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WELCOME TO MY GALLERY #1 WITH PAINTING TIPS
PAINTING MAUI ON LOCATION
by DONALD A JUSKO, plein air landscapist

Painting on Location Tips from Paintings Maui Hawaii on Location

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Pre-painting, making panels & easel

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PAINTING ON LOCATION

15 x 22 Oil on panel, "Tom's Bananas," #586, by Don Jusko, 2/20/94,
 

This oil painting was painted on Location in two days. All my paintings since 1976 have been named, dated and numbered. The number and date are both on the front, below my signature. It's hard to say what medium is more fun, but acrylics do dry faster! They don't mold either or turn yellow in time like pure linseed oil and turpentine will. Sometimes it's nice to move colors around hours later, sometimes it's not! I never use just pure linseed oil, not many great artists did either. This subject is covered in the Mediums and Painting sections of the course. Here's a link to a Media Table in a new window.

 

oil painting

PAINTING ON LOCATION

22 x 15, Watercolor on Fabriano #300, #710, 1-29-88,

"Phil's Young Palm Trees," by Don Jusko
 

This was painted in Haiku, at my artist friend Phil's house. Always paint on #300 paper, unless you're using a fiberglass-based paper, they're only 80# and won't wrinkle.
Paper - testing colors
Some day they'll be mounted on a stiff permanent backing for better protection in handling.
TIP: Paint up to the pencil line on one side, don't get the line wet. Continue working on the rest of the picture while this area dries completely. Then erase the pencil line with a kneaded eraser, otherwise the graphite will become black W/C pigment and you will lose the classic edge of perfection.
TECHNIQUE: Perfection in a water color is when you can hold up a finished piece backward to the light and see no errors. No pencil lines, no ereasure marks, no opaque colors, it looks the same from the back as the front.

 

watercolor

PAINTING ON LOCATION

Acrylic, #544, 7-2-92,

"Hale O Kane Heiau, Kaupo" by Don Jusko
 

This painting is an acrylic, painted on a 22 x 30 1/8 birch plywood panel, covered with fine linen that was glued on the board with acrylic gel. The gesso was applied in three to four coats. The first coat was full strength, Frederic is the best pre-made gesso, the only full-bodied one I've found. I sanded this coat really well with #220, wet/dry sandpaper [wet]. The second coat was half as dense, sanded wet, until it was smooth. If I've done well, the third coat is a gesso glaze that I sand with a #400 grit till it's perfectly smooth. There is a lot of drying time if you don't use a hair dryer, so I usually cut up a 4' x 8' sheet into my format size of 22"x 30", which I'll later cut smaller as I need them with a razor and a straight edge. This priming process takes three days with sun drying. Six years ago I painted on hard pressed masonite and it was also perfect. Looking at paintings painted twenty years ago, they don't look a day old. Life is good. Weight was the reason I switched to plywood from masonite. I paint from my van and carry all my supplies, all the time.

acrylic

PAINTING ON LOCATION

15 x 22, Acrylic, #538, 10-2-91,

"Three Simple Waves" by Don Jusko
 

This is an acrylic painting of the waves at Aloha Point in Kaupo. The chalk drawing was done over the graded blue water. I've explained the five phases of a wave under the section Painting, Water. Using the simple wave grid lines makes shaping the waves easy. This size land or seascape is $2000.

 

acrylic

PAINTING ON LOCATION

22 x 30, Acrylic, #533, 7-21-91

"Kaupo Mango Tree" by Don Jusko

Don't forget to keep mosquito repellent in with your supplies. Even an hour without it can be painful. Also, bring a rain/shade umbrella to protect the panel. My starting palette contains at least the basic fifteen colors listed in Chapter 35, Page 14. This is what I carry to a location. My paint box, and easel, water, an umbrella and a chair. I can carry it all in one trip. Maybe stuff your pockets with some candy bars, nuts and apples. Some of my friends go with the standard apples, bread and wine. It's a great life, try it, you'll like it.

acrylic

PAINTING ON LOCATION

22 x 30, Acrylic, #484, 5-23-89,

"Hosmer Pathway" by Don Jusko
 

I loved painting this acrylic painting up at 6000 feet at Hosmer grove. The air was crisp and the fog was rolling by. This kind of light can stay the same for longer periods extending the painting time for extra hours. The original drawing was laid in with a gray chalk, than brushed off with a feather. A light Ult. Blue line wash was painted over the chalk lines, mix a little Liquitex Painting Medium to beef up the wash. This will let you wash the picture down with water to start with a clean panel. I painted the sky and fog right over the tree outlines, than painted white in them to start fresh. Most of the time it takes two coats of white to completely block out the undercoat.

acrylic

PAINTING ON LOCATION

20 x 30, Acrylic,

"Aloha Church Driveway" by Don Jusko
 

The mountain in the background is the peak named Haleakala. It's on the left side of the Kaupo gap. The driveway leads down to the little Aloha Church on the point. You can't tell at this size and resolution but I painted my pet mongoose in the lower right section. Max would play all day and come in to eat and sleep about five o'clock. He was very friendly, didn't like cats but loved my pet Silkie who didn't like cats either.

acrylic

PAINTING ON LOCATION

22 x 15, Acrylic on panel, #560,

"Windmill Beach with Chair," by Don Jusko, 4-9-93,
 

Choose the image-picture in front of the positioned you, I like to be sitting. If you don't like the image balance or color balance, whatever, move your position. In the first hour capture all the colors of that hour that you can. For the next two hours you should be painting with the colors of that first hour. That should be enough information to get you through the day and into the next. Clean up your work at night, make it right for the next session, you won't be sorry.

acrylic

PAINTING ON LOCATION

15 x 22, Oil on panel,

"Nahiku Fruit stand in the Shade" by Don Jusko, #574, 10-30-93,
 

No one can tell the difference in a photograph, between one of my acrylics or oils, but oils do yellow with time. Stand Oil, Liquin, Damar and Wax Liquin will not yellow.

Nahiku is a peninsula about fifteen miles before Hana. It rains a lot in this area, that's why it's pleasant to paint from within the VW van, the steering wheel is my easel and I made a hooded shield over the windshield to block the sun and rain. As dark as part of the shadow's look there still is no black pigment in the painting. I've explained how to mix neutral dark's with primary and secondary colors in the painting section of this course.

oil

PAINTING ON LOCATION

15 x 22 Acrylic,

"Scarlet Macaw" by Don Jusko,
 

Ammonia is a good brush cleaner for acrylics or oil paint in your brushes. See Chapter 8 under Ammonia and Wax Paint for its history. It was a big deal during the Dark Ages. The paint worked just like acrylics, it used a water base, dried insoluble and was permanent. They called the paint medium "Cera Colla." Giotto added a little cherry gum to the mix. This was the most popular painting medium at this time.

acrylic

PAINTING ON LOCATION

22 x 15, Acrylic,

"The Silver Tree of Poli Poli" by Don Jusko
 

This painting is really unusual for me. I painted it with only my hands and it was fun! I kept a bucket of water next to me to keep clean and went for it. I painted this tree often before they cut it down.

acrylic

PAINTING ON LOCATION

22 x 30, Oil, #569, 5-3-93,

"Waterfall in Nahiku" by Don Jusko,
 

It was a forty-five minute hike through the jungle to get to this location, but worth every soggy step. The original has great detail in the shadows. This painting used an extended pallet using a nickel Green-Gold in the moss. I'm glad I brought my umbrella. First it rained, than the sun filtered through the trees. Bring all your ammunition all the time.

oil

PAINTING ON LOCATION

22 x 15, Watercolor, #772, 4-6-90,

"Deva's Waterfall, Haiku" by Don Jusko
 

One day of drawing, two days of painting. The cool dark's were made with a mix of Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Umber, the medium dark's with a mix of Thalo Crimson and Thalo green. The main brush was a Series 7, number 8. The tight work was done with a number 3 round.

watercolor

PAINTING ON LOCATION

22 x 30, Oil, #594, 4-27-94,

"Wainapanapa Hala Trees" by Don Jusko
 

The medium was a standard one, 50% Stand Oil, 25% Sun-Dried Linseed Oil and 25% Cold Pressed Linseed Oil. I've found this to be a great medium.. Chapter 7 deals with the mediums of preference throughout the ages. Chapter 27 in Techniques of the Artist, tells who used which mediums. Chapter 35 deals with Light and Color in Pigments and describes all the oil and turpentine formulas used in mediums in detail.

oil

PAINTING ON LOCATION

22 x 30, Watercolor, Arches Cold Pressed 300#, #737, 7-26-88,

"Poli Poli, Foggy Upper Road" by Don Jusko
 

This painting really shows a style, really wet down the paper with a 5 inch elephant ear sponge, after you outline the white spaces. Use the biggest brush you can get away with and don't skimp on the pigment. A 1" flat long is perfect. Sign painters use this style brush when lettering. It holds a lot of paint.

watercolor

PAINTING ON LOCATION

16 x 22, Acrylic on panel, #111, 10-15-83,

"Jodo Buddha Mission, Lahaina" by Donald Jusko
 

Building always cost more because they take twice as long to paint. This one took seven days, eight hours a day. It took sixteen hours just to draw it accurately. I guess I painted every church on Maui and only have three left. This one looks as pristine as the day I finished it. Acrylics are the greatest. In the Techniques Section I describe a tool to use to get perspective perfect, it's not on the market, you have to build it yourself, but it makes life easy.

acrylic

PAINTING ON LOCATION

15 x 22, Acrylic, #573, 10-18-93

"Kaupo Store with Leiananie" by Donald Jusko
 

Kaupo is on the backside of Maui. This is the only store for twenty-five miles in each direction. It's a great sight to see if you ever walk through the crater. Painting time was seven days plus nightly cleanups taking from one to three hours.

acrylic

PAINTING ON LOCATION

22 x 30, Watercolor, Fabriano Hot Pressed #300,

"Huelo Bird nest Fern" by Donald Jusko
 

My artist friend Phil and I built a special platform over the stream with a big permanent umbrella to paint this scene. Then he bought the painting. We both love painting in watercolor. I always add a little oxgall to my water to help the pigments flow. Remember when you put down a stroke, blend one edge softly. Then you can always come back to it without a line showing. Stay away from Cobalt Blue unless you need the opaque color. Being so opaque, it settles in the pores of the paper and looks grainy. Instead, mix the color with transparent colors like Thalo Blue and Thalo Crimson. They will make any color from Cyan to Violet including Ultramarine Blue.

watercolor

PAINTING ON LOCATION

22 x 30, Watercolor, Arches Cold Pressed 300#, #706

"Poli Poli Silver Tree" by Donald Jusko
 

The darkest dark's in this painting are a combination of Thalo Crimson (magenta) and Thalo Green. They mix into a medium dark, not too warm, not too cool. A full sheet will cut from 22"x 30" into: 22"x 15", 11"x 15", 11"x 7 ", 5 "x 7 " and 3 3/4" x 5 ". Most of my paintings are in the small sizes, practice, practice, practice. A thumbnail a day, makes you good.

watercolor

PAINTING ON LOCATION

22 x 30, Oil, #585, 2-16-94,

"Hana Bamboo" By Don Jusko
 

This oil painting was done in a watercolor technique. First the panel was lightly coated all over with a linseed Medium. Then the large areas of color were mass applied. The bamboo was then subtracted out with a dry, clean 1" synthetic flat brush, using the thin edge with the next color down in the brush. This swiped off the darker mass colors and added the lighter colors. The finishing touches were also fast, and the whole painting took only five hours. That's the fastest I've ever painted an oil painting of this size. It sold as soon as it was dry.

oil

PAINTING ON LOCATION

15 x 22, Oil, #579, 1-18-94,

"Hana Bay Lighthouse" by Don Jusko
 

Hana is the wet side of Maui, but this was a beautiful set of days. I painted this scene from the drive-on pier. It took two six hour days. The canoe club practices here in the bay. Notice the water diamonds in the left foreground.

oil

PAINTING ON LOCATION

18 x 24, Acrylic, #413, 4-26-86,

"Maliko Gulch" by Don Jusko,
 

I know I still have this one because of its format, I can't switch it into my standard frames to show in my gallery. I liked this location, parked under a bridge in the shade. Two painting rules are obvious here. The first is, "In the foreground (this whole painting is in the foreground) the object behind is darker than the object in front of it." The second rule is, "It's darkest next to the light and lightest next to the dark." The Painting Chapters in the "Painting on Location" section have lots of painting tips and rules to help you paint accurately.

acrylic

PAINTING ON LOCATION

22 x 30, Acrylic, #514, 4-13-90,

"Keanae Arboretum Stream" by Don Jusko
 

My favorite brush for painting acrylics is an old Series 7 that's lost its point. I hammered the ferule flat and made a filbert out of it. The only filbert watercolor brushes I've found are made in Russia, don't knock them, they're good brushes.  Yarka is the brand name.

acrylic

PAINTING ON LOCATION

Water color on Fabriano Hot Pressed, 15 x 22.

"Phil's Old Palms" by Donald Jusko #771, 2-2-88,
 

For the first ten years of painting every day I painted mainly in watercolors. There is no doubt in my mind this is the best way to learn to paint. Completely outline all your whites first. Brush and sponge wet the unmarked areas and lay in the base colors with lots of pigment, because watercolors dry lighter. Let this dry then erase the pencil lines. While its drying is the time to scrape and pressure out small whites. If you do it while it's too wet, pigment will seep back into the scraped area and end up a darker color rather than lighter. Timing is everything and excitement runs high. Re-spray the painting with water after it's dried and lay in more washes, the first color down won't move. When this coating is dry clean it up and fill in any holidays. Now you're ready for the last step, calligraphy with a long-haired script brush. See the techniques in the  the Painting on Location section.

watercolor

PAINTING ON LOCATION

Hana Fish Pond" by Don Jusko, 15"x 22", Acrylic on panel.
 

One of four in a series done on the same land. "Hana Bamboo" is just a short distance away. It was fun switching between acrylics, oil and watercolor. I never combine the mediums on the same painting, or use the same brushes. The brushes are similar though and I keep the paint consistency about the same in oils and acrylics. The brush has to flow with out any drag.

acrylic


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