A Jerry’s Online Street Team Art Project with Julie Petro

Julie Petro is an artist working in paint and residing in Colorado, and has gravitated to the impressionist school of art since she was a child. Her gallery of work is substantial, impressive, and varied. Beautiful painted flowers, commissioned portraiture, and smaller scale still-lifes find homes within her portfolio of work. But it is her magnificent paintings of dancers that perhaps best showcase her ability to render grace and movement frozen in a single instant, or as the artist herself calls it, “a moment of quiet concentration.” All of it, though, is of a piece and is easily recognized as a Julie Petro.  Learn more about Julie in her Jerry’s Artarama Artist Spotlight blog post, or by visiting her website at www.juliepetro.com.

“Reflections on 40” — Jerry’s Back 2 School Sale Catalogcover

Featuring LUKAS 1862 Oil Paints

Artists have different reasons for doing self-portraits. Most of the time my reason is pretty simple: I want to paint from life and I’m the most available model I know. Any artist who’s ever done a self-portrait can appreciate how easy it is to set up with a mirror and get a quick study done. But with Reflections on 40 I wanted to make more of a statement about my life as an artist after an important birthday milestone.

As with almost all of my paintings, this one started with a very clear vision. I worked out a few sketches, concentrating the painting’s structure (composition and value) and giving myself several options to choose from. Then I used the sketch I was happiest with to set up a photo shoot in my studio. I probably took 200 photos that day, and 200 more on subsequent days to zoom in on different parts of the painting as it progressed and I determined that I needed to add or change elements.

Since I was working in a larger format (24″ x 30″), I did a small, proportional color study, 8″ x 10″, to work out value and color relationships.

For the most part, the LUKAS 1862 Oil Color palette I use is consistent:

  • Titanium White
  • Cad Lemon
  • Cad Yellow Light
  • Cad Yellow Deep
  • Yellow Ochre Pale
  • Cad Red Light
  • Alizarin Crimson
  • Burnt Sienna
  • Viridian
  • Green Earth
  • Cobalt
  • Ultramarine Blue
  • Ivory Black

The richness of the pigments of the LUKAS 1862 Oil Colors I used ensured I was able to capture the sumptuous variety of textures in the painting: glass, knit fabric, denim, hair, fur, wood, skin, paint, canvas, metal. The texture of the paint itself is buttery and flows easily. Since LUKAS paints seem to dry fairly quickly and this was a larger, more complex piece, I used poppy seed oil to extend the working time so I could return the same passage day after day if I needed to.

Also, with larger paintings I usually start out with a vine charcoal sketch so I can adjust the composition as I need to before I commit myself to paint. I follow up with a thin wash of a brownish color, massing in large areas and working up to thicker washes for darker areas. I then begin to block in color notes in their appropriate areas, slowly building up layers and thickness of paint, working all over the canvas at once.

Jerry’s Artarama is pleased to feature Julie’s impressive self portrait Reflections on 40 on our new Back 2 School Sale Catalog! For more information on Julie Petro and her lovely, impressionistic paintings, please visit http://www.juliepetro.com/.

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