1. Home
Send to a Friend via Email

Painting Blog

By

Follow me on:

Motivator Quote: Sensibility & Tenderness

Sunday February 9, 2014

inspirational art quotes

Artist's Quotes: Talent

Motivator Quote: Selection, Elimination, Emphasis

Sunday February 9, 2014

Inspirational art quote from painter Georgia O'Keeffe

Art Quotes: Georgia O'Keeffe

Motivator Quote: Blank Canvas

Wednesday February 5, 2014

Art quote from Vincent van Gogh

Artist's Quotes: Vincent van Gogh

Motivator Quote: There is No Accident

Monday February 3, 2014

Art quotes Jackson Pollock

Art Quotes: Jackson Pollock

How Many Coats of Gesso Do You Put on a Canvas?

Sunday February 2, 2014

Gesso protects the canvas, so you want as many coats as it takes to cover it completely. It is boring (I should probably add it to my list of The 5 Most Tedious Art Tasks) but if you want your artwork to have longevity, it's something to do carefully.

One coat might do the job, but unless you're meticulous there are likely to be a few barely covered spots and missed bits. I generally do two or three coats with a slightly thinned gesso. It doesn't take long to dry, and if you use a broad brush it doesn't take long to apply.

If you don't want texture in the gesso, you can sand it down between coats. If you know what the composition is going to be though, it's a chance to add a level of mark making by leaving brushmarks in the gesso that are relevant to the composition.

Image Marion Boddy-Evans. Licensed to About.com, Inc.

Learn to Fail in Your Art

Saturday February 1, 2014

learn to fail better Having one painting turn out a disaster does not make you a failure as an artist. It can teach you things, if you're open to the idea and don't toss it into the bin in a huff. I've set out what I mean in my article, Learn to Fail Better, but it does take a shift in personal attitude.

See Also:
Art is Not About Talent
Learn How to Critique Paintings

How to Set Up a Flower for Still Life Painting

Thursday January 30, 2014
Flower Painting It seems some people are under the impression painting from a photo is somehow easier than painting from life. That painting from an actual object is too tricky for a beginner. This really isn't the case. I think it's easier as you're working from a three-dimensional object to create a three-dimensional illusion with paint, you're not working from a two-dimensional object.

What it does entail is making various decisions for yourself that the photographer would otherwise make for you. Such as composition, lighting, cropping... But more choices makes for more fun, more chances for creativity.

Don't be intimidated by the thought of setting up your own still life arrangement. You have total control over what you put into it, how you arrange it, how you set the lighting, and how much of it you paint. In the photo you can see I've propped the flower up with a few tubes of paint. But they won't be in the composition, nor will the lamp; they're just part of the practicalities of how I arranged the flower. Read more about how to set up a flower still life...

See Also:
Set-Up for a Still Life in a Small Space

Image: Marion Boddy-Evans. Licensed to About.com, Inc

That Clock-Perspective-Thing

Thursday January 30, 2014

using a clock face for perspective

"I hesitate to put people in my paintings because I worry about perspective. I haven't heard of the clock idea. How does that work?" -- Purplon
The 'trick' using a clock to help visualize the angles of vanishing lines only works if you've a strong, instinctive mental image of the hands of a clock. If you haven't, or you visualize a readabout with numbers when you think of the time, it's not an approach that'll work for you!

Find the vanishing lines in the subject, then mentally compare it to the hands on a clock, decide "what time" the lines fall on, then apply this "time" on your painting to transfer the angles of the lines. Here's an example...

See Also:
Understanding Vanishing Lines in Perspective

Image Marion Boddy-Evans. Licensed to About.com, Inc.

Cataloging Skin Tones

Wednesday January 29, 2014
Artist Angelica Dass has a photographic project called Humanae documenting the range of skin tones, cataloged by the Pantone color system. It's really does highlight how there's a tremendous range of colors and tones, that you can't have one tube of "skin color" and expect it to work. Take a look...

See Also:
What Paint Colors are Best for Skin?
• Have Your Say: What Do You Use For Mixing Skin Tones?

How to Double-Load a Paintbrush

Tuesday January 28, 2014

Have you ever thought about loading two colors onto a brush simultaneously, not only one? Then as you lay down the paint on your canvas, the two colors blend together beautifully.

It's a technique from decorative painting, called double-loading a brush, that is useful for all sorts of styles of painting. It's not tricky to learn, though you need to be a bit meticulous to keep your colors uncontaminated. Find out how to double-load a brush...

See Also:
An Introduction to Art Paint Brushes
How the Size of an Art Paint Brush is Indicated
Parts of an Art Paint Brush

Image Marion Boddy-Evans. Licensed to About.com, Inc

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.