Sheep Incognito – Under the Trenchcoat


Keep It Light!

Tips & Tricks for Setting Up Your Palette for Vibrant, Clean Colors

Make your colors stay alive by following these few handy tips and tricks I’ve learned in the past 15 years of painting – it might just change your paintings for the better…

File Apr 04, 3 53 47 PM


When you start painting, and are confronted with a pile of paint tubes, all just waiting to have a say in your artwork, it is really easy to get overwhelmed, and try to put them all out there, just to see the pretty colors.

But keeping them in the right place, will eliminate a lot of maaahem and muddiness in your work – and it will help you focus on what you are painting, instead of trying to remember which color you were using to mix this awesome octarine color you just invented…

Here are some pointers that will help you create vibrant, clean, awesome looking colors that sing:

Use a neutral colored palette.
While intuitively one would love to use a white palette to spread out the pretty colors onto, ultimately it changes your color perception because the contrast is too stark. Same theory applies to a black palette.
Use a gray palette instead, to ensure you are seeing the colors right.
If you cannot find a gray palette, just slap some gray gesso or light gray housepaint, or acrylics onto a wooden palette, and you should be good to go.

• Make clean-up easy: cover your palette!
Would you love to spend more time painting than cleaning? Yup, me too!
The most valuable thing in my studio for that purpose is my roll of Glad Press ‘n’ Seal – maaahvelous stuff, that there. Cover your palette board with it, THEN put paint out – when you are done painting, or when the colors are all starting to blend together, pull off the old, add a new sheet, and transfer your paint to the new palette surface for a fresh start.

File Apr 04, 3 54 25 PM

•Keep your colors sorted!
Clean colors are the result of an uncluttered palette – the sooner you make a habit of keeping your colors in order, the sooner you will be able to master the art of adding light, vibrancy, and clean, clear colors to your art.

Keep complementary colors as far as possible away from each other on the palette. Having a color wheel like the one from Daler-Rowney pictured here is quite helpful in getting your colors sorted correctly. And, when you are trying to mix a certain color, the color wheel is a great reference guide for which colors to mix for certain shades of green, for example.

File Apr 04, 3 54 08 PM
Starting with your white, lay out your colors in order from light yellow, to medium yellow, to dark yellow, to orange, to red-orange, to vibrant red, to dark red, to mauve, to purple, to dark ultramarine blue, to cobalt blue, to pthalo blue, to turquoise blue, to pthalo green, to sap green, to burnt umber, for example.

You will want to be creating a “progression of color” of sorts – whether you are using 6 colors or 50 – the rule remains the same: keep like colors together in progression towards the next primary color.

•Keep opposing colors for creating neutrals or contrast
Keeping your colors clean calls for a bit of close-minded-ness: keep colors close together when mixing, to achieve vibrant colors, with almost no muddiness.

When you want to mix, say, a vibrant purple: rather than mixing a light reddish orange with your turquoise to make purple (which, in fact will render something that looks like your cat ate it, and didn’t like it either…), try mixing a red that leans towards purple, and a blue that leans towards purple together.
The resulting purple will be vibrant, clean, and quite striking, because you have introduced none of purple’s complementary color: yellow.

Check your color wheel – colors across from each other on the color wheel are complementary colors – they look great when side-by-side, and make awesome neutrals when mixed together for that purpose. But for mixing clear vibrant colors, stay close to your goal color instead.

•Place complementary colors with the intent of creating drama

Complementary colors are great for increasing the “zing!” in your artwork: place orange beside a vibrant pthalo blue  – a vibrant red beside a pthalo green – plop some bright yellow beside that purple grape…whenever you have complementary colors side-by-side, it has a striking effect. Use that to your advantage when selecting your color-scheme.

Painting a moonlit night? Make sure the moon is the right shade of yellow, to contrast with that dark blue/purple-ish sky with twinkly stars.

Painting some yummy strawberries? Make the leaves a juicy green, to make them look delicious!



“SLEEPING BOOTY” by Conni Togel – oils on canvas

• Lighten color the right way!
When making color lighter, to make it look like it is lit by the sun, try using a lighter version of the color you are painting with. Mixing white into your colors will just dull them down and make them bland, instead.
For example: try starting with a stroke of ultramarine blue, add a touch of azure blue to lighten it (Azure blue has some white in it, but is still mainly blue pigment – it is opaque, so this works really well, I’ve found – I use this a LOT).
Or, try starting with a dark alizarine crimson, adding some cad red, then cad orange, then cad orange light, then yellow, then a dab of white.

This is a basic repetition of the layout of your palette – going from darks to lights just like you have them laid out on your palette, will keep your colors from going bland and blah.

Hopefully this was helpful to you – when everything turns to mud, wipe it off, and start again – or wait for it to dry, then drop in some pops of color to make it zing!


“Dry White Whine” by Conni Togel – oils on canvas

STILL Have questions?
Email me at – I always love hearing from people about how these tips work for them!
Remember that I also offer private sessions to learn these tips and tricks in real life – sometimes explaining this first-hand is better than reading it online…shoot me an email to schedule a meetup somewhere near my studio in Upstate South Carolina, or near one of my shows when I am on tour:



Make your morning coffee smile at ewe – add some “Creature Comfort” to your day.
Wrap your fluffy self into a quilt of warm fuzzy feelings with a cup of coffee or tea…such a cute addition to your mug collection!

11 oz., white ceramic mug with Conni Togel’s quilting related fun Sheep Incognito art “Creature Comfort” printed on both sides, so it can be used left handed or right handed.

The perfect gift for anybody you know that needs a smile to go with their favorite beverage in a mug…

Each individual mug is safely packaged in it’s own styrofoam container, then boxed for it’s journey to your home – multiple items are boxed together.

©conni togel/sheep incognito/charisma art gallery llc
Creature Comfort Sheep Incognito Mug

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

New Sheep Painting!

There’s a new Sheep Incognito Hanging Out! (and he has pie!)

It’s Sprintime! And it means the trees have spring into bloom – and apparently, my sheep have decided to make a leap to the trees as well….wait! …this one has apple pie!


Size: 12″ x 16″

Media: acrylics on canvas

Price: $450

contact my studio to purchase the original painting, or to order a custom sized, hand-embellished giclée reproduction on canvas of this one.

©conni tögel/

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

New Calendars for 2018 are at the print shop!

Every year I create a limited edition Sheep Incognito wall calendar. And the one for 2018 has just hitthe  printer’s desk – hopefully to be finished before the big Maryland Sheep and Wool festival.

They will be hot off tge press there!

Let me know if ewe would like us to hold one for ewe!

Tags: , ,


via Black Sheep Dog PRINT


Prints on paper and canvas giclées in limited edition are selling out!

An older painting I did years ago – we only have a few more prints in the edition left.

This little guy might just remind you of your dog – or the neighbor’s dog – or the neighbor’s sheep – or, that bone marrow tastes yummy…
Whatever it is that draws you to the “Black Sheep Dog”, I love hearing about it.

He might be one of the reasons I started creating my digital pet portraits recently (click here to see some samples or to order your own) – they have given me opportunity to capture the different characters and personalities of peoples’ dogs, and they are so much fun to create!


Black Sheep Dog Print by Conni Togel Image

Black Sheep Dog Print by Conni Togel


Great Eggspectations
A new digital painting I just finished is now available on my website as limited edition prints on paper and on canvas.

Great Eggspectations Wall Display

Great Eggspectations livingroom interior design setting

For a very limited time, until March 30th, 2017, “Great Eggspectations” will be available at an introductory special of $50 for an 11″x14″ limited edition giclée print on canvas (regular price is $85 starting April 1st).

Edition size is 150. Signed by the artist. Archival inks (warrantied for lightfastness: 75 years – 200 years) on archival gloss canvas. UV-coated for extra protection agains dust and light scuffs.
Can be mounted on stretchers – call the studio for more information: (864) 634-2150.
Standard sizes available online at the Charisma Art Gallery Website – click here to order

Custom sizes are available – please call the studio to order any size you need, framing options, etc.

Great Eggspectations

Great Eggspectations Prints

This is a great piece for wedding gifts, baby shower gifts, office spaces, pediatric offices, or hospital wards. Also works great in business office spaces, or for any interior design application. We also offer art consulting – let us help you design an uplifting, positive ambiance in your public spaces – people love being in positive surroundings, and it increases trust and confidence. Call us at the studio to schedule a quick overview of our services: (864) 634-2150

Great Eggspectations

Great Eggspectations

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

5 Reasons You Need To Attend MDSW

The Annual Maryland Sheep And Wool Festival Is Good For Ewe – Here Is Why!

via Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival


See Ewe At MDSW 2017!

My all-time favorite event of every year is the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival.
Think of it as a sheep aficionado’s nirvana come to earth – it is a concoction of anything and everything sheep. And wool.
Do you think it’s about cute sheep?
Or about what people do with their wool?
Or possibly a good place to try some lamb kabobs?
Or maybe where you would purchase a flock of sheep for yourself?

“Ewe’s right on all counts”

It is the Nation’s largest event of it’s kind, and draws thousands of visitors to the West Friendship, MD Fairgrounds in early May every year.
Over 400 vendors of sheep,yarn,lamb, wool, knitting implements, artwork, workshops, classes, sheepdog trials, and anything that has anything to do with “the sheepish ones”

Here are my top five reasons to be there:

5. The Peacefulness:
Walking through the sheep barns during the days when there are thousands of people milling about, reminds me that peace can be found in the storm. The sheep are just chillin’, chewing their cud, every now and then there will be a “Baaah” to be heard, and many of them are definitely groveling for some chin scratches and some attention. No matter what’s going on outside their pens – they are at peace.
How life should be dealt with.

4. The People:
For some reason, sheep people tend to be very even-keeled, friendly, and – for lack of a better explanation – normal. Down to earth. Matter of fact. Fun-loving. Awesome people.
Many have a deeper understanding of life in general – what is and is not important. I love that – it reminds me that in fact not everything in life is about politics, money, fame, fortunes, video games, or social media. It’s about being part of the bigger picture in nature as human beings. Quite lovely, that.

3. The Food:
Lamb is quickly  becoming the better red meat – it has a long-standing tradition in other countries, but is becoming more and more popular here in the US as well. Because it is delicious.
You can get some lamb stew. Lamb kabobs. Rack of lamb. Leg of Lamb. Lamburgers. Sheep cheese. Sheep Butter (my personal favorite). And possibly a few other things as well.
Yeah, I’d eat all of it.

But if that isn’t your thing, there are quite a few other vendors in food carts there as well – with the usual fair food choices, but also some more obscure things like baklava, or which ever other food trucks are there that year. Last year there was a new vendor there – from Syria, if memory serves me right. A fantastically friendly family of four, serving probably the best food I’ve ever had at a fair. I seriously look forward to seeing them there again – not just for the food, but to chat with them. It was one of my highlights there last year.

2. The Sounds:
If you get there on Friday when the sheep are being set up in their pens for the weekend, the sounds of them baaaahing and maaaahing to eachother, or calling for their buddies they left at the farm, is a beautiful thing to hear. It’s about as close to maaaahem as you can get with sheep – and yet, with all that hollerin’, there still is this peaceful vibe in the barns. I make it my mission to at least walk through the sheep barns twice while I’m there – to meet some sheep, see what all the different breeds are, to watch some of the kids trimming, washing, and walking their sheep between the sheep judging events. It’s so nice to see kids and teenagers doing something beyond just snapping snapchats and selfies…

1. The Sheep!
They are the stars of the festival – families flock through the barns, with pudgy little hands reaching to pet the sheep that are huge to the little one. Hipster knitters in their gaggles flock through, ooohing and aaahing and taking selfies with the sheep. Older gentlemen strolling through the barns, scratching the odd sheep under its ears. Sheep farmers talking shop about microns (the measurement for the fineness of the wool), farming implements, and breed standards.
The show ring showcases all the breeds, and is fascinating to watch and learn from, as the judges choose the best in breed, and explain what they are after in terms of “what makes this a good sheep”.

And, add to that the vendors selling everything from knitting needles, to spinning wheels, to fleeces, to yarn of all kinds, to felting supplies, to angora rabbits, goats,honey, brooms, kilts, jewelry, lamb meat, sheep shearing clippers, soap made with lanolin, socks, sheep paintings (Stop by my booth! Look for Sheep Incognito in the outdoor vendor area on the main drag!), buttons, weaving looms, and all kinds of interesting things.
Or, if you are interested in new skills for your life – join some of the workshops! Learn to spin, knit, dye yarn, felt, breed sheep, crochet, weave, or whatever else is on the workshop menu…the instructors travel from near and far, and are quite often stars in their own right.

Either way – make this one an annual trip…it is truly one of America’s national treasures, I think.

Check their website (opens in new window) for information, dates, workshop registrations:

STASHED AWAY by Sheep Incognito

STASHED AWAY by Sheep Incognito

For your favorite fiber hoarder and stashoholic

Stashed Away is a good piece of wall art for your favorite knitting nook, fiber studio, or even just a place that needs some happiness when you walk by it.

I painted this using Winsor & Newton, Lukas, and Old Holland Oil Paints – I just love the heavy pigment saturation of them. Once you use good oils, you will never go back to student grade paints.

We create giclée reproductions on canvas of this on in various sizes – all available on the website by clicking here.



Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

EWETUBE Original Oil Painting – ON SALE!

EWETUBE Original Oil Painting – On Sale until March 31, 2017!

Don’t miss your chance to snag an original Sheep Incognito painting at it’s lowest price ever! 
Original oil painting on canvas
12 inches x 36 inches

$895 + shipping

Call the studio with questions or to purchase over the phone: (864)634-2150 – ask for Conni