How to paint like Picasso (Cubism)?

One day I was curious about abstract art and how an artist goes about making abstract art?  I can view and examine many famous contemporary artists and their images of abstract art, but that does not reveal to me how it was made.

HOW to make abstract art! 

Maybe that’s not the right question.  So I decided to learn and research famous contemporary abstract artists, find out how they progressed into their abstract movement and learn about their art career.  I made close friends on YouTube learning all there is about my favorite artists and their growth into the abstraction.  Then I wandered upon the famous museum of modern art, also known as MOMA.

 Wow, lots of stuff there!   Check it out

I spent many days watching the numerous videos at MOMA.  One in particular was about how to paint like Picasso (in the style of cubism).  Picasso’s approach to cubism tends to push and pull space with geometric shapes.

A side note:  Picasso wasn’t the father of cubism.  A french painter, George Braque, developed cubism.  Although Picasso was a friend and rival of Braque, they were both inspired by Paul Cezanne.

Both were experienced artists, why did they both change momentum in their art career?  Was it that photography was introduced in the beginning of the 19 century? 

Did they feel there was a need to change realism painting  due to photography?  

After watching this video from MOMA I am getting closer to my answer.   Here is a link to a 33 minute video.

Researching Picasso, cubism and watching this video, I was excited to play and to produce a painting.   

My studio cubism oil painting

These are my steps to an 8×10 painting titled “My Studio”

STEP 1:  Prepare the still life.  For my still life I found objects in my studio, cans of turpentine, brushes, paint tubes, fabric for drapery.  These are the images of my still life that I started with.  Cubism reveals many views of the still life subject, model or landscape and incorporates it into one 2 dimensional painting.  The key is breaking the boundaries of light and shadow and the push and pull of space.

STEP 2:  Start by drawing my still life from 3 or more different perspectives or views.  Spending only a minute or so with each view.  Just draw what comes into your vision that fascinates you.  Make geometric shapes or lines that are not necessarily connected.

Step 3:  Go back to each perspective and place shading on items or your shapes from each perspective.  Obviously each prospective has the light source  in a different place.

Step 4:  Set your palate with cubist color (white, black, raw umber, ochre, naples yellow, cobalt blue, dull green and cad red) a few cool hues, colors that push back and warm hues that move forward.  Mix a light color with a dirty turpentine to thin it out and place it in the light areas.  I used white, instead of naples yellow in the video since I used an ochre imprima background.

Step 5:  Reinforce the lines that I want to keep with black.  Add some new lines to make the painting attractive and incorporate some color and value of the objects; painting with a staccato “choppy” brushwork.  The process engulfed me in that I didn’t work totally horizontally in brush work with the painting.  Instead I chose each image as it was and followed its shape.  This is an artist’s prerogative and went with my imagination.  

Step 6:  At this point, I am not looking at the still life for impressions, I am working off my painting and how it can be perfected.  I added color in appropriate places, giving it an appealing quality.  I continually  reinforced my lines to make them sharp and prominent.

Step 7: Now I want to concentrate on my composition as a still life on my canvas.  By pulling some images forward and others in the background further back, I do this by lightening the foreground of the cloth and darkening the background behind the still life shapes.  I need to reinforce my lines again and correct any work on the still life or the focal point of my painting.  I got tired of reinforcing my lines, but it has to be done.

Step 8: Braque and Picasso, both blurred the sides of their paintings and didn’t leave the sharp lines intact.  Therefore, by wiping the edges with a turpentine cloth, I blurred the edges delicately to give the final version of “My Studio”, and sign my painting.

My studio cubism oil painting

Evidently I did not paint like a cubist, but I like what I did.  How did you like it? 

How are you going to paint like Picasso or Braque?

Is the self Quarantine getting you down?

Afraid of the Pandemic of Coronavirus-19?

Cant get out and about?

Starting to get Cabin Fever?

Don’t freak out!

 Stay Calm, Make Art and Shop Online!

Keeping myself in my studio with all my art supplies around, how else can I take the whole pandemic.  Making art will certainly occupy my time and while busy with creating, it gets my mind off the politics and the hype.

So, I am suggesting to all that we should travel to our studios or a place that makes you happy.  Calm yourself down by taking that computer, phone or small device and place your energy into viewing art!  Visit a virtual Museum, or engage with other artists online.

Shop till you drop with me!

If you have the desire to shop, consider to look at my site.  I am planning on slashing prices to make you not act like Edvard Munch.  I have much more jewelry than online.  Just comment and ask if you like a certain style or wrist size…I am painting and making mosaics galore.   In fact I am playing with eggshell mosaics.  They are 4×6 size and framed.

Plum blossoms from Eggshells

I have done a sunflower, check it out on my webpage shop page.

Please make comments and drop a note to me….

Thanks Cindy

What is a Cindy Sale or Sindy Cale?

I was fascinated the other day, while reading a book, that two young characters were having fun talking to each other using spoonerisms.  This is when you take two words in a sentence and switch the first letters to make a nonsensical word.  Mostly for fun or frustration to the listener.  Examples are Bunny Rabbit equals “Runny Babbit” or “Biss the kride” for kiss the bride.

So to have fun as I love to do, I am having a “Sindy Cale” on my website! 


WOW how creative is that!


Spoonerism day is July 22 but why wait so let’s “Spoon On” with a Sindy Cale in the middle of February! 

The intention of this sale is to introduce my work to the world wide web!  During the last year 2019, I diligently worked on my website in order to offer my work to more people and to share my love of art.

Oil Paintings

Winter Sunrise

OP63 Winter Sunrise

I produce studio work along with Plein Air originals painted outside onsite to capture the essence of the time.  Paintings can be purchased with or without frames.  When I do frame them, they are with a basic black metal or black wooden frame.  You can specify if you want to take a discount of $20 without frame.


BPW49 Blue Peyote Weave Bracelet

I hand stitch each piece of jewelry using high quality glass beads.  Jewelry sales come with free shipping within the US.   

Yes that’s all 50 states!  Including Alaska and Hawaii!



Glass mosaic Octopus

Octopus Mosaic

All mosaics are ready to hang.  I have some mosaics with hand built frame.  I form my mosaics from stained glass or fused glass formed in my kiln where each design display’s the title and signature are on the back.

So click on the link my shop and browse through my inventory.  If you browse in my Gallery and would like to purchase one of those, do let me know through comments.  Purchases in My Shop can be made by credit cards or payment through Paypal.

All comments are welcome on items.

Enjoy Cindy

Plein Air painting in Homer

Procrastination and How to Get Back Into Creating

procrastination quote

Procrastination is a feeling of not getting to what you want to do.  According to the oxford dictionary its

“The action of delaying or postponing something”

Why would we want to delay something that we love to do? What is causing this feeling of a need to postpone? As artists we live and breath art, don’t we?


I have a studio filled with tables of projects in different stages of progress.  Some say it’s a wealth of clutter, others say it’s a sign of an artistic mind.  So which is it?  Of course I am going to believe that my mind is artistic vs. clutter. Right?

So what’s with this procrastination and not finishing up a project? 

Alan Lightman writes in his book “In Praise of Wasting Time” he describes the benefits of giving oneself unscheduled time to simply think, play, or let ideas incubate. 

Ah…. Incubation!  I like that!  My studio is filled with incubating ideas!

Am I wasting time, postponing a project for another day? I think not.  There are days, when I have spent time cleaning up, or moving things in the studio and pick up a half done project, not knowing what to do with it.  The time from when I first worked on it till now, is not wasted, cause I now know that some day an idea will hit me.


I love it when an idea comes.  Bam and off I go.  That’s incubating an idea!  Who cares that it took 1-3 years for that idea to hit you.  It did and that’s what counts.

The strike of the Muse

I think that when we procrastinate in our studio, we do not fear the act of peril, it’s that we are waiting for the muse to strike us!  Artists all have a muse, he or she has ideas and throws it at us and we are to catch it or not.

Big magic book cover

Read “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert to find more creativity beyond fear.

We all can attest that when we find an idea, we are creating like a Tasmanian devil working till it is completed.  I hope you have had this experience once or twice.  I have!

When we don’t catch the idea from our muse, than another person somewhere in this world will catch it.  Have no fear; the muse will keep tossing ideas to us.  Maybe it’s the puttering in the studio procrastinating in which to catch it? 

Other artists tell me that we just need to ‘show up,’ and not worry about the muse.  Go into your studio or where you feel creative and be content.

So when the sinking feeling of procrastination is upon you, embrace it.  You just need to think or relax and let your muse toss you an idea.

Go To Your Studio and Make Art!

Chemistry and Painting


                                                                                               March 20, 201Some of you think these two words are opposite from each other.  Using the different hemispheres of the brain, how can this be?  One is analytical, the other is interpretative.  

I studied chemistry and received a BS in Medical Technology.  So what does that mean?  Lots and lots of chemistry!  In my past life, I was fascinated with everything regarding chemistry.  I learned how all the organs work together with chemistry to be a well-engineered body.  Balancing chemical structures and formulas is Nature at her best.  How does she mix the acid and bases of life and what are their chemical properties.  How does she make nature all work together?  

Yep Chemistry!

In the last 5-6 years of being a painter, I still get fascinated with how certain properties of paint mix.  How is it that you take one pigment of yellow and red and get different oranges?  You can do this with all of the primary colors.

Artist and chemists have their own languages

I spent a whole year trying to figure out how other artists pick two or more paint hues and are able to get what they see.  I asked art friends, some with BFA or MFA (or not), but they don’t answer my question.  They just know it or learned it over time.  

They also tell me that I am using the wrong hemisphere of my brain and thinking too much!  REALLY? Now school was hard, and I spent many long hours studying to get that degree and I am proud of myself for earning it. So if they learned it, there must a book on this, right?  

In today’s climate of everything at our fingertips with the Internet, I searched and searched, taking a year or more to finally find the answer and guess what!


My old, long friend, chemistry will help me after all these years!  Now hold on, let me explain and I hope to not loose my right-brain friends.  (The left-brain friends will understand).

While I was studying oil painting and learning the techniques, I came up with part of the answer. Tubes of paint are made from pigments or mixture of different pigments with a suspended material to make it oil, acrylic or any other type of media.  For oil paints, linseed oil is added to pigment.  

Pigment the answer?

The pigment used is a key.  Each manufacture must specify which pigments they use.   Luckily there are societies and associations that have developed a color Index that covers pigments, solvents, dyes, inks for all different industries.  

Think of all the chemists who helped!

Now back to the chemistry of paints.  So there is an Online Colour Index that has 13,000 generic names with corresponding constitution numbers.  

This numbering system is the fingerprint of pigments.  Therefore you can purchase a tube from one manufacture and see if it’s the same as another by this system.  Check out  “Color of Art Pigment Database” 

Pretty cool huh?  This seems similar to the elements in the periodic table.  This database tells you many things; to answer my question, it informs me that not all names on the tubes of paint are the same.  You need to make sure your cadmium yellow tube has only ‘PY35’ number on the tube.  If it has the code index of P1, then it’s a cadmium yellow hue.  Which means it doesn’t have the same properties as PY35.  Finding parallels!

True pigment vs hue

Experience artists know that when a paint tube states hue, its not a true color and wont work as the true color.  Thereby when mixing colors of true colors together you will have consistency!  OK now I am getting somewhere.

Getting that constant color each time you mix

With this knowledge, I will need to use the same code index tube of paints to get consistency in my mixture. (Cad Yellow; PY35 plus Cad Red, PR108 will make a bright pumpkin orange)

Now this doesn’t really answer my question on why you mix a Cadmium Yellow of brand X and Cadmium Red of brand Y, you will get the same orange hue as if you used Cadmium Yellow of brand Y and Cadmium Red of brand X.

Earlier I stated that pigment is the key. So how do my art friends know to mix certain colors together and always get their color they want!

Color Theory can be bewildering!

When I was learning color theory, I found my answer.  Artists always describe a color as warm or cool.  Well ok, my analytical side of the brain thinks temperature.  But that really didn’t help on mixing…mostly if you mix a cool with a warm, its still confusing…. aaargh!

Color Bias is your friend

I dug deeper till I understood that colors have biases!  Wow, what’s this?  My instructor convinced me that using the Munsel color wheel is very important and I agree. Click below to read further

Hues (colors) on this wheel all have a bias or influence on each other.  Wow, how funky is this!  Are we talking about the chemistry of colors? The elements in the periodic table?  Humm this sounds similar?

A red-blue or green-yellow or orange-red are a few names that artists describe a hue. There is so much more you can get reading on your own on biases.  Carol A McIntyre, color maestro explains it well.

Therefore, nearly every primary tube of paint carries another color with it; artists say they carry a color bias.  Thus there are very few pure primary colors, Red, Blue and Yellow. You can say that every chemical in the world consists of one or more elements on the periodic table!

Have I convinced you that chemistry and painting are similar?  

An Artist Day-Studio Dog and Zen inspiration

An Artist DayDog HB and I

As an artist I get to spend my day with a dog buddy, “H.B.”. He is hilarious and he makes me laugh, without fail, every morning.

We go through our morning routine, my shower, belly rub, getting dressed, belly rub, make the bed, belly rub you get the drift.  At the end of the last belly rub, I whisper to him that if I don’t stop, we wont start our day together!  He groans while I stand up and begin the day.

Once in the kitchen, I start the coffee, mix his yummy meal with rice, veggie’s and some sort of protein on top of his kibble.  He is the first dog that I have had that doesn’t go for it right off from the start.  Oh well, I know he will get to it sometime during the day.  It’s always a clean bowl when his next meal comes around.

After our breakfast and reading the local paper, we then go for our walk.  Good weather days, a beach walk; weather not so good, a trip around the yard or neighborhood.

Dog is my copilot

HB is always my copilot when we drive around our little hamlet by the sea, Homer, Alaska.  I still consider this place paradise on earth.  The view everywhere in town reminds me of why I live here.  Having a dog by my side confirms that I have found my peace.

Homer Spit
View of Homer Spit in Kachemak Bay

Familiarity is supposed to breed contempt, as they say. Homer and Alaska still moves me and I think it always will.  I will never be complacent about it.  I learn new things each day.

Once all errands or tasks are completed, I get to come home and enjoy my new studio and decide what to work on today.  What has enticed me, while driving around or walking on the beach? What project is stimulating me to complete it today?

Inspiration and Zen of Creativity

These and others thoughts ponder my brain.  I am relaxed and content in my studio. Sometimes if nothing grabs me, I clean or pick up stuff till inspiration hits.

Boy when it hits, time will stand still till I get hungry or thirsty to remind me that I am human.  This stopping of time is what some artist states as the ‘Zen of creativity’. To me it is the ultimate feeling of surrendering within my surroundings.

This is why I love being an artist.  We all need to find a place where we can encourage the zen in our lives.

What isYour Zen?