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Art Tips: Painting a Still Life III

Posted by: phelim

Tagged in: Art Classes

Start to develop the lights and darks on the vase.  For the whites use less ultramarine blue.  For darks use titanium white, ultramarine blue plus a small amount of burnt umber and yellow ochre.  This allows for the background to be reflected in the shadow.  As the vase is reflective, your colours are not blended flat but can be left slightly uneven to display this.  The blue on the vase is as before but with more light and dark variation.


Art Tips: Painting a Still Life II

Posted by: phelim

Tagged in: Art Classes


Art Tips: Painting A Still Life

Posted by: phelim

Tagged in: Art Classes

This is a composition I set up to paint in my studio. 


Art Tips: Painting Loosely

Posted by: phelim

Tagged in: Art Classes

When we start learning how to draw and paint, as with any new endeavour we tend to be very cautious and tight.  With painting, I recommend learning to paint freely and over time to control and direct this freedom rather than starting to paint strictly.  Given that both approaches are necessary at different stages, in my experience those who start loosely tend to find it easier in the longer term to adapt to both approaches.  So, to help this here are a few tips and I've shown below a recent demonstration I did for my students putting these tips into practise:

1) Use a larger brush - this way you cannot be too detailed but rather more suggestive.  Also, you can feel more confident with a larger brush, making more immediate strokes.

2) Simplify your composition - don't feel compelled to put in everything you see.  Focus on what is important.

3) Change your palette - not alone does this allow you to be more experimental with colour but using different colours changes how you see or expect to see your composition.

4) Paint at arms length and if painting from a photograph place it further away so that it is not easy to distinguish detail.  This way, you can focus on tonal shapes, light & dark.

5) Use a painting knife.  Unlike a brush, you don't have the same control.  It is a great way to play with paint and convey liveliness of application.

6) Place a time limit from start to finish.  This forces you to apply only the most important elements


Art Tips: Abuse of White & Black - How Not To

Posted by: phelim

Tagged in: Art Classes


Looking at the lemon 'Fig A' you can see the effects of using only black to darken and white to lighten, with the Lemon Yellow.  It ends up with a dirty, grey, unrealistic lemon.  Look now at 'Fig B'.

Here I have used the graduation of the Lemon & Cadmium Yellow and Red to both warm and shadow the lemon.  I have also brought in touches of blue to create violet which is the complimentary colour of yellow and the correct way to create your darks.
Similarly, I've also graduated the lights and, into the shadows from the lemon on the left I've brought in touches of the Lemon Yellow, Blue and Red.  The combined effect is a superior, voluminous and more artistic lemon.  Remember when adding light and dark to graduate up and down the scale of a colour, ie light to medium to dark yellow & reverse for lights, and use complimentary colours for truer darks.
Enjoy, Phelim.


Moving into the middleground, with a mixture of windsor blue (cobalt blue) and lemon yellow, loosly apply uneven colour leaving some of the pink wash.  This blue green creates the shadowy colour on the grass which is influenced by the clouds and sky.  for the darks use Windsor Blue (Ultramarine Blue) and Permanent Rose (Alizarin Crimson) and also apply loosly.  Also apply these in your foreground as a foundation.  Now, add in some soft highlights for the next stage over the blue greens with titanium white and blue.
To add some drama to your greens, gently and sporadically add some cadmium red which is the complimentary colour of dark green.  It will add more drama and liveliness to your painting.  Don't over detail as we wish to keep the middle ground slightly distant.  The foreground details next week will help to enhance this effect.


The first stage of this painting will be a pink wash made up of white, with a little bit of permanent rose (or any red can be used), and white spirits.  Apply this to the surface of the canvas and allow to dry.



On Thursday 3rd June I will be showing you how to do the outline drawing sky so I look forward to seeing you then.


Art Tips - How to Paint a Cloudy Sky

Posted by: phelim

Tagged in: Art Classes

Image 1. Start by outlining the clouds in pencil
Image 1

Image 2. Paint in some basic colours to create the individual spaces as follows:
a) Start with lights on clouds first.  This way, if you put in too much light, the blue around will cover it. By adding the clouds first you are using the positive space (clouds) first and by applying the blue second you are using negative space to define the volume and depth more effectively and dramatically.
b) Using white and a small amount of cobalt blue, paint in the bottom and middle of the sky.  Remember, daylight skies are always lighter at the bottom.
c) Add in windsor blue to above (b) colour and paint the top of the blue sky.
d) For darks on clouds mix windsor blue, a touch of permanent rose, cadmium yellow and white.
Image 2

Image 3. Start to blend to create more softness as follows:
 i) Light blue into dark blue
ii) Edge of the clouds into the blue
iii) Dark on clouds into lights on clouds
Remember to keep drying your brush. You are not spreading paint, simply blending edges and it is important to maintain the individual colours.
Image 3

Image 4 - to finish off add some dramatic highlights to the clouds using white with a small amount of cadmium yellow.  This can be applied thickly or blended.  Using some of this light with a little cobalt blue add more light in the bottom part of the sky. (To create more luminosity at the bottom of skies it is often times useful to use a little bit of viridian or windsor green)
Image 4



Art Tips - How to Shade Cloth

Posted by: phelim

Tagged in: Art Classes

When starting to shade the cloth outline the shadow areas first. This helps to add volume. 

Next, using a 5b pencil apply a general shade (1) all over with a hatching stroke  and darken the shadow areas (2).

 2.

Cross-hatching further strengthens your darks (3). 

To soften the effect, rub down with your finger and then with a rubber, remove some shade to develop lights (4).  Applying pressure to your 5b develops your darks (7).


Art Tips - How To Shade and Tone With Pencil

Posted by: phelim

Tagged in: Art Classes

Let us look at how to shade & tone.  Look at my drawing (Figure 1) of apples and cloth.  Today I'll work on showing you how to shade the apple and we'll do the cloth next time.  Learning how to draw, shade and tone is imprtant because it teaches you to boserve correctly the subtleties of colour and how to use paint.  In any art class you need to practice both to improve generally.
Figure 1

Using a 2b pencil and starting with the basic drawing, mark out the (A) shadow areas (light is coming from the left) and using simple hatching apply an all-over general shade and then a darker cross-hatching to display the darker right-hand side (B).
Figure 2


From there, taking a 5b pencil, strengthen the hatching creating more darkness on the right (D - Figure 2). Use the side of the pencil lead rather than the point to create a softer look.  Using the point, define the darks on the stalk and also in the crevice at the base of the stalk.  Finally, taking a rubber, remove some colour from the left side (E) and crown (C) to creat the light and also the surface pattern of the apple.


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