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Hello, I'm Nancy Kaminsky. Today we're going to paint Daffodils on Windermere. It's a lovely spot at the top of England right near Scotland. As usual, same the canvas, like this, and wipe it off lightly. The reason that you must wipe it lightly is some sizing on the canvas is quite rough. It creates a rather, an effect as though it were sandpaper and tears off your tea paper. So very lightly, please. However, that's not the usual case.
Now, our grids, and don't remake, do it each and every time. Like this. Oops, oh well. In a landscape, it's not that important if your lines are crooked as much as in a street scene or what have you. It's very, very important that your lines are fairly straight, at least not slaining or going on an angle, that's the worst part of all. There we are. Now, there again, we're faced with a horizon problem. It's not a problem. It's something you have to face in every landscape. Or a seascape or whatever. In this case, we're going to drop the horizon line to a little bit below the center line. It's about an inch and a half down like that. Now, this has some lovely, lovely hills. Always put your ground or horizon line in first. Now, let's start our hills about here, like this. Please don't get sharp points on these hills. I don't want them looking like croquettes or what have you.
Like that. And it has another, let's bring this over a little more, like this. Another small and like that. It's a rolling hills, a few rolling hills, like that. It has one right here in a foreground. Now, I don't want this straight or cross, so we're going to take this. I'm going to erase that. It's a bit wide. Because I want you to see this very clearly. Try to do this with all your paintings that have a shoreline so that you don't have a straight line. Let's create also a feeling of depth, hills behind hills. Now, be careful here. Don't have this too wide. Now, the foreground is like this and don't have this straight across. Have it uneven, naturally, like that. And it has also a small island. And the size of this bit of ground or a little island will tell us that this is very far away.
We put that right here, like this. Like that. And it has some small trees on it. Now, of course, the star of this show is a fantastic tree in the corner, very large tree. And as usual, we'll put the trunk in, but don't develop the branches too much in the drawer. It's not necessary because you have a problem then with the sky. Let's have a beautiful, exciting tree right here, like this. This is a very important object, this painting. We have some beautiful branches that go like this. Now, remember, the branches of a tree evolve one from another this way. Oops. Like I'm drawing this. Even though we're going to paint it out because I want you to see this structure. Now, we have another branch going that way. And you see how the branch, rather, goes into the tree this way.
It doesn't stick out like a stick. It grows in the trunk. Now, for your information, I just want to put these in lightly. And then we have some over here, like this, and so on. And don't have it too straight. There again, watch the telephone poles. That's a pretty fat one, isn't it? Fine. Now, over here, we will have the daffodils. It is daffodils. Over here, carpet of daffodils. This is the loveliest thing about England and Scotland, all the British Isles. Now, that very late in February, when you're very sick of the cold weather, suddenly you look early when your carpets are the most beautiful daffodils that's breathtaking. Especially along the river, I've seen them. It's absolutely beautiful.
Fine. There we are. Now, we're going to put our shadows in. The light is coming from the right. We're going to shade the left side of the painting. Don't have it too dark. I did get that a little dark. Have it a little lighter. And also, remember, not watery. There's ever a problem. Now, this hill is behind this one, so it's not getting the light. Only the light in front, like this. This tree is casting a shadow. This is rather important. So, we put this dark shadow here, and on top of that will be the daffodils. Now, for your sake, I'm going to paint this out. Like this. And that's the way we're going to put our strokes in to show that the tree is round. And since the tree is so large, we will show the modeling of the tree, the bark and the trunk and what have you. We'll be able to see that in more detail, as opposed to the smaller trees, which were just impressions, because it was so far away.
This is quite close to us. There, and I think that's all with the notch. We don't put the daffodils in. Now, resist the temptation for a lot of drawing in. There we are. That's the drawing. Of course, now we'll get busy with the painting. That's always the best part. There, we're going to put the extra light tone around the tops of the hills, like this. Now, I will end up painting out the branches. Now, if you feel when you're painting, that you'd rather leave some of them, then by all means do it, but go around and just leave the large ones. Paint out the small ones. If not, you'll have a sky that looks very strange, as though the tree was cut out of the sky. Look at that much sky showing here. That's nice.
Now, let's get our medium tone. I'm going to paint line out. I seem to work always the same way. I guess I should have had this guy going the other way, but it's very easy to change, just reverse it. I guess we get to be creatures of habit. That's a very bad thing, but actually, I'm so busy trying to instruct you. Or, nearly, I would change that. There we are. That doesn't really matter. I don't have it too dark there to horizon. I might have gotten that just to weave it dark. Now, in this case, what we've done, this is a very interesting technique color wise, and I won't explain it to you. About this time, if you feel you must put your branches in, back in, your large one, then feel free to do it, but cut them out, very carefully, in the wet paint.
I would suggest, however, that you just leave it and do it again, but if you feel that you must, by all means do it. Make it easier in yourself. Now, we've mixed, we have three tones of every color that's used in the painting. In this case, we're using two of the tones of the sky, and actually, we've used an extra light tone. We're going to use a third tone mixed with the little purple for the hills, because they will be purplish. But we're using a third tone of the blue, and it looks rather like this. We'll start on the dark side first. Now, remember with our little strokes on hills to create a feeling of depth and roundness. We work this way and then that way, and then bring your strokes over, down and over, like that. Now, we're going to make this extra dark in front. Now, I want that much lighter, so I'm going to lighten it up considerably.
I'm going to use a tiny bit of purple in that, to create a feeling of distance, like this, and a bit of green. Don't lose the green, because it's early spring, and we have things beginning to sprout. The grasses begin to have that lovely little pale shade. It's starting to look a little greener after being buried under snow or whatever. Chris and England, I don't think they have very much snow. They have mostly rain. When you see that lovely countryside, you realize that it's well worth it. I'm going to make the little hill in front, a little more purple, because I want to create another dimension again.
Let's make this a wee bit darker this way. We're going to put our water back in there. Now, we're going to do another thing, which is very interesting. We're going to take a clean knife, clean your knife like this, take the sky tone like this, and run it through the hill. Now, this will give you a qualms, and if you feel squeamish about it, don't do it, but try it, because you really can't lose it. Now, we're going to go back to it and reaffirm our hill like that. I'm trying to create a rather misty effect that way. You see how I'm using the knife, the flat of the knife, this way, on the side. I'll leave that for just a moment.
Let's go to our work. Start with a very light tone up in here like this. That's a bit pale, so I'm going a bit of yellow with that. Go right in between these hills, like this, and like that. Work it over. Our stroke that goes over and down, which actually creates reflections. We're going to add other tones to that, like this, and a bit of green under here, because it is reflecting down, like that. I always thought that Scotland has a very mystical quality about it, there. Of course, great poets, like Wordsworth, tend beautiful poems about this particular area. No monsters, please, we don't need them.
I know they have them in Scotland, and this is very dark in the corner here. You see how we create reflections? We're working with color alternately, over and down, and don't work them in too much. Put them on very lightly, and just work them in alternately, but not blending them to the point where you lose them. I'm going to add a lovely dark tone of blue here, like that. Now we're going to soften it just a wee bit. Not too much. I would do this. Take your knife and run some horizontal strokes with a clean knife right across the water. I'd like to make this a wee bit darker here, like this.
I want to really sharpen up that area to create the feeling of those hills going behind these. Now let's leave that and go to the foreground. Now, since we have a shadow of a tree, the area in front of the tree is quite dark. This area behind here is catching the light, so it's quite pale like this. Now, the colors will also tell us that it's early spring. They're very delicate. We're using greens that are much more delicate, but we do still have very definite tonal values, just the same. But you do get the feeling that it's quite early spring, and things are just beginning to sprout. We use a medium tone, so we work in medium and light and dark, like that. We also will add a little purple on that.
Again, our trusty little stroke, the old reliable, which is so marvelous for everything. And once you learn that stroke, that's the beauty of this. It will be such a one that you can use in so many things, and you will remember it, and it will be quite useful for you. Let's put a little purple with the green down here, especially in front of the tree, because the tree is casting a very large shadow, the light is coming from the right. I'll go up into the tree a little, because I don't want to look as though it's stuck in the ground. I'm going to add a little red over that, just for fun. Now we have this little isle in here, we mustn't forget that, like this, and we're going to add a little purple, like that, and it has some small trees there, and the size of the trees will tell us just exactly how far away all of this is.
A little reflection, that way. Fine. Let's put some medium tone here. I don't want this all too dark, because I do want the feeling of light coming around the tree also. Now just leave that there. Now let's go to our tree. Oops, I should have come over here. Be very careful when we're in this case exactly, because you see what's happened here. I didn't go all the way to the drawing. I'm going to end up with a very fat tree. So bring it over, be sure that that's correct, because you will have to fill that space with something, and it might be the wrong thing. Oops, there. Fine. Now let's use purple. Now I'm going to use a knife on the large part of the tree, like this, and I don't want it quite so dark, so I'm going to use a little bit of green in that this way. And the strokes go down like this, and over like that.
That stroke tells us that this tree is round, and not a flat surface. Remember, this goes right down, flows into here, and the tree usually is forked at the bottom. It's not straight across usually. I mean, of course there are exceptions. But I think it's much nicer to have the tree look as though it's evolving from the ground. So I always have the trunk rather separated, and little grass is growing in between. Oh, will we up like this? Now I'm going to introduce the brush again for our small branches, because I don't want to be intimidated by this knife on the little areas while you're learning in any case. Because I don't want you to ruin your painting by trying to use a knife on the delicate branches. If you can, fine. If you find you having trouble, forget it. Don't make it hard on yourself. It's not that important.
I would like to use a bit of blue like this. I'm getting a little more sophisticated, but I think at this point in the painting we should try a few things. There. Now I'm going to put the large trunks or branches in with the knife first, and then we'll work out the smaller ones with the brush. And remember, they should be a little rough. Or get out like that. And the fact that each line isn't completely filled in adds to it. It gives it the rather branchy effect. It's a first of all, it's a very old, gnarled tree. It can't be smooth like a young tree.
I guess it's like a lot of this. Very smooth either. We end up with two sets of everything. We get a certain age, I'll tell you. There. If we're lucky, it's only two. I did add a few branches, but you can, there, like that. You see? Take what's there and bring it out. Also, if you find you would like to add more branches or change it, find. Trees come in all different shapes. That's how I'm going this way. Like that. I will take the brush. I want you to put the large area in with the knife like this. Let's add a little green to that. Holy up, like that.
I like to paint large trees. I get impatient sometimes with very small trees. But when you have a fascinating tree like this, you can really do something with it and it gets to be in real joy. Like this. There. Now, we will take our brush. I think I'll do that right now. And we put in some of the branches. Very lightly. And please do not rub your brush in the paint. Like that. And we can even scratch in a few more.
But we'll leave that for the moment there. Now, let's go to our little tree here. I just got done telling you that I don't like little trees. I know we have a few here. Well, a couple of small ones here. We have some little branchy bushes here like this. This is very important. You'll notice that the tree is bare of leaves because it is early spring. And we have these little branchy bushes and things here right in front. Now, there's an interesting way to do the daffodils. We simply put dots of different tones of yellow. Like this. Darken this just a wee bit here. My bushes could be a little darker. And we can bring out a few more branches.
This is what the clean knife, this is a marvelous tool. And a great technique for creating secondary branches that are very delicate. And what you cannot paint without losing, without being out of scale. There we are. Now, first we'll put the dark tone in bringing the daffodils. We put dark blobs, then pale yellow, and then the lightest yellow, like this. We do not draw the daffodils in as such. They must be uneven, little dots like this uneven, and put the dark ones first. And I'm using yellow ochre right from the palette, like that. We use the middle tone, which is a medium yellow, on some of them. And let's have a few little daffodils over here. I'm sure there are a few around the tree here, like that. This is such fun.
This is the best part of painting when you do little things. It's like icing the cake, the final thing. Now, please don't have too many, and don't try to delineate them too much. Now, let's take our lightest tone of yellow. In this case, I'm going to take our light yellow or zinc yellow and add a little white for that last zingy color. To give it that's the right amount of schmaltz, you see? Like this. Of course, they're getting a little minor, getting a little big, but my paint is very wet. That shows us that some of them have a catching light, they're taller than others. Others are underneath, not getting any light. So, please don't make a point of trying to cover every little dot you have with the light tone. Where I'm telling you, the little one, I know that I'm going to be here for touching this up.
I'm worse than any of my students. Always do as I do, just do as I tell you. Oops, there it is. I'm going to run little stems down like this, you see? There again, just quickly take your knife and then score the dark tone like that. And you get the feeling of little stems without the stems, please. I'm going to put a few tall grasses just a bit so it's not so, because it isn't a lawn exactly. We have birds in this lovely painting, so there again. We have birds done very quickly like this. Be careful of the size, be very careful. It makes it official, it's spring.
And I hope you've enjoyed this series as much as I have bringing it to you. It's fun. You're all painting by Golly. That's our painting for the day. Our signature has been marvelous. Bye for now. Bye for now.
This program was made possible by a grant from Commercial Union Assurance Companies. Thank you very much.
Paint Along With Nancy Kominsky
Episode Number
Daffodils on Windemere
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 daffodils on windemere.
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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-f1620892d2d (Filename)
Format: 2 inch videotape
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Chicago: “Paint Along With Nancy Kominsky; 126; Daffodils on Windemere,” 1976, Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 20, 2024,
MLA: “Paint Along With Nancy Kominsky; 126; Daffodils on Windemere.” 1976. Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 20, 2024. <>.
APA: Paint Along With Nancy Kominsky; 126; Daffodils on Windemere. Boston, MA: Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from