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TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

Introduction: The Painting Process

When you paint a painting, there are stages you should go through in order to give yourself the best chance of creating a terrific work of art.

I believe that we should become more involved with our paintings. If the design or subject matter was worth the effort to begin with then we should give it our best efforts. A underlying reason or desire to paint a particular painting shouldn’t fade just because we botch the job. Keep painting the work with refinements and changes until it is as close to your intention as possible. Remember it is the artists job to express in creative terms their excitement and involvement with the subject matter. The following is the working plan I use to paint my paintings.read more…

Lesson: Abstracting the Shapes, Simplifying the Message

When painting it is easy to become so involved in the subject matter with all of the details, textures, and colors presenting so many possibilities that our paintings never quite have focus or a feeling of unity. Sometimes we achieve nothing more than to present to the viewer either a collection of random thoughts about a place or detail laden color drawing. We paint around the subject never quite making a point. The work lacks creativity and artistic involvement, and the painting lacks a dominance of major shapes. By not focusing on the major shapes we are forced to paint a collection of things and this is a difficult and tedious task..read more…

 

Lesson: Brushwork

Although it is sometimes not what we notice first about a great watercolor painting, expressive brushwork is one of the most important qualities of a good work. Due to the fact that watercoloris fairly hard to remove from the paper and is somewhat less workable than oils, pastels, graphite and to some extent acrylics through the use of overlaying opaque colors on top, it is critical that you begin and end the painting with solid and creative brushwork. It will be very difficult to correct sloppy and repetitive brushwork in those major areas of the painting. Think of the trees you have painted with brushwork that evoke the look of a broom, not an elm, or the water you painted that has the feeling of a parking lot, not a tranquil pond or the light on the side of a model’s face that looks like an advertisement for a beard commercial and you will understand that your freedom with the brush is a critical factor is expressing your creative intent.read more…

Lesson: Painting from memory

I was lucky to have been introduced to painting at a time when the prevalent teaching dictums as expressed through fabulously talented teachers and painters emphasized the use of an artists’ ability to make paintings up from memory. The goal of the painting was a creative expressive statement combining an understanding of design and composition with that unique vision we all have inside of us.  Photographs were employed to assist in the process of defining or understanding the complexity of certain subject matter, but were frowned on for use as the total and final statement of possibility for the painting.read more…

Lesson: Painting those Light-Filled Days

One of the most wonderful subjects you’ll ever find to paint in watercolor is the landscape bathed in sunlight.To paint with authority, it is a must for you to first spend time observing the unique characteristics of the sunny day and then use these observations as the structure of your painting.

Too many artists fail in their attempt to interpret the sunny day because they forget to use or don’t know the characteristics of the typical sun-filled setting. If you mix a little knowledge, careful observation and pre-planning in the form of a well-designed value pattern, you’ll create quality paintings infused with the realistic play of light and shadow..read more…

Lesson: Value Pattern

When organizing your painting it isimportant that you spend some time before painting thinking about the arrangement of the lights, darks and midtones in you painting. This planning stage will give you a better chance of painting a focused and entertaining painting. Due to watercolors’ unforgiving nature it is important that we do not begin to paint without some understanding of where we are going . It is much easier to change the value pattern than to change the painting once we are putting paint on paper. Most good artists do not overlook the planning stage and it is the fastest and most effective way to move past strictly replicating photographs.read more…

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