When Richard McKinley creates a landscape painting, he likens it to a dance, a push-pull between the artist’s feelings for the place and the tendencies of the medium. Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at how he creates his painting, Acequia, from beginning to end, and what occupies his mind during each stage.
Category Techniques and Tips
Being outdoors revitalizes us in a number of ways. It is mesmerizing–peaceful and powerful all at once, and you see light and motion in ways you cant when you are on land.Surf at Prout Neck by Guy Corriero, watercolor and casein painting, 2011.Water painting can be the same way. It can turn an ordinary landscape painting into something with visual interest and dynamism.
Charles Reid’s Watercolor Solutions As one of today’s most sought-after workshop instructors (and one of your favorite authors!), Charles Reid knows the most common stumbling blocks faced by artists and the best ways to overcome them. With expert advice on everything from design and color-mixing to fine-tuning your figure and landscape paintings, Charles Reid’s Watercolor Solutions will help you identify shortcomings in your paintings, fix recurring problems, and become an all-around better artist.
Artists working today that I admire most all usually have one thing in common—they have developed their own unique contemporary practice while still utilizing classical methods. Ive come to realize that I have a bias for artwork that has a well-thought-out narrative, but Im also drawn to work that is carefully crafted and made sensitively and with care.
Ive written a number of articles on artists who use the sight-size approach to painting, but the method became clearer to me while I was writing an article on Paul DeLorenzo for the spring 2010 issue of Workshop. That is, from 10 or 12 feet away from a painting, the image appears to be exactly the same size as the person or object being painted.
I spoke with Calvin Goodman, the author of Art Marketing Handbook (Gee Tee Bee Publications, Los Angeles, California), just after finishing my blog post about capturing a likeness in portrait painting. They lack a sense of the subject’s emotions or the passion of the artist.”Calvin and I talked a bit more about what it really means for artists to add their personal, emotional, unique response to a landscape, still life, or portrait.
The Epitome of Landscape DramaDrama in a landscape means everything. It mean excitement for you, the artist, as you get to use bold color and really move paint across canvas. It’s thrilling for the viewer because who isn’t mesmerized by the gorgeous colors and mercurial light of a sunset? So, no surprise, this is where sunset paintings come in.
Where Lines and Strokes MatterMaybe you’ll know the feeling I’m describing. The feeling when you are painting and you keep thinking, “What am I doing?” followed by the internal response to “keep going.” Again and again it happens until that moment when you see your lines and strokes and colors turn into something?
The easiest way to find a pleasing arrangement of abstract shapes is with a viewfinder.A viewfinder is a simple device that allows you to isolate or “crop” a scene within a rectangular area. You can adjust the viewfinder back and forth, left and right, and up and down, looking for the most dramatic and engaging composition.
We’ve all been in situations where we have to dig in and endure hardships and setbacks in order to continue doing what we love. We do it because humans are driven to create, to express, to do that one thing that we know in our hearts we were born to do. For many of us, creative expression is that thing.
Special Note: Today’s featured book is included in the North Light Shop CYBER MONDAY sale! Read the demo below, then visit the shop to get your copy of this, and many other special deals.Placing the Human Touch Into Your LandscapesClaudia Nice understands how to convey the feeling of being in a landscape in person, and how to translate that to a work of art.
Want Texture? Seek Unconventional ToolsBreaking out of a painting rut sometimes requires a little more oomph than just adding another color to your palette or going from a still life to a figure painting. Sometimes your whole process needs an overhaul.A few years ago, artist Francis Di Fronzo took a fairly drastic measure to take his work to a new level.
It’s the materiality—or, for many, that’s at least part of it. The buttery rich feel of oil paint moving across the surface can be a siren song for a painter.Bernard Chaet, a notable artist and Yale University professor, took a keen interest in the physicality of oil painting throughout his career. His book An Artist’s Notebook: Techniques and Materials continues to have relevance for readers today.
3 Ways to Feed Your Need for TextureArtists have voracious appetites for texture–for new ways of seeing marks appear on a surface and teasing out forms with different strokes. In Strokes of Genius 9: Creative Discoveries, I’ve found a feast for our senses. Texture pours off the page. Painters and illustrators use pen and ink, watercolor, pastel and more to hook us into their orbit and keep our eyes locked to their works.
Step 1. While I liked the objects in the first set up of the still life, I thought the area of the tablecloth was too plain and lacked interest.Step 2. I added another tablecloth and moved the elements closer together to create a move unified whole.Step 3. If you’re going to create a painting full of detail, you need a very detailed drawing to start.
Editor’s Note: Today’s painting advice comes to you from Nancy Reyner’s book Acrylic Revolution. Get the book for tips on selecting and priming these painting substrates, and much more advice for painting with acrylic, in Nancy’s Acrylic Revolution.Read through this list for eight surfaces, and see the one thing you don’t want to paint on below.
Learn to draw a trinity knot with this simple step by step from Cari Buziak’s Calligraphy Magic.How to Draw a Simple Trinity Knot in 6 Steps1 Sketch a dividing line, putting a dot to the lower left and lower right, and at the top.2 Draw a fat arc starting at the top dot, arcing to the right of the divider, and over to the lefthand dot.
It’s one thing to be able to pick up a set of colored pencils and color an image that was originally rendered in graphite, or to draw something that’s pleasing to the eye. Just about anyone can begin a colored pencil drawing–that’s part of the beauty of this medium. But artists have developed colored pencil techniques that beginners can learn, practice and incorporate for artwork that is nothing short of astonishing.
Read advice from the following professionals on displaying works on paper:Paul Schaff of Wellage and Schaff Fine Art ServicesJean Pederson, AWS, SFCA, CSPWC, CWA, CIPAMichael Chesley Johnson, PSA, MPACMichael Skalka, Chariman, ASTM D01.57, Artists’ MaterialsArt Design Consultants (Litsa Spanos, Chris Morris,and Craig Valentine)How have standards and options for framing works on paper changed in recent years?
Q. I’d like to apply oil pastel on canvas or board and then hang the art like a painting without need for glass. It there a way to seal or coat the work so I can do this? Free download! Oil Pastel Techniques: Start Painting With Oil Pastels A. Oil pastels are made using mineral oil, a non-drying material derived from petroleum.
Metals Made EasyLearn the secrets to depicting low-luster to high-shine metallic surfaces.by Ora SorensenIn the December 2009 issue of Magazine, Ora Sorensen shows how shimmering metallic surfaces always add a wow factor to paintings. Continue reading to learn more about the intricacies of painting metal, or click here to go directly to the demonstration in painting low luster metallic surfaces.