We all want to improve our painting. But often, I think we try to do that by just…painting more.
I don’t think that’s the best way to do it. There is a better way. Here’s how.
On November 3rd, 1933 the Nazi party, recently come to power, demanded that all professors begin their lectures with the Nazi salute. Wolfgang Köhler, a professor and director of the Psychological Institute at the University of Berlin, refused. Then he went one step further, and wrote an article openly criticising the Nazi party. It was
If you’ve been painting for any length of time, you know that it’s extremely difficult to judge values accurately. In fact, the whole idea of accuracy when it comes to values is a bit suspect. Because in most cases, we can’t actually match the value range we see with paint. And the idea of accuracy
Have you ever tried to paint a shadow cast on a black surface? Because you can’t do it. Well, you can, but you can’t match it accurately in paint. “Nonsense”, I hear you cry, “It’s simply a case of using black paint! Ivory black will do it!” Ah, not so, I’m afraid. Read this post to
In the blue corner we have Rembrandt van Rijn. The very archetype of the Old Master, storyteller extraordinaire, magician of expression, character and light. In the red corner we have Turner, progenitor of the impressionists, giant of British art and painter of the unpaintable whose primary subject matter was light. Two painters, two very different approaches
You’ll often hear accomplished painters talking about the importance of values. The reason is simple: value is one of the foundations of realistic drawing and painting. In fact, if you were to pressure me, I’d say it’s the foundation. Why do artists talk about values so much? Well, I think I know why from my
Having had quite enough of cubes and spheres after the last ten studies I dragged out my old coffee pot and a lemon for a few more. This coffee pot has already featured a few times in the series of tonal still life drawings. It’s a good subject for these studies because it presents me
Now the starters are out of the way, it’s time for the main course. The original plan with these cubes and spheres was to paint each one in four different lighting conditions. Form light, the first, is three quarters in light, rim light is the opposite, three quarters in shadow. The other two are backlight,
Having been blessed with a series of overcast days last week (which means no direct sunlight coming through the window in the afternoon) I’ve had the opportunity to move on somewhat with the tone studies. For this batch I’ve been adding the odd real object to supplement the cubes and spheres. It’s been illuminating. One
I’m continuing with my exploration of values using the Munsell colour system, and I’m finding it to be a very useful tool. I’ve now answered one or two questions I’ve had for a while about tone, and raised many more. There have been moments over the last few days at the easel when I’ve felt