About Walter Foster

Walter Foster was born in Woodland Park, Colorado, in 1891. In his younger years, he worked as a sign painter and a hog salesman. He also performed in a singing and drawing vaudeville act. Walter invented the first postage stamp vending machine and drew political caricatures for several large newspapers. He's well known as an accomplished artist, art instructor, and art collector.

In the 1920s, while running his own advertising agency, Walter began writing self-help art instruction books. The books were first produced in his home in Laguna Beach, California. He wrote, illustrated, printed, bound, packaged, shipped, and distributed them himself. In the 1960s, as the product line grew, he moved the operation to a commercial facility, which allowed him to expand the company and achieve worldwide distribution.

Walter Foster was a truly dominant force in the development of art instruction books that make it possible for many people to improve their art skills easily and economically. He personally selected many of the artists, such as Vernon Kerr, who authored his books. Walter's goal was to present unique instruction styles and offer students a well-rounded education in art.

Walter passed away in 1981. He is fondly remembered for his warmth, dedication, and unique instruction books.

O 1998. Waiter Foster Publishing. Inc. All nghts reserved. Onginal © 1989. This book has boon published to aid tho aspiring artist. Reproduction of tho work for study or finished art is porirussibto. Any art drawn or phoiomochanicaUy reproduced from " • lODKI r\ nonofi -t eo n this publication for commercial purposes is forbidden without wntten consent from tho publisher. Waiter Foster Publishing. Inc IO DN 0-92926 1 -68-2

Walter FosterWalter Foster Paintings

GREEN DEE

PAYNES GRAY

For luminous colors, lay strokes like mosaic over enl and blend carefully.

FANTASY MOUNTAIN. Here you can see the value of using premixes in the final stages. Observe the optical illusion achieved by placing a warm tone next to a cool tone of the same value. The mountain is painted wet into wet for subtle blending, but the bushes may be finished after the mountain is dry. To paint into a dry picture, apply a mixture of half turp and half linseed oil over the entire canvas, and then wipe it off. Thin limbs in the sky area look more convincing if they are soft blue-gray, not brown.

Don't scrub in colors, s

Let undercolor show through in spots.

CADMIUM YEL. PALE

COBALT BLUE DEEP

Morning Sky

COBALT BLUE

CHROME OX. CRN

CAD. ORANGE

YELLOW OCHRE

PAYNES GRAY

There is no blue in this sky. By adding Chrome Oxide Green on top of the gold, I have achieved the ILLUSION of blue, but have kept the painting in closer harmony than the use of blue would have achieved.

MENDOCINO MELODY. Backlit subjects are sometimes difficult, because we paint the subjects too dark. The darks are not black, but very colorful. Notice the halo-effect that occurs around a tree at sunset. Working from a photograph can often be deceptive, because the values that a camera picks up are wrong. The camera sees contrast, but the human eye sees half-tones. Look for the grays (the use of complementary colors) and vary these tones. The better the grays, the more intelligent the artist.

Complementary Color Burnt OrangeChrome Yellow

COBALT BLUE

CHROME OXIDE UHtfcH

CAO. YELLOW PALE

CAO. ORANGE

BURNT SIENNA

YELLOW OCHRE

Paint Effects Ochre

The key color to this painting is Brown Madder Alizarin, which is transparent and rich. Lay a wash of pure color and turpentine over each section of the picture, to eliminate all the white spots and establish pattern.

Simple Patterns Paint

JL s you add more colors to the painting, try to establish the gesture of the wind-swept trees. On an L/v overcast day, the colors will be muted and close in value. To create contrast, lay a premixed Yellow Ochre next to a premixed green. This creates a vibrancy without losing the overcast quality of the day.

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WIND SONG. This grove of cypress trees is on the bluff in front of my house. They have such dignity and character that I chose to share them with you. This painting was done on a textured canvas to achieve a more natural earthy feeling. Note that the strokes are kept loose and the edges soft, which adds to the wind-blown feeling that is felt at the edge of a bluff.

Don't forget to mix the

CAO. YELLOW PALE

• palette spectrum first

CAD. ORANOE

ALIZARIN CRIM80N

ULTRAMARINE BLUE

PHTHALO OREEN

YELLOW OCHRE

BURNT SIENNA

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On a gesso board, use the glazing medium and glaze the colors thinly (pure colors only). NO TURP WASH!

THE STORM KING. Note that the strength of this painting is achieved by the extreme contrasts of complementary colors, darks and lights and soft and hard edges. These are the tools of the artist to give the paintings VITALITY. Be sure to establish darks first in the underpainting. Use premixes for the sky, far cliffs, and rock at top left. Paint the dark water, but let the undercolor show through. For the foam use the pastel premixes and roll the paint on thickly, but don't blend totally—this will keep the lights luminous and beautiful. Carefully paint the shadowed part of the wave. Build up the rocks gradually, using very little opaque color. Instead use rich pigment, then later add the premix colors. The cracks of the rocks are rich and warm.

Walter FosterDeep Madder WatercolorHow Paint Rocks And Cracks Texture

Value Scale

PHTHAIO YEl. GRN.

NAPLES YELLOW

CADMIUM YEL. DEEP

CADMIUM ORANGE

ALIZARIN CRIMSON

MARS VIOLET

YELLOW OCHRE

COBALT BLUE

PRUSSIAN BLUE

Before going to color, make many black-and-white studies, especially for com-plicated compositions or detailed I textures.

or a bright color effect, I selected several yellows; a more limited palette would subdue the colors. Note that one KEY COLOR is Mars Violet, which is super for earth tones. I use it for atmospheric tones, rocks, earth, and the underpays of brush or trees. The other key colors are Cobalt Blue and Yellow Ochre. Notice the red-yellow-blue combination. I often use Naples Yellow instead of white to lighten color combinations, because it is opaque and saves mixing time. I've discovered that the rich darks for close-up pines can be made from Orange and Prussian Blue. Of course, add other colors when necessary.

Value Scale

Make a Value Scale and keep it near your canvas. Put a Value Guide on your outdoor easel. The #5 Value is a key to traditional painting and is used as a reference point.

Value Guide for Outdoors

Walter Foster Paintings

SURRENDER TO FALL. This is an outdoor sketch near Lake Tahoe, California, and a good exercise in textures. I chose a bright, crisp morning, with the light skipping across the trees, grass, and rocks. I used a smooth canvas. With bristle brushes, underpaint the general parts first. With a knife, smooth and blend the sky, then build up the textures of the rocks. Pull the background together to soften the edges. Paint the skyholes in the trees darker in value than the sky, or you will have little dots staring at you. When the painting is dry, you can add the final details, such as the yellow leaves and grasses.

Walter Foster Painting

CADMIUM YEL. PALE CADMIUM ORANQE ALIZARIN CRIMSON PAYNES GRAY YELLOW OCHRE

CITRON SUNSET. When painting a yellow-gold sunset, we can omit the use of blue, because overmixing blue can cause the yellows to be dull. Instead we can give the ILLUSION of blue. This is called color optics. Burnt Umber plus White appears to be lavender, and Paynes Gray plus White looks blue. In this picture, the colors are primarily mixed on the canvas, allowing the accidental color effects from the under-painting to create luminosity.

Underpainting Seascapes Harmony Color With Payne Grey

VIR ID I AH GREEN

CAD. YEL. PALE

CAD. ORANGE

ALIZ. CRIMSON

BURNT SIENNA

MARS VIOLET

RAW UMBER

YELLOW OCHRE

COBALT BLUE

CAD. YEL. PALE

CAD. ORANGE

ALIZ. CRIMSON

BURNT SIENNA

MARS VIOLET

YELLOW OCHRE

Fantasy Seascapes

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ANCHOR BAY. Up to this point I haven't mentioned perspective. Walter Foster has a fine book on the subject. Locate the vanishing points! Make a careful drawing, or a black-and-white painting first. Establish your color and value relationships by first spotting in the darkest darks and the lightest lights. Cover the largest areas. Paint the middle area (the water and rocks), then the sky, and leave the beach until last. A tip about painting sand: Mix all the leftover colors of your palette spectrum together and use it in your sand color. This ties together all the colors in the painting.

LAPINE SNOW.

These are two 12x16 sketches done on location in Lapine, Central Oregon. I tried to vary the composition, especially in the bushes, and to show that the ground does not have to be completely covered with snow to be effective. Don't you agree that the red bushes make an intriguing contrast?

Painting LapineToo Muh Snow

SNOW STUDIES. I cannot stress too much the importance of making studies, all kinds of studies. My studio shelves are lined with oil sketches of different subjects in both monotone and color. The bark of a tree, for instance, is a fascinating balance of textures and colors. Note the warm lights on the sunny side, and the cool reflected lights on the shady side of the trunk. When snow piles against a tree trunk, it sends fingers up the grooves of the trunk, and it spreads out at the base to blend with the snow on the ground.

Snow colors do not have to be white with blue shadows! Glowing snow has all colors in it. Notice the shades of yellow, and lavender, and pink, and green. Don't forget to add the reflected lights. In the stream picture, notice the lights the snow picks up from the water beneath it.

Painting Different Cloud FormationsPainting Different Cloud FormationsPainting Different Cloud FormationsPainting Different Cloud Formations
Painting Different Cloud Formations
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SPECTRUM SKIES. When I first started painting as a child, I used to climb on the rooftop to paint skies. Skies are important: they often make up V3 of a painting. I feel that if you can paint good skies, it forces you to paint the other elements just as well. These sketches show that skies can be created from almost any color to achieve different effects. Try to memorize cloud formations, and know the various clouds for various conditions. Collect photos for reference.

Experiment with different shades of blue; I've found that Cobalt Blue makes a good afternoon sky color. Theoretically, you can paint any picture with a basic red, yellow, and blue, BUT I use pre-tubed color (such as Naples Yellow or Cadmium Orange) to create clean color and to save mixing.

3. Cadmium Yellow Pale, Cadmium Red, Viridian Green, Cobalt Blue.

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Painting Different Cloud Formations
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1. Cadmium Yellow Pale, Yellow Ochre, Alizarin Crimson, Cobalt Blue.

Walter Foster Easy Watercolor

2. Cadmium Yellow Pale, Alizarin Crimson, Burnt Sienna, Prussian Blue.

4. Cadmium Yellow Pale, Cadmium Red, Ultramarine Blue,

Raw Umber.

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Raw Umber.

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5. Cadmium Yellow Pale, Cadmium Red, Cobalt Blue, Paynes Gray.

Cobalt Blue And Pale Yellow

9. Cadmium Yellow Pale, Cadmium Orange, Alizarin Crimson Raw Umber, Paynes Grey.

6. Cadmium Yellow Pale, Alizarin Crimson, Viridian Green, Paynes Grey.

Watercolor Grey Shadow Clouds

7. Cadmium Yellow Pale, Cadmium Red, Yellow Ochre, Cobalt Blue, Paynes Grey.

Payne Grey

VMH Wr.

8. Cadmium Yellow Pale, Cadmium Yellow Deep, Cadmium Orange, Alizarin Crimson, Viridian Green, Cobalt Blue.

10. Cadmium Yellow Pale, Cadmium Orange, Cadmium Red, Alizarin Crimson, Cobalt Blue.

Cadmium Yellow

11. Cadmium Yellow Pale, Cadmium Orange, Cadmium Red, Alizarin Crimson, Viridian Green, Cobalt Blue.

Alizarin Crimson And Cadmium Orange

Cad. Yellow Pale Alizarin Crimson Vlrldlan Green Ultramarine Blue Paynes Grey

How Paint Seascapes Oil

Cad. Yellow Pale Alizarin Crimson Vlrldlan Green Ultramarine Blue Paynes Grey

Cad. Yellow Pale Yellow Ochre Cad. Red Light Alizarin Crimson Cobalt Blue Burnt Umber

Cad. Yellow Pale Yellow Ochre Cad. Red Light Alizarin Crimson Cobalt Blue Burnt Umber

Cad Yellow Light And Cad Yellow Pale

Cad. Yellow Pale Yellow Ochre Cad. Red Ught Vlrldlan Green Cerulean Blue Cobalt Blue

Walter Foster Seascapes

WAVE STUDIES. Variety is essential in becoming a good seascape artist. Study waves from different positions. Understand the force that creates a wave. Watch the wake patterns in the foam and form of the water after the wave passes. The curl of a wave is usually shaped like a tube, but it can often be met by an angular swell, as in the bottom picture. Notice that the force of the wave creates chunks of foam as it hits; to make these cnunks too soft-looking would weaken the strength of the wave. Never use pure white in painting foam, as that makes it look like cotton. Rely instead on the premixed shades of paint to achieve tonal contract (warm against cool).

Yellow Ocher Gray And Green Painting
Cad. Yellow Pale Alizarin Crimson Vlrldlan Green Ultramarine Blue Paynes Gray
Burnt Umber Stain Red Paint
Cad. Yellow Pale Yellow Ochre Cad. Red Light Alizarin Crimson Cobalt Blue Burnt Umber
Pale Ochre Paint Color
Cad. Yellow Pale Yellow Ochre Cad. Red Light Vlrldlan Green Cerulean Blue Cobalt Blue

ROCK STUDIES. There is about as much difference in rock shapes and colors as there is in wave formations. Understand the kind of rock you are trying to portray. Is it rounded, stratified, blocky, or pitted like lava? Is it reddish, brown, gray, black, blue? Is it wet? Strong paintings need angular rocks to portray their strength. To harmonize a rock with its surroundings, vary the color by intensity and grays, and bring some of the background color into the rock. In still water, carry the rock color into the reflections to make the rock "sit down." Sometimes I change a rock shape in my painting to create a better design, but I try not to lose the character of the rock itself.

Mars Stratified Rocks

CADMIUM ORANGE

YELLOW OCHRE

MARS VIOLET

PAYNES GRAY

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Here the key colors are Mars Violet and Cadmium Orange. The shadow areas inside the dunes are the critical areas in this painting.

Mars Violet Color

Keep the colors under the grasses rich and clean. Use a fan blender to create up-swept strokes.

The intense warm colors inside the shadow areas will create life in a seemingly colorless picture. This applies to desert painting as well.

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What Color Combine With Orange Paint

SEA DUNES. Values on a sunlit day are deceiving. A warm color seems to be lighter than a cool color of the same value. When two values of different colors appear to be the same, merge them together to make them less posterlike. Hold a long bristle brush parallel to the canvas and softly merge the colors. Use a large brush; a small one would create the look of fussiness.

Seascapes Sand Dunes

The mood of tranquility created in the foreground of this painting was more important to me than a breaking wave. The grasses are swaying in the wind. The driftwood is half-buried in the sand (notice the soft edges). The plants send runners in a rhythmic pattern across the dunes. Seagulls drift in the breeze. Smell the salt air? Feel the sun on your back? Now you're getting it!

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ALIZARIN CRIMSON

BURNT SIENNA

YELLOW OCHRE

CAO. ORANGE

COBALT BLUE

NAPLES YELLOW

Naples Yellow Burnt SiennaAlizarin Orange And Blue Paintings

ALIZARIN CRIMSON

BURNT SIENNA

YELLOW OCHRE

CAO. ORANGE

COBALT BLUE

NAPLES YELLOW

Painting ACROSS THE FORM of the fallen limb has many advantages: It makes the limb solid and gives it perspective and foreshortening.

Textured Backgrounds Brown Shades

Turp wash with Naples Yellow. Try to keep the background clean. Establish darks with Brown Madder Alizarin on the tree trunk.

Illustration Tree Trunk Texture

It also adds more texture to the bark. To achieve roundness (or a wrap-around quality), make the edges soft and add reflected lights.

Extreme Backlit Made Room LightPainting Color Mix Paynes Gray Alizarin

CADMIUM ORANGE

YELLOW OCHRE

ALIZARIN CRJMSON

MARS VIOLET

PAYNES GRAY

Mix large palette spectrums first. The spectrum on the left carries sky and water colors, and the right one is rocks and sand.

Reflections are achieved with vertical strokes of color where the beach is wet Try not to blend. Do not lose the vertical strokes.

Glazing Painting Techniques
Glaze the undertone with the glazing medium. Let this tone carry into your final painting, especially in the rocks.
Glazing Medium
To portray water movement on a shiny beach, cut across the vertical strokes slightly with a large soft blender. Add details when dry.
Window Seascapes

AWAKENING SUNSET. From my dining-room window I can watch the brilliant sunsets over the Pacific. I'm fascinated by the multitude of color schemes that the casual visitor might never see. Notice how I've carried the same colors from the sky through the sand. The lavenders and yellows balance each other.

Viridian Green Contrast Room Walter Foster How Draw Paint Series

To give the sun's reflection, build up thick dimensional paint in the areas where the sunshine would seem to hit. Let the thick strokes dry, and scumble over them with a lighter value, but not white. Thereafter, light cast upon the painting will refract from the surface of the strokes and add to the sunshiny effect.

dry rocks sky and clouds

dry rocks sky and clouds

wet rocks

Cad. Yellow Pale, Cad. Orange, Alizarin Crimson, Phthalo Yellow-Green, Viridian Green, Cobalt Blue, Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna, Raw Umber.

Background Yellow Green Mix

Contrast of WARM against COOL gives the illusion of more values. Control values by relying on premixes and the palette spectrum.

Seascape Paintings Using Phthalo
It is not important to match my colors exactly, so long as your colors harmonize with each other and create a good tone.

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Vernon Kerr Seascapes

Mix lots of grays. This does not mean using blacks-and-whites! If a color is too intense, blend it with a complementary color.

Seascape Paintings Using Phthalo

THE CITADELS, Fog to me is mystical and mysterious. The colors are subtle and beautiful. The mistake often made in painting fog is to make it too washed out. The overall value for this picture is #5, with all other values between #4 and #6, except for the dark rocks.

One can see the actual color of the water itself when the sun is hidden. There are no strong colors or values in this painting. If yours become too intense, tone the intensity when the painting is dry by glazing a complementary color on the surface. Wipe off the excess until the desired tone is accomplished.

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Complement Color Alizarin Crimson
The grass in this painting is simple color pattern with few details. The daisies are patches of tone in distance, with details up close.
Complementary Color Burnt Orange

ALIZARIN CRIMSON

COBALT YELLOW BURNT

BLUE OCHRE StENNA

ALIZARIN CRIMSON

COBALT YELLOW BURNT

BLUE OCHRE StENNA

CADMIUM CADMIUM

TEL. PALE ORANGE

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Tone with vamish-turp-oil mixture. Be accurate in tone. If underpaying is too light or too dark, the overpainting won't look right.

Complementary Seascapes

fhe lavender shades, complementary to ochre, are not only pleasing, but the combination supplies one of the GRAYS prevalent in nature.

Trees Painted White

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WALKING THROUGH SUMMER. I couldn't resist painting these old apple trees and barn. I pass it on the highway at least three times a week. Once in a while I see a deer feeding on the apples.

The interior darks of the barn are thin, rich, and warm in color. Do not paint the darks opaque. You want to be able to look into the shadows. Rembrandt was a master of this technique.

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Walter Foster

• • • Vernon Kerr's paintings are featured in Haddads catalog of fine art reproductions.

Desert Spring

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DESERT SPRING . . • Courtesy of Haddads Fine Art Inc., Anaheim, Calif.

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Responses

  • miles
    How to draw and paint walter foster?
    6 years ago
  • John
    How to mix yellow ochre paint?
    5 years ago
  • Mebrahtu Medhane
    How to paint seascapes ALLEN?
    5 years ago
  • MELLISA
    How to mix payne s gray?
    5 years ago
  • J
    How to match color and spaces?
    5 years ago
  • Gerard
    How to draw and paint seascapes walter foster?
    5 years ago
  • paul
    How to paint seascapes in oils?
    5 years ago
  • Sanna
    How to paint seascape in oil?
    5 years ago
  • orlando
    How to mix alizarin crimson?
    5 years ago
  • Adelinda
    How paint seascape step by step?
    5 years ago
  • artemia
    How to mix gray using mars violet?
    5 years ago
  • william
    How to use glazing medium?
    5 years ago
  • rachel watt
    How to get a mixture of gray brown for painting?
    5 years ago
  • AGAMENNONE
    How to add a yellow without the sky turning to green?
    5 years ago
  • lucas
    What is the color compliment for cerulean blue?
    5 years ago
  • Rosamunda
    What kind of paint does walter foster use in his color books?
    1 year ago
  • GILLY
    How to make oil color painting?
    9 months ago

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