The Alexander Painting No

Things I don't like 1. The tallest building looks phallic while the other one needs a more oriental cast (well we are a hundred miles west of Ankara). It also seems too high. 2. I need more perspective in the sky, more aerial direction, more light direction. I'll try and fix those The problem of linking the sky to the ground now arises. Perhaps I am trying too hard to complete the inside square of the composition Does it need to be completed at all or is the dark...

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...

Painting Decorative paintings

When everything else fails So how do you do formula paintings, and what are the formulas that always sell In the business we call these 'potboilers' and the problem is not in painting them it is disguising them sufficiently so they seem fresh and new, one off originals instead of formula paintings. There are of course certain things that have universal appeal and I will show you two variations of them in this lesson. Understand however, this universality needs to be tweaked and adapted...

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...

Reconstructing Historical Landscapes

There is a growing opportunity for painters to make a living by painting historical landscapes using old postcards or photographs as reference material. I recently experimented with this by taking three old faded, black and white postcards and reconstructing the landscape. They were subsequently scanned and printed and sold in the area they were painted. This could be done in any location should you possess the skill of an adequate landscape painter and a modicum of flair for color and drama....

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...

Frames And Other Decorations

It is useful to understand the evolution of the picture frame. Frames evolved from painted decorations of architraves and cornices that surrounded frescoes on walls and ceilings (as in the Sistine Chapel below), to actual plaster and timber mouldings used when oil paintings became transportable. Today frames have become 'stand alone' items of mass production. From the early renaissance architectural fashion has often determined the design of frames. Popular architrave, cornice and skirting...

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...

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 white...

Cascading Light And Shade

Light Shade Drawing Lamp

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...