Authentically Human! Not Written by AI!
All Content Copyright © Michael Chesley Johnson AIS PSA MPAC

Thursday, February 29, 2024

Reminder: Meet the Mentor

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**Authentically Human! Not Written by AI**

I just want to remind all my followers that you can join me for FREE in the Mastrius “Meet the Mentor” hour today, Thursday, February 29th, at 5 PM MT. (4 PM PT / 5 PM MT / 6 PM CT / 7 PM ET.) Join me at this link via Zoom.

During the program, I’ll be interviewed briefly, and then I’ll launch into my presentation on “Making Your Best Guess” in pastel. I hope you’ll join me!

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Join Me for my "Meet the Mentor" Session!

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**Authentically Human! Not Written by AI**

Mark your calendars! On February 29th, Thursday, at 5 pm Mountain Time, I’ll be live on Zoom and interviewed by Mastrius, the group that I am now mentoring for. You can join me for FREE at this link at that time:

(4 PT / 5 MT / 6 CT / 7 ET)

The program will last an hour, and I’ll be talking about what I do, why I do it and how I do it. Then, I’ll give a short demonstration of a painting technique that I call “making your best guess.” Are you a painter and frustrated with that first step in making color choices? In this technique, I show you how making an exact choice doesn’t matter! Just make your best guess, and take comfort in the knowledge that you can adjust that choice in the next phase. The demonstration will be in pastel.

Also, the program is an introduction to me as a Master Artist and mentor for Mastrius. Starting March 10th, I’ll begin mentoring up to 10 aspiring artists. If you’re looking for guidance, consider this online group mentoring program. You can find out more details about my program here.

I hope to see you “live” via Zoom on the 29th!

Sunday, February 18, 2024

I'm Now Over on Substack!

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**Authentically Human! Not Written by AI**

Did I fail to mention that I'm now over on Substack?  If you're an email subscriber to this blog, I've already moved you over to it to make sure you get every post, uninterrupted.  If you're viewing this blog through its RSS feed, you'll want to change your feed reader to go instead to:

Best, though, is if you simply subscribe either at or here:

I offer both FREE and PAID subscriptions.  Paid subscribers get monthly podcasts and paid-only posts.  Although I may not add new posts to my Blogger blog, I'll keep it up for awhile longer.  Thanks!

Sunday, February 11, 2024

What is Casein?

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**Authentically Human! Not Written by AI**

Here's my set of casein colors.  Also, I highly
recommend using a Sta-Wet palette to keep the paints moist.

At this point, most of you should be familiar with gouache.  It seems like every painter out there on social media is playing with this opaque, water-based medium.  But do you know about casein?  If you've heard of "milk paint"—once used to paint houses in the 1800s—it's basically the same thing, but with pigment.  This old medium is edging back into the spotlight, and deservedly so.

Casein is similar to gouache in most of its properties except one.  Made with a binder derived from milk, it can't be re-wet once dry, a property which, besides casein's cheapness, made it useful for house painting.  (A dilute solution of ammonia will help clean up any dried-on paint.)  The fact that the surface is durable and can be varnished makes it perhaps a superior medium to gouache.  It should still be framed under glass, though, if the painting is done on paper.  

By the way, casein tends to have a slight odor, which some artists find unpleasant.  I consider its smell, and in fact that of any art material, to be simply part of the magic that goes into making our art.

I first found out about casein from Stephen Quiller, whom I consider the master of water media.  Having painted in it for many years, he finally wrote a book about it, Casein Painting with Stephen Quiller.  He also helped Jack Richeson develop a new line of Shiva casein colors.  (The line is named for artist Ramon Shiva, who created the first casein paints for artists in the 1930s.)  With Stephen's encouragement, I picked up a set of colors and got to work.  You might give it a try.

If you'd like to learn more about casein, the Richeson Art web site has some excellent information here.