Monthly Archives: June 2017

3 Very Easy Steps That We Can Take to Learn How to Paint

1. Understand Your Materials

There are dozens of oil painting lessons out there. But the first, and most crucial, step of painting instruction is coming to know your materials. All oil painting lessons start there because knowing how your paints respond allows you to fully understand how to exploit them to their fullest potential, and how to avoid any big mistakes.
Traditional oil paints consist of ground pigments combined with a drying oil, such as linseed, walnut, or poppyseed oil. A “drying oil” is one that absorbs oxygen from the air, which causes it to dry and harden over time, forming a flexible and resistant surface. Each pigment requires a different amount of oil to reach the consistency needed for painting. The amount of oil absorbed by a pigment directly affects its drying time, which can be useful for an artist to know as he or she works in the studio to learn painting.

When applying layers of oil paint most artists follow one of the most popular oil painting lessons known as the “fat-over-lean” rule. ‘Fat’ oil paint contains more oil than pigment, which increases the length of time it takes to dry. ‘Lean’ oil paint is oil paint mixed with less oil, or with a solvent such as turpentine. When creating an underpainting, painting tutorials often advise artists to avoid using colors with high oil contents, because subsequent layers of paint may crack if the layers contain less oil than the previous layer. Many artists prime their canvas accordingly to make this easier. “I work on oil-primed linen, so the ‘fat to lean’ qualities of the ‘paint to surface’ are an integral part of the painting process,” says still-life painter Ellen Buselli.  –Naomi Ekperigin

For more painting lessons and essentials, learn from Wilson Bickford in his Oil Painting Basics – How to Paint a Bird DVD as well as  The Absolute Beginner’s Big Book of Drawing & Painting eBook. It has 400+ paged with more than 100 lessons on getting started in painting and drawing so that you will be able to practice the techniques that are the foundation of every great painting!

2. Understand Color Theory

A painter can learn how to paint nearly every color with just three pigments. Exact hues vary from one manufacturer to the next, but an artist could go far with any company’s Indian yellow, naphthol red, and ultramarine blue.
Secondary colors, such as orange, green, and purple, are made by mixing primary colors. Tertiary colors are those made by mixing a secondary color with a primary color. Other colors are made by adding a bit of white pigment (a process called tinting) or adding a bit of black (a process called shading).

When you start to learn painting, it helps to understand the vocabulary used in discussing color. Hue refers to the arbitrary name given to certain colors on the color wheel, for example, red, orange, blue-green, mauve, etc. Value refers to the degree of lightness or darkness in a color. This can be adjusted by tinting or shading the hue. And chroma, or saturation, is how pure the color is compared to its corollary on the color wheel. If a color is close to how it appears on the color wheel, it is said to be “high chroma.” Colors have less saturation or chroma when they are created by mixing two colors. This is because we experience color as light that is reflected off a toned surface. When we see green paint, we are seeing pigment that absorbs all the other colors in light except green. (White light has all the colors of the spectrum in it.) When two pigments are mixed, each color absorbs its own share of light, so the resulting mix is duller than either of the two mixing colors would be alone. The more you mix, the less saturated a color will be. This is often a good thing–colors straight out of the tube usually make a painting look garish and unnatural. –Bob Bahr

If you are looking to learn paint mixing and color theory in multiple media, start with famed artist-instructor Johannes Vloothuis in hisLandscape Painting Essentials eBook, featuring expert tips and advice on how to paint beautiful landscape paintings—filled with color and light–in acrylic, oil, pastel, and watercolor!

3. Understand How to Layer Paints

Acrylic painting lessons will usually include the basic techniques for manipulating washes of acrylic paint to develop detailed paintings of landscapes, figures, still lifes, and the like. This process sounds more complicated than it truly is, as there are just three essential steps to learning how to use acrylic paint to give objects depth and dimension. Here’s a painting exercise to show you how.

First, Apply a Thin Wash: Use either a wash or glaze of red oxide combined with a small amount of titanium white and diarylide yellow. Apply one thin wash to your surface to create a few shapes. (If you are still learning how to handle your paint brush, consider theBrushwork Essentials eBook, a resource that shows you how to use a brush properly for effective control and powerful expression.)

Second, Apply a Second Coat: Using the same color as in step one, mix a wash or glaze using slightly less water or gel. This value will be darker because there is more pigment. When the first coat is dry, apply a second coat to the areas to give the initial shapes more dimension. For example, the second coat could be applied to the front and side of a cube.

Third, Apply Shadows: After the second coat is dry, apply a third one of the same color to the areas where shadows from other objects could be. You may need another coat after this one dries to further delineate shadowed areas. All of this was done with the same color and shows how successive layers of a single color can easily add dimension to a basic painting sketch

3 Things We Should Know Before Starting to paint with Oil paint

1. Know the Tint Strength of Your Paints

Knowing how to use oil paints starts with discovering the tinting strength of each color on your oil painting palette. For example, Prussian blue and alizarin crimson have very strong tinting strengths: just a small amount of either color added to white makes a vivid tint. On the other hand, terre verte and raw umber have weaker tinting strength and turn pale when mixed with just a little bit of white. A beginner oil painting lesson you can teach yourself right now is adding the same amount of white to each color on your palette to see how each pigment is affected.

2. Understand Impasto

Building up the surface of a painting with thick and loose applications of paint is one of my favorite oil painting techniques, and it is known as impasto. First, there is just such a sensual pleasure in moving the buttery paint around in this way. And the fact that you can also leave behind the marks made with your brush makes the activity an expressive one and one of the most valuable abstract oil painting techniques worth exploring. To practice with impasto, you will want to keep the paint thick enough to stand on its own though many artists will add a little medium so it is slightly more workable. And then you just get in there, applying the paint with a brush (flat brushes are ideal as they hold a lot of paint) or painting knife, and being sure to paint with purpose. What I mean is use impasto to good effect, whether by applying it to visually contrast with smoother areas of your paint or use it on a whole oil painting for a three-dimensional quality.

3. Understand Blending

You might think that blending is one of the easiest oil painting techniques to employ, and it is in that you can practice it starting right now on just about any figure, landscape, or object you paint. But there are specific oil painting lessons on how to blend that are key if you want to know how to use oil paints like a master.

Blending at its most basic simply involves learning how to oil paint by brushing and rebrushing the areas where two different colors meet, so that they seem to merge together seamlessly. But you can also blend by stroking one color over the edge of the next: the brushstrokes are obvious but the blended area is still created. You can also, as a final step in an oil painting, trace a brush over the entire surface of a painting or concentrating in the areas where you want to knock down the visible brushstrokes so that no trace of the brush’s path are visible.

A Secret from a Drawing Perspective Made Easy

Why Knowing How to Draw Perspective Is Important

I will be the first to admit that learning and practicing linear perspective is a little bit like eating your veggies when you are a kid. You aren’t sure about them even though you know they are good for you but, in the end, you learn to love them. But what is really worth remembering about perspective drawing is that if you know the basics, you’ve got all the capabilities of a 3D drawing in your hands. That’s why understanding linear perspective is so important for artists, beginners included.

Linear perspective revolutionized the way artists perceived and incorporated spatial depth in their work. Established in solid, mathematical terms in the 15th century, linear perspective creates the illusion of three-dimensional space on a two-dimensional surface.

How to Tell the Difference Between One-Point Perspective and Two-Point Perspective

To create effective linear perspective, artists establish a horizon line, a vanishing point on that line, and multiple orthogonal, or vanishing, lines. The horizon line is a horizontal line that runs across the paper or canvas to represent the viewer’s eye level and delineates the sky meeting the ground.The orthogonal lines, which distort objects by foreshortening them, create the optical illusion that objects grow smaller and closer together as they get farther away. These imaginary lines recede on the paper to meet at one point on the horizon called the vanishing point.

The difference between one-point perspective and two-point perspective is the number of vanishing points and where they are placed on the horizon line. For more on the basics of drawing perspective, consider the digital download of our best-selling perspective drawing workshop, Perspective Made Simple, which breaks down all of linear perspective into simple, focused steps that anyone can learn.

Practicing Your Perspective Drawing Lessons: Where to Start

When first learning how to incorporate perspective into your composition, concentrate on one-point perspective with one vanishing point (two-point perspective and three-point perspective use two and three vanishing points, respectively). One-point perspective is helpful when drawing or painting roads, railroad tracks, or buildings that directly face the viewer.

According to linear-perspective instructor Patrick Connors, “The components of perspective are three: the eye (the artist or viewer), the picture plane, and the figure (or object). The science is about the relationship among the three. An introduction to perspective will enhance an artist’s appreciation for the perceptual underpinnings of the illusions of space.”

Plein Air Painting Outdoor Painting Art

What is Plein Air Painting?

Plein air painting is about leaving the four walls of your studio behind and experiencing painting and drawing in the landscape. The practice of painting outside goes back for centuries but was truly made into an art form by the French Impressionists. Their desire to paint light and its changing, ephemeral qualities, coupled with the creation of transportable paint tubes and the box easel—the precursor to theplein air easels of today—allowed plein air artists the freedom to paint “en plein air,” which is the French expression for “in the open air.”

How Painting Outside Works

Outdoor painting gives artists the opportunity to paint the landscape in an immediate way—from direct observation—responding to changes in light, air quality, weather, and time of day. Many advocates and artists who have taken up plein air painting are committed to creating stirring landscape paintings that are derived solely from nature itself, in an alla-prima style (which means producing a painting in one session outdoors). But practitioners can also find it useful to work from a variety of sources for a plein air painting, including initial pencil sketches, photographs, and research.
Sketches allow painters to improve the overall design of a painting and quickly capture color notes in the landscape. A plein air painter can also use photographs to help design a painting, though they usually come into play after the artist has left the outdoor painting site for the comforts of the studio. An artist often utilizes photographs to capture details—like the particular texture of grass or the shape of a river bend—but most painters stay away from using photographs for color and value indicators.

Why Try Plein Air Art?

Today, plein air painting is a flourishing trend in our art world, popular in no small part because it’s just plain relaxing. Artists come together for “paint out” excursions, workshops devoted to the practice occur all year-round and coast to coast, and landscape painters are finding that plein air painting is as rewarding and powerful an experience as it was for the first plein air painters all those years ago.

To ignite your plein air art excitement, first delve into one of the most in-depth resources on the subject, Plein Air Painting—where 30 top plein air painters give their take on the outdoor painting experience and the hard-won advice that allows them to enjoy every minute of it.