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Hello, I'm Nancy Kaminsky. Today we're going to paint gray day on the Hudson. It's a little more sophisticated painting, but I think we're ready for it. As usual, stain the canvas. Burnt umber with kerosene to make the wash. I think by this time you should note by heart. There we are. Wipe it off lightly. Like this. Now we're ready for our grids to place our objects correctly. We've done water before, and we've done a boat.
But we're going to do a ship today and a harbor. And harbors are terribly interesting. Actually it's not exactly a bonafide harbor, it's just part of the river with boats on it. Big boats. There. Now the grids are in. The first thing we do as pre-usual, find the horizon. In this case, the horizon is right in the center. And it's all right because we have buildings. We then don't create the feeling that the painting is cut in half. So we're going to use a center line as the horizon. Now in putting in the buildings, we put little squares, different sizes and heights, and I'll show you exactly how we work out the perspective. It's very simple by the way.
They're very small buildings because they're very much in a distance. We have one like this. Put in your general form first, like that. Different heights, please. Not too large. Actually, the smaller they are, the more distance you will have in your painting. And don't fuss about. No one's going to argue with this certainly that this building isn't there, and that building isn't there, and what have you. So don't become too obsessed with little details. It really don't matter very much. I'm going to upset you. Let's put another one here like that. Now, we want to create a feeling of perspective like this. This is important because we're going to create these buildings just with a series of light and dark tones. When we create two tones, then we get the feeling that the buildings have sides and not just not little things pasted flat on there like that. In this case, we will create the depth by bringing the perspective or the side of the building down like that.
And don't take too much time with it because actually I don't want you to fuss with it. You have enough problems with the boat. Now, let's create another line under that, a double line, not too wide like that. Now, we have a nice ship, and I guess I had you in mind because I only have a half a ship. Actually, it was myself because I don't really like to paint boats too well. I have a terrible time with anything mechanical. But part of a large tanker is what it really is. And that's right here. This is a center line. It's on this side of the center line like this. Now, of course, having it larger creates the feeling that this is much near than the buildings. I'm sure that one of the oil companies would scream if they saw this tanker.
It would probably sink in a moment, but anyway, like that. Now, it has, I'm going to erase some of this because it's getting a little bit runny. And I want you to be able to see what I'm doing. So I'm taking out the center lines, all the underneath lines, so you can see what I'm doing. You see it has a raised part here like that. And that it has what I suppose is a superstructure here like this. There are two of them like that. There again, we're going to create a feeling of a side or front of it like this. It goes up like that. Now, it has two tall bits of rigging here. That's what I call them, although they don't have sails. And they go there, but we'll put those in after. We scratch those in the wet paint. I'll just leave that for the moment. We have here a small pier like this. And this is quite close. Each thing we put in brings us further into the painting.
This is not very large. It's a very interesting little thing. And color wise, it's very important. And when we get into the painting, you'll know why. These are pilings underneath. It has a bit of, I don't know whether it's a radar thing or whatever, but anyway, it's on the end there. But for the moment, leave that. Don't have this two-tool. I think mine is two-tool. Have it shorter. Like that. Now, we have a little tugboat, which I adore that little boat. I'd be very careful. That's exactly what it is. A very small tug. And it goes right in here like this. Now, a tug is very large in front. And it sinks pretty far down to the water like this. And that's what makes it look like a tug. It's a little superstructure, whatever it is. The cabin is on an angle like this. And it has a large stack like that.
I have to fix that up a little bit like that. Now, in the painting, of course, I can refine that a little bit. There we are. I use tugs with large boats and what have you, as you know, to guide them into the harbor. Now, we have a large stack here, which is interesting, but we'll add that later. Now, the important thing, of course, now, in this painting, especially, is the shading and, of course, the reflections. So, we're going to do that right now. The light is coming from the right. So, we're going to shade the left. Again, carefully. Leave the right side of your building's light. In this case, it doesn't quite look at, but it will when we get the color on. The boat also is shaded in the front like this. And then the tones fade out towards the back like that.
I would like to put this in to give you an idea of what we have here. And then the rigging like that. But we will paint them out. This is quite dark. It's in deep shadow or silhouette like that. Now, the reflections are terribly important. The light in the painting is in the center of the painting, as usual. And the area in the foreground is quite dark, creating a feeling of depth. So, we have reflections over here on the pier like this. This is important that you put these in like that. And then the little boat this way. And here, as we go in to the water, I will show you how important our strokes will be. And we paint pretty much like this, even with the knife. We have some here. Oh yes, I did forget something. We have a little island or actually it's bit of a breakwater right here. Like that.
And that's quite dark. Now, we will assume that that's very close to us. And it's very dark. Now, we have... Even in the CPU, you get the feeling of the shadows, the lights and the shadows. And you should get it even in the drawing. There's our drawing for the day. Let's start with the painting. I want to get into it very quickly because it isn't involved painting. Let's start with the lightest tone. Incidentally, we have four tones in the sky. And we're going to start with a very light tone at the horizon like this. Go around your buildings. We have an interesting approach here in that we will use the darker tone of the sky for the buildings. That will be the third tone. Let me use the extra light tone and the light tone and medium for the sky.
You're around your buildings. Like that. Now, after you get the strokes going up this way, I can only say one thing. I'm certainly glad that no one is standing behind my easel. And this thing will be full of paint. There. I'll bring your light tone up like this. See? Wipe your knife constantly. It's terribly important to keep your paint clean and your tonal values pure. Let's go with the medium tone. We're going to the next tone. Now, this is our light tone, actually. Light and medium.
Since this is gray day, we're going to actually add a few gray strokes. I think the most interesting thing is the waterfront or the river with the boats and hearing them is fascinating. We used to live near the Delaware River when I was a child. I always remember the firecorns on the rainy or foggy evening. It was a very eerie but a marvelous sound, very lonely sound. Now, we're going to put a touch of the dark here because actually it is a day, a gray day. Not much. There again, I must caution you not to have any typhoons. The cities are very dirty and so they have a bit of a feeling of not mist.
Let's do the buildings. Let's start with the dark tone. I've made an extra dark tone from the sky tone and we're going to put the shadows in first like this. And there we go to the lighter tone, which is the light tone of the sky. We're going to create a feeling of buildings without actually going to a lot of drawing, which is at that distance, you certainly couldn't see the detail. You will only see an impression of buildings. Always remember that. You must not paint what you know to be there. You must paint what you actually can see. And if you remember that, you will keep out of trouble and have an authentic painting.
But people tend to paint what they know is there. I know I had a student that painted eyelashes on a tiny little figure in a painting. And I couldn't believe it. And I said, well, Mary, do you see them? No, but I know they're there. It's not painting. Now let's go on. Now some of this will be painted out. It's a dirty old city, but like all cities, fascinating. Not to live in, to paint, to be in for a little while, because the excitement of a big city is very contagious and very, very stimulating. If you don't have to live it, there we are. I'm adding a little green to that, a dark tone of green. And that's a dirty old color, lovely. Now we've created a city.
I've lost my superstructure, but we'll get it in just a moment. Now we have a few things like like that. There. Now we'll go to the water. We're going to paint the light tone at the top like this. Right across the top. And down. Now the stroke of this is very important. We're going to create water with little short strokes slightly waved. Now if you have your stroke dipping too much, you will have a tremendous storm. We don't need it. And it's not usual in a river, anyway, to have huge waves. Thank goodness. That's always a problem for a beginning painter. Now I'll go all the way across the boat, the top of the river like this, or the longest shoreline I should say, like that, around your boat.
Oops. I didn't clean it up properly so that boat's going to have a very strange looking hull. hull. I keep going down. Now we're going to use these strokes alternately. As we go down into the water, to the foreground here, we're going to add other strokes, like this. This is a fascinating technique. We're changing, as we go down, the shadows and the reflections are getting darker. You would have a little here and then run it down this way, like that. Don't worry about your little tug. We'll get them back if we've lost part of them. I keep going, like this, and use all the strokes as you go down, and get darker and darker, like that.
And remember, along the shoreline, the strokes are not quite so textured, because we don't see. It's very far away, and the water will look almost flat. But as we become closer to it, to the water here, at the foreground, the water has more of a texture. These are all little things that I will try to tell you and help you as much as I can. You'll remember all these little common sense suggestions there. Let's just keep going. The light is coming from the right, like this. And keep alternating your strokes with all the other tones of blue for the water. There again, our water is reflecting the sky.
So we're using practically the same tones with the little variation into the water. Looks like the devil now doesn't it? Don't despair, as you know, and the same thing when you paint. Don't judge your painting halfway through. Let's leave that for the moment. Now let's go to our little pier, which is purple. By the way, let's put our light tone in between like that. We can't see through the pilings. Our trusty purple, like this. I tried to paint things, as I said before. I know that appears a strange tone of dark browns and what have you.
But for the sake of painting, paint, not what you know to be there, even in color. This is much more effective than the brown. It has a little gadget there, like that. Oops. Fine. Now let's go over. I think we brought the, let's bring this down into the water. These shadows are wonderful. When they did beautiful shadows and reflections. Fine. Now let's go to our little break water here or whatever it is. Now if anybody's watching on the Hudson, they'll say,
that's not a break water, that's so well for now, that's what we'll call it. And we're going to add a little bit of dark green on that, so it's not exactly purple, like that. Let's bring some water down here. Now let's work on our little tug. And then we'll go back to it. I just want to get it on so we don't lose the little fella. Now there again, it's an impression. And we're going to add a little lighter tone on the superstruck right here. So you get the feeling that it is more than one tone, but mostly purple. Put a small highlight along the edge that way.
Let's leave that for just a moment. Oops. I lost the end in the water. It's probably loaded with freight and what have you. Leave that for just a moment. Now let's go back to the water. We're going to put in our darker tones. Now remember this is lighter up here on top of the boat. As we get underneath of it, that's when it gets darker but not there. Fine, we're going to add some purple and green to the darker tones like this for our reflections. There we are. Now this painting is certainly a little more work. We're very satisfying painting and it's certainly different and we must try different things. Oh, we down. I'm adding different tones. As we get towards the bottom, I will show you how we will darken the other tones.
Let's keep these straight. I haven't gotten them very straight. Let's bring our shadows down. It should be right on the corner of the boat that way. I've gotten a little bit over. So let's go over like this and add blue to that. Actually, the river is a very strange shade of olive green. I guess they call it pollution. Keep going. Now be very careful in painting the water. As I said, don't get very large dips. It's slightly dipped and not too long. Not too high up here over the dark tone.
Keep it below here like this. Because my strokes are getting a little long but I have a different problem. As we get towards the bottom here, we're going to add purple and the dark tone, a very dirty dark green tone with purple, to create a lovely dark area in here like that. And it goes all the way across the bottom this way. Bring a few strokes up like this to relate it and work it this way. Keep it quite dark on the bottom. And don't forget these shadows must be just like that, a real reflection of these pylings here or this little pier.
Now we're going to paint the large boat. I really want to get to it. I think I was just avoiding it but we've got to face it. Let's do the large boat now. We've used the dark sky tone with a very dark green like this, which created another tone. Now as you may have guessed, this painting is practically all the same tone variations of the same tone, which create a feeling of harmony. And it's much lighter here like this. We have a little business on top here. That's outlined the top of that boat in purple, like that.
Oops. The paint's quite soft. And we're going to put our little goodies over here, and a light tone on the other side like that. And we're going to draw this in like this, because you can't possibly draw that to scale with your knife or even your brush. So just take a little bit of color, not much. I've got little purple here because we're going to lose this if we don't, like that. And we have rigging. And there again we do this. You see? Which create the feeling. Let's put a little line here on the boat,
and work his strokes that way. Now we're going to put the most important thing of all the smoke, which is kind of a fun thing. We have smoke coming out of our little boat here, like this. The underneath side of the smoke is dark, because smoke has volume also and light on top. And we have some smoke coming up here. The city is very smoky, like that. I'll put a little highlight on our little boat, which is a very cute little boat here. Oh, what I must put one more thing. A little bit of their wake, because your little boat is trapping very fast through the water, like that.
There. I'm very pleased with it. That's all for today, and now for our signature. Goodbye for now. . . . .
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Paint Along With Nancy Kominsky
Episode Number
Gray day on the Hudson
Producing Organization
Connecticut Public Television
Contributing Organization
Library of Congress (Washington, District of Columbia)
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Episode Description
Nancy Kominsky teaches viewers how to paint a gray day on the Hudson.
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Asset type
Fine Arts
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Moving Image
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Host: Kominsky, Nancy
Producing Organization: Connecticut Public Television
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Library of Congress
Identifier: cpb-aacip-25be667abf4 (Filename)
Format: 2 inch videotape
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Chicago: “Paint Along With Nancy Kominsky; 125; Gray day on the Hudson,” 1976, Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed May 29, 2024,
MLA: “Paint Along With Nancy Kominsky; 125; Gray day on the Hudson.” 1976. Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. May 29, 2024. <>.
APA: Paint Along With Nancy Kominsky; 125; Gray day on the Hudson. Boston, MA: Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from