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. . . . . . . . . Hello, I'm Nancy Kaminsky.
Today we're going to paint red geraniums. This is a little easier painting, but I have to do this once in a while, because after difficult one, then paint something that's quite light and that you can really relax and let yourself go. As usual, our burnt umber wash This is a little bit of burnt umber and a lot of kerosene, but don't have it running. And don't fuss with it, of course. Rub it lightly so you don't have fuzz. It can be a nuisance. There we are. Fine. Now we're going to put on our grits and always do this, don't fudge. In quarters first, like this.
Of course, this drawing is not very complicated. That's why I think that it's important that you vary your subjects, because you can get discouraged and tired if I'm doing too many difficult subjects. And that's why if you vary it, then you feel fresh to start something else that's quite difficult. And after we paint flowers all the time, either, you've got to stretch yourself a little bit, but not at all at one time. There we are. Today we're going to do something else, eccentric composition, which was practiced by Degas, where he is, he's not practicing anything. But it's heavier your object, which in this case is the flower pot, over to one side. And we will compensate in balancing the picture by bringing the geraniums over, mostly to the right. It sounds odd, but it's quite pleasing,
and it is a little different. Try not to put everything in the center all the time. Let's draw a pot in very, let's put a square in first like this, as usual. Now, because it's a pot, it has a large lip like that. The bottom curves in like this, and it is a flower pot. This is a little different. We haven't done a flower pot before. Now, forget it still has to have a rounded bottom, like that, this way. I would like you, in this case, to put the top in, even though we're going to paint it out, like this. We are going to make it a little darker, and it will show more than the flowers that are in a vase, because the flowers don't all come down to cover the top. There we are, like that.
Fine. Wonderful. Now, there again, we do not delineate the flowers in the drawing. We just draw circles. I usually put one in the middle. That's pretty predictable. Put a little dot. There we are. Now, let's put a flower here like this. And one here, like that. Like that. And then one here, like this. And we have a marvellous one here, like this, that hangs down. I think we'll bring it down a little more, like that, to bring this out. Clean it up. You see how marvellous this is? That you can use this, to wipe off in your damp canvas. It's wonderful. If you had drawing with charcoal or pencil, you would have had a problem. You stretch the canvas, and it becomes quite soiled and dirty. We have some small ones, but, you know, they're not too definite, and they're right here, like that. We have one here, smaller one.
As you know, geraniums have little starting ones. It hasn't quite flowered, and it has a very distinctive flower formation that has little stems underneath, which we will come to later. Everything you paint in nature has its own pattern, which is a great help when you're painting. Then you can put these little characteristics in, and there's no mistake in what the flower is, even if you are a little indefinite, with your painting and drawing. There we are, fine. Now, unusually, or rather, I should say it's unusual in this case, and that the light is coming from the right. So we're going to say the painting on the left, like this. Like that. Now, these aren't cupped, so we're shading them on the same side. These flowers are not concave. They are convex. They come out this way instead. I guess that's it.
It's a very simple drawing, and a very simple painting. But sometimes, a simple painting can be quite deceptive, so don't become too relaxed. Fine, there we are. Now we're going to paint this background, and we're going to start with a dark tone, and go to the light. Let's start this way. There we are. Go right between your flowers, and remember, we can add flowers, leaves, and marvelous things called buds that fill in holes. There we are. There we are.
Middle-town, in the middle, like this. This is a painting of all earth tones, which makes it quite attractive. All the tones in this painting are related, and they're all warm tones. We do not have any cool accents as we have in other paintings. It's a very harmonious painting, color-wise. Especially if you have a coordinated living room and you have orange and yellow ochre, it's a very good painting for that. And you can frame these paintings, believe me, when I tell you,
that using this system you will produce an acceptable painting right from the beginning. All your friends and relatives will be clamoring for your paintings. And your family will be so proud of you. There we are. Not to mention it's wonderful for Christmas presents. It solves a lot of problems with shopping and what have been. Your friends will be waiting in line to get your paintings. There we are. Let's put some dark tones. Purple. Our shadows or reflections. A little purple on the left side. And I would like to see a little purple in the middle like this. Just a wee bit. I think it would be interesting to put a little red tones.
And let's do that right now. While you're painting at home, I would suggest that you do this while your background is wet. That is, if you use your painting, I mean, you paint your painting in stages, then you should do this while your background is wet. I did get a little too much there. Let's put this up. There we are. That's a nice thing about painting. You can change it and move it around. So don't fuss. You can stuck with a lemon. Do you make lemonade? I didn't say it. Dale Carnegie said it. But it's such an apropos thing, especially for painters. There we are. Now, let's do our pot. Let's start with the dark tones first, like this.
And on the left side, remember the light's coming from the right. Be careful of your strokes. This is an interesting stroke. The pot is rather in a way squared off, like this. This is the middle tone, like that. And the light tone, like that. Now, of course, we're going to blend that a little so you don't have three flavors. Work your stroke this way also, as well as up and down. Now, let's outline that in purple, like this. I would like to see you paint the inside of your pot, like that.
That's very important, in this case it is, because we are seeing part of it, and we don't often have this opportunity. So I would like you to do it as a matter of exercise. This is your chance to see the whole thing, rather than just part of it, as we usually do with flowers in a vase. There we are. Make sure you clean this up. That's our pot. Now, let's start with the flowers next. Work from the center, and work with the dark tone first. Now, there again, we use little patting strokes. Do not line them up like soldiers, rather do them every which way. Start with the dark, then work light, like that. I know it doesn't look like a geranium at this moment, but it will. Let's go over here, like that.
And please don't try to cover every little spot. Leave a few petals hanging loose, like that. This is a very satisfying painting. Now, in this particular flower here, it should be very dark on the outside edge, like that, pretty much like this, and not so much on the light tone. It should this case happen to be orange. Now, in painting these flowers, we are using paint right from the palette. In other words, it's not mixed. These come right out of the tube, these particular colors. And this is a very nice exercise for you, also saves you some mixing. So we're not going to add too much orange here. We're just going to use for a million and dark red, which is a lizard crimson or rose matter, and leave that for the moment, because we're going to put extra highlights later as we paint. We're going to put a few in between. Don't have three flavors. I mean, it does have a few.
Right. Now, let's go to the top. Now, there again, we're going to put the dark tone at the top here, like this, for a million or light red, mostly light red, and we're going to hit a little bit of the light tone there, like that. We have some small wins, which we're going to put in right now. The small flowers are like this. Now, remember, there are just little ones starting to open, and we will put some greenery underneath, and you'll understand exactly what I'm doing. There are little ones that are half open, and those of you that have seen geraniums know exactly what I'm talking about. Most people have. The geraniums are very big in this way, and they're beautiful. Everyone, even if he has this tiniest little window up on the sixth floor has a pile of geraniums, I don't have to people in Rome don't have concussions from the way they hang these plants out there. There we are. Now, let's keep going.
Now, I would like to have more remillion on this side, because there's more light getting here, so less dark red at the bottom, or on the left side, like that. Don't get them all the same size, and that's what's happening with me, so let's have this one a little smaller, and not so many. And a few light ones on that. Don't get too many of them exactly the same size, because they're not true now. They're in different stages of development. Now, we have one down here. This actually is a little large, so I'm going to take my background color and bring it in like that. It's gotten too large. This is mostly light and medium, not so much dark.
Fine, there we are. Now, they don't exactly look like geraniums yet, but in a moment I will show you how they will look like geraniums. Underneath each geranium there are little stems like this that go to the main stem, like that. And put these little stems in in light and medium tones of green. And we have some here, and we will also have some little buds hanging down, which is very typical. They are unopened, you see, like that. And take your knife, or if you put your little dot, which are the unopened buds on geraniums, then take your knife and scratch down the stems to the main stem, so you get the feeling that they are geraniums. You're not petunias or whatever.
There we are. Study the character of the plant that you're painting, or the flowers. Now, these mostly, these little stems, go where you can see them. Of course, in the center one, you do not see them naturally, because they're turned full on, so you don't really see them as much. This is a good place to do this, right here. Let me put some little buds like this, and then drag them in that way to a main stem. I'll be sure they all come on like that. And we're going to put little dots of red, which tell us there are some that are unopened. You see? The same thing up here. Let's put little dots of color, which tell us that they're about to open. They aren't quite opened yet. See if I can get a lessening button there.
One thing painting will do, it will make you very observant. I hope that's so anyway. Now, let's put our leaves in. These have a heart-shaped leaf, but we're not going to paint them exactly. So let's give impressions of leaves, except around the outside. This is how we'll rather not fool them, but this tells us, and the people that are looking at your painting, that they do have in these shaped leaves, but we're not going to paint them all over and take the time to paint them. It's not necessary. Let's put a purple in here like this. Now, it may get a little tight, so we're going to pull it out with buds in what have you. And leaves. On the right side,
the leaves are mostly light and medium. Let's get some lovely leaves down here over the pot. After what I've said about not painting over it, well, we have to put some leaves over it. It's not that accommodating. Some dark tone in here. Now, these are things that you can paint, that you can see. You don't have to buy fancy flowers. You can even pick wild flowers. Let's get some leaves over here like this. Now, we have another tone that goes over this. Let's see that for the moment. And actually, it's the last tone. I think I would like one right here. A tiny one. Let's put some greenery on that.
Like that. We have an extra light tone, which is very important and very beautiful. So we'll start with this. And this extra light tone, which is a fourth tone, which we have been introducing gradually, are the remillion tones mixed with white and cadmium yellow, which gives it that little bit of jazz that we need in a painting. Like that. Now, there would be very much in evidence over here. Add white, a minor, just a little dark, so you can't see it. And I want to make an extra light so you can see it. It's mostly on this side because of the light. On the edge here, like this.
Just a few, like that. I love geraniums myself, and they come in fantastic colors. Lovely pinks, too. I've seen them in beautiful pinks, but of course it's another one that's pelagonians, too. They are absolutely beautiful. They're not as exotic as other plants, but they're certainly the most satisfying, and they're very easy to grow. That can be a boon to a beginning gardener. Like that. I used to have a gardener across the studio in California who was marvelous gardener, but his wife did the gardener. He was a supervisor. These people were both about 70 years old, or quite cute couple,
and they had the most fantastic garden in the world. One day I went in there to pick flowers, and while I was picking them, a swarm of bees took out after me, and I got to the studio. I didn't have all the flowers I intended to over. It was the fastest run in the west. He was a very funny man because he didn't do the gardening himself. He was standing in supervised. He said, look, Lily, over here, and she was doing a digging, and he was just so we had a hose, and he just stood there like this in supervised. I always had the feeling that one day he was going to get that spade right between his eyes. Let's see, there we are. Now, I would like to put a few petals below. I want to put a few more. This is not quite dark enough for excitement. Now, when Dega painted,
he used a lot of eccentric, what they call eccentric composition, and he painted a marvelous paint called Woobin with Chrysanthemums. And the next time you go to a museum or get an art book, and you can see it, and it's a very wonderful painting, and that the woman is practically off the canvas, but the star of the show or the painting are the beautiful bowl of Chrysanthemums, and she's holding her face over to one side. You can hardly see her, which breaks all rules for composition. He was a very peculiar man anyway. He was not very conventional as most artists, but he was even more unconventional than most painters, and very independent. Now, we're going to put some little petals below, like this, because they do drop you now, and of course it brings a color down on the canvas. There again, at the bottom of the canvas,
there again, this is a very good little gimmick. A few green leaves, but don't forget your shadows under your little petals, like this. There we are. I would like an extra light tone, right here, so I'm going to take some light, like this. Now, to make an extra light tone, I've added extra light to the orange and yellow, cadmium yellow, medium. I'm going to add this. Put this on, like this. Very bright, like that. And pull your knife up
to give the feeling of petals. I have a little difficult time getting these petals to stand up, because my... There we are. Pull them up. Put your knife down and pull it up like that. This is like the icing on the cake. Keep it mostly on the right side. Like that. I'd like to emphasize these petals, just a little bit. Scratching your stems. I don't think we've mentioned that, but in this case, stems will show. But do not paint them in. After you get all your leaves in, take your clean knife, clean your knife off like this. Take your knife and simply scratch it in the stems. But please be sure to get down the pot or the bowl. And not, you know, left field someplace. Like that.
Do not paint stems, unless they are very distinctive stems, like tulips stems or lily stems, distinctive and quite large. Otherwise, scratch them in. I want to put a little purple in between, like that. There are a few light tones here inside, which I did neglect to put in, which tell us that some of the leaves in here are also catching the light, like that. You see what that does to that? We know that there are leaves on top of leaves. Don't fuss with them, just a suggestion like that, see? This has been a fun painting, because you can relax and really enjoy and play with it, but don't get carried away. There we are. Now, that's it for today. Let's put our signature in. That's all for now.
Thank you. Thank you. This program was made possible by a grant from Commercial Union Assurance Companies.
Paint Along With Nancy Kominsky
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Connecticut Public Television
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Library of Congress (Washington, District of Columbia)
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Episode Description
Nancy Kominsky teaches viewers how to paint geraniums.
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Fine Arts
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Host: Kominsky, Nancy
Producing Organization: Connecticut Public Television
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Library of Congress
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Chicago: “Paint Along With Nancy Kominsky; 119; Geraniums,” 1976, Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed July 19, 2024,
MLA: “Paint Along With Nancy Kominsky; 119; Geraniums.” 1976. Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. July 19, 2024. <>.
APA: Paint Along With Nancy Kominsky; 119; Geraniums. Boston, MA: Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from