Friday, July 30, 2010

Cowboy Demo Day 6 - Enough Already!

     Today we call it a wrap.  Don’t fret, you non-art demo types… we are moving in for the kill. 
     Photo 1 shows Walter after I put the first hat wash in.  I only used two colors for this wash (Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Umber).  We could paint the hat more elaborately but I’m choosing to keep this basic for any new artist that might be reading this post.  The wash you see in this picture is one pass with this mix.
     I will add some darks in the next pass and call it good.  I’ve also used Cadmium Red to put an underpainting of red in the wild rag.  Again, keep it random and basic.  Don’t get too caught up in the details.

     Photo 2 is basically just a progression of darks.  Let’s take the hat first.  I add another dark glaze with our purple mixture over the dark areas.  After I let this wash dry, I added some Burnt Sienna into the dark shadow crease on the hat.  There….the hat is done.
     Now I focus totally on the wild rag.  I bumped my red by adding a wash of Perylene Red.  However you could use Winsor Red or even Alizarin Crimson.  After that was dried, I went over just the shadow side with the purple mix.
     WE ARE DONE!  Hope you enjoyed it.  If you hit a snag, just send me a question and I’ll do my best to help.

     Several people have indicated they would like to purchase this painting.  I’m going to sell it unframed and personalize it for the buyer for $500.  First person to email me at, will be the proud owner.

     Tomorrow we’ll say a fond farewell to Walter with a particularly personal memory of mine. 

All content and images © Mark Kohler Studio.


  1. Outstanding blog Mark, I have enjoyed this tutorial. I hope you will feel compelled to do more of this kind of thing. I enjoyed seeing your process from start to finish.


  2. really enjoyed the lesson. very helpful as far as using and mixing color. i am pretty fair at drawing but have trouble with color. probably because i don't practice enough. keep up the great work. oh by the way, just saw your video on painting the horse. thumbs up on that also. till next time

    luis garcia
    mission tx

  3. Thanks for the awesome comments, guys! I'm really glad you've enjoyed the tutorial.

    David, I'm going to try to periodically do a start-to-finish demo for those who are interested in technique, so stay tuned. I might try to do some group workshops, if you're interested.

    And Luis, color gives me trouble, too. The real answer to color, as trite as it may sound, is very careful observation. You have to start looking at the color you're trying to replicate. Go slow and mix carefully. You might try buying a color isolator, which is just a small piece of cardboard with a small hole in it, and isolates the color. Good luck!

  4. I am interested in more of this kind of tutorials. I am also interested in workshops as well. I have always alowed money to prioritize my actions, and often to choke my need and want for answers. I have always looked through artists eyes, unfortunatly I have never confidently listened to my heart and pursude the passion. As I have aged, I keep coming back to art and asking myself what if? I would like to ask many questions of you but don't know if this is the apropriate form, through a blog.

  5. If art is the passion of your heart, I want to help you pursue it. Why don't you email me direct and let's try and target what your specific problems are, and get all your questions answered. The reason I do one-on-one workshops is so I can devote all of our time to working on specific problem areas. But email me at, and let's figure out how I can help you.

  6. I took a swing at this - learned a few things - overall pretty happy with the outcome, but I have a long way to go to get close to JMK territory with this :)

  7. Great progress, Rob! You should be happy with the results and we'll fine tune even more during the workshop. Keep it up!