes to well over an hour. All the love in the heavens and hell. Your friend.


    1. I’m so glad we can have this exchange and still consider one another as “friends”. I do enjoy your comments. It gives me an opportunity to see the world from an entirely different point of view. Thank you for broadening my horizons.


    1. Thank you! One comment I’ve heard from several artists who’ve seen the picture is about the depth. 🙂 I feel like I accomplished something with this little painting. 🙂


  2. I’m so glad you stopped by my blog and I was able to find yours. I really enjoyed the “Flowers by the Sea” painting. It encourages me to keep practicing with my own painting and drawing. Beautiful. Look forward to seeing more.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for visiting! I’m so glad you like the “Flowers by the Sea” painting. Definitely keep drawing and painting. I know I sometimes get frustrated, but then I come back to find more joy in art.

      Liked by 1 person

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