Bill Alexander Painting Tips: Columbia River Gorge pt 2

We have a special treat for you for all of June! You get to paint along with the legendary Bill Alexander!

Each Saturday we will have tips and instructions from Bill himself as he walks you through “Columbia River Gorge.”

Here is what you will need to get started:

Oil Colors

  • Titanium White
  • Indian Yellow
  • Permanent Red
  • Permanent Orange
  • Alizarin Crimson
  • Phthalo Blue
  • Ivory Black


  • 2 1/2" Blending Brush
  • Alexander Large Fan Brush
  • Alexander Original Palette Knife
  • Alexander Magic White
  • 18" x 24" Canvas
  • Magic White Medium

Let’s Get Started!

Bill continues to prepare his background. He is using a variety of colors to create it just the way he wants it.

Points To Consider:

  • Bill uses “Deep Orange.” It can easily be mixed by combining equal parts Permanent Red and Cadmium Yellow.
  • Bill starts with the brightest color in the center and works towards the dark.
  • He cleans his brush before going back into the light. This is very important. If his brush isn’t clean, he would just make mud. The only way to keep the colors bright is to keep the brush clean between colors. We recommend Baby Wipes as a great and safe way to clean brushes. There is nothing harmful to either the painter or the brushes.
  • Notice that Bill is always adjusting his colors.
  • It is important to use little paint at this stage.Too much paint will cause problems for the next layer.
  • Notice Bill is pressing hard and working the paint into the color that is already on the canvas. If Bill used a light touch the color would sit on top of the previously applied paint. He wants it to blend ,so he presses hard.
  • The more dark Bill adds the brighter the light looks.
  • He adds dark to the top and corners to lead the viewer’s eye to the center of the sunlight.

Bill would be so happy today with our “environmentally friendly” brush cleaner. He really didn’t like that he had to use thinner. He wanted a safer brush cleaner. Baby wipes would have been perfect for him to use on TV but he didn’t know about them as a way to clean his brushes.

(Baby Wipes also work well for “removing paint” from the canvas.)

Environmentally Safe Brush Cleaner.

  • 2 parts vegetable oil
  • 1 part dishwashing detergent
  • 1 part water

Shake well and pour into a container. Soft Scrub can be added for the stubborn paint that wants to remain in the brush. Clean brushes and wipe dry with paper towels. Reshape your brush and lay flat overnight.

We recommend first testing this method with an old brush.

For more information click HERE

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