It is not major problem however

Let us separate the hair and apply a screen tint of a warm dark. Say value 2 at 50 for the more mechanically minded. With paint I would simply use a alizarin - raw umber glaze. Note how the texture is not lost. Saves work later. Next is the favourite part - soften the edges and lose some of the texture. Explanation the human mind does not like to be overloaded with too much detail, particularly in painting. It revels in its ability to complete the picture without help, and it must be allowed...

Atmospheric Perspective

As objects recede in space they not only appear to shrink in size, but tend to lose detail, contrast of values, intensity of color, and their edges appear less distinct the greater the distance from the viewer's eyes. This is the principle of Atmospheric Perspective. Some writers call it aerial perspective, but this is misleading, as the term, aerial usually pertains to flying. The visual alteration of images over distance is the direct result of X amount of atmosphere between the eye and the...

Virgil Elliotts painting below demonstrates his mastery of the silk satin technique

Diaphanous - Remember Virgil Elliott said 'The key is to understand that light on diaphanous cloth renders it more opaque, and thereby obscures more of what is underneath, while in shadows it is more transparent, allowing more of what is under it or behind it to show through. The diaphanous textures can also be done this way as well, by painting the cloth and what shows through it at the same time. Virgil's method - 'To simplify the painting of diaphanous cloth, let's ignore the refining...

Progress Of The Nude No

Artists are forever in danger of outsmarting themselves. Doing something they think is clever and forgetting the original elements or concept. I have been guilty of this with this painting. I will leave the body alone for a while and see what suggests itself in the detail remembering that a lot of details I intend destroying for effect later. First some foreground detail on the sofa, some pattern and repetition The nude is almost OK. Now for some radical changes and see their effect. The...

The painting of fur linen cotton velvet silk satin gauzes and other diaphanous materials

Drawing the edges and the folds the thickness and pliability (softness) of the cloth determines the size and shape of the folds. Fur and thick wool that is soft yet pliant requires little drawing as it is mainly composed of large gentle contours. It usually dominates the form it conceals. Thick heavy linen or damask that resists folding will show straight edges and will stress at the folds with double or even triple indents (see in the acute angles left). It also will override the shape it...

What now

Like a potter you have now made you clay, only in your case it is called paint. Instead of water you have added oil and some pigment and, instead of a wheel, you will be putting your mixture on a flat vertical surface, although you will mix it on a bench or pallet. There is no rush with your paint though - it is oil based and will mostly take a long time to dry and this you know you can control adding oil or white spirits. One main point before you apply your paint if you first apply a thick...

Painting For Money

OK, now you have learnt your craft and you want to paint paintings that sell. This may help you buy your round of drinks at the local tavern and perhaps, at last, put a roof over the heads of your nearest and dearest. You might even have dreams of becoming a responsible member of the community, regain the respect of those inlaws who have long since given up on you. So how do you do formula paintings and what are the formulas that always sell In the business we call these 'potboilers' and the...

Are you in and artistic Slump

There are two problems here depending on whether you earn you living as an artist or you do it for enjoyment or other purposes. In the first instance hunger and finding shelter are great motivational tools. In the second you need to be obsessional, like knowing you hid a bottle of Jack Daniels around the house but can't remember exactly where and it's 3am if only you knew where to start to look I suffer both so I find I must plan ahead 1. Always carry a pair of scissors and be prepared to...

Likely To Scumble

As the judge remarked about my life. 'Its like paint parts are opaque, parts transparent, and parts somewhere in between, according to how much light is able to pass through the tiny particles of your credibility.' But he was right about the paint. It can be opaque, transparent, and somewhere in between, according to how much light is able to pass throught the tiny particles of pigment. Transparent pigments are like tiny colored crystals, whereas opaque pigments are like little colored (or...

Failure And A Christmas Version

This nude is going to disappear - but before she does I will do a christmas version, replete with christmass tree and decorations. For those who scantify christmas and revere the fine arts as they would the interior of a church, now is probably a good time to depart. Many titles suggest themselves but I won't go into that. OK enough of this Many titles suggest themselves but I won't go into that. OK enough of this

Pearly Luminosity

There are two factors to consider here if your aim is to achieve that luminous pearly look that dominate certain landscapes and seascapes. First we must create the 'pearly' look then give it presence and dominance within a framework (painting). It is the nature of that presence that will make it look luminous. So what makes a mother of pearl shell look pearly If you look closely it is merely a high value grey-white infused with red, blue and yellow or 'rainbow hues' of equal and similar values...

Painting in oils what you need to know about the paint

You can liken making paintings with oil paints as making mud pies with Oil paint usually has 'thickness' so it can be shovelled, spread, pushed, trowelled, brushed and scraped - just like plaster or mud. It can be flattened or piled up and much more. It has all these qualities if mixed correctly. Furthermore it can be made to be spread as thin as gossamer or as thick as clay. All this depends on just two things a) The thinness or thickness of the paint, called its viscosity b) The implement you...

The Story

The father of gods had ordained that when it came time for the people to select a king, they must choose the first person to ride up to the temple of Zeus in a wagon. Gordius innocently fulfilled the oracle and was made king. (The system might be an improvement over a methods of election held today. Certainly it would eliminate political campaigns). In any event, Gordius seems to have done very well. One of his first acts was to dedicate his wagon to Zeus and to place it near the temple, the...

Painting Red Roses

This lesson is a continuation of the drawing lesson on roses that you should view before attempting your own painting. I have done the painting in four stages and will attempt describe each stage as they are shown below. The student should try and complete this painting in one session as it is essentially a 'wet in wet' project that relies on the fluidity of the paint. First of all I covered a primed canvas (16 x 13) in a 'thin' mix of raw umber. Technically this is usually referred to as a...

Basic Oil Painting Cont

This lesson is a summation of the practical demonstration I sometimes give to further explain some of the points made in the previous lesson. My purpose is to use common household materials to make an oil painting while my method of teaching this is similar to those cooking shows you see on TV. My desire is to familiarize the students with what 'might' have happened during the 'invention' of oil painting back in the sixteenth century and thus remove some of the hesitation from trying the method...

Painting Little Waves No

In the detail of the wave shown opposite you may be convinced you are looking through the wave but this is mere illusion. My steps in painting were as follows 1) Paint the whole canvas a thinned mix of dirty sand colored raw sienna mixed with a little raw umber and white. Adjust for a approx value 5 or 6. Let dry to the toutch. 2) With a nice runny flake or lead white with a little ultramarine and cobalt blue and using flowing figure eight horizontal hand movements create the wave tops. 3) Add...

A cautionary tale for the discerning student about two Dutch artists and what was fashion

Two brilliant dutch artists born 300 years apart - one whose work was appreciated and the other shunned, one who lived in luxury and the courts of kings while the other lived in poverty, one whose art provided happiness and security while the others' sent him mad. Who would say one was a better artist Here I have combined two famous portraits to make the one. I wonder, had they changed places, how then would they have painted

Color Mixing For Value

As opposed to projected, television and computer images, painters use the subtractive color principle. If a chemical that absorbs red and blue light rays is painted on to a surface, that surface will reflect what is left, the yellow rays ( it will appear to the viewer as yellow). If the surface absorbs red only, then it will reflect the other two and will appear green. If the surface absorbs all hues then it will reflect no colors and appear black. White is the sum of all hues while black is...

Alexander and the Gordian knot

'Ifthen such praise the Macedonian got For having rudely cut the Gordian Knot' Waller to the King Alexander was reputedly a strong, handsome commander with one eye dark as a black night and one blue as a burnished sky. He lead his army on his faithful black stallion Bucephalo and was accompanied by the best military formation of the time, the Macedonian Phalanx which was armed with sarisses, the fearfully brutal five and half meter long spears. Parmenion, the general shown here on the left of...

More On Roses

Later I will show you how to paint a roses but for now it is important to understand exactly how roses are constructed. It seems they have thorns on the stems, five leaves on the shoots and things called sepals and corollas. This sort of information was not graspingly important to me during my younger years when getting a football over a line or a girl into a backseat were more pressing and roses were stolen from a neighbourhood garden to celebrate grandma's infrequent visits. That's when I...

V

Now we need to make the night sky glow with the most vivid and warm blue we can manage, and in the darker areas as deep and remote as possible. This is the secret of getting this painting to work as the land masses will then be able to provide the absolute contrast in both color and painting method (scumbling). To do this I glaze the sea three times in 4 days, see above, with a glaze mix of phthalo (a warm transparent blue) and a glaze medium and in the darker areas of the sea add some...

Picture Frames

The classic tradition of museum display is that of the Uffizi - deep gold frames on a salmon red background wall. This is a formula often repeated for many renaissance paintings. It is also one I sometimes use in internet gallerys -but mostly without the frames. For landscape paintings of high contrast and dark greens the salmon red works well particularly if separated by a neutral (off-white, black) or transit (gold) color. This is a handy hint for painting as well as framing. When dealing...

Craft stone a Daniel Smith sable and an old worn out D Smith as a blender

I start on the white drapery, but soon switch to the center of interest, the female back. I put some paint on the turban and pretty soon I'm warmed up. I stop thinking, and begin to paint by instinct. I use a limited palette of colors. I work carefully and patiently and am proud of it, since by nature I'm neither careful or patient. To show rebellion against my mid-20th century art training, I use the old sable as a blender. Remember kiddies, using a blender is bad I'm increasingly turning to...

Cities In The Sky Painting Clouds

You can do this simple little exercise on a sheet of paper with some colored pencils. Later people will wonder why you keep looking up at the sky and most likely assume you are either idealistic or a deep thinker (both these roles being totally foreign to most painters). Using simple perspective construct some blocks ( lighter lines than above). The light source will be front, top and left. Then we do some simple shading And a mid-tone and a cast shadow. When painting use colors from your...

Painting The Nude No

My technique is first to establish the details then lose them as I need for the 'fade in - fade out' effect. I desire a balance between reality and mystery. Well, enough of the dreams the cushion under the left foot requires some work. The highlighted foreground will be a problem. The usual rule is as objects get nearer the viewer contrast increases as does the color saturation (aerial perspective). That doesn't seem to be working here though so I will try and introduce some more detail and...

Texture And Pattern

Texture texture is one of the three main elements of a picture - the others being design and shape. Of course their are many subdivisions that include color, light and shade etc. 1. The 'feathery' red hat is an example of Vermeer suggesting texture by means of 'working the edge'. This is probably the simplest method of creating a texture impression. 2. The polished ebony lions head is deliberately unfocused to bring it forward. Solid dots within a milky halo are the method used here to suggest...

So What Exactly Is Color

All colors can be defined using three simple indexes hue, saturation and value. 1. Their color name as in red, blue, green or yellow. This is called their ' hue '. Here are some examples of hues Most people just know them as red, yellow or blue. Do not be confused by trade names such as 'Rocking chair red' or 'Hooker's canary yellow.' Try and remember the names of the common artists colors like those above but try and keep it simple. In the art supply shop ask for a color chart. 2. A colors...

Then your artistic slump will vanish just in time for your real torment to begin

Now it becomes what, how, which combination, what is the essence of the feeling and how do I paint (describe) it, how do I start I had a folder here with great color schemes somewhere now which one was that How can I encapsulate the feeling, yet be subtle and convincing What forms lines textures patterns color can I apply But, just think when it is all over - and if it all works out brilliantly, you can wildly celebrate, wake up hungover and start all over again. Now where did I put that red...

Page Of Theory Before The Practice

Painting a portrait is quite a personal thing. It demands that the artist make some sort of estimation or judgement. The painting opposite a 'detail' from my portrait of John Morgan. After deciding on the client (if not the sitter), why the work is commissioned and what scope is the artist allowed - you then ask yourself 1. What is the essential character of the sitter 2. How does the sitter view his or her own presence in the world 3. Is there a pose that seems natural and expressive of the...

Fig

Message - I want to paint because I have a message to communicate. Fig 7. (above) Never has design, contrast and color been so forcefully used in the cause of humanity. A rare feat no action photograph could ever compete. Fig 8 There is little decoration or subtlety in this painting titled Executions at Portsmouth'. The examples are selected to best illustrate their category by single-mindedly ignoring the other two(ie. in the decorative category the artist has made no attempt at description...

The Alexander Painting No

I have done most of the essential housekeeping jobs. Overall things look a little dark but at the moment and that is a plus for me since the drama and ease of creating things from a dark background is much easier and enjoyable than working from too much light backwards. I like the juxtaposition of tiger and sheep (above). The alert tiger gives the painting an element of the exotic and the dangerous that goes well with Alexander (the dark prince). The sheep and shepherd are also a reminder of...

And From The Ashes

First I scraped back the any paint that was proud of the surface. Next I made a thin reddish glaze (stand oil, varnish and spirit) and painted the whole area inside the arch. After this dried I made another charcoal and chalk drawing and formed it with shades of grey. All this is very thin and flat so you can still observe the right leg of the original nude faintly resting on the pillow. The idea is to completely alter the pose. This time I took greater care with the drawing stage making sure...

What Makes A Masterpiece

A painting masterpiece is 'a portal or magic window that will draw the imagination.' How is this done and why are we humans drawn to certain paintings like Icarus was to the sun, or flies to Why, because the painter desires the viewer to enter into the painting, and once there, to make them want to dwell awhile. And how do they do this By imagination and the use of all the means, tricks, skill, subterfuge, and techniques at their disposal. The techniques include texture, design, color,...

Adjusting

Two stories while you ponder and I fiddle 1. The famous Italian sculptor Donatello was commissioned to do a full size piece for a group of local dignitaries. The sculpture was to consist of a man on a horse to be sat up on a plinth already constructed in the town square. Weeks later, after completing the piece, Donatello invited the burghers to his studio to view his efforts. They circled the sculpture humming and haring and pinching chins, rubbing foreheads, shaking heads, until, after a...

What is realism

The real world, you say Now that is novel. Perhaps unique. Why would an artist be interested in reality Of what use is that to the galleries and museums People don't want an exhibition of the truth. They don't want to see the intestines of a cow nailed to a wall. They never do, and they never did. They want magic and illusion. Magic to make them wonder, and illusion to transport them elsewhere. They want to see pictures that make them laugh and cry they want to see good and evil narratives of...

Finding a satisfactory format for a square canvas

You will recall my explanation of how the 'golden mean' is constructed I intend to use this golden rectangle as the basis for the major composition elements in my painting. First I will extend the diagonal of the original square to meet the extended vertical of the right side of the rectangle as shown in Fig 5 From this point of intersection I draw a square that will encompass and center the original square (here shaded) as in Fig 6. Thus I have established the proportions of my smaller square...

The Painterly Effect

In these lessons I do not hesitate to assert that art is about illusion and great art is the total presentation of the greatest illusion. This brings me to the 'painterly effect' or the process of having your brush strokes or knife effects appear on the canvas as you see opposite in the detail from a pink rose I painted 'wet-in-wet' before the blooms could wilt. The full painting is shown below JH

Selective Focus

There is a third principle to be observed when creating the illusion of reality, which is closely aligned with atmospheric perspective. This is the Principle of Selective Focus. It is the phenomenon whereby our eyes, directed by the brain, register the highest attention to detail on whatever we consider most important within our cone of vision. Please note that this process is unique to the natural viewing apparatus. A camera does not operate in the same way. The specific differences will be...

Painting Something Contemporary Using Past Techniques Part

'Cyberscape' or 'The World as a Smaller Place' In the detail below you can see how I have added earth color the land masses and begun to hint at a horizontal design of highlighted colors. The idea is that we make this a continuous area of interest so the eye can travel left to right and back again and if it wishes to escape we will provide definite routes for that purpose.

Continuing

This is a little darker than in real life but is has all the drama we needed for a distance view. Hopefully this has demonstrated how we can paint someting contemporary but still employing all the classical techniques of drawing, color theory, glazing and scumbling. The finished painting is 9'4 (254cm) x 4'4 (133cm) oil on canvas. Color palette Phthalo and Cobalt blues, Light Red, Cadmium Red and Permanent Magenta, Indian, cadmium and ochre yellows, Titanium and Flake white. Glazing medium...

Sunrise Sunset And Waves

When the sun is low its rays pass across the curved surface of the earth and encounter the thickest film of atmosphere than at any other point during the day . The shorter light rays (the blue end of the spectrum) are almost entirely deflected by the heavier particles in the atmosphere whereas the reds and oranges (the longer wave lengths) are the ones that will reach the observer. Under certain conditions, like after a rainstorm, the sunsets can be bluer whereas after a fire they often become...

Drawing Proportion And Observation

Observation and genesis of the line and of freehand drawing Long before an infant understands that milk finds its own level he or she learns to up-end the bottle to feed. When, a little later, the child is asked to draw the level of a liquid in a tilted glass the result is often By observation or logic the instant a child realizes liquid finds its own level he or she has learnt a principle that will help it to survive and to understand the world. My point here is that descriptive drawing is...

Value

Light is absorbed at the back of the eye by cells (cones) sensitive to red, blue and green wavelenghts and seem to be responsible for color vision in daylight. In dim light the 'rods' take over, which are more sensitive to blue-green light, and distinguish clearly between values of light and shade. This is why squinting helps you determine the value of a color. First what value (how light or dark )do you prefer

Painting The Nude

Aims and concept My aim and overall concept is to paint a nude largely from my imagination but using bits and pieces from a variety of sources - much like my life really. First I paint my primed canvas (52 by 52) with a thinned mixture of cobalt blue , yellow ochre and prussian blue and raw umber to deaden any strong hues. I allow this time to dry then draw my arch with chalk and a piece of string. Next I sketch the nude in charcoal . See below Not entirely happy with the arm positions. I start...

Painterly

William Whitaker writes 'Like everybody else whose worked at painting a long time, I've tried everything. I've learned that Art Leads, I just go along. I didn't consciously set out to be a certain kind of painter, it just evolved. I don't believe there is any one true way, but I'll tell you what I like best. I start loose and juicy. I rarely paint alla prima anymore and I try to smooth out the paint at the end of a session. I dislike the effect when I paint over a textured layer whose texture...

Make sure ye grab it

I began my next stage by replacing the chalk with paint and roughing in the couch and adding some strategic cushions. I intend these to be of various colors and materials and subdued hues. I discovered a pattern I like on a silk blouse in a Watteau painting so I will use it on the most dominant pillow. I arranged a few of my own pillows about the studio to better define the stretch marks. Suggest a foreground and background - but nothing definite at this stage. There seems insufficient tension...

Deciding On Color

The basic palette I used for this painting was very simple light red, raw umber and yellow ochre, cobalt blue and prussian blue - one red two yellows and two blues. The overall cast of this painting is blue green. My concern to this stage (above) was to keep everything subdued and to make sure the lights and darks (values) looked correct. I knew I would be adding touches of highly saturated red and yellow hues at a later stage. How did I know this I remembered a painting by Rembrant that had a...

Combining computer technology and principles of painting

Between painting and writing I sometimes get asked to do little jobs. When I begin I am always somewhat reluctant as the the jobs never seem to rise to my exhalted level of 'high art' and I usually moan and complain. This is a good time to take a step or two back and view yourself as the arrogant 'pain in the butt' you are slipping toward. Probably because there is no woman around to bring you back down to earth (not that they ever did) anyway, I digress, the job is to fix an old photograph....

Direct Painting

The Direct Painting Method differs from the Venetian Technique and the Flemish Technique in that the artist paints in full color from the very beginning, without requiring an elaborate under drawing or underpainting, and without resorting to the use of glazes or scumbles. All paints except the deepest darks are used as if they were opaque, and are usually applied heavily enough as to appear so. The object, ideally, is to paint the entire picture wet into wet, from start to finish. Terms such as...

Alexander

Further research has led me to paint Alexander's horse black. This color change forced me to lighten the area behind and introduce an arched darkened doorway. Why As this is an area of maximum interest the light against dark and dark against light' assumes greater importance. The arch of my door 'frames' Alexander's head but is positioned so as not to interfere with the dark horse. 2. As I increased the amount of misty light behind the dark soldiers on the right I needed a balance on the left...

Painting Glow And Light

Glow is essentially a factor of value rather than color. How is this achieved Paint a black canvas and let it dry. On your finger place a little white and with small circular smudging motion apply it somewhere to the canvas. It should now look like a milky smudge. Next take a pinpoint of paint on the end of your finger and touch it once in the middle of the smudge. The result is the essence of glow, total value differential as well as the milky area being a transmission area that will...

Refined Painting The most advanced concepts go beyond words VE

Rembrandt developed the technique of glazing over dried impasto for a basrelief effect, wiping the wet glaze off the high spots and allowing it to remain in the nooks and crannies for a heightened three-dimensional effect. Used in this manner, impasto can actually enhance the illusion of the third dimension. Gerome (below) insisted on a perfectly smooth surface to the painting, and forbade his students to use impasto anywhere. My first instructor, who happened to be my mother, told me it makes...

How can we reverse this and stiffen up the paint

We could add more pigment or filler, or we could get rid of some of that excess oil. How do we remove the oil By putting the mixture on blotting or absorbent paper and waiting. The paper will absorb the oil and a little of the pigment. Obviously to make it more runny we could add more oil and to dry faster and spread thinner we could add turpentine, thinners or petrol. Get the general idea One more thing - we can also add other things that are mixable with oil like certain resins and varnishes...

Color mixing and psychology Practical painting demonstrations

The earth, a smaller place f21f31 Roses 21 31 All lesson CD Subscribe to cowdisley technical forum 1-1 THE MAGIC OF PAINTING - INTRODUCTION 'Give me some paint, brushes and canvas and I will give you gold, silver, ruby and pearl. I will give you the greatest treasures you have ever seen. I will show you magic. Artists are the greatest alchemists, the best magicians of all. They can make gold from base metals, they can make you laugh and cry and touch your very soul, and they do that every day -...

How Backlight Works Its Magic

The simplest, most textural, color friendly, quickest, easiest to apply and most romantic of all light is backlight. It also disguises flaws in the original painting. Visions of swings, bonnets, long grass and afternoon light are the stuff of backlight paintings. The temptation to overuse backlight, is, to some artists overwhelming. So always use less than you think is appropiate. 1. Usually applying the backlight highlights is the last step on finishing the painting. It is applied with thick...

Inside out

When painting a head and shoulders portrait I usually establish the rough proportions of the sitter by way of freehand line. I plan the future positions of the areas of maximum contrast and interest. Next I paint the eyes mouth and nose. In other words I work from inside the overal shapes. As I reach the boundaries I find they often suggest themselves. Some I might like to edge or define while others I let fade away. In general it is appropiate to paint inside out if the figure inhabits more...

Drawing The Many Uses Of A Line

Fig.1 Here is a fine example of using rounded female forms to make a youthful face. Full cheeks and rouge lips Fig. 2Great delicacy is displayed in the grip and in the form of these young fingers. Fig. 3The powerful masculine shoulder and arm are defined by the flattened ovals of muscle. If we combine all these we should get an ambiguous picture, neither male or female, youthful or mature but with elements of them all. Fig.1 Here is a fine example of using rounded female forms to make a...

Modern Frames Accents And Echoes

When the print or painting itself is intended as a decorative item - fashion often dictates the frame. It is perilous in this instance to buy a finished item without checking its intended placement. All sorts of factors such as lighting, wall color, furniture etc. can have their unforseen effects. In this section I shall concentrate on those principles of framing that confine themselves to the picture and the frame. The principles of modern framing are the same as principles of the past but...

Finally listed below are some flawed psychological generalisations regarding color

Temperature - sometimes we speak of hues as being warm or cold. The reds and yellow look warm and the blues and greens look cool. A warm colored room will make you actually feel warmer than a cold colored room by as much as 5 or 10 degrees. A high saturated warm color will seem to expand beyond its borders and come forward. Cold colors are by their nature recessive and shrinking. Emotion - Very lively and vital people tend to like bright colors were as a mentally disturbed person may prefer...

Advanced Perspective No

Here is a painting that utilizes a single vanishing point without unduly discomforting the eye. I call this roll-over perspective. My aim in this painting was to paint the total extent of the landscape beyond what the camera or the eye would see, and without moving the eye's cone of vision. As the landscape is essentially flat the illusion needed is one that combines (in the perspective mode) a plan view with an elevation. Also to make the transition as seamless as possible Secondly the...

In this lesson we are going to examine how to do the reverse to put a sparkle back into the eye

To do this we must look at a white grape and a red cherry and see what makes them appear real. First the grape Many artists love putting white grapes in their still life paintings because they have a wonderful transparency which shows up particularly well against a bunch of dark grapes and other items. Many fruits have a light grey covering on their skin I call 'frosting'. This occurrs on the skin of most fresh stone fruit but is particularly noticeable on peaches, plums and grapes. I have...

Iian Neil writes

'Certainly Bouguereau does have a certain Romantic flavour to his works, but by and large he did not work in the style of Delacroix, David-Freidrich, or Gericault, to name a few exponents of that style. When I look at Bouguereau's work, the overwhelming impression I receive is of Classical polish and perfection, its potential severity softened with aspects of Romanticism. One must understand that by describing Bouguereau's work as Photo-Idealism one risks classing him amongst those who merely...

Renoir thought farmers should fire the odd shot at artists who painted in the fields Not to kill just frighten them off

Titian, a painter not known to acquiesce in matters artistic, immediately disputed the sculptor's assertion. Would you care to make a wager on it he challenged. Why not, replied Donatello. Prove to me a painter can, in the one painting, match the work of a sculptor and I will give you five gold coins. Your on, smiled Titian, sticking out his paint-stained maw. Remember, a sculpture shows all sides of the face including the back of the head, cautioned Donatello, suddenly suspicious and not...

First The Pearl A Lesson In How To Look At Things

An apprentice painter might learn how to hold a brush, mix colors or how to use a palette knife, but it matters nothing if the same person does not learn how to 'look' at things, and to look with the eye of someone who wants to explain the world in terms of paint. After many years of learning to 'look' we come to understand the nature of things and how they relate to each other. This first lesson is an entertaining introduction to give you some idea of what I mean by 'looking'. Don't be too...

Techniques Of Painting In Oils

From the earliest days of oil painting to the time of this writing (late Twentieth Century, into the early Twenty-first), a number of oil painting techniques have evolved. A great deal has been learned through the processes of trial and error and from the experiments of various artists through the centuries. From Jan and Hubert Van Eyck, possibly the first innovators to paint pictures in oils, in the late Fourteenth and early Fifteenth Century, to William Bouguereau, Jean L on G r me, Alexandre...

Color Harmonies And Psychology

Using colors and developing a color scheme for your painting is a lot easier than you think. Many more color combinations work than don't work. Let us think more on the music analogy where each note has pitch, force and length - just as in painting each color has hue, value and saturation. A chord in music is a collection of notes that harmonise. Similar to music I like to think paintings can be composed of color chords. A painting 'chord' could then be thought of as a collection of colors that...

Painting Beyond Fashion

Basic painting and drawing principles and techniques from the Renaissance to the present by John Hagan 1. aerial perspective -6 lessons perspective - the basics perspective - lets go outside veils of atmosphere sunrise and sunset reverse sunset and night clouds, mist and other veils 2. color - 2 lessons color the hows and whys color a different approach 3. looking harder - 3 lessons painting waves 2 shadows and transparency 4. light and shade - 4 lessons backlight works its magic side light and...

Painting Cloths And Fabrics No

Grisaille painting the classic method of painting sub-forms in shades of grey paint in an effort to divide the processes of painting into easy stages. This is the first stage after drawing and its purpose is to render value or tonal differences between the forms. Strictly it means 'painting in grey,' but for practical purposes artists usually use favourite browns or muted blue greys. I use a mix of raw umber and cerulean. Grisaille painting is often a precursor to numerous applications of...

A Reverse Sunset Night and CLOUDS

The sky of the reverse sunset or sunrise approximates the midday sky, but with less veils of atmosphere. The predominant light from the setting sun often gives the blue (cerulean) a slightly warmer yellowish feel on the horizon. The red-yellow light rays come from behind the viewer and strike clouds and solid objects bathing them in a warm orange glow that contrasts nicely against the cooler blue. The effect can be strikingly subtle. In this example the polished floor reflects the blue of the...

Painting Little Waves

Remember the first lesson on the importance of really looking at things and studying them Well this lesson is a reminder of that and will also give you an understanding of how a painter must analyze the smallest things so as to best understand how to paint them in the biggest way. Nothing is more important than understanding this. You might think the figures I put into the following painting are the key. Not so, it is the study of the wave that makes this painting unique. Have you ever wondered...

Colors Of The Mind

There no reasonable excuse to ignore the basic elements of applying paint to a surface. The technology regarding the materials to be used are scientific and discoverable. The visual components of the human mind are a little more complex but with a little understanding they reveal themselves. They may be either instinctive (genetic) or environmental (deterministic) - but whatever they are they not necessarily universal. A few examples that have survived for thousands of years with a 'western or...

To see how this is achieved you must go to the next page

The eye is a ball with the iris (dark part) forming a slight projection like a boss. The pupil is not a color but a dark shadow, a hole that allows light into the eye. An attribute of the eye is the that it is translucent. This can lead to the following paradox when the light strikes the iris at an angle the highlight appears to be surrounded by dark even though being round, that side is facing the light. There are two layers to the outer eye. There is the cornea, and the lens. Light might very...

Drawing So Whats In A Line

Lines that define the shape of the human body are those we most notice. The human body is our yard-stick. To decide how big or far away something is we can have someone stand beside it. We quickly learn to recognize the human form, above all else, as our pre-emminent shape, then we may look for details, male, female, child, adult or aged. We have a great commonality of experience when differentiating the subtleties of the human body, and so it is with drawng. There are many lines or edges in...

Depth Of Field

The human eye, like the camera, has a limited depth of field. In other words we focus on one level and the objects in front or behind are often blurred. When Deigo Velazquez painted Las Meninas he, along with many artists (pre-photography), painted everything in focus. This was part of the magic of painting as the viewers perception was thereby expanded - rather like a hologram. Today wide angle lens may produce something similar but unless you intend to spend hours in a darkroom it is an all...

Aerial Perspective And Atmosphere

The best magicians will pull a rabbit out of the hat then the rabbit will become a balloon that floats into the air, the balloon will burst and pigeon will appear in its place, the pigeon will explode into a cloud of confetti and as it settles we find the magician has vanished You see great magic, like great art, has many levels - and they are usually subtle and seamless. That is why it will last. Whereas rabbits and hats may be for the children, works of Titian or Watteau might be for the...

Shadow And Transparency

Let us recall our lesson on sunset and sunrise and remember the effect of atmosphere on light rays. Remember how the motes in the sky or mist intercepted the long blue rays and let the red through Now we will treat that 'mist' as a piece of glass or plastic a solid yet semi -transparent medium. In the first example below the reddish pigment particles suspended in the glass are sparsely arranged. As with the earth's atmosphere at sunset the pigment particles in the glass absorb the blue-green...

To Create Three Dimensional Spaces

The rendering of a three dimensional landscape, portrait or still life on a two dimensional surface is to some people a trick, and we know tricks are mostly magic As with magic some people are content to just observe and wonder at the skill of the magician, others want to know how the trick is done, while a few want to do it themselves. If we lived in a yellow two dimensional world and a blue ball passed through we would experience something like this Let us imagine we live in a giant room...

Inches

Thus we have our square within a square. This, as you can see, is essentially the 'design' standard I used for the paintings shown below. Fig 9 The 'Golden Rectangle' can be further divided into smaller 'golden rectangles' and arcs of circles added to make a 'Golden Spiral' similar to those you see in pine cones etc. For the unfinished painting on the right a few more strategic secondary accents were aligned with these secondary golden rectangles. STUDENT ACTIVITY Draw your own 'golden spiral'...

Innovations Of Rembrandt

Rembrandt Harmenszoon Van Rijn, whom many consider the greatest artist of all time, learned all that was then known about oil painting while still a very young man, surpassing his teachers very early in his career, and then proceeded to add his own discoveries to the technical knowledge of his time. To this day his best works remain unsurpassed, and serve as inspiration to the rest of us who paint. This being the case, any book on advanced techniques must address Rembrandt separately and at...

How Light Works Its Magic

FRONT, PICTORIAL AND AMBIGUOUS LIGHT 1. Front Light - the favorite of photographers, two dimensional artists, children and colorists where emphasis is on color and texture over form and value. Front light can eliminate the need for shading and shadows (which is a pity for they are a great joy and keep many artists from wandering aimlessly about the streets in the dead of night). Front light is also excellent for use in portraits of unremarkable people. Holbein's front light portrait of a Dutch...

Classic Illusion And Photorealism

Here we will examine the notion that good paintings can be made by simply copying photographs. To do this we shall return to the latter half of the last century when photography was all the rage and the great debate of the time was whether photography should confine itself to science or also develop as an art form. The perceived danger to painter's incomes was what spawned the impressionsists who believed representational art was doomed. Meanwhile it gave the academy painters something to think...

Cascading Light And Shade

CHIAROSCURO - creating depth with light against dark and dark against light. By forming a sky of scattered clouds a marvellous opportunity presents itself on the ground. The artist can use light to highlight certain areas he and darken others. The artist becomes like the person controlling the lights on a stage production. In the example below I use the bands of light to draw and direct the eye and all is done by utilising the dramatic effects of light against dark and dark against light. Note...

Abstract And Texture Painting

Many confuse abstract painting with modern painting or modern 'art'and wars and battles rage in the 'art' world We are concerned here only with painting. In truth, an abstract design is one that has no pattern and an abstract painting is one that has no form. The painting above is not a photograph but its realism is undeniable. It has form but no pattern (repitition). In a previous lesson I stated 'the human mind does not like to be overloaded with detail, particularly in a painting. It revels...

The Flemish Technique

The earliest oil painting method evolved from the earlier discipline of egg tempera painting, as an attempt to overcome the difficulties and limitations inherent in that medium. As this took place initially in Flanders, the method is referred to as the Flemish Technique. Essential to this method of painting are a rigid surface primed pure white, and a very precise line drawing. The Flemish painted on wood panels primed with a glue chalk ground, which caused the transparent passages to glow with...

Wrote this lesson in response to a number of letters to quote but one

'Some people have difficulty mixing what are called skin colours. I have seen portraits where no flesh tones were used at all somewhat like the dutch painter example in your lesson . How do you actually decide what values and hues you will use for a certain person's skin tones Do you think cool and warm colours Do you decide the hue based on the shadowed colours or the colours in the light, or perhaps you use some other method ' My Reply The meat of a cooked crab is a delicacy but the...

The Venetian Technique

Titian and Giorgione are generally credited with originating what became known as the Venetian Method of oil painting. The Venetian Method, or Venetian Technique, shares with the Flemish Method the use of transparent glazes for the shadows, darker darks and for certain special effects, and opaque highlights, but differs from the Flemish method in several important ways. The method evolved out of necessity, as the church desired large paintings of religious scenes for cathedrals, and wealthy...

All Paintings on this page are by William Whitaker

Graham Walnut Alkyd Painting Medium

STUDENT ACTIVITY Write a short essay on the relationship between size and wall presence, colors and wall presence, design and wall presence. Give examples of each. Also explain how you think William Whitaker gives his paintings such great wall presence. Allow 40min. GO TO Bill's demonstration painting lesson menu I took this photo at the end of the first painting session. With neither face nor hands to slow nne down, I was able to bring itthis far pretty easily. Given the Ingres-like neck and...