Grisaille

A monochromatic painting in various tones of gray.


Related Posts

  • Looking at paintings can be like unraveling a mystery, especially with watercolor. Layers are so delicate and there are many interesting watercolor painting techniques that are quite subtle to the eye. That's certainly what I felt when I looked at the work of watercolor artist Miguel Dominguez. I
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  • Hopefully Blake will forgive me for that little rewrite, but when I see a painting that has complicated light effects or diffuse light that seems almost prismatic I can't help but think of that adulterated line of poetry. New York City, Winter 2006
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  • Le Parc Monseau by Claude Monet, oil painting, 1877. Interestingly enough, technology played a major role in influencing the course of art history in the mid-1800s. Among several notable technological revolutions was the invention of the metal paint tube
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  • Overlay by Ali Cavanaugh, 12 x 12, watercolor painting. As a wannabe artist, I have a lot of years ahead of me to invest in perfecting my painting. Knowing this, I often think about the medium I will choose to work with—what will grow with me through
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  • Plein air painting often requires a Herculean effort on the part of the artist. It can't be taught in a studio. It must be experienced first-hand to be fully appreciated. All the senses and faculties must be fully engaged, especially curiosity. One
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  • The Beginning of Memory , oil on canvas, 2010. All works by Melinda Matyas. Palette knife painting sounds a little edgy and dangerous, but it’s really all about texture—the thick impasto swipes and flat sweeps of color that make up the surface
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  • "Don't you just love green?" asked our young friend while we painted. In that one instant, that expression of the pure joy of color, he brought us back to the real reason we became artists. "Yes, I do. In fact, I don't think there
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  • A few years ago I remember seeing some paintings by C.W. Mundy that he had created upside-down. I liked the paintings a lot, especially the looseness, with the large shapes of color and values. I hadn't thought about those paintings until recently
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  • An eloquent and unexpected use of color is often what divides beginning painters like me from the greats. But there are several basic rules of thumb that we can build on to propel ourselves and our paintings onto higher, more sophisticated ground, artistically
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  • Do you know how frustrating it is to love something, but not necessarily know everything about it? That's sometimes the way I feel about color. I have such a visual lust for color--learning new colors, discovering new paint mixes, figuring out how
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  • A while ago I went through a scrapbooking phase. Now, these were not scrapbooks of me or my friends and family marking my high school career or summer camp experiences. These are what I consider visual networks or maps--images that I sorted by subject
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  • Sketch of a Man by John Singer Sargent, charcoal drawing. Adapted from an article by Mark G. Mitchell. Looking at a John Singer Sargent's drawings, I really can't mistake them for anything but the work of his hand. His line work is so thin, firm
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  • Breaking 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
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  • Artists aren’t superheroes. No capes, no spandex onesies, and no butlers named Alfred. Artists don’t necessarily lead extraordinary lives in which they paint or draw between bouts of saving the world. Artists are like you and me. They are you and me, actually. We all go about our day-to-day
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  • Clouds are not all created equal, just like not every sunset or skyscape is the same. They all have their own unique look and feel, even though we can see them all the time. And it is the plein air artist's goal, passion, purpose to eek out that unique something in every scene they decide to paint
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  • Artists know something about plateaus. You work, you struggle, you soar, and then maybe you slow down and hit a wall, and the cycle repeats itself. There are plenty of ways to jumpstart your artistic practice so that the plateaus we all experience are
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  • Flower Garden by Clyde Aspevig, oil on canvas, 24 x 12. Content adapted from an article by Allison Malafronte. Clyde Aspevig is a landscape painter and seasoned plein air artist who prides himself on going out into his chosen environs with a feeling of
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  • A sunset sketch by painter Thomas Van Stein. This blog has been adapted from an article written by Allison Malafronte. Plein air painting is all about light and atmosphere. Painting during sunrise or in the heat and intense light of the day can result
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  • I’m a color junkie. In fashion, in design, and especially in painting, vibrant color is what gets me creative. But before the image of Mimi from The Drew Carey Show becomes forever attached to my name in your mind, I’ll point out that I can control myself…sometimes. It’s tough
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  • Jeffree , oil painting, 18 x 15. All works by David A. Leffel. I spend a lot of time brainstorming how an artist can become an Old Master of the 21st century. What kind of confidence, skill, and vision will it take for an artist working today to gain
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  • Unlike the plein air painter who wrestles with his or her subject, Old Master artists struggled with each other. It was a game in a way (but a serious one), to find ways to outdo each other in technique, or invention (concept), or complexity and scale
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  • After developing an unnatural dependency on my galoshes and stocking my kitchen shelves with an outrageous amount of sugary sweets in case of snowstorms, I’ve come to realize that it is nice to be on the inside, cozy and warm, looking out. My creature comforts appreciation has definitely also influenced
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  • Cheers to the quiet moments at home that artists can capture. Sketch by James Jean . As I am faced with being almost two months into this "new" year, I wanted to take the opportunity to belatedly craft a toast to 2014 and acknowledge all the
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  • I am writing this as things have never looked better for me financially, as an artist. I have had a few huge sales and wildly successful shows over the years, but I feel as if I have tapped into a new realm of possibilities in recent months. And this
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  • On a sunny winter day it's so hard sometimes to overcome the temptation to go outdoors with a sketchbook! Snow and sun make a special light and colors you never see in any other season. So why not to go out for a winter plein air painting session
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  • Head of 12-year-old Christ by Albrecht Dürer, drawing, 1506. Adapted from an article by Dan Gheno. As you know from my previous blog about needing a GPS to draw heads --because I get more lost in the eyes, ears, mouth, and nose than you'd think
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  • Paintings of the sheer peaks of the Alps or serpentine glimmer of the Hudson River showcase the awe-inspiring characteristics of the natural world. But there’s something equally compelling about depictions of interior spaces. Think of how bleak and bereft Edward Hopper’s bedroom scenes are
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  • Painting with Knives Whenever I get feeling a little too precious or careful about my work, I have found it a real joy to leave the brushes at home and paint only with knives. The benefits of this approach open up with the first stroke of paint. Suddenly
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  • I was an impatient little girl. My favorite word was “now.” My favorite question was “Now?” And my favorite answer … you get the picture. But I’ve grown older and wiser (sort of!), and this maturity is mainly the result
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  • Joe Paquet (see our Voices of Experience interview for Members ) reminded us of this profound quote from poet Rainer Maria Rilke: "If your environment seems poor, blame yourself. Tell yourself you are not poet enough to call forth its richness."
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  • What makes an artist an artist? Certainly, we are unique individuals with our own creative impulses and drives, but we do have so much in common. So step away from the canvas, put the paintbrush down, and see how many of these "signs" apply
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  • Vermillion, crimson, scarlet, fuchsia—the color red comes in so many different shades. And of all the colors in the spectrum, it’s the most easily visible. It’s also the hottest of the warm colors and has even been proven to raise blood pressure and respiration rates. No matter the
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  • Darrell Brown paints simple, seemingly timeless "portraits" of fruits and vegetables. A few days ago a reader came to me with a good point: If an artist running a workshop can talk about the philosophy behind his or her oil painting art, all
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  • As much as the stereotype of the solitary painter working alone and shutting him- or herself off from the world makes artists seem mysterious and cool, I’ve found that artists tend to be fairly social creatures, and their cool factor isn’t lessened by their sense of community. Sometimes this
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  • Painting outdoors in winter can be an extreme sport. The snow, the wind, the cold—it takes a certain kind of artist to paint a winter landscape while in a winter landscape. The first time I attempted this was a couple of years ago when I was living in Connecticut. Two feet of snow had fallen the
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  • If you haven't had an opportunity to see the works of Anders Zorn in person, you might want to get a copy of the exhibition catalog for a show of his work at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco. The book, Anders Zorn: Sweden's Master Painter
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  • Over and over again I hear artists cooing about the thick richness of oil paints and its appealing spreadability, and yes, all of that is totally true. But artist Bev Jozwiak is giving oil a run for its money in terms of buttery appearance and saturated colors, and she’s doing it with watercolor
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  • No, not Spanish or Italian or French. An artist needs to be fluent in the languages of realism and abstraction. By realism I mean the formal aspects of art--the painting techniques and drawing skills we develop over time through experience. Abstraction is the other side of the coin, the visual language
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  • The Evening Show by Clyde Aspevig, oil painting, 40 x 36. You can often tell a painting that was painted en plein air from one that wasn’t. There is an immediacy to the light and atmosphere depicted in plein air paintings that isn’t always
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  • Heading into the long, dark nights of winter, we do not despair! Winter nights can provide opportunities for painting nocturnes, and we eagerly prepare our plein air painting palettes for the night work. There are good reasons to take advantage of winter
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  • It has been a while since I have blogged. Life has gotten in the way of drawing and painting, as we all know it can do. But now that I 'm back at it, I want to share what I am doing, and what I am seeing of others' work as well. One of the things
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  • Street Scene with Barbershop by Edward Hopper, n.d., charcoal on paper, 7-1/4 x 9-1/4 in. Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Bruce C. Loch. All works courtesy of Thurston Royce Gallery of Fine Art, LTD. I don’t think I’d be exaggerating by calling
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  • The Remains by Joe Gyurcsak, 2007, oil painting, 24 x 24. If I start my morning with a bit of artistic inspiration, it really carries me through the whole day, just like a wholesome breakfast does! And today is a very good day because I was able to begin
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  • A couple of months ago I posted some outdoor watercolor painting sketches of my Finland trip in the Artist Daily Member Gallery . One of the comments I received was from Harry R. Gray, in which he wrote: "...and giving watercolor its full respect
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  • I’m starting this year by reassessing my approach to painting and recommitting to more concentrated studio time. I don’t necessarily feel that I want to completely revamp my process, but there are a few old habits that I want to break and a few new ones I want to instill. I’ve found
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  • Springs Caprice by Curt Walters, 36 x 36. Content adapted from an article by Allison Malafronte. Arizona artist Curt Walters is well known and recognized for his plein air impressionist paintings of one of the most inspiring natural wonders in America
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  • Noelle with a Black Dress by Ron Hicks, 2007, oil, 20 x 16. Collection Gallery 1261, Denver, Colorado. I think photography has altered the way we judge the painted portrait. With the ability to capture a photographic likeness—from the details of
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  • Learning to do more than just see - to observe, study and remember one's subject is essential to learning to draw and paint. We have discussed the sight-size method of learning to reproduce what is directly before us. Once the student has mastered
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  • Early Morning by Keith McCulloch, 12 x 16, oil painting. Artist Daily Member Spotlight: Keith B. McCulloch When I first saw Keith McCulloch's paintings, I took a deep breath. It was an involuntary reaction but a telling one—the airy, openness
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  • As we head into the end of the year and the heart of winter, it is nice to keep our inner artistic fires burning with visual inspiration and a wellspring of techniques to explore so that we make the most of a period of time that can otherwise just slip
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  • During this time of the year, as acts of generosity and appreciation abound, I’m drawn to the works of the painters and draftsmen of the Ashcan School, which thrived during the early 20th century. This group of artists—among them Robert Henri, Everett Shinn, John French Sloan, and William
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  • No apologies from me for that attempt at sensationalism (I would have written tabloid headlines in another life). The truth is I was lucky enough to sit down and chat with artist and instructor C.W. Mundy, who is generous with both his time and his talents. We chatted about his upbringing, strategies
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  • A lot of painters have strong opinions about whether or not it is helpful to premix colors on the palette before painting. I’m not talking about making your paints from scratch but rather about mixing a few colors, or even just one, after you’ve identified what the main colors in the work
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  • I used to think so romantically about Monet, Pissarro, and the other Impressionists. Not romantic like Manet is so dreamy; romantic as in idealizing this particular group of painters—thinking they stepped outside of their studios and, snap, Impressionism just happened. Veneration can sometimes
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  • The Lantern Bearers by Maxfield Parrish, 1908, oil on canvas board, 40 x 32. I have a confession to make: I've never glazed an oil painting. The process intimidates me a bit—creating luminosity and an inner glow on canvas is no easy feat—and
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  • There is an enormous amount of information out there on the various methods for applying oil paint to canvas, but it seems to boil down to three schools of thought: thin painting, thick painting, or a combination of the two. The Thins, Thicks and Combiners
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  • Thomas Van Stein's student stepped back, with the help of her instructor, to evaluate her work. A dapted from an article by Allison Malafronte. Amidst all the sights, sounds, and smells that swirl around you when plein air painting , you have to remember
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  • How many times do we promise ourselves that we'll do something "one day", both in everyday life and our art, yet somehow never find the time? But if you make a list of these and pick one to do each month, and are willing to grab an opportunity
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  • The process of underpainting has such a buttoned-up reputation as an oil painting technique. If it were cast in a movie, it would be the uptight, by-the-book stickler that no one wants to hangout with. That’s because the process of underpainting
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  • I knew we were in trouble when I opened the car door and brown water started flooded in. ‘Shut the door!' shouted Vanessa. "Mon Dieu, Mon Dieu!" muttered our French driver, holding her head in her hands. The car had stalled. The small
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  • Artist Quang Ho seeks out a natural, effortless pose with his portrait painting models. Photos by Manuel Rodriguez . I'm a lounger by nature. Why stand when I can sit? Why sit when I can curl up on the nearest comfy couch? This has made my posture
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  • Fantasy art guru and top-notch artist James Gurney is a font of knowledge when it comes to so many aspects of drawing and painting . Whether you are into fantasy images or tend toward more realist compositions, Gurney has techniques and methods dealing
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  • Somewhere out there, maybe even as you read this, a group of hungry, dedicated artists are taking a plein-air painting workshop. And at some point during this workshop—perhaps right at this very moment—one of those aspiring artists will ask the classic question voiced at least once in every
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  • I typically don’t carry around a sketchbook, but during this time of year I could make an exception. There is so much going on, and it seems like everywhere I look there’s a composition waiting to be found. Just yesterday I went for a walk, and the sight of a little girl tugging demandingly
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  • This past Saturday was a beauty. The weather was warm enough to be outside comfortably, the light was sparkling, and it would have been a fine day to paint en plein air. Would have... if I had painted. But I didn’t. Instead, I went to a meeting and then spent the afternoon on the computer, completing
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  • The limbs of each figure is achieved with a quick stroke in this watercolor sketch by Wendy Artin. When I think of gesture drawings or quick studies, I see myself with a pencil in hand—that's always just made sense for those kinds of spirited
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  • Oak in the Snow by Caspar David Friedrich, 1825, oil, 44 x 34.5 cm, Wallraf-Richartz Museum, Cologne, Germany. I think all landscape artists and plein air painters have a touch of the romantic in them. It doesn’t really matter what type of landscape
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  • I'm always surprised that the so-called ‘Painter of Light' isn't a watercolorist. Luminous light effects are what the medium is all about, and watercolor artist Jean Grastorf has created a unique body of watercolor paintings showcase
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  • The success of a portrait often relies on an artist's ability to quickly establish relationships, both on and off the canvas. It all starts when meeting your subject for the first time, whether it's a client, friend or model. During that time
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  • Shaker Barns by Charles Sheeler, 1945, tempera on board. When I think of the features that make up a truly American landscape, there’s one structure that always sticks out in my mind—a big, broadsided barn. They dot the countryside from coast
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  • Cincinnati artist Monica Achberger participating in a plein air paint-out, Milford, Ohio, sponsored by the Ohio Plein Air Society in August 2010. Looking ahead to the next several months, there are countless plein-air painting competitions coming up.
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  • When I’m landscape painting I’m always drawn to the curious, in-between places where the outdoors and indoors meet. This could be an ivy-smothered barn that almost looks like it is disappearing into the landscape, or an ocean view from an open window. The places where architecture and the
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  • A beautiful afternoon, some free time in the fresh air, a stunning location...I can’t wait for the weather to get just a touch warmer so I can get out and paint again. And as we look to the future, I’m thrilled to be joining all of you at Artist Daily as a regular blogger on the life of a
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  • Drawing with ink takes the precision of a master draftsman and the skill of a watercolorist handling a fluid medium. When I was in school I was completely captivated by the silky dark lines of one of the most famous pen and ink artists, Aubrey Beardsley
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  • Les reclus by Philippe Jacquet, 31 1/2 x 46 1/2. All images courtesy Axelle Fine Arts. Most painters I’ve spoken to say that it’s somewhat liberating to paint an imagined subject or a fictitious place. Working in such a way does come with
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  • Alaska-born artist Steven Huston knows that when there's no mammoth sports arena or cheering crowds, an athlete on the field of play can easily turn into an artist's ideal model. Even without motion, an athletic figure still possesses an interesting pose, physical awareness, and conceptual power
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  • I judge a successful cityscape painting by whether or not the architecture, the weather, and the figures—everything in the painting—combine to transport me somewhere different. If that happens and the barrier between my reality and the painted alternative gets a little blurry, letting me
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  • We are not unusual in our undying admiration for Sargent's painting style and abilities. What is less well known about him was his unflagging generosity and support of other artists, both financially, when needed, and in time spent teaching his painting
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  • Our recent painting trip to Boston included a visit to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum to see some old friends painted by Sargent, Whistler, Zorn and others. (Members of The Artist's Road can see the complete article here: Plein Air Painting in
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  • Artists are the sharpest of observers, attuned to a person's passing gesture or the play of light and shadow on a building façade—but not everything that catches our eye is a painting waiting to happen. For Utah watercolorist Joseph Alleman , the stories that hold his interest are reflections
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  • A few of my artistic heroes get worse than no respect. They get anonymity. Jacques le Moyne de Morgues, Philip Gidley King, James Cook, Joseph Frederick Wallet Des Barres, John James Audubon—all were artistic adventurers, and most of them are virtually unknown.
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  • As an artist who has painted the natural world for over 20 years, Adam Straus has a complicated connection to his environment. In the 1990s, he painted Oil Slicks , a series of paintings that referenced the oil spills that happened at the time, and the relevancy of these paintings has been asserted again
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  • You’re out on location, enjoying a bit of plein air painting or sketching, then all of a sudden you realize you haven't the right color for an element in your composition. Nor will the colors you do have mix to produce it. You’ve two options
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  • Robert Johnson strikes the perfect balance between master artist and down-to-earth mentor, supporting his students while pushing them to create the best works that they can. At a recent three-day workshop sponsored by The Art League School in Alexandria, Virginia, Johnson led students through the stages
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  • I've grown to appreciate floral paintings. Of course, flowers are nice to look at, and I recognize the technical skill needed to paint them, but I wasn't always certain of the appeal of the subject matter. The question of how an artist approaches a bouquet of roses or a pot of fuchsias in a unique
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  • Sunset over the Catskills by James Gurney, oil painting. If I want to excel in my craft and become any kind of decent realist painter, the two aspects of oil painting that I need to focus on are color and light. Perfecting the two, together, will allow
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  • Kitchen Scene in the House of Mary and Martha by Diego Velázquez, c.1618. Ask yourself that question when you see an artwork you respond to and it might reveal what you strive for in your own artistic practice. In Diego Velázquez's Kitchen Scene in the House of Mary and Martha , the
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  • On a recent trip to plein air paint in Boston, we inspired ourselves by revisiting the Boston Public Library to study the grand mural sequence, The Triumph of Religion , by John Singer Sargent, located on the third floor of the McKim building. The gallery
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  • A still life changed my life?! It sounds corny, but it’s a little bit true! It was Francisco de Zurbarán’s Still Life with Lemons, Oranges and a Rose . He was a Spanish Baroque painter and I was a freshman searching for a major. Bliss and art history degrees followed.
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  • No matter the venue, the accepted rule of thumb is that a painting should always be hung just above eye level. As a result, many artists create paintings with this point of view. Louisiana artist Mitchell Long seeks to subvert this expectation by manipulating vantage points in his paintings of landscapes
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  • The works of landscape painter George Inness (1825-1894) were both revered and dismissed in his lifetime. Although he was considered one of the leading and most influential artists of his time, his work eventually became controversial as he relentlessly
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  • Courtesy R&F Handmade Paints After spending all day sitting at my desk, click-click-clicking away on my computer, I savor getting out and being active, especially if I’m learning a new activity or skill. It’s the difference between reading
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  • It is the time of year when we find great joy and inspiration in our gardens. We love to watch our flower gardens slowly unfold through the spring and seemingly explode with the summer sun into a riot of colors, shapes and textures all demanding our attention
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  • In last Friday's post featuring artist-instructor Kerry Dunn, we explored some of the opportunities and challenges that an extensive color palette offers. On the flipside, Bulgarian-born painter Ignat Ignatov understands how an artist can benefit from the use of a limited palette. For a time Ignatov
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  • Kevin Macpherson is a renowned artist and instructor with 30 years of plein air painting experience. For newcomers, painting en plein air means literally, painting “in the open air,” and is the genre associated with painting outdoors. In 1996, Macpherson challenged himself to what I’d
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  • "Again and again I've taken quick glances and then for some reason I've got to sit before a picture waiting and it's opened up like one of those Japanese flowers that you put into water and something I thought wasn't worth more than
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  • Jeremiah by Michelangelo Buonarroti, Sistine Chapel, 1511. Rondanini Pieta by Michelangelo, 1564. I think the affinity that I have for art is definitely inborn. Art isn’t something I grew up with or was tutored in, so when I stumbled upon it on
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  • Glacier Over Lake Louise by Gil Dellinger, acrylic painting, 36 x 48. Almost all the painting I did in college was with acrylics, and most of the students I worked in class with did the same. Painting with acrylics was our best option because the paints
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  • I won't lie when I tell you that looking at artist sketchbooks is one of the things I love to do most. And I've found that the pages that I linger over are usually filled with landscape drawing sketches. It is like I can look at the drawing and
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  • Looking at San Francisco-based artist Tiffany Bozic’s acrylic painting work is a bit like falling down Alice’s rabbit hole: the natural world looks familiar but plays by its own set of rules. Bozic’s flora and fauna—birds of prey
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  • There is a lot we have to juggle in our lives. As I think I've told you before, I have a list to keep track of my to-do lists because there are so many little details swirling around in my head. I know it is pretty much the same for you. But I also
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  • Amy Mann converted the living room in her Virginia home into a studio with generous shelving for her still life props. I remember the first time an artist invited me into his studio. It was truly a reflection of his personality and experiences—full
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  • The centerpiece painting for my show "Venus Apocalypse" at Dacia Gallery this June is the eponymous painting shown here. This painting was the third in a set of Venuses. I shared about the first two, "Sleeping Venus" and "Venus
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  • The initial idea of this watercolor painting came to my mind when I was caught at the bus station waiting until a heavy rain was over. I took several photos on my cell phone while I was there. You can see how different are all these pictures are! The
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  • George Carlson and Boy with Eagle by David A. Leffel, 1991, oil, 42 x 34. I’ve always prided myself on learning good technique when faced with any new skill, and doing this has definitely made a difference. That goes for when I was learning to dance
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  • Tomie dePaola, beloved by children and their parents, talks with great good humor to another celebrated illustrator, Will Hillenbrand, in a freewheeling interview that spans dePaola's own childhood, his ties to theatre, and his time at Pratt. Tomie
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  • Plein air painting enthusiasts often talk about how different the painting experience is when you are painting outdoors , under the sun. There's a thrill that comes from the challenge of capturing the scene--a spontaneity that records an artist's
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  • There is nothing that defines an artist quite like his or her palette. Some consist of premixed colors and others are developed in the moment, determined by the needs of each painting. Some artists are meticulously organized, with paints arranged by color temperature, while other artists arrange colors
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  • What makes an object look three-dimensional in a painting or a drawing? We use a variety of cues to give us this information: light and shadow, contrast, pattern, color, texture, scale, temperature and value, usually in combinations. Our ability to measure
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  • I'm always surprised-and, okay, a little peeved-when my mention of an arts background is often met with a puzzled look followed by the somewhat skeptical question, "What do you do with that?" The truth is there's a lot to do with that, especially now-at a time when images are all around
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  • When I went away to college I took a token from each of my loved ones. There was a Frankie Laine CD from my dad, a grungy Pearl Jam T-shirt from my brother, and a charcoal portrait of my mom that was made on the boardwalk of Virginia Beach when she was
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  • When I'm hiking or walking on the beach, my attention span is really short. I flit from activity to activity, sight to sight, just trying to take it all in. That's why pastel painting is a perfect fit for me when I want to create art outdoors
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  • Storytelling often comes naturally to artists. Sometimes the story starts on a single canvas or sheet of paper and doesn’t end until there is a gallery full of paintings, a suite of drawings, a set of illustrations, a series of fantasy art comic strips, or an entire graphic novel. Certain subject
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  • Almost any artist will tell you that there's a certain appeal to working outdoors that can't be found anywhere else. With spring in full swing, many of us have left our studios for our porches, backyards, and beyond. To celebrate the season and all of the landscape art being made, here are 10
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  • I’ve spent way too much time in murky classrooms looking at slides, slides, and more slides. I’m convinced that the entire academic field of art history would grind to a halt without projectors, carousels, and slides. But what is weird about looking at so many images is that I find myself
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  • It feels right to talk about color and art during this time of the year, when flowers are blooming, trees are budding, and skies are (mostly) blue. After months of dull-colored scenery, everything seems to be flourishing wherever I look, which makes me
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  • When my Norwegian Artist, Steve Henderson, gives an oil painting workshop, one of his favorite aspects -- as well as that of his students -- is when participants bring in their artwork for Steve to look at and make comments about. "I could spend
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  • One of the best conversations I’ve had about art wasn’t with an artist. It wasn’t with an art historian, curator, or gallery owner, either. It was with a mechanical engineer. We went from discussing his latest design project to the artfulness of historical blueprints to Leonardo’s
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  • When I walk through a museum or gallery, there are certain paintings that I breeze past and others that always draw me in. Self-portraits definitely fall into the latter category. I’m always intrigued by how artists choose to represent themselves and perpetuate their own personal mythologies. True
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  • Taking private lessons to learn how to paint is a wonderful thing, but if you feel you cannot afford them, an art consultation , in which you show another artist, a dealer, or an art appraiser your work and ask for their opinion -- which you agree to
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  • The patterns of nature inspire our artwork. One of the most fascinating recent discoveries is the intimate relationship between the patterns found in nature's tiniest creations to the patterns found in her broadest, most sweeping productions. The
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  • Sounds mysterious and threatening, right? No worries! It's just that when Liz Haywood-Sullivan began to create pastel drawings, she was dismayed with the range of dark colors available. "Rich, dark pastels were hard to find," she says. "Most
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  • Friends and family are wonderful, but when it comes to getting an honest, straightforward statement from them about what your fine art oil painting really, really looks like -- well, they're just so incredibly . . . nice. And nice doesn't help
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  • The very idea of me creating a "masterpiece" is hilarious. I mean, I'm still trying to figure out how to paint! But the fact is that by learning oil-painting techniques and absorbing all of the information and advice from oil-painting artists
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  • For just a few seconds, I thought that watercolor painting pencils were some kind of April Fool's come lately prank. I mean, everything I think of and know about watercolor painting is that it is fluid and kind of uncontrollable. In a pencil, how
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  • The large snow storms that graced our area this winter gave us opportunities to study the unique light, colors and shadows that only snow cover provides. Painting snow presents many challenges to the plein air painter--the least of which is the cold.
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  • When Steve, the Norwegian Artist , was a young boy, his parents sought out a local artist in his town and arranged painting instruction lessons -- people do this all the time with the piano, and yet when it comes to art, it seems so . . . impossible.
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  • The Oil Paintings of Margaret Bowland I was first introduced to the paintings of Margaret Bowland in 2009, when one of her portrait paintings won the People's Choice Award in the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition at the Smithsonian National Portrait
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  • We are not alone as artists in our passion for gardens. We follow in the footsteps of several rather impressive artists throughout history. Our personal gardens are designed for plein air painting and inspire us in every season. But this year, we have
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  • You can go the less extreme route, of course, but there is something to be said about a studio painting session in which you don't pick up a brush. You don't make any sketches. You just observe. I find myself doing this again and again when I
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  • Last week we talked about parallel parking a car -- or in my case, not parallel parking the thing -- and how, if we don't know a specific skill, we can frequently compensate by doing things another way. It's not easy drawing the human figure accurately
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  • Especially since the mid-1800s, many artists have stressed color over other elements in painting. The Impressionists are notable examples. Monet, for instance, explored how to paint light and its effects on the colorful scenes he saw in his mind's
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  • Okay, I'm going to share with you my dirty little secret: I can't parallel park a car. Well, I can parallel park a car as long as I've got three blank spaces, in a pinch two, and it helps that I drive a Honda Fit. But for the most part I'm
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  • Let me first clarify that the watercolor painting technique of white-on-white isn't a highfalutin, conceptual idea of existentialism and the true meaning of art. No, it allows watercolor artists to achieve brilliant and bright shades of white and
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  • Arches, towers, bridges, and vaulted ceilings--I love all aspects of architecture and engineering, and it was through these things that I first started to appreciate plein air painting. Before, when I was trying to understand what plein air was all about
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  • Continuing the long line of intimists from Vermeer to Vuillard, Mark Karnes makes an alluring world out of the quietest aspects of his domestic life. Like all great painters of the near-at-hand, Karnes' work reminds us that beauty is to be found everywhere
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  • Every year, we invite pastel artists to enter their work into our annual Pastel 100 competition, now in its 14th year. And every year, we receive thousands of pastel paintings. I am always stunned by the fantastic variety of the work and the extraordinary
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  • Looking at Mark Messersmith's artwork is like being sucked into a kaleidoscope. The colors are bold, varied, and everywhere. It seems odd to say this. I mean, of course, there is color everywhere--it's a painting. But what stands out about Messersmith's
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  • Certainly, there are pitfalls to making paintings from photos . One problem occurs when an artist thinks that a photo is magic and that he or she can turn a photo into a painting with a snap of the fingers. It isn't that easy, of course. And even
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  • The last two centuries, in particular, witnessed the final great explorations of the surface of the planet by scientists, geographers, and surveyors. In those pre-photography days, and for a while after, artists were an integral part of any expedition
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  • When I say "the perfect blend," I feel a little bit like I am describing a gourmet coffee flavor, but there really is a perfect blend that exists in pastel painting. For me, the crème de la crème of pastel drawings combines a certain
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  • Interest in acrylic painting is skyrocketing. There is less and less of a bias against this medium as a newcomer, and more and more of an interest in the healthful qualities and vibrant colors acrylics have to offer. In our free eBook, Acrylic Painting
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  • Is color important in a work of art? Most would say a loud yes! However, look at the wonderful work of the great, late artist, Andrew Wyeth. His Dad, the famous illustrator N.C. Wyeth, was often telling Andrew that he needed to put more color in his paintings
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  • In the last article, I discussed my distressing and difficult sock project ( The Socks from Hell ), and how I didn't enjoy the process at all, and the best thing about the whole thing was when it was over and the socks were on my feet (which almost
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  • Sometimes I get list fever, and this is one of those days. I have made a grocery list, a list of gifts I need to buy, and a list of artists I want to look up. The only list I haven't made yet is my list of lists! But lists are great things, especially
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  • I was always taught that effective color mixing starts with discovering the tinting strength of each color on your palette. For me, that is the basis of understanding how to mix colors, because it tells me how they will react when combined. A Breath Away
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  • If I had a time machine and could travel back to learn how to oil paint from any artist in history, I would not spare a second thought setting the clock to circa 1895, smack dab in the middle of the era when Odilon Redon was refining his fine art oil
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  • Those of you who have read me for awhile know that I'm big on this patience thing, even though patience is the least of my virtues. Come to think of it, I'm not sure if it's on my list at all, but I keep working at it, and perseverance is
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  • Here's a sneak peek at a great upcoming watercolor blog by artist and instructor Robert Reynolds on the importance of color and how personal choosing pigments can be. And after you are done, be sure to check out the new book, Watercolor Unleashed
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  • Nature provides a constant source of creative inspiration to all of us. But to capture its spiritual essence, one must first discover one's own emotional connection to the subject. It's that special "something" that grows out of each
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  • Recently, we received a good question from a reader about how to paint one of our favorite landscape subjects--fog and mist. To understand how to paint light effects, it can be helpful to have a basic understanding of why things work the way they do.
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  • Here are 7 basic considerations to take into account when designing your composition for a drawing or painting, all having to do somewhat with the importance of shapes. 1. Be aware of static shapes; for example, the completely dark, opened doorway or
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  • When is blue not blue? Ask any Indigo Bunting and they will tell you, "When it is black!" This is because the feathers of the diminutive Indigo Bunting are not actually blue, they are black, and only appear blue to us when they are in direct
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  • In all the painting or drawing dabbling I've done, there is always a definitive moment that divides my experiences into "before" and "after." It's the moment I realize I don't have to worry about going back because every
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  • I had no idea that flipping eggs was such a seriously difficult thing to do. Our third daughter, Tired of Being Youngest, is in culinary school, and this quarter's project involves creating egg dishes of all sorts, with a major emphasis on being able
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  • It's not typical that an oil painting can stir up lots of contradictory emotions, but when I look at certain works it seems like the artist is able to capture not just one or two feelings but the whole emotional spectrum. When you see one of these
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  • I may have grabbed your attention at the risk of making you think I'm a big fat fibber, but I do think that when it comes to landscape painting, you sometimes have to lie--or at least exaggerate--to get what you want. This is based on personal experience
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  • "You know, it's not a sin to make mistakes, fail to succeed on the first (or 45th) try, or generally show that we're imperfect. The unspoken strictures that some businesses, churches, schools, other establishments place upon their members
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  • When it comes to being able to draw with a paintbrush, no one can touch Rembrandt. He was able to turn abstract brushstrokes into forms with texture, weight, and liveliness. He could turn two swipes of a painting brush loaded with white paint into the
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  • Have you ever noticed when you are plein air painting how the colors of objects look so radically different in the very low light just before dawn or twilight? Take a red rose, for instance. We know that the flower's petals are bright red against
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  • Going "no holds barred" sounds tough, and slightly scary, but I'm feeling particularly intense about not wasting time learning how to paint like I want to paint. The clock is ticking, but that really doesn't mean much. The clock is going
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  • With so much interest in plein air painting these days, it's easy to overlook how important drawing skills can be to the landscape painting artist. Fundamentally, drawing is both a way of seeing and a way of knowing a subject. If you can draw it,
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  • Why go to the trouble of painting from life when our cameras can take such great pictures? Digital cameras have gotten so good at taking properly exposed, beautiful photos that they can fool us into thinking that they are also accurate. To be sure, the
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  • I recently had an Emeril Lagasse moment--and it happened when I mixed pastels with water for the first time. Three Sunflowers on Blue by Jimmy Wright, pastel painting, 30 x 41. A while back, I confided that I wanted to start an earnest study and exploration
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  • I was in Florida a few weeks ago and felt so lucky to be in such a warm, sunny place that I don't think I spent a minute indoors. I was kayaking, mountain biking, walking on the beach, and swimming in the ocean. And again and again I would look around
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  • When I paint figures the work seems to matter more--I find that I'm more focused on the process than when I am just drawing fancifully from my head or creating a still life. And by "matter" I mean that the intensity is ratcheted up just
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  • I love my Honda Fit. And while that may seem to have nothing to do with art, actually, it does. You see, I drive my Honda Fit everywhere and in the process of its being used it gets dusty, the tires see wear, the interior windows next to where my Toddler
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  • I look at paintings a lot. It's what I do--my work and my personal interests overlap. So yes, me and painting? We're on very familiar terms. And sometimes that can breed a bit of contempt as the saying goes. Sometimes I can be disillusioned and
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  • "When someone tells you to 'get out of your comfort zone,' wait for it. It's highly likely that they're subtly or not-so-subtly nudging you into doing something that they know you don't want to do, but they need done." -
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  • It's a brand new year and I want to start it off with a bang! And the one thing that I can't get enough of is color. The color wheel holds such simple beauty and complex mysteries, from saturated primary colors to more involved color mixes, that
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  • As an artist, it's good to know how to critique yourself and your painting techniques -- and that's the key element: HOW to critique yourself. Stride into that studio of yours and take control of analyzing and critiquing your own work. Cadence
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  • It goes without saying that making art is not a creative process that only goes one way. No matter what cleaned-up biographies or histories I've read about great American painters or Old Masters, I know that there is no neat and straightforward path
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  • The Norwegian Artist and I walk 3-5 miles every day, broken up in two or three sessions. It gets the dog out, me off the chair in front of the computer, and the Norwegian from behind his oil painting easel. During the break, we propound to one another
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  • That sounds gross, but in the hands of contemporary painter Alex Kanevsky, it's not. As a classically trained artist, Kanevsky's painting techniques and skills are strong. But the way he chooses to paint--in patches and broad swaths that lend
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  • While it was a lousy summer for tomatoes, something in the air made the pumpkins and winter squash particularly prolific, and we find ourselves with a workshop full of the stuff. What we are convinced is a flood of trouble may actually be a sea of opportunity
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  • Like his father, our Son and Heir likes to bicycle around the countryside, and during the autumn he never returns without panniers full of wild apples, picked from abandoned fruit trees . An abundance of apples or a challenge to face in your art--both
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  • Another slice of my personal humble pie is the fact that I'm pretty bad at math in general and downright horrible at geometry in particular. You'd never ever find me trying to use these skills when making art--or so I thought. But when I was gleaning
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  • Never mind that "the frenzies" is not technically a real medical condition. What I mean is that during the holidays, I feel like we can all get a bit frenzied. There are parties to attend and host, events to go to, cards to send, gifts to wrap
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  • Our youngest daughter, Tired of Being Youngest, recently started culinary school, which means that we're eating a lot better these days. It's not so much that she's doing a lot of experimenting on us -- most nights she's home late and
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  • Ever wondered where Da Vinci found the time to create all his masterpieces? Alongside his fine art painting he managed to dabble as a scientist, geologist, architect, mathematician, engineer, and anatomist with a bit of aeronautical design thrown in for
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  • I respect Steve Wilda's approach to still life painting because he depicts objects that most people would pass by. Torn lace tablecloths, broken mugs, rusted out pots—the items that Wilda depicts aren't refined, yet the still life paintings
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  • Around this time of year we are inundated with wintry scenes and beautiful snowy landscapes--on greeting cards, products, advertisements, calendars and more. But these winter landscapes aren't necessarily all created equal, and the same goes for the
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  • You’re in a beautiful plein air painting location, you whip out your camera and take photograph after photograph – it's essential to have lots of references for landscape painting, you know. Then you dig out your sketchbook, pencils, and
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  • A few weeks ago I attended a young artist's solo exhibition. Although he was technically skilled, the subject matter (mostly oil portraits with the models nude or semi-nude) didn't really inspire me. So why am I still thinking about his work-
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  • How does brush sizing work and where do you start? Have you every ordered some new brushes online, feeling pretty confident they'll be the perfect size for your latest oil on canvas creation? After all you spent all afternoon researching them. Only
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  • That was my first thought when I started to explore acrylic painting. The paints would dry so fast and it drove me crazy because I couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong. Looking back, I realize how many acrylic painting techniques I still had
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  • Uh, I think I may have stumbled into an artist's dream! The Artist's Network Annual Holiday Sweepstakes is going on right now, offering awesome art prizes from the best painting and drawing product makers and service providers around. Rosemary
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  • How to let go of small brush addiction so your paintings can move on to become more gestural If you lost all of your brushes, which one would you miss the most? For me, it's a 12 year old Filbert bristle brush that has lost its shape, has unruly hairs
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  • Artists who step outside their studios take a leap of faith. When you determine that you are ready to create a plein air painting , you take a chance with lighting, composition, color, and time. All of these are variables that you need to contend with
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  • My dad is a little manic about asking our family to get our holiday wish lists to him waaaaaaay before he has to fight the crowds and wait in long lines. As usual, I'm procrastinating, but if I were to give him my art wish list, I could have it ready
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  • How many of us have started a work of art full of enthusiasm and excitement, only to wind up disappointed with an unfinished oil painting or watercolor sketch and you are left with no idea why? While there are many reasons for these false starts, they
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  • I'm a water person. I love boating, swimming, scuba diving, and just looking at the ever-changing surface of nearby waterways. And I'm not alone. American artists--and those abroad--have been enamored with so many beautiful bodies of water over
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  • Zooming in and out of the Canadian North like a hummingbird on a flower, my mouse was beginning to heat up. An armchair explorer’s best friend, Google Earth was helping me understand the massive scale of the Arctic ( here's my video all about
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  • We travel frequently to paint en plein air in new locations and sometimes teach workshops in those new environments as well. One of our favorite locations is northern New Mexico--the Abiquiu and Ghost Ranch area. Each day while we are there, we plan our
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  • Granted, this story gets a lot less steamy when I tell you that I'm torn between the work of two oil painting artists, Adolph Menzel and Jonas Lie. I've studied the work of both of these artists on my own for quite a while, trying to puzzle out
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  • "If you could get inside the heads of the people around you, you'd probably be surprised at how unsure and unconfident they feel. It's likely that they'd feel the same about you. We're pretty good at hiding our true thoughts; it's
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  • Perhaps the toughest skill that the artist painting outside must learn is the ability to judge values accurately, and then mix them in paint. The reason that this skill requires so much practice to get right is because our eyes and brains are constantly
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  • I hesitate to admit that some of my education these days is derived from Facebook, thanks to those seemingly endless placards with quotes that people are always posting: "I think it's weird how some days I feel skinny and some days I feel like
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  • What is success? Be honest with yourself. Do you truly believe that a successful person is defined by the car he drives, the title after her name, or their number of Twitter followers? Life is bigger, wider, deeper than what you can fit into a shoebox
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  • When I met a woman who told me about the best watercolor painting instructor she'd ever had, I had to know more. There are so many artists out there whose work is compelling but that doesn't always make them good teachers. I had to know what put
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  • Those of us in the fine art industry know that artists and art galleries have had a long-standing love/hate relationship. Artists love the fact that galleries market and sell works of art, but they hate the fact that the better galleries keep 40% or 50
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  • "Frustration isn't always such a bad thing. It's a sign that you're trying something new, different, or outside your level of familiarity, and in working your way through it (and you will) you conquer this challenge and move on to the
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  • The loss of an artist and teacher from childhood has caused me to reflect upon not only her life and work, but also those lessons that she taught me. The myriad distractions of daily life, from the constant need to earn money for survival to the many
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  • Note that I said learned—because I did not particularly care for or respond to Gauguin's oil painting Fatata Te Miti when I first saw it. I thought there was too much going on and the colors were too aggressive. It made me anxious and uneasy
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  • A few posts ago I wrote about how introverts are normal people (gasp!) and introduced you to Susan Cain's warm and informative book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking . I wanted to revisit it to talk about Deliberate
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  • I'm so excited to tell you about the opening night for the Contemporary American Realism exhibit at the Beijing World Art Museum . We were all blown away by the scale of the presentation, the press core, the ceremony, and the huge crowd. This has
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  • Of course there are more than three painting techniques that will allow you to create a compelling artwork, but learning how to paint a picture well can certainly start with these elements. Rhythm. Painting objects that actually look alive, in the case
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  • When walking through a landscape looking for that magical spot that compels you to stop to sketch or put up your plein air easel, don't forget to look behind you (and not for muggers, but the view!). Stop regularly, turn around and consider the view
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  • Yes, you read that right! I've heard of extreme sports and extreme makeovers, but extreme outdoor painting ? This is a first for me. But when plein air artist Cory Trepanier told me that he had made a trek to paint the far reaches of the Canadian
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  • Most artists tend to be dreamers, myself included. In 2006, with just my passion for painting the wilderness, I began to let my mind wander in and around the idea of painting places I'd only dreamed about--incredibly wild and remote landscapes. Places
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  • When it comes to certain creative sensibilities--awareness of color, editing a concept--I trust my judgment. I think I have pretty good instincts--maybe not in the execution of said sensibilities in an oil painting I paint myself, but I know good color
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  • Do you remember my post on the insanity and sheer wrongness surrounding the fact that the Chinese people have never seen contemporary American paintings before? Well, we are doing something about it with the opening of the historic exhibit, "Contemporary
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  • I've been reading Susan Cain's Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking , and if you're an artist, and you're kind of quiet, and you think that you're a misanthropic hermit because you enjoy fine art painting
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  • Even writing the words "Top 10 Painters of All Time" makes me cringe a little bit because...really? Really? I find it a herculean task to narrow a list down to the best 100 oil painting artists of all time, let alone just ten. But in the spirit
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  • In plein air we attempt a form of direct translation. In the studio, we may recall our observations of nature, but are freer to be inventive with color. Night Passage by Mitchell Albala, 2006, oil painting on panel, 20 x 20. It's September and the
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  • Painting is an act of creativity and intention, but it sometimes, many times, includes acts of destruction large and small. It may be that the one skill that separates the dedicated professional artist from the amateur is the willingness to destroy, obliterate
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  • When it comes to putting additives into your paints, it just isn't the same as eating a Twinkie or bag of Doritos. Additives are necessary in some cases, especially for landscape artists who work with varying conditions when painting outdoors . They
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  • Sketching is information gathering and painting is translating the information. That's where I've ended up after pondering one particular comment made in response to my Wimping Out of Plein Air Painting post: "even if you are doing a plein
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  • It is just reality that certain painting techniques and tools will get more of your attention than others as you develop your artistic interests and style. But knowing how to paint the way you want to paint should still leave room for new things, too
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  • There's a lot of work to getting an artist website up and running , and once it's done, take some time to pat yourself on the back and indulge in a flavored coffee with lots of whipped cream. But after you're done, it's time to wash the
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  • Human figure painting, particularly painting skin, is the height of artistic prowess for me. I'll know I've made significant strides as a painter when I can recreate the opalescent glowing surface of skin. But I have a strong handicap to overcome
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  • It's no wonder artists are starving. People want their art for free. This morning I received yet another plea from a charitable agency, offering us the opportunity to support their ongoing mission by promoting Steve Henderson's oil paintings.
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  • I don't get to attend as many oil painting art workshops as I would like, so when the opportunity to participate in one does present itself, I really want to get the most out of my time there. Here are a few of my own "warm-up to workshop"
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  • Because the eye and the brain are constantly adjusting to the changing hues and values of sunlight and shadows when painting outdoors , it can be difficult to see those changes as they happen to our subject. If one is unaware that the original light has
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  • Because learning about color complements on the color wheel is often one of the first lessons we are taught in art class, complementary color paintings--those contrasting blue and orange, yellow and violet, and red and green--are often thought of as for
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  • "I often think that the night is more alive and more richly colored than the day." --Vincent Van Gogh Moonrise Road by John Hulsey, plein air painting. Plein air painting at night in bright moonlight is great fun and a wonderful learning experience
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  • My kids accuse me of saying obvious things, along the lines of, "The car won't get you there if you don't put gas in it," or "Your clothes won't be ready to wear tomorrow if you keep them in the washing machine." But I
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  • For those who are painting with acrylics , this can be a big issue if only because you are constantly dealing with the consequences or benefits of your decision to work with jar color or paint from tubes. What I have gathered from my acrylic painting
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  • I was in the studio of my oil painting artist friend the other day and she had a really sizeable bucket filled with oil paint tubes sitting beside her palette. Some of the tubes were so squeezed out and folded up that I wondered if there was anything
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  • I am rolling my eyes with embarrassment when I tell you that when I first saw watercolor paintings with wide expanses of color I assumed that these were applied and then wiped out and smoothed over after they were laid down. I had no idea that there were
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  • I was reminded that art grows in the most unlikely places and conditions when I recently heard about the art scene that is showing distinct signs of life in Fayette County, Georgia. Wildlife watercolorist Dylan Scott Pierce teaches students about layering
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  • We enjoyed the recent plein air blog of artist Marion Boddy-Evans and agree with her sentiments. We have been outdoor painting for over forty years each (before the "plein air" phrase became ubiquitous) and have always felt that the value in
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  • First and foremost, a website is an online portfolio of you, your background, and your fine art painting or other artwork. Years ago, artists spent copious time and bundles of money making slides of their work and 8 x 10 prints that they tucked into a
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  • Almost every artist I know who depicts people or creates portraits has spent time painting from photographs or drawing from them. It may not be how they develop a work foremost, but it is a useful method, especially when you want to capture a likeness
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  • The influential art critic Clement Greenberg (1909-1994) often cited the derisive term kitsch to critique artwork that, in his mind, failed to live up to the tenets of the modernist movement. His theories privileged formalist nonobjective abstraction
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  • I don't believe that gallery representation defines an artist or even makes one a professional, but if you are interested in pursuing that kind of relationship with a gallery there are a few tips to keep in mind. Make a solid connection. All the artists
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  • This is another complicated charcoal drawing, one done by an artist completing her first level of study at Studio Incamminati. I have shown it in three stages, ranging from the beginning of the drawing process to the end. The light is from the front right
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  • Get a website. If you're not a tech genius, you can still do this because there are numerous options. Some are free; some are not. Realistically speaking, the free ones severely limit what you can do and you'll find yourself outgrowing them in
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  • I don't mean to be an alarmist, but there are certain habits that artists develop when oil painting that can be detrimental to the larger arc of their professional progress. None of us intend to pick up bad practices but routine and absentmindedness
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  • There are people who can sleep anywhere--in a car, on a couch, even standing up. I'm not one of those people. And it is the same for when I find the time to make art--I can't just plop down and do it anywhere. It doesn't feel right, and I
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  • Greetings everyone, Hello from Incamminati in the fine city of Philadelphia! A few days ago marked the fourth day of the Intensive Workshop being led by oil painter Lea Colie Wight , one of the senior Incamminati instructors, and a rising star in the
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  • It's not an unreal aspiration to make money by selling your oil painting artwork or watercolors, but it will take a significant amount of work in two areas: 1) Your art. While it is possible to make money off of art that isn't particularly good
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  • Jeffrey Watts: Weekend with the Masters art instructor Jeffrey R. Watts is a southern California native. Growing up in rural San Diego county with an artist father, Watts demonstrated an early aptitude for the visual arts. After an injury cut short his
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  • Jennifer McChristian: Weekend with the Masters art instructor Jennifer McChristian was born and raised in Montreal, Canada. In 1986 she and her family took permanent residence in Los Angeles. In 1990 she earned a B.F.A with honors from Otis Parsons Art
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  • Michael Klein: Weekend with the Masters art instructor Karina's Rose by Michael Klein, oil painting. Michael Klein is a young artist in the NovoRealist movement (new realism), creating melancholic oil painting art that has a distinct and haunting
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  • Ken Backhaus: Weekend with the Masters art instructor Kenn Backhaus was born in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, and spent much of his childhood on the family farm near Burnett, Wisconsin. His fondness for nature became the catalyst for his art. Backhaus' parents
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  • Ken Auster: Weekend with the Masters Instructor Clearing Skies by Ken Auster, oil painting. Ken Auster grew up with his feet deeply implanted in the sands of Southern California beaches. Caught up in the surfing culture of the 1960s, Auster ate, slept
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  • Whenever I end up in a conversation where other artists start talking about the kit they take with them when plein air painting --and it often starts with what plein air easel is the best--I tend to keep quiet. Very quiet. A page from my sketchbook when
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  • The influx of artistic institutions moving into the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City continues with the Michael Rosenfeld Gallery prepared to make the leap. After showcasing groundbreaking oil painting work and other art pieces for the past 23 years
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  • "Am I a Real Artist?" This question is slightly different from last week's question , in which nuclear physicists and non-nuclear physicists ask if they are artists--the addition of the word "real" adds new dimension, along the
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  • The light of summer is a powerful and extreme thing. Getting effects of extreme darks and stark, searing lights is not something every painter can do. There's an acuteness of vision that must come into play to see the color that resides in the light
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  • The winners of our Self-Portrait Cover Competition are featured in the September issue of American Artist, and they share advice about how to paint the figure and how to maintain a successful painting practice. When we asked David Tanner, the winner of
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  • In this extra-length special issue, American Artist takes you through the business of being an artist, including advice for securing commissions and information on how you can use the internet to reach your professional goals. We also visit master workshops from artists such as Bo Bartlett and Donald
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  • Topics and ideas that tend to strike a chord and spark debate are often that way because they are so subjective. In art, color is definitely one of those sensitive subjects because no two people see a color in exactly the same way, nor do painters always
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  • Plein air artists are the first to tell you that you can go back to the same site over and over again during different times of day and it is like being in a whole other place. Light does that! It can turn a bright and sunny scene into a murky and mysterious
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  • I've always wondered how an artist decides how to paint the background of an artwork. Did Sargent--who painted everything, even air, with volume and texture--employ certain painting techniques for this section of his works? Are there actual painting
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  • I've always been fascinated by artists who live during incredibly polarizing times, but somehow still seem to go their own way. Elmer Bischoff--ever heard of this oil painting artist? He stands out as an artist in the aftermath of World War II when
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  • I chatted with a watercolor painting workshop student the other day who sighed, "I'm not a real artist. I probably never will be." "Why?" I asked. "First, because I'm still taking painting workshops and learning. Second
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  • Abstraction is a key part of how you paint or draw anything. It is seeing completely with the eye, and not allowing the brain to contextualize what we are seeing. But turning off the brain is no small task! I've found that painting with acrylics has
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  • Being outdoors revitalizes us in a number of ways. You can relax and laze away the day in the shade, climb the tallest peak in sight, or be awe-inspired by the waterways around you. Of late, I am definitely in the latter camp. A good friend of mine has
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  • When I discovered grisaille oil painting I thought I'd gone to heaven. Learning how to oil paint is a lot of fun, but it is also just a lot . There is so much to deal with--getting your forms right, steering toward an interesting composition, brushwork
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  • Some artists make a big deal out of being self taught, but truth of the matter is, all artists are self taught. The difference between the two is encapsulated in two questions: Are you learning oil painting for example only from yourself, just from what
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  • When you can do something well, it can be difficult to set it aside or modify that skill for the good of your art. John Evans is an American artist who admits to battling the tendency to overwork his oil paintings, sliding between depiction and evocation
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  • What was that beautiful work I saw at the Met? Which room was Sargent's portrait painting , Madame X , in? I loved that Renoir but didn't have time to go back and spend a little more time with that work and that work alone. How do I answer these
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  • When plein air painting , one of the most enjoyable and facile medias I've found to work with has to be watercolors. Hands down. The supplies are minimal, you can paint quickly and move from place to place making sketches of what catches your interest
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  • In any painting, the biggest expenditure for the artist is the frame that goes around the finished piece. If it's a watercolor painting, there's the matting, the glazing, and the frame holding it all together; for the oil on canvas or acrylic
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  • I'm not blessed at this point in my life to have children, but if I did you can bet I'd be one of those mothers who want portrait paintings of her children at every stage of their lives. Even better, I could learn how to paint children like artist
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  • I love Masterpiece Theater on PBS. Recently the movie Birdsong aired--a love story about a soldier on the battlefield of World War I and the lover he left behind. Claude Renoir Writing by Pierre Auguste Renoir, lithograph, 1902/3. There was a scene from
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  • If you do not have an official, proper, "real" painting studio, don't feel bad. Your studio can be in a corner of your dining room. Many people's are. Or it can be a section of the garage where you make your oil painting art ; a spare
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  • It Kinda Draws the Eye In by Matt Tucker, 2011, graphite and white charcoal, 7½ x 14. The spring issue of Drawing is now available, and it's full of resources for artists, especially if you are into figure drawing or figure painting. Here's
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  • And what do they all have in common? They are all done with acrylic painting techniques . Peter Drake's Mother W/Out is an unusual but fairly uncomplicated composition that makes the viewer question if the figure is real or a figment. The way the
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  • I now have my own range of watercolor painting brushes and while going through the process of choosing their design, fond memories came flooding back to me from my time living and studying art in China. There I was fortunate enough to meet a wonderful
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  • I acknowledge that there is a lot about the color wheel and mixing colors that I don't know. But one thing I do know is that there's more to art than color schemes and memorizing a color mixing chart. Andrew by Fred Hatt, drawing with aquarelle
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  • I feel so inundated with ideas from every single photo reference around me right now. Sometimes I am super inspired by them, but sometimes they make me want to put my paintbrush down because I get so overwhelmed by all the ways I can start painting from
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  • You don't have to think terribly hard to figure out that the painting genre that has all of these characteristics in common is floral painting . It is a practice that has inspired artists to create beautiful, graceful paintings for centuries, but
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  • I work with knitters, and a student recently told me, "I don't like the way my stuff turns out." When I asked her what kind of yarn she used, she replied, "Oh, I just picked up something cheap. I didn't want to spend money on something
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  • Recently we added an informative article to the members' area of The Artist's Road called "Understanding Light in the Landscape: The Carlson Theory of Angles." It gives the student a crucial tool to make sense of the confusing array
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  • Earlier this week I was lucky enough to attend the opening of Jason Bard Yarmosky's solo show "Elder Kinder" at Lyons Wier Gallery, in New York City. It's a terrific painting exhibition, and it got me thinking about how an artist can
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  • In this issue of American Artist, we look at both the plein air and figurative work of the California art scene. Articles feature the upcoming “On Location in Malibu” exhibition, the philosophies and artwork of NovoRealism, Weekend With the Masters instructor Jennifer McChristian, and the
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  • I've come to realize that that old saying "It's not always what you know, but who you know," is spot on. Even at American Artist magazine . Luckily, "we" know a lot of people, and as a result we have remarkable access to some
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  • I've heard of painting for yourself, for school, for work, but painting for the trash can?! Artist and watercolor painting instructor Jean Haines explains why working this way isn't rubbish at all. Enjoy! The aim of being an artist is to create
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  • In their day, the Hudson River School landscape artists were so popular with the public that people would line up and pay a fair amount of money just to view a single painting. Our plein air blogger Jennifer King shares her insights on why the works of
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  • Short of lobotomy, we will always have the equivalent of mental trails that our brains follow when we are painting. Artists develop these based on painting techniques that they've learned along the way, or they can be expressions of inherent ideas
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  • Landscape values are easier to understand when viewed as falling into four major divisions or zones. Reading values in landscapes is somewhat different from reading values in other subjects. All subjects have a light source, but the source in a landscape
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  • Different people attend painting workshops with varying expectations, but the ones who get the most out of the experience are those who recognize that workshops are not: A workshop gives you the opportunity to start at one point in your artistic journey
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  • I started off seeing skin tones in a closed off way, not really pushing to find the dimension and depth right in front of me. I almost felt I was still pulling a Crayon out of the box to color a figure's form from head to toe like I did in childhood
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  • One of the major challenges of painting outdoors is the need to gather enough visual information about our subject in a brief moment of perfect light. In rushing to capture the light in nature, it is easy to lose those subtle details and tonal changes
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  • Whether or not you like to be around a lot of people is one thought to consider when you choose the right workshop for you. Descent into Bryce by Steve Henderson, 18 x 18, oil painting, also available as a limited edition signed print . Let's assume
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  • Losing a painting somewhere is never fun, but losing a good painting can drive one to temporary distraction. While teaching our plein air painting workshop in Rocky Mountain National Park last September, I was demonstrating the direct-painting method
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  • Painting is a deep and vast ocean. It is a world full of possibilities. And while I am deeply drawn to that wide-open aspect of it, I'm also super intimidated by it too! I feel like there is no limit to what I can learn, and while I'm thirsty
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  • Not if artist Claudia Seymour has anything to say about it. This year I had the pleasure of meeting Seymour at the Salmagundi Club in New York City to create two three-hour DVDs with her, including this year's The Art of Painting Flowers in Oil .
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  • Portrait painting is serious business. Truly, there is a lot at stake for the many professional portrait artists out there who paint dignitaries, presidents, and the like. But portraiture can also be incredibly fun! A show I recently saw at Elisa Contemporary
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  • A willingness to experiment with perspective and style is often the determining factor between a competent artist and a master. A new exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art , "Van Gogh Up Close," takes a compelling look at the choices
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  • In our new special issue, American Artist guides you through the most important aspects of the painting process, from selecting your materials to preparing a canvas to advanced techniques for accurately depicting landscapes and figures.
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  • On Location with Michael Stasinos and Mitchell Albala It never ceases to amaze me how unique each painter's vision can be—in everything from the subjects they choose to the color choices they make or the type of painterly handwriting they use
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  • While I was working recently on American Artist's new special issue, The Complete Painter's Handbook ( order now! ), I had a little debate with myself. The question at hand: If you are working to learn how to paint, is it better to focus on following
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  • I am not a finicky person, so getting my hands dirty to get a job done is totally fine with me. But with painting, I can get so uptight and hesitant that the physical joy of it all goes right out the window. I'm trying to be better about what I'm
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  • Below you'll find artist and blogger Jennifer King's discussion of when a plein air painting can be too real. I don't think she's being harsh at all, but you'll have to decide for yourself. Enjoy! ***** I think it's time for some
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  • We have always felt that as plein air painters we are observers of the landscape—recording moments and places that can rapidly transform with fleeting changes of light. In a pure landscape, figures and animals are rendered small and insignificant
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  • Portraiture is, in my humble opinion, the domain of artistic masters. All the greats, such as Velazquez, Rembrandt, Goya, and Sargent, can be counted as incredibly skilled and innovative portrait artists in addition to being pretty brilliant at everything
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  • I don't care how many times I see Monet's paintings, they never cease to inspire me. I just had the great pleasure of seeing the new Monet show at the Cincinnati Art Museum with my art buddies, and especially for those of us plein-air artists
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  • The Water Lily Pond by Claude Monet, oil painting, 1899. Mitchell Albala is an inspiring art instructor in the field of landscape painting , and it turns out he's an awesome detective as well. Recently, he did some sleuthing on a rare video clip of
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  • The SourceTek cover art competition opened March 1. It's always an exciting prospect to have your work seen by artists whom you respect and admire. SourceTek, maker of canvas panels, plein air panels and more, certainly agrees. For fourteen years
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  • Sometimes the question shouldn't be what to paint as much as how to paint. There are centuries' worth of artists who fill art history textbooks, but those who stand heads and shoulders above the rest do so because they turned their painting art
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  • There are differing opinions among color theory purists whether white should be considered a color at all, since it represents the absence of hue or chroma, and cannot be made from the three primaries, as black theoretically can be. It's not usually
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  • Artist Daily Member Spotlight: Steve Henderson Summer Breeze by Steve Henderson, oil on canvas, 24 x 24. Artist Daily: Tell me about your oil painting process . Are there rules you adhere to or just the opposite? Steve Henderson: Although I do follow
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  • Call it the blues, call it the doldrums, call it what you will--it seems that many of us plein-air painters go through a slump about this time of year. Even if the weather is good enough for painting outdoors, nature isn't always at her finest when
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  • Inkhead , 2009, oil on canvas, 29 x 16. Dorothy , 2010, oil on canvas, 14 x 14. Anakin Padawan , 2009, oil on canvas, 44 x 28. I have been blogging this past year about preparing for my exhibit, "Myths and Individuals." Now, it's time for
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  • At least I feel that way. I set myself a goal this week—I wanted to learn a few new watercolor painting techniques because I feel like when I contemplate working in watercolor, I only know the "first gear" approaches. I feel like Tim Saternow
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  • The aim of being an artist is the ability to create. But with this desire of wishing to constantly achieve wonderful paintings that can be framed or exhibited comes an enormous amount of pressure on our shoulders. We expect to always succeed in our goal
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  • Have you ever been looking for a new place to live, visiting different apartments or houses, and every time you experience a new reaction to a place and its spaces? It always happens to me. Either I love the architecture and light in this one, or the
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  • Intimate Gathering by Russell Irwin, 2002, acrylic and torn paper on board, 48 x 60. When I was flipping through the American Artist magazine archives for mixed media art inspiration, I was prepared to do some pretty extensive digging. I assumed that
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  • If there were any artist, past or present, into whose studio I could magically transport myself and observe him paint, it would be Claude Monet. I have always been intrigued by his painting style, especially his highly textured and complex surfaces. When
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  • Elton , 11 x 14, mixed media on gesso board, 2011. Yesterday was an interesting day for me. I thought I was near finished with a painting I had been working on for over three months, but when I sent it over to my agent in New York, who I call my third
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  • A painting brush isn't animate. It isn't going to teach me how to paint or go about painting art when no one is looking. It needs the hand of the artist to do its job. Penitent Mary Magdalene by Titian, 1560s, oil on canvas. But one thing a brush—by
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  • I know it is only January, but I'm already thinking spring! And so is the Pantone Color Institute . The organization has just released their seasonal color report, and while this is specifically written for the fashion and design industry, we art
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  • When I asked friends and colleagues about landscape painting artists with the best use of color, the conversation got downright heated. Mostly because there's so much to consider when you look at each individual artist's color "theory"
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  • Spring in the Hills II by John Hulsey, 5 x 7, oil painting. Whenever we get to feeling that there is nothing really new to be discovered in art or the world, we have to keep in mind that the "undiscovered country" often lies in our own backyards
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  • Eva Mullarky by Kristin Künc, oil on linen, 9 x 13, 2011. I can be a really hard sell when it comes to portraiture because from a beginner painter's perspective, I'm not always sure how to get the most out of a portrait painting session.
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  • Venus Awakes by Patricia Watwood, 2011, oil on canvas, 38 x 34. Karen in White by Paul McCormack, oil on canvas, 40 x 29. Enigma (Self-Portrait) by David Leffel, 2009, oil on canvas, 52 x 34. On Sunday, January 22 nd , the ACOPAL group will celebrate
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  • Astor Place by Emily Falco, watercolor painting, 14 1/2 x 14 1/2, 2009. It warms my heart when I hear artists expressing excitement about their chosen painting medium because artists are the ones in the business of knowing all the ins and outs of their
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  • Leah by Patricia Watwood, pencil on toned paper, 18 x 14, 2011. I have just finished two big projects. Foremost, my show Myths and Individuals opened at the end of October at Saint Louis University Museum of Art. In two months the show will open for it's
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  • Don't give up your plein air focus over the winter months. Try to paint from life indoors and keep sketching. ( Melting Snow by Ben Fenske, 60 x 75, oil on canvas.) For some of us, winter weather is just a bit too unpredictable and chilly to spend
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  • Precious by Russell Irwin, paper mosaic. Okay, that might have been a little too Gollum from Lord of the Rings , but Russell Irwin's latest mixed media collage titled Precious is certainly mesmerizing because of the unusual creative process that goes
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  • We spent a lot of painting time along the cliffs outside San Juan. Painting can be a pretty isolating affair, and though I love the alone time spent with my muse, I miss the collective energy that working in a group of like-minded colleagues provides
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  • The botanical gardens in Washington, DC, near the Capitol. When I'm visiting family in Virginia during winter, I always make a point to walk through the botanical gardens near the Capitol in Washington, DC. It is one of my favorite places, and the
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  • Watercolor artist Thomas Schaller achieves convincing and dynamic effects in his skies ( Salisbury Cathedral , watercolor painting). I know it is a bias, but sometimes I can't help thinking that painting skies belongs to a particular realm of watercolor
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  • Turquoise Sky 3 , acrylic on panel, 5 x 5. All works by Lisa Snow Lady. I give a lot of credit to professional and semi-professional artists who seek out ongoing training or the advice of peers, even after their initial successes. I firmly believe that
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  • Grisaille copy of Jacques-Louis David's Patroclus , oil on linen, 48 x 78. At this time of year, we all travel so much that it can be a real challenge to figure out how to bring our painting supplies with us when we visit family and friends. Whether
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  • In the December/January issue of American Artist magazine, the editors and staff put out feelers throughout the art community to find artists who are established or up and coming, and deserve recognition. They had limited space in the print issue, so
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  • The Honorable Clarence Harmon, Mayor of St. Louis by Patricia Watwood, oil on canvas, 24 x 18, oval, 2002. Collection of St. Louis City Hall. Someone recently asked me what I did to get recognized and become part of the art scene in my hometown of St
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  • Ariadne by Janet Rogers, watercolor painting. Since coming to Artist Daily, my parents are both super supportive of me and our web community. My mom does her best to get everyone she knows to join us at Artist Daily, and my dad buys me art supplies in
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  • T o Be Where There's Life by Ryan Coleman, oil on canvas, 30 x 40, 2010. The coolest thing I ever learned about painting flowers , specifically how to paint a rose, was when a painting teacher told me that you paint them by not painting them. Back
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  • This short video is excerpted from a demonstration I gave at my annual plein air painting workshop in Skagit Valley, Washington. ( Gage Academy of Art , July, 2010.) The video talks about painting strategies in general and gives specific examples of the
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  • Upper Ridge at Dusk , 2011, oil on panel, 18 x 18 . Mt. Shuksan in Sunlight , 2010, oil on panel, 12 x 12. At my April 2011 exhibition at Lisa Harris Gallery, I gave an hour-long presentation on my "In Sunlight" series. This was a special opportunity
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  • Sonata of the Sea--Finale by Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis, 1908. One of my favorite movements in art is the Symbolist movement of the late 19 th and early 20 th centuries. The artists were so free in exploring what mattered to them—personal
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  • The Coming Storm by George Inness, 1879, oil on canvas, 27 1/4 x 41 3/4. Are you as bored of pretty outdoor painting scenes as I am? My eyes just seem to glaze over when I see a plein air painting scene with picture perfect sunlight over an idyllic landscape
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  • My family and I at my opening. Cute bunch, right? The show included works from the last 10 years. I know it's been a while since I've written. Let's see--the last time was just when I got back from my summer vacation. And now it's....November
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  • Lake Tahoe by Albert Bierstadt, 1868. In their day, the Hudson River School landscape painters were so popular with the public that people would line up and pay a fair amount of money just to view a single painting. So I think it's safe to say that
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  • Train Tracks by Valerio D'Ospina, 2011, oil on melamined MDF, 30 x 24. Some artists such as Jackson Pollock discover and use their own visual language to communicate with the world, and this singular voice takes them through an entire career of putting
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  • Lee's Ranch - Sunny Day by Camille Przewodek, 9 x 12, oil on canvas. Even now it sounds like a beautiful, incredible, impossible thing to accomplish. I mean, paint light ? It seemed like magic to me at first. And I didn't understand what it all
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  • Portrait of Queen Elizabeth I by Nicholas Hilliard (attributed), 1585. I can only imagine the excitement and thrill of sitting for any one of the great portrait painters in history such as Bronzino, Velazquez, and Sargent. But then my mind goes directly
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  • Optimal Orientation of Subject and Artist in Plein Air Before the first daub of paint is squeezed out of the tube and brush is put to canvas, many plein air painters have already set themselves up for failure. How? By selecting a site that doesn't
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  • This is one of the artist's more traditional pieces in terms of his painting process. ( Raspberry House by Jamie Wyeth, 1988, watercolor, 22 1/2 x 28 1/2.) Watercolor is one of those wondrous materials that can be manipulated in so many different
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  • Demonstration: Exploring Composition Through a Limited Focus A "limited focus" isn't limiting at all, but expands our options in composition The first compositional move any painter makes is to apply a limited focus. Whether it be a still
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  • When discussing landscape painting , we often hear the phrase "capturing a sense of place." What does that mean to you? To me, it means so much more than just recording the physical attributes of the location. It goes way beyond suggesting the
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  • Anselm Kiefer is not a landscape painter by any stretch of the imagination, and yet his incredibly powerful work is based in and of the land. Observing his mixed media paintings and sculpture has taught me a lot about what a truly impactful landscape
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  • But that is exactly what makes them so powerful. I've never been more moved by seeing a work in person than I am when I see Kiefer's. They floor me. As I said in my other post on Kiefer , it certainly has to do, in part, with the fact that his
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  • Breaking the Light by Don Demers, 24 x 36, oil painting. Don Demers knows that inspiration is always there if you know how to look for it, but he's also nobody's fool—he understands that to create a breathtaking and moving painting you sometimes
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  • Under the Awning by Joaquin Sorolla, oil painting, 1910. "There is nothing truer than truth. All the mistakes committed by great artists are due to their having separated themselves from truth, believing that their imagination is stronger...There
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  • Ernest Lawson (1873 - 1939) came to maturity at the dawn of the 20th century, so his work was modern and gritty and real. His are not the idyllic landscape paintings of Corot , nor are they the dazzling light shows in Monet's plein air paintings
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  • Study for Gapstow Bridge in Sunlight by Bennett Vadnais, oil on canvas, 12 x 16, 2007. Fall is my favorite time of year. It's my birthday season, so of course I'm partial, but I also just love the smell of autumn. It's crisp and clean, and
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  • The last two editions of Plein Air Painting were a huge success—they flew off the shelves—and now the newest edition of the beloved magazine is back with even more on-site landscape painting instruction, handpicked by the trusted editors at American Artist, introducing the new special-issue
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  • Reflect Your True Vision with Accurate Form Now you can paint the human form with the depth and detail it deserves - your artwork will come alive with this exciting special issue from American Artist: Portrait and Figure Painting Highlights Fall 2010. Improve the detail of your portraits with 100 pages
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  • 20 Top Artists Reveal How To Adjust to Regional Sites, Pack What You Need, Scale-Up Sketches, & Travel Safely Abroad; The history of the Plein Air Movement, and much more!
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  • Notice how the composition of this sparse still life is deft--from the angle of the bottle to the serpentine curve of the ivy sprig. (Dried Ivy by Kristin Kunc, 8 x 12, oil on linen, 2008). I'm not a knick-knack girl, but I do really have a connection
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  • I'll be honest with you all--I am not a painting technician. I read a lot about art and, as you know, love to look at paintings and drawings all day long, but I am still a babe in the woods when it comes to many methods and approaches to painting
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  • Paris by Danny McCaw, 24 x 16. Not to be a whiner, but I don't have an artistic legacy to build on. So far as I know, no one in my family is an artist or has any particular leanings towards painting or drawing. That's why I'm so enamored with
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  • But I think it's time for some straight talk. I've participated in many, many plein air painting critiques over the years, and I can't begin to tell you how often I've been faced with landscape paintings that are a little off. Perhaps
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  • Manhattan Nocturne by Frank Federico, pastel painting, 20 x 24. I have a tried and true love affair going with color. I'm drawn to it across the spectrum, but I'm a late bloomer when it comes to pastel painting, which has to be some kind of crime
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  • Norwegian artist Odd Nerdrum, currently facing time in prison for tax fraud, is certainly a character, taking on more of a dramatic persona than most people do in their day-to-day lives. He's also a bit of a polarizing figure. I know artists who think
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  • Lucrezia by Francisco Benitez, 30 x 30, encaustic on panel. I recently had a conversation with an artist about how she is struggling to get her drawings and oil paintings noticed by the "art world" and her frustration that she can't seem
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  • Female Nude by Thomas Eakins, oil painting, c. 1881. The Thinker by Thomas Eakins, oil painting, 1900. Thomas Eakins earned himself quite a reputation during his lifetime. He didn't suffer fools gladly, he didn't hold his tongue, and he didn't
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  • These four oil paintings have something in common. Yes, of course, they were all painted by George Inness (1825-1894), one of the greatest American landscape painters of all time. But there's something else, an incredibly valuable lesson. Have you
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  • I'm a sucker for a good cause, and the Yellow Barn Studio and Gallery is putting on a great one this October: The Green Paint Out, a plein air landscape painting competition with the mission of preserving and protecting America's national parks
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  • Drawings of horses in the Chauvet caves. We recently watched the Werner Herzog film, Chauvet: Cave of Forgotten Dreams . Herzog made the film about the prehistoric, 30,000- to 32,000 year-old cave art discovered in 1994 in the Ardeche region of France
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  • Learn classical techniques with an inspiring guide that shows you how to create stunning pieces with ease and confidence. Make your colors sing and enhance your process—top contemporary masters of today show you how. Challenge yourself with more complicated arrangements and develop the confidence
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  • Recollection of Mortefontaine by Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, landscape oil painting, 1864. One of my great heroes in art is Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot (1796-1875), the world-famous French artist who is still considered one of the best landscape artists
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  • Schloss Kammer at Lake Atter I by Gustav Klimt, 1908, oil on canvas. It seems impossible, right? I mean I'm out there painting, everything looks so fresh and crisp, the air and wind feel so good on my face, and then all of a sudden I am practically
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  • Marjorie Forgues' figure drawing, day 1. Marjorie Forgues' figure drawing, day 2. Taking a painting or drawing class is always a learning experience, but often I find I learn a great deal from other artists in the class as well. This is especially
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  • Nicole at Mille Fleurs 3 , acrylic painting on canvas, 48 x 30, 2010. In the Afternoon Light , acrylic painting on canvas, 48 x 30, 2011. Contrast is the difference between light and dark values. The human eye is able to see clearly across a contrast
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  • Notice how Gury scratches through the paint in his oil painting Autumn Glow , reinforcing the shape and outline of the tree limbs. I'm not one to ask or judge someone by their resume or history because we all walk our own paths and get meaningful
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  • Unknown Woman by Thomas Wilmer Dewing, 1890, pastel painting on paper. I love the effects and colors you can get with pastel paintings . . . at least I do now. It wasn't too long ago that I felt like I had some kind of weird complex where I could
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  • Oil painting demonstration by Robert Liberace. To listen to Robert Liberace talk during one of his demonstrations, sometimes, fleetingly, it sounds to me like there is an occasional contradiction. The most recent example I can point to is when he talked
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  • I put aside my oil painting work to take up a sketchbook and watercolors to capture the sights and sounds around me during my trip . If you are a painter, you know that sometimes the best thing to do is get away from it all...and do more painting. I was
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  • Rhododendron by James Sulkowski, 2001, oil painting. Notice how the flowers are arranged in a curving S-shape, starting in the back and bring your eye to the foreground. Most artists have a love-hate relationship with floral painting. There's plenty
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  • Fifty by Mitchell Albala, 2006, oil painting on canvas. In this painting, the artist strongly distinguishes the land and sky to give a sense of vertical distance. This summer I've been traveling a bit, but of course it's never as much as I would
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  • The cave paintings of Lascaux. Legend has it that Pablo Picasso remarked upon emerging from a visit to Lascaux cave that, "we have discovered nothing new in art in 17,000 years." The beautiful artwork from this ancient era is a reminder of our
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  • I was on a studio visit the other day to artist Daniel Baltzer 's place in Harlem and the first thing that grabbed my attention—even before looking at his paintings (!)—was this cool little contraption he had in the middle of his studio
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  • Notice the chalk lines drawn over the figure to assess and check the proportion and length of her limbs. I have finally finished my oil painting , Leaves of Grass , which I have blogged about previously. In all, the painting probably took nearly 2 months
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  • My version of an art "mixed tape" is a bunch of really great info and inspiration for us as we head into the home stretch of summer. Here are several of my favorite recent Artist Daily blog entries and American Artist online articles that have
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  • John had to deal with rapidly changing weather conditions as he worked on his plein air watercolor painting, Cub Lake Trailhead . We outdoor painters are always on the search for beautiful places to paint, and so we become inveterate travelers and explorers
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  • Minerva by Auguste Rodin simultaneously shows the centered grounding of the human body's core and the fluidity of its limbs. Painting is closer to three-dimensionality than drawing simply by way of the medium. You can build up sculpted areas and thick
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  • This is a long pose drawing that made it into my "evaluate" pile. Part of the artistic learning process for me is learning how to evaluate my work, not on a piece by piece basis, but collectively. This summer I am looking at my drawing art works
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  • All you landscape artists who live in the dry, deserty parts of the world, or you plein air painters in the wet, watery parts of the world, bear with me, but those of us who live in the lushly vegetated parts of the world face a big challenge: green!
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  • In Dancers at the Bar by Edgar Degas, 1888, the artist used complementary colors to make a sharp contrast between the figures and the space. We all know that Impressionism heralded a new way of painting. Material and technical advancements--metal tubes
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  • La Carmencita by John Singer Sargent, oil painting, 1890. I try and shy away from describing art in bombastic terms. It can become a slippery slope of flowery language with no real takeaways. But when I'm studying the works of no less than John Singer
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  • Okay, I don't really mean that. I was just trying to get your attention. But I kind of do mean it because so often when dealing with how to paint a composition, I follow the same process day in and day out, which is why the idea of transferring images
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  • The industry’s favorite plein air magazine is back with more of what you love! Last year, Plein Air Painting magazine flew off the shelves! Capture info from on-site studies, direct observations, and outdoor painting instruction from top plein air painters of today. Perfect your plein air painting
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  • I used to waste oodles of time blocking in my plein air paintings until I finally learned some great tips for doing them fast, such as skipping the drawing, establishing the value range first, and addressing each set of values in a logical order. Here's
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  • On Hamilton's Prairie by Rose Frantzen, 32 x 40, oil painting. Rose Frantzen's work has been on my radar for a while and even more so after I saw her oil painting portrait show at the Smithsonian Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC, which featured
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  • Fallen Tree, Mississippi by Jeffrey Smith, 11 x 14, oil painting. My studio is filled with stuff to look at: still life objects, postcards of paintings that I love, and written notes of things to think about and remember as I'm working on a painting
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  • Ocean II by John Hulsey, 30 x 40, oil painting. The painting Ocean II was created from a smaller plein air study created at sunrise on Isle of Palms, South Carolina. I liked the composition and colors, and especially the way the wet sand mirrored the
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  • A gray-scale photograph of my plein air oil painting subject. If you read my last post , you know I'm a believer in spending time planning a composition before diving into a plein-air painting . Yet, I also want to get started as soon as possible
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  • Pandora by Patricia Watwood, oil on canvas. I've had it in my head to make a "Pandora" oil painting for a while now. In the myth, Pandora is overcome with curiosity (well, who wouldn't be??) and she opens the proverbial box and releases
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  • Watercolor study by John Hulsey, 7 1/2 x 7. Being strong dog proponents (especially for dogs in the studio, where they never provide negative commentary), and being the caretakers (or is it the other way around?) of two ancient (in dog years) Great Pyrenees
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  • Artist Al Gury is known for his direct or alla prima painting knowledge. The oil painting, above, shows his decisive ability to create complex colors and shapes through successive layers. I love saying the phrase 'alla prima' but it's way
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  • New Year by Mary Whyte, watercolor painting of a milliner from Atlanta, GA; 2009, 22 1/2 x 29. Sometimes I get so sick of people calling a painting or drawing 'art' because it has a good-looking person in it. Who wants to hang out with Barbie
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  • Sunrise River II by John Hulsey, oil on canvas. "You can observe a lot by just watching." - Yogi Berra I was reminded of this quote as I was sitting on the boardwalk in Constitution Marsh on the Hudson River near where we used to live. I hadn't
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  • Portrait of Ginevra di Benci by Leonardo da Vinci, 1474-1476, oil painting on wood, 16.5 x 14.5. I've described the most important technical parts of my study of Da Vinci: line and anatomy . When I began to study how to paint, I opted not to follow
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  • A view of the lands around Sagamore Hill estate, where the Teaching Studios plein air competition will take place. This is such a neat opportunity that I just had to share with you, and it is so close to me, geographically speaking, that it would be like
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  • I don't want to learn how to paint from just anyone. I don't mean that snobbishly, but I know how I work and learn. I am a visual learner and I learn by doing. Hearing someone drone on and on makes me want to get up and run around the room, so
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  • A photo of the plein air landscape site I chose to paint. I can still recall the first morning I saw this little bend in the river ike it was yesterday. The air was still cool and breezy, the sun was glinting off the water, the bees in their hive were
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  • Rocky Cliff by Asher B. Durand, oil on canvas, 1860. Based on an article by Allison Malafronte. As you all well know, I spend a lot of time writing. But I also spend a lot of time reading, and lately I have absolutely fallen in love with reading letters
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  • Squall Line by John Hulsey (30 x 40, oil painting). John Hulsey and Ann Trusty created their website, The Artist’s Road , to inspire their readers and students with practical art tips and plein air painting techniques for the traveling artist. John
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  • The ACOPAL show featured contemporary American Realist painting. Whenever I step inside the beautiful and historic National Arts Club, on Gramercy Park in Manhattan, I'm reminded of how long it has been a supportive home for American Realism. In May
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  • Wait until you are in front of your outdoor painting scene before deciding what to tone your surface. I've found that how you prepare your canvas has a huge impact on the finished result of your plein-air painting . Do you start your painting right
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  • As any artist can attest, versatility is the key to a long and illustrious career. The ability to work with a variety of media, subject matter, and techniques helps keep skills up-to-date, the mind engaged, and one's creativity consistently challenged. With that in mind, we've decided to use
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  • America is a land of rich diversity that extends throughout our landscapes, cities, and regions. I'd say that one of the most distinctive places we have is Cape Cod. Now, being a born-and-raised Southern girl, I have always romanticized the northern coasts and beaches because they always look so
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  • Ellen Cooper’s In Defiance of Erebus won the People’s Choice and First Place Award. After participating in a panel discussion about career goals for artists at this year’s Portrait Society of America Conference I wanted to share a few more tips that I use to keep my art growing and
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  • Plein air watercolor sketches of sites in Kansas and Charleston, South Carolina. All works by John Hulsey. It took me awhile to realize it, but I have invented a time machine. I didn’t set out to invent a time machine exactly, but like many other
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  • Meeting artist and Studio Incamminati instructor Lea Colie Wight was a little bit like meeting a favorite celebrity and miracle worker all rolled into one. Lea's execution and subject matter resonates with me, but it is her perseverance and desire to share common experiences in painting that really
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  • When Scott Royston sets his sights on flowers for one of his still life oil painting compositions, he isn’t drawn to tiny buds or small bouquets but expressive flora in full bloom. For him, painting flowers is a gradual process that starts with a rough sketch in his sketchbook and toning his canvas
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  • For the Portrait Society of America Conference in Atlanta this year, I was invited to participate in a panel on Professionalism, Leadership, and Service. I was asked to speak to “Building a Career for the Long Term.” Now, anyone who saw my tax returns for 2010 would NOT have put me on a short
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  • In a recent post on how to paint clouds at sunset , we diagrammed a pastel painting and explained a bit about the types of clouds one may encounter when painting outdoors . This time, we have dissected a watercolor, Ghost Ranch IV , that I painted in New Mexico near Georgia O’Keefe’s house
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  • Get instant improvement on your portraits, landscapes, and still life’s from master teachers.
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  • Painting flowers is sometimes a study in the subtlety of color, as in Ann's flower oil painting, Philadelphus III (oil, 12 x 16). Painting large flower portraits has given me the opportunity to explore what seem to be the nearly infinite shades and
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  • That’s one of the first questions I put to artist Caitlin Hurd about her oil paintings, which feature dazed, inert figures floating through the landscape. But they aren’t floating as much as sleepwalking, according to Hurd. “It all started with how I wanted to live my life,” she
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  • Do you ever feel like you’re just painting the same old same old when you go outside to paint? Couple of trees, maybe some water—it’s actually fairly easy to fall into the rut of painting the same subjects again and again. At least, that’s how I get to feeling on occasion.
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  • Golden by Daniel Gerhartz, oil on canvas, 16 x 12. Since its inception in 2009, Weekend With the Masters Workshop & Conference has brought together some of the top instructors of representational art under one roof for a long weekend of workshops
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  • I’ve always dreamed of having something, anything—shoes, a coat, a car!—custom made. While all of those are pretty much still out of my reach, I know that I can custom design how I get my art training. There are a lot of options out there for us art-minded folk, but I spoke to Rob Zeller
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  • When John Hulsey and Ann Trusty told me the name of their website— The Artist’s Road —I smiled to myself because they got it so right! Art—painting, drawing, sculpting, all of it—is a path, a journey. Sometimes the path is smooth and things go right, and sometimes it is
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  • 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. For his landscape art, he focuses on a subtle progression of color layers and
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  • Hi all! This is my first blog at Artist Daily, and I wanted to jump right in and discuss one of the best things I think a plein air painter can do—use a sketchbook to plan your composition and clarify your vision of the finished painting you have in mind.
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  • I interviewed Sadie Valeri on her unusual wax paper paintings months and months ago, but since then I've been keeping an eye on her. She's got great spirit, enviable talent, and she's just super nice! Little did I know that her sweet exterior
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  • My answer to that is nada! Zippo! Zilch! As the weather heats up from coast to coast, now is the time when artists turn their attention to the excitement of landscape painting. But I'll be honest with you. I'm still intimidated by the whole landscape painting process. There seems to be so much
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  • One of the things I love best as the editor for Artist Daily is getting to know the artists in our community. A few weeks ago, I saw a mixed media portrait in the Member Gallery that caught my attention. The painting--a girl with wild, colorful hair and a tranquil expression on her face--looked like
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  • The Gowanus Ballroom brought together installation art, contemporary sculpture, and realist painting. Every once in a while, I get to do something that is comes uniquely from the place where I’ve chosen to live—Brooklyn. My studio is in Gowanus
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  • Artist Daniel Gerhartz's new book, Not Far From Home , is a visual compendium of his life's work as a painter. In it, you not only find inspiring, lush photographs of Gerhart'z paintings, but insightful and instructional information as well. To showcase all of the great content in the book
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  • Artists create for a lot of reasons--ego, instinct, livelihood--but author and painter Margaret Krug creates for a very unique reason: to enfold us in the intimacy and delicacy of her personal artistic vision. Often working on a small scale, sometimes on a surface no larger than a postcard, Krug paints
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  • Summit by Odd Nerdrum, oil painting, 2000, 93 x 88. Odd Nerdrum: Weekend With the Masters Instructor Odd Nerdrum was born in Hälsingborg, Sweden, in 1944. He was a student at The Academy of Art in Oslo at the time when Modernism made its delayed
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  • Glass Study 3 by Stephen Early, oil painting on masonite, 7 x 5. Stephen Early: Weekend With the Masters Instructor Artist Stephen Early began his art education at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia. He has received many notable portrait
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  • The Den by Scott Waddell, oil painting, 20 x 16. Scott Waddell: Weekend With the Masters Instructor Scott Waddell was born and raised in Central Florida. He received his B.F.A. from Florida State University. After college, Waddell spent the next several
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  • Untitled by Daniel Sprick, 2006, 24 x 24, oil painting. Daniel Sprick: Weekend With the Masters Instructor Daniel Sprick was born in Little Rock, Arkansas. He studied at the Froman School of Art and The National Academy of Design and received his B.F
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  • Seascape by Ray Roberts, oil painting. Ray Roberts: Weekend With the Masters Instructor Ray Roberts is best known for his seascapes, figurative work, and majestic views of California and the Southwest, and is one of California's most respected plein
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  • The Love on the Road by Ron Hicks, oil painting. Ron Hicks: Weekend With the Masters Instructor Ron Hicks grew up in Columbus, Ohio, and was introduced to art at an early age under the influence of his artist mother. Continuing to pursue drawing through
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  • Pastel painter and oil painter Albert Handell. Albert Handell: Weekend With the Masters Instructor Pastelist and oil painter Albert Handell was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1937. At an early age, a favorite activity of his was drawing with chalks on
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  • Quang Ho at his easel. Quang Ho: Weekend With the Masters Instructor Quang Ho was born on April 30, 1963, in Hue, Vietnam. He immigrated to the United States in 1975 and is now a U.S. citizen. His artistic interest began at the early age of 3 and continued
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  • Connecticut Yankee Spring by George Gallo, 20 x 24, oil painting. George Gallo: Weekend With the Masters Instructor Award-winning writer, director, and painter George Gallo is capturing the hearts of both the general public and artist-audiences everywhere
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  • Approaching Noise (in progress) by David Jon Kassan, oil painting on wood panel, 40 x 34. David Jon Kassan: Weekend With the Masters Instructor Following his initial drawing studies at University of the Arts, in Philadelphia, David Jon Kassan attended
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  • Sublime Order by Daniel Pinkham, oil painting. Daniel Pinkham: Weekend With the Masters Instructor Born in Los Angeles, Daniel Pinkham has been a principal force in the resurgence of plein air painting in California and throughout the country. Pinkham
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  • Graffiti by Mary Whyte, watercolor painting. Mary Whyte: Weekend With the Masters Instructor Born in Ohio in 1953, Mary Whyte grew up with all the rural Midwest has to offer. She graduated from Tyler School of Art, in Philadelphia, in 1976 with a Bachelor
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  • Twilight by Tony Ryder, 1998, pencil drawing, 25 x 19. Tony Ryder: Weekend With the Masters Instructor Anthony Ryder studied at the Art Students League of New York, the New York Academy of Art, and the Ecole Albert Defois, in France, with oil painter
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  • Dawn, High Tide-Navesink River by Skip Whitcomb, oil painting on linen, 10 x 20. Skip Whitcomb: Weekend With the Masters Instructor Born in 1946, M.W. Skip Whitcomb has been interested in art since his childhood on a ranch near Sterling, Colorado. However
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  • Morro Bay Rock, Near Cambria by C.W. Mundy, oil painting on linen, 16 x 20. C.W. Mundy: Weekend With the Masters Instructor C.W. Mundy, an American impressionist, was born in 1945 and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana. He graduated with a B.F.A. from Ball
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  • Crashing Waves at Three Arch Bay; Laguna Beach by Peter Adams , pastel painting, 12 x 16. Peter Adams: Weekend With the Masters Instructor Peter Adams was born in Los Angeles, California, on August 27, 1950 and he received his training in California at
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  • Santa Catalina Island by Kevin Macpherson, oil painting, 30 x 50. Kevin Macpherson: Weekend With the Masters Instructor Kevin Macpherson is one of the country's leading plein air painters and is highly respected among collectors and fellow artists
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  • February Shadows, Rio Grande by Stephen Quiller, acrylic painting, 17 x 19 1/2. Stephen Quiller: Weekend With the Masters Instructor Stephen Quiller is an internationally known painter who works primarily in water media, monotypes, and intaglio printmaking
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  • Throughout his career, Richard Schmid has promoted art education through his books, articles, workshops, seminars, and television presentations. Richard Schmid: Weekend With the Masters Instructor Richard Schmid was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1934.
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  • Winter Sun, Full Moon by Marcia Burtt , acrylic painting. Marcia Burtt: Weekend With the Masters Instructor Marcia Burtt graduated from University of California Berkeley with a major in psychology and earned an M.A. in art from the University of Montana
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  • Sunlit Birch by Frank Serrano, oil on canvas, 12 x 12. Frank Serrano: Weekend With the Masters Instructor Contemporary landscape artist and plein air painter Frank M. Serrano was born in Los Angeles on November 29, 1967. He developed an early interest
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  • Thinking Man by Jacob Collins, oil painting, 30 x 20, 2004. Jacob Collins: Weekend With the Masters Instructor Jacob Collins is a leading figure in the contemporary revival of classical painting. He earned a B.A. in history from Columbia College and attended
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  • Dave by Carolyn Anderson, oil painting, 16 x 12. Carolyn Anderson: Weekend With the Masters Instructor Carolyn Anderson , a nationally recognized artist, is an accomplished pastelist and oil painter. Born and raised in the Chicago area, Anderson attended
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  • Vineyard Melody by Camille Przewodek, 16 x 20, oil on canvas. Camille Przewodek: Weekend With the Masters Instructor Camille Przewodek is a plein air colorist based in Petaluma, California, who received her B.F.A. in illustration from the Academy of Art
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  • Morning Light Crystal Cove , by Joe Paquet, oil painting on linen. Joseph Paquet: Weekend With the Masters Instructor Joseph Paquet received his Bachelors of Fine Art at the School of Visual Arts, in New York City, and had the good fortune of being mentored
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  • The American Artist Weekend With the Masters events and art workshops are an opportunity to learn how to paint at the hands of some of the most inspiring, skilled oil painting artists, watercolorists, and draftsmen working today. Their artistic abilities
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  • John and Ann’s recent post about painting water en plein air was so inspiring and right on target. I love painting water elements, too, because they always make plein air landscape paintings more interesting. John and Ann’s tips were great, and I have two more to add:
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  • Wilson uses the visual world as a lexicon of poetic images, as in his painting, Mary . In the 19th century, painters depicted modern life, embracing the “real” and eschewing narrative subjects and symbolism. Now, modern figure painters are
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  • Living as we do in the center of the country where the dominant feature of the landscape is the sky, we have always enjoyed painting the rich variety of clouds here. Besides being beautiful to look at, clouds can tell us all sorts of things about the weather, both present and future, that can prove very
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  • Here's John using his heavy-weight watercolor gear while painting in Colorado. Through trial and error, over the years, we have figured out how to pack for our foot-powered plein-air painting adventures. We like to keep our heavy-duty Eagle Creek
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  • Sometimes in making a small study for a larger oil painting, an artist will sketch in certain areas very loosely. It's almost as if she says to herself, "and there's some other stuff that fills in this area of the composition, but I'll think about that later." With the set of small
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  • Study for Leaves of Grass . All works by Patricia Watwood. With the image of a female figure reading in the summer grass in mind, I began to develop my oil painting , Leaves of Grass . I started with a preparatory drawing. I work with models and from
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  • I've been waiting all my life to have a red-carpet moment, but who knows when the Academy will get around to remembering my searing director's debut at the age of 14, when I put on a musical version of Hamlet to the theme song of The Beatles' "Obladi Oblada." (Maybe you had to be
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  • Measure First, Draw Second; The Pathway to Great Compositions; Make Every ?Brushstroke Count; Learn How Top Artists Paint; How the Academic Technique can Work for You
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  • Point Lobos , oil, 12 x 16. All works by Matt Smith . Have you ever had a moment where you’ve stumbled on something unexpected and you think to yourself, “What a find!” That was so me a few days ago. I read an amazing Q&A that one
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  • Water is perhaps one of the more challenging subjects to paint convincingly in a plein air landscape painting. Whether one is inspired by the ocean, a river, or a pond or lake, each subject requires a studied familiarity and often distinctly different paint handling. Here are a just a few tips that we
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  • Leah , oil on canvas, 2010, 24 x 20. The Sicilian Expedition , oil on canvas, 2010, 60 x 40. They say that there are two kinds of painter: color painters, and the other kind--the kind that focuses on form, tone, and line. I'm that "other"
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  • As plein air artists, we have had to become very aware of our own visual filtering processes--our visual biases. We train ourselves to focus our eyes and our minds on the subject before us, but it is only when we can quiet the mind from labeling and judging what we see that we are ever able to truly
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  • 10 Keys To Making Accurate Judgments; Use Measurements & Simple Shapes for Better Portraits; Learn Variations of Impressionist Painting; 4 Stages Of Successful Plein Air Paintings
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  • For a while now, I have been exploring narrative themes. This is what R. H. Ives Gammell called “poetical pictures.” In the 19th century, this was commonly referred to as “history painting”, but by history they did not just mean world events as we define the term. “Poetical
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  • The lesson we first learned when living and painting in the Hudson Valley in New York is that as plein air painters there is a deep pleasure to be gained from becoming intimately familiar with the same piece of ground over many years. The process is essentially a silent conversation, in which we can
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  • In the 25+ years that we traveled to northern New Mexico to paint, we have explored its charms in every season of the year and have never failed to find wonderful scene after wonderful scene for a plein air painting . A big part of this charm is that this area of the Southwest is just inherently stunning
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  • Study for Pandora , oil on canvas, 2010. All works by Patricia Watwood. For the past six months, I have been working away at a new series of figure paintings. Over the next weeks and months, I will tell you more about each of them, and the steps involved
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  • When we start making art, we don't start from a position of, "I want to paint like so-and-so," or not even, necessarily, "I want to paint well." We should start from a position of, "I have a need to make art." This is an important principle; it gives us the strength
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  • Turn Mistakes into Masterpieces; create the element of surprise with acrylics; get creative with Sunlight and Shadow; use value studies To Save Time; go inside Workshops With the Pros
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  • I like pastel for winter work because of the ease of not having to deal with paint thinner, stiff paint, or mixing color on a palette. When winter graces us with her charms and everywhere you look is covered in a beautiful layer of snow, Ann and I get
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  • Learn more about Mary Whyte’s full-length DVD. I'm a reader and studier by nature, but the lessons and techniques that I learn from books and magazines always seem to click much quicker when I watch an artist paint, rather than try to puzzle
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  • Waiting for Supper , 18” x 35”, oil on canvas, 2010. All works by Patricia Watwood . Hello! I am delighted to begin this new venture with Artist Daily and start an ongoing conversation about my painting process and my thoughts on art. Most
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  • Tracks II by John Hulsey, pastel. With the high-contrast conditions of winter sun on brilliant snow, we have been exploring the colors of snow and shadows in our plein air paintings. Shadows are essential because they create the form and interest in a
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  • Painting during twilight often means the added complication of using artificial lights to illuminate your canvas. This blog has been adapted from an article written by Allison Malafronte. Plein air painting during twilight is exciting but challenging
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  • The Lonely Man by Clark Hulings Last week, we received some surprising and very sad news in the American Artist office. The widely-admired landscape painter Clark Hulings had passed away at the age of 88. We learned this less than a day after finishing
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  • Fire and Ice by John Hulsey, watercolor. We both love painting landscapes outside, especially in the winter, when the air is clear and the landscape is reduced to its architectural purity. But winter weather conditions are rarely moderate in the places
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  • 14 Top Instructors Share Their Secrets; How to Paint From Photographs; Complete Instruction in Painting Figures, Still Lifes & Landscapes; 12 Step-by-Step Demonstrations & Lists of Materials Check out what's featured in the Fall 2009 issue of American Artist Highlights.
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  • Trying to capture the likeness of a person in a finite period of time and meeting the high expectations often associated with portraiture are far from effortless tasks. They take commitment and savvy to do well. Our eBook Oil Painting Lessons on How to Paint a Portrait: 15 Portrait Painting Techniques
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  • Use a Limited Pallette for Greater Benefits; 10 Concrete Solutions for Figure Painting; How to Accurately See the Color Light; Andrea J. Smith; Bryan Mark Taylor; Steve Huston; Clayton J Beck III.
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  • Reflect Your True Vision with Accurate Form Now you can paint the human form with the depth and detail it deserves – your artwork will come alive with this exciting special issue from American Artist: Portrait and Figure Painting Highlights Fall 2010. Improve the detail of your portraits with 100
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  • On the Cover: Belle (detail, reversed) by Galina Perova, 2007, oil, 50 x 44. Private collection. FEATURES Rosemarie Beck: Exploring the Physicality of Paint by Eric Sutphin This New York artist used themes from mythology, music, and literature as ways
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  • Watercolorist Stephen Scott Young getting into the details of his watercolor technique with students. All photos by Manuel Rodriguez . Artists of the past are often remembered as working solo, toiling alone in their private studios and intimate garrets
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  • Artist and instructor Marcia Burtt painting a beach scene at Weekend With the Masters. I can honestly say I've never been to an event like American Artist's Weekend With the Masters workshop and conference, which is currently underway in Southern
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  • Twilight by Anthony Ryder, 1998, pencil and pastel on gold paper, 25 x 19. The event I’ve been looking forward to since I came to Artist Daily is just a few days away. Weekend With the Masters 2010 is almost here. I’ve been told that the energy
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  • On the Cover: Barrens in October (detail) by Paul Rickert, 2002, watercolor, 11 x 14. Collection the artist. Artists In This Issue Anne Abgott Jane Paul Angelhart Sue Archer Bo Bartlett Dan Brown Peggy Brown Carl Dalio Sondra Freckelton Laurin McCracken
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  • American Artist’s Weekend With the Masters Workshop & Conference will be arriving on the sunny shores of Southern California this September 22-26, in our second-annual presentation of this four-day event. Workshops, demos, lectures, panel discussions, and evening events from more than 25 instructors
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  • How to Paint Landscapes; 10 Cover Contest Winners Offer You Their Best Advice; Combine Watermedia & Pastel for Inspired Results; Express Content with Fewer Brushstrokes
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  • Painting instructors often ask students to consider two important relationships between the colors squeezed out on their palettes: value and temperature. By that they are asking them to consider whether one color mixture is lighter or darker than another, and whether the mixtures tend to have a warm
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  • It’s often the case that when you live somewhere, you don’t take full advantage of the opportunities that the place affords, and only after leaving do you realize how valuable those opportunities were. This can be true for artists, who, after moving, may regret not utilizing a strong local
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  • SPECIAL REPORT Explore New Creative Ideas With Acrylics; Learn From Sorolla’s Epic Masterpiece; Increase the Drama in Pastel Paintings; How to Plan & Improve Your Watercolors
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  • On the Cover: Deb Painting Spring Creek (detail) by Edward Martinez, 2006, oil, 22 x 14. Collection the artist. Jim Wilcox: Western Landscapes Using Plein Air Sketches, Photographs, Research, & Imagination to Create Studio Paintings Plein Air Past
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  • How to Paint With Spontaneity & Insight; Benefit from a Beginner's; Sense of Adventure; Bring Drawings to Life In Watercolor Paintings; Professional Advice on Painting With Pastel, Oil & Watercolor and much more!
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  • It’s often said that artists don’t find their personal style—it finds them. Although I agree with this statement, I found in my experience that individual style develops only after a number of other tasks are accomplished. All professional
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  • I recently joined a gym in my neighborhood, with the hopes of working off some of those extra holiday pounds that seem to wear out their welcome around this time every year. My schedule is pretty busy, so I try to streamline my visits, making a beeline
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  • I've 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 . The procedure is to stand a measured
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  • Ever since my trip to Venice, Italy, last year, I have been looking at paintings of the city by 19th-century artists such as Sargent and Whistler, as well as contemporary artists such as Steve Rogers and Leonard Mizerek . I've become more aware of
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  • It’s often said in sports circles that the best players often make the worst coaches. That’s because it is hard for naturally gifted athletes to relate to players who are not so innately talented. A perfect example of this is former Boston
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  • Greek Steps, Sifnos by Thomas W. Schaller, 2008, watercolor, 12 x 9. I just finished writing an article on Thomas W. Schaller's watercolor paintings for the April 2010 issue of American Artist, and it occurred to me that Thomas is the third licensed
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  • I normally work from plein air sketches or my imagination, but this scene I photographed while on vacation in Costa Rica was just too beautiful to pass up. As most artists do when working from a photo, I made adjustments to the composition to better suit
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  • Our newest free eBook, “24 Tips to Learn How to Paint a Plein Air Landscape,” is now available to download, and in it you’ll find tips on how to get started working en plein air and how to improve your en plein air painting technique
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  • On the Cover: Breakfast Club (detail) by Gordon France, 2004, watercolor, 20 x 28. Private collection. Artist to Artist: Dean Mitchell Modern Masters: Jan Kunz DEPARTMENTS Editor's Note Contributors Noteworthy FEATURES Weekend With the Masters Review
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  • ‘Tis the time of the year when galleries across the country host their annual holiday exhibitions, giving artists, dealers, and collectors the opportunity to gather around great art and share some Christmas cheer. Whether these shows are organized
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  • It’s quite probable that you were already creating artwork by the time you were 20 years old. In fact, you were likely spending a good bit of time drawing, painting, sculpting, or crafting when you were 12. Those are two of the inferences that might
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  • Although revered for his portrait work and known for being an artistic rival of his contemporary John Singer Sargent, Philip de László also painted landscapes, and one of the first known film documentations of an artist painting en plein air depicts him. That film clip of the artist painting
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  • The basic set of supplies John Hulsey uses when painting on location. The recent spat of wet weather in New York has made it difficult to get outside to paint, but that doesn’t mean we in the American Artist offices haven’t been thinking about
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  • The American Artist editors have reviewed the submissions for the Showcase Your State: North Carolina contest, and below are the four chosen finalists. Whether it was expansive views of the Blue Ridge Mountains as seen from the Highlands; still, serene
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  • Check out what's featured in the December 2009 issue of American Artist .
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  • By subtly layering pastel, Marlene Wiedenbaum creates a luscious and convincing sense of the world.
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  • I admit that I am not one who adores painting on location. If the truth be known, when I visit a national park, I'd rather be exploring and walking around—taking photos of everything that strikes my interest. Oh yes, I've paid my dues by
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  • Curt Walters painting at the Grand Canyon. None of us want to be stuck in the rut of painting the same subjects over and over again, so we try different landscape locations, select new groups of still life objects, or join a sketch group that hires models
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  • When artists shop for a gallery to represent them, it's helpful if when they first visit they avoid acting or looking like an artist and instead take on the behavior of a collector. This can help you to learn how attentive a gallery’s staff is, and it allows you to assess how much they know
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  • Known primarily for his figurative work and for leading a resurgence in classical art education through his Water Street Atelier and the Grand Central Academy of Art, in New York City, Jacob Collins is now the founder of the Hudson River Fellowship ,
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  • I recently took an unsold painting out of its frame so that I could reuse the metal leaf frame, and as I studied the oil landscape I realized why it wasn’t successful. The surface of the canvas was uniformly thin and flat, and there was nothing
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  • Weekend With the Masters recently concluded in Colorado Springs, and I thought I’d share some of the photographs from the plein air portion of the event with you here. Enjoy!
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  • 14 Top Instructors Share Their Secrets; How to Paint From Photographs; Complete Instruction in Painting Figures, Still Lifes & Landscapes; 12 Step-by-Step Demonstrations & Lists of Materials Check out what's featured in the Fall 2009 issue of American Artist Highlights.
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  • I recently attended the opening of an exhibition of artwork by a group of artists, and the display raised questions in my mind about the impact of presentation on sales and career development. The exhibition was a temporary display in a community center
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  • Check out what's featured in the November 2009 issue of American Artist.
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  • Although most of the recent news about Thomas Kinkade concerned his passing away and legacy, while he was alive he was consistently in the news over disagreements between his company, former employees, franchised gallery owners, and the FBI (detailed
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  • by Lori Woodward Simons As I've mentioned in past blogs, artists are motivated visually—at least I am. It seems our minds follow and are motivated by what we see. So in order to get busy on a painting, I need to remove myself from distractions
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  • Check out what's featured in the Fall 2009 issue of Watercolor .
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  • My office is also a conference room on the third floor of a building on 46th Street in Midtown New York City. The desk and file cabinets are pushed against the east wall of what was once a library, and a large conference table and eight chairs are arranged
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  • Michigan artist Jim Johnson offers valuable hints for successful watercolor painting outdoors.
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  • Check out what's featured in the October 2009 issue of American Artist.
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  • Check out what's featured in the Fall 2009 issue of Workshop magazine.
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  • In the new atelier she opened in Rome, Andrea J. Smith teaches students to use a limited palette of colors when painting exactly what they see from a measured distance away from the subject and the easel.
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  • The artwork of nationally recognized plein air painters Greg LaRock, Jeff Sewell, Carolyn Hesse-Low, Jeff Yeomans, and JoAnn Royal will be the subject of a celebratory exhibition at Rainey Fine Art, in Newport Beach, California. The gallery is commemorating its first anniversary by featuring the works
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  • When I meet artists at a workshop or at a convention, they often comment that I must be a highly organized person. Upon hearing this, I laugh inwardly and reply, “I'm organized in my thoughts but not with my stuff.”
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  • Most of the students attending workshops and art classes rely on the instructor’s list of recommended supplies when deciding what drawing and painting materials to use, so their resulting artwork usually looks quite similar. However, when artists
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  • Nancy Bea Miller, a painter and mother of three, has organized a plein air paint-out to benefit the Camphill Special School’s Transition Program for teens and youths with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The paint out will be followed by an exhibition of the artists’ work at The
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  • It's crazy to say that horses have a visual advantage over humans, but with eyes on opposite sides of their heads, they surely don't see in three-dimensional terms like we do. There are times especially for beginners when seeing less--seeing a
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  • I recently returned from a trip to Colorado, and while on that trip I got into quite the (heated) debate with two figure painters who claimed that plein air painters who sell their on-site sketches are bringing down the overall value of art. What’s your opinion? Is plein air painting a means to
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  • Very few rules are absolute in art. But one rule keeps popping up in our magazines, quoted by art instructors and artists of all types...
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  • Photographers have coined the term “The Golden Hour” to explain the ideal lighting situation that takes place during the first and last hours of light each day. Plein air painters have an equal admiration for this time of day and find the quality and character of light to be well worth the
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  • I recently assisted my granddaughter, Amanda, as she painted with water-soluble tempera colors in our backyard. Like most four-year-olds, she loves to draw and paint, and although her drawings have become increasingly controlled pictures of herself, her parents, five pets, and her home, the paintings
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  • In honor of the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s voyage, the art community prepares to celebrate the extraordinary history of painting along the Hudson River.
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  • Kevin Macpherson, Kenn Backhaus, Joe Anna Arnett, and James Asher—four professional artists who are featured in the PBS series Passport & Palette—will convene in Central Park this Saturday, July 18, for a plein air paint-out. This event is free and open to the public, so be sure to join
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  • If there’s one thing I’ve noticed about dedicated plein air painters, it’s their love of light and the great lengths they’ll go to behold and/or paint the perfect light condition. I’d like to hear your stories of a particular instance where you risked life or limb to get
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  • California landscape painter Camille Przewodek's approach to plein air painting is all about capturing the color of light. She credits her teacher Henry Hensche with opening her eyes to this new way of seeing when she was a student, and now she helps other plein air painters see the light through
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  • California landscape painter Frank Serrano is a popular instructor of plein air painting, generously sharing his knowledge and experience with students and helping them develop a foundation in the fundamentals of painting outdoors. Here we present two step-by-step demonstrations, taken from his book
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  • As the Hudson River Valley gears up to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s voyage, landscape painters are remembering the famed 19th-century Hudson River School painters who put the Hudson on the map and are celebrating with plein air events and exhibitions of their own.
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  • I can't speak for anyone else, but I sure enjoyed Drawing Day 2009 ! I went to Central Park with a friend, loaded down with drawing pencils, drawing sketchbooks, painting supplies, and Gatorade. Several scenes screamed out to be captured in a quick
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  • The Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art at Pepperdine University is once again presenting an exhibition of California Art Club members’ interpretations of the idyllic region of Malibu, California.
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  • Using subtle washes and minimal detail, Keiko Tanabe creates a powerful sense of time and place.
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  • Our Plein Air: Showcase Your State competition allows artists from all over the country to share paintings and personal sentiments about the landscapes they love with the American Artist online community. We are now accepting entries for the state of North Carolina, and finalists will be announced in
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  • Emerging artist Daniel James Keys couldn’t enroll at an art school, but he used every other available means to educate himself as an artist, to connect with other painters, and to promote his artwork. His experience proves that with determination, support, and computer savvy, artists can make significant
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  • Our national Plein Air: Showcase Your State competition allows artists from around the country to share their interpretations of the landscapes that define their home states. This month we feature the Showcase Your State: Massachusetts finalists.
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  • This Texas oil painter shatters multiple myths—including the notion that artists are myopic and single-minded. Qiang Huang helps workshop participants learn how to draw, paint, and sell their artwork using modern technology and traditional painting methods.
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  • The Table of Contents for the Summer 2009 issue of Workshop magazine.
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  • During a recent workshop in the Lowcountry of South Carolina, William Jameson provided instruction in plein air oil painting, but he knew it was just as important to offer encouragement and direction to students while they enjoyed the experience.
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  • Plein air painters deal with many challenges outdoors, but the first hurdle they usually come across is choosing something to zero in on amid miles of potential subject matter. Here’s what two great landscape instructors of the past have to say about composition and design.
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  • All artists have at least one magical place where, no matter what is going on in their day or their life, they can go and just concentrate on the beauty of nature and be rejuvenated by their surroundings. What’s yours?
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  • Los Angeles screenwriter, director, producer, and plein air painter George Gallo's movie Local Color will be released this summer and is already touching artists and audiences everywhere through prescreening promotion. Here is a preview of that movie and the story that inspired it.
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  • Steve Doherty asks readers if they have experienced bickering or tension between competitive artists at art association meetings, and compares those rivalries to the ones that occured among artists in 16th century in Venice, Italy.
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  • Artists from across the country submitted their work for consideration in the 2009 American Artist Cover Competition. After an extensive selection process Suzanne Eisler’s Still Life With Butterfly was chosen as the winning image. It is presented here, along with artwork from the nine other finalists
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  • The table of contents for the June 2009 issue of American Artist.
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  • Idaho artist Scott Christensen is one of the most well-respected landscape painters in the country, and his understanding of light, ability to achieve pure color, and reverence for nature also make him a highly sought-after instructor. In this Q+A section, we list Christensen’s responses to 10
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  • With adequate preparation and the right materials, it's possible to create large acrylic landscapes en plein air. by Andrew Paquette A few years ago, I left the high-stress feature-animation industry in Hollywood, California, and moved to Arizona
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  • More than 18 top painters will be teaching at American Artist’s Weekend With the Masters Workshop & Conference this September, including the following five plein air painters who will be leading master workshops and demonstrations in Colorado’s beautiful Garden of the Gods and Monument
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  • Get instant improvement on your portraits, landscapes, and still life’s from master teachers.
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  • Steve Doherty talks about a young California artist he discovered while browsing the American Artist member's gallery.
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  • Steve Doherty talks about landscape painting, and shows a video of a recent painting excursion in New Orleans.
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  • American Artist is now accepting Showcase Your State submissions for artists residing in the state of Massachusetts. The submission deadline is April 31, and finalists will be announced in May.
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  • Recent visits to still life painting workshop and exhibitions has reminded Steve how still lifes provide an opportunity to share some aspect of our lives with those who look at our drawings and paintings. Here, he expands on that thought, and asks about the ways you compose, execute, and personalize
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  • In the upcoming May issue of American Artist, we feature Kevin Macpherson’s Reflections on a Pond project and describe how he approached this exploratory series on light and atmosphere. That article is posted here, and it can be seen in its full layout when the May issue hits newsstands on March
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  • A simple floral arrangement can be the perfect subject for beginner still lifes.
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  • Joseph McGurl grew up under his talented father’s artistic tutelage while cultivating a passion for boating and a love of the sea. This early influence, coupled with years of hard work and practice, have made him one of today’s foremost landscape painters, and in this interview he shares
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  • American Artist would like to thank all of the plein air painters who submitted artwork for our Showcase Your State: New Jersey contest. From images of babbling brooks and sunlit fields in the suburbs to depictions of sailing ships and lighthouses at the Jersey Shore, New Jersey is clearly a subject
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  • Q: I currently keep all of my finished oil and pastel paintings in my Manhattan studio. In the winter, the studio gets very hot because I can't control the heat. Can the extreme temperature hurt my paintings? A: Extreme changes in temperature are
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  • Q: Can I use turpentine on pastel paper? A: The turpentine may not hasten the deterioration of the pastel paper but it will likely leave a dark stain, as it is a resinous material. Mineral spirits are less likely to leave a stain, and many pastelists
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  • Q: What mediums did the Impressionists use to paint such soft, colorful strokes? A: The long strokes have more to do with technique than a particular medium. It is often said that artists are products of their age. This adage is particularly true of the
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  • Q: My instructor for an upcoming workshop is requesting we use English Distilled Turpentine. How does this differ from regular turpentine? His painting medium is a mixture of English turpentine, linseed oil, and dammar varnish. A: English Distilled Turpentine
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  • Q: I’m interested in trying watercolor painting. I took a few classes from a local artist, but I need to learn more of the basics. How can I educate myself about color? I need to experiment, but I also need to read about it. I have medium texture
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  • Q: I'm a beginner painter, and I'm hoping you can recommend a technique for painting clouds that will create the illusion of airiness. Can you help me? A: Regardless of your medium—watercolor, acrylic, or oil—the basic rules for edges
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  • Q: I paint in oil and acrylic, and I've successfully used an acrylic final varnish for both. I seem to have misplaced this final varnish recipe, but I believe that it was part gloss and part matte. Can you recommend a recipe of this type for me? A
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  • Q: I'm a retiree and I'm taking up painting, specifically acrylic painting, for the first time. Do you have any recommendations on how to get started? A: Acrylic is a great medium for beginners because it is the most versatile type of paint. You
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  • The Table of Contents for the April 2009 issue of American Artist magazine.
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  • Ed Terpening may represent the future of art education and marketing. His skills as a plein air painter and a software engineer allowed him to use social-media marketing to build a flourishing art career. Reading about his experiences could help you navigate through the new world of digital communication
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  • The table of contents from the Spring 2009 issue of Workshop magazine.
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  • Colorado artist Quang Ho’s new instructional DVD series offers a concise version of what students can expect in his workshops, including his eight visual approaches to painting, his views on developing understanding, and a discussion of everything he wishes he had known before he started painting
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  • Over the last several years workshops have increased in popularity and attendance as artists find that they can often gain just as strong a skill set and insight by spending one week with an accomplished instructor that they can in months or even years of taking accredited art classes. Who are some of
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  • Jeffrey Morseburg—the owner of Morseburg Galleries, in Los Angeles—has become an expert on the great landscape painter Robert Wood, having learned of the artist through his father’s personal and professional relationship with Wood, as well as having organized two retrospectives and
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  • Steve Doherty talks about the various comments he's received while painting en plein air, and asks other artists what they've heard while working on or exhibiting their art.
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  • In this blog entry, Allison Malafronte lists some of her favorite quotes related to landscape painting and nature, and encourages you to share the phrases, sayings, or sentiments that have inspired you.
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  • Clyde Aspevig's technically astute and aesthetically impressive landscape paintings have been inspiring collectors and painters alike for years, and he is often refered to as a living master among those in the landscape genre. Here, the artist offers valuable insight into how he continues to increase
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  • Many pastelists consider their pieces to be paintings. Here at American Artist, we have tried to steer clear of the debate on whether pastel is a drawing medium or a painting medium, although when put against the wall and poked in the chest, we'll
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  • Steve Doherty discusses the social aspects of watermedia painting and the proliferation of watermedia organizations.
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  • Plein air artists both past and present continue to serve as inspiration for today’s landscape painters. Here associate editor Allison Malafronte offers a look at some of her favorite historical and contemporary landscape painters and asks you to list those who have influenced your painting process
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  • Asher B. Durand was one of the great leaders of the Hudson River School of landscape painters, and his monthly “Letters on Landscape Painting” column he wrote for The Crayon offered readers of the time invaluable insight into his approach to painting nature. Durand’s advice is just
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  • We are extending the deadline for the Showcase Your State plein air contest until January 31, 2009. We are accepting submissions for New Jersey, Massachusetts, and North Dakota. The first Showcase Your State finalists will appear on this blog in February
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  • At some point most plein air painters try their hand at painting at twilight or at night, otherwise known as a nocturne. This can be a fun and challenging way to expand your skills as a landscape painter and force yourself to judge colors and values under
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  • by Allison Malafronte It’s time for my favorite En Plein Air post of the month: “A Conversation With”! This month I had the pleasure of interviewing Lynn Gertenbach, the accomplished landscape painter and instructor from California.
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  • Steve Doherty asked several well-known artists what gifts they would present to another artist during the upcoming holiday season. Here's what they said.
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  • This exhibition focuses on the practice of painting sur le motif , or in nature, as it developed in Europe in the late-18th and early-19th centuries. A golden age of plein air painting emerged in Italy around the turn of the 19th century, and artists
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  • A Lumpy Sea by James Gale Tyler, 1909, oil. by Allison Malafronte The Salmagundi Club, in New York City, has a long history of being one of the most important art organizations in the country and has held exhibitions over the years that have featured
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  • Stately Palms by Paul Grimm, oil, 20 x 24. Private collection. by Allison Malafronte There’s a wonderful exhibition of landscape work currently on view at The Irvine Museum, in Irvine, California, that I would like to share with all of you. It’s
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  • by Allison Malafronte Nothing proves a plein air painter’s prowess like surviving a hard-core painting session battling the elements of nature. The young, talented California artists Jeremy Lipking and Tony Pro learned this the hard and—as
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  • American Artist is announcing a new contest for the Plein Air section of our website that will allow plein air painters from across the country to showcase their state and tell us a little bit about the landscape they call home. Beginning in December
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  • by Allison Malafronte Every month I allow you to come into my cube for a few minutes and “listen in” on a conversation I had with a top plein air painter. I try to ask the artist the questions I think you as aspiring professional plein air
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  • We have provided a list of links to online art resources that we think are helpful. You can also access these links in the Art Educators section of our website. Art Associations Plein Air Plein Air Painters of America The Plein Air Scene Indiana Plein
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  • A good artist-friend of mine recently came to New York, and after picking him up at the airport we headed to the Montclair Art Museum to study the permanent collection of George Inness paintings. When I asked how things were going, he complained that
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  • by Allison Malafronte Kenn Backhaus painting on the shores of Resurrection Bay, in Seward, Alaska. Part of my job as an editor at American Artist and the “En Plein Air” blogger is to inform you of any events, exhibitions, or products that
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  • One of the most useful aspects of painting workshops is the personalized critiques offered by knowledgeable instructors. Now you can get this advantage anytime through the American Artist Critique Blog. Through this blog, you can get commentary and suggestions
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  • Yesterday morning I had a wonderful conversation with Carolyn Anderson, the talented figure artist and workshop instructor from Montana who teaches at some of the top art schools around the country. I was fascinated by the amount of knowledge and insight
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  • In the December 2008 issue of American Artist , we discussed how Mary Buergin creates small oil or pastel paintings before or after she finished her larger works. Here, we present additional examples of her work. For more information on the artist, visit
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  • Welcome to “En Plein Air,” the new Plein Air blog on American Artist’s new online community! The former Plein Air section of www.myAmericanArtist.com lived off our main homepage for nearly a year, and during that time I enjoyed sharing
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  • Whether creating fine art or illustration, for Connecticut artist Bernie Fuchs—who boasts a long and successful career as an illustrator—it’s all the same. Either way, “I’m making a picture,” he explains. A Perfect
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  • While packing to move into our new offices, I came across a self-portrait I painted several years ago that was lost in a stack of papers. I immediately recognized that the face was drawn inaccurately—an error I didn’t see at the time I created
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  • In the November 2008 issue of American Artist, we presented a collection of dramatic post-Katrina scenes of New Orleans, painted by Rolland Golden. Here, we present a video featuring Phil Sandusky, another artist whose paintings focus on hurricane ravaged
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  • Connecticut artist John Falato primarily paints in oil, but he also enjoys introducing students to the nuts and bolts of watercolor in his exciting, fast-paced beginner classes. August Road 1983, watercolor, 21 1/8 x 16. All artwork this article private
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  • Connecticut artist John Falato primarily paints in oil, but he also enjoys introducing students to the nuts and bolts of watercolor in his exciting, fast-paced beginner classes. August Road 1983, watercolor, 21 1⁄8 x 16. All artwork this article
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  • When J.C. Airoldi left a successful career as a designer, she applied the same level of determination, practicality, hard work, and marketing skills that she used in her previous profession to creating and selling paintings. Gloucester Solitude 2008,
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  • Warm-up exercises are as important for artists as they are for musicians and athletes. by Daniel Grant Warm-ups for artists often involve being spontaneous, loosening up your muscles, and letting go. But jogging might work too! Athletes stretch before
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  • Californian Dennis Doheny creates stunning oil landscapes by emphasizing atmospheric conditions, dramatizing the pattern of light and shadow, and “playing” with color as he sharpens detail. Doheny put a Fome-Cor mat around his plein air study
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  • This excerpt taken from Kevin Macpherson's popular instructional book Landscape Painting Inside & Out explains how to best use on-site studies to create finished studio pieces. Excerpted from Chapter 6 of Landscape Painting Inside & Out by
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  • Master landscape colorist Kevin Macpherson is a plein air impressionist who is passionate about sharing his skills with other artists through informative workshops, books, and DVDs. Here, he answers questions regarding his training, his technique, and
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  • Hundreds of artists from around the country sent in submissions for American Artist’s 2008 Cover Competition, and the editors narrowed the selection down to the 10 they thought best captured the skill level and style of our publication. When those
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  • Utah artist Colleen Howe is an accomplished pastelist and workshop instructor who is widely known for her sensitive and colorful landscapes of the West. Here she shares four helpful steps to achieving successful works of art. by Colleen Howe, as told
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  • Read the transcript from yesterday's live online chat with pastel artist Janet Monafo. 2008-06-09 11:00:12.0 Administrator: You have joined a chat with Janet Monafo, a top pastelist who has been highlighted in American Artist magazine. Feel free to
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  • This dynamic young artist believes anyone can learn the language of painting and use it to express themselves, which he proves in both short-term and extended workshops. by M. Stephen Doherty Baugh working directly on a student's canvas “There
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  • During a recent plein air workshop in Southern France, Judith Carducci helped students who worked with pen-and-ink, pastel, watercolor, and oil colors. The unifying themes of the 10-day class were that drawing basics are a foundation of all media and
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  • During nearly 30 years of interviewing landscape artists for American Artist , M. Stephen Doherty has watched hundreds of painters use a variety of materials and techniques. Here, he takes the best of that gleaned knowledge and distills it into seven
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  • During a recent plein air workshop in Southern France, Judith Carducci helped students who worked with pen-and-ink, pastel, watercolor, and oil colors. The unifying themes of the 10-day class were that drawing is a foundation of all media and working
    Read More >>
  • This New York City artist has found that the more he understands the science of the elements in his still life scene, and the more carefully he executes his drawing and underpainting, the freer he can interpret the subject matter in the final stages to
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  • This New Mexico artist slowly builds up transparent glazes of oil colors to create still lifes and landscapes with luminous, vibrant, and subtle textures. Evening Solitude, 2008, oil on board, 15 x 15. All artwork this article private collection. by Naomi
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  • This Boston acrylic painter teaches art the way a life coach helps a client achieve life goals. by Bob Bahr Rolli advised students to keep their still life arrangement simple so the emphasis is on painting rather than drawing. Students come to Ellen Rolli
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  • In the Fall 2007 issue of Workshop magazine, we presented Daniel E. Greene's approach to teaching drawing and painting in art-school classes, short-term workshops, and filmed programs. Here we reproduce the article from the November 2007 issue of
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  • Pay careful attention to edges and incorporate foreground colors into the background to create a unified composition. by Joyce Washor Catching the Red-Eye Flight 2006, acrylic on Masonite, 16 x 20. This bird is painted very well. However, a few adjustments
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  • C.W. Mundy teaches his students to paint effective portraits. Here, we look more closely at his innovative technique for painting portraits from upside-down photographs in this step-by-step demonstration of Bourbon Street Chef, New Orleans. Step 1 Mundy
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  • Janet Monafo once tossed objects onto her studio floor in an attempt to paint a more random arrangement with pastels. “I really wanted to accept whatever happened, but in the end I couldn’t resist my need to carefully organize the shapes and
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  • David Jon Kassan discusses Sam Ivie's Cellini Revisited. Cellini Revisited by Sam Ivie, 2000, colored pencil drawing, 8 x 10. Collection the artist. Looking at Drawings: Cellini Revisited by Sam Ivie by David Jon Kassan In this small colored pencil
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  • David Jon Kassan comments on Robert C. Dacey's Andrea in Shadow. Andrea in Shadow by Robert C. Dacey, charcoal drawing on Bristol board, 20 x 30. by David Jon Kassan This piece is a great figure drawing study in light and dark contrasts. It has a
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  • Barbara Edwards experiments with media and techniques in her paintings that make use of both representation and abstraction. by Lynne Moss Perricelli Mountain Pasture 2007, acrylic, 27 x 22. All artwork this article collection the artist unless otherwise
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  • Artists looking to work with pastel can learn valuable techniques and tips by studying artists who first explored the medium and discovered the possibilities the medium offers. by Naomi Ekperigin Although the work of oil painters and draftsmen is well
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  • During the spring of 2008, 13 women painters from California, Nevada, and Utah gathered together in the Yosemite Valley to paint the national park for a week. Yosemite on Canvas: 13 Western Artists Paint the Park Through November 29 Knowlton Gallery Lodi
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  • Congratulations to the 10 finalists chosen in the 2008 Watercolor Cover Competition. These accomplished artists each take a different approach, revealing the versatility and adaptability of watermedia. Here, they describe their sources of inspiration
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  • In the winter 2008 issue of Watercolor magazine, Margaret M. Martin discussed incorporating figures in her architecture and landscape scenes to help direct the viewer's eye and infuse a sense of movement and life into her paintings. Here, we offer
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  • Alan Flattmann presents a quick a step by step demonstration of his painting The Abita River. Step 1 Flattmann toned the canvas with a thin wash of burnt-umber acrylic paint. The artist drew the landscape with vine charcoal, sprayed the drawing with Krylon
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  • Denise LaRue Mahlke believes that being an artist is a calling that involves preserving, celebrating, and sharing in God’s creation. That’s one of the reasons she challenges herself to strive for excellence as a pastel painter and a teacher
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  • This New York City artist’s creative process involves self-reflection, during which she asks herself not only what she is painting, but also why she’s compelled to do so. by Naomi Ekperigin Daniel I 2006, oil on linen, 22 x 18. Collection
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  • Casey Baugh's step-by-step demonstration Red Scarf . Reference The model who posed for the three-hour demonstration. Step 1 After establishing the scale of the painted head and lightly indicating some of the features, Baugh applied strokes of oil
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  • In the summer 2008 issue of Workshop magazine, we discussed how Mary Anna Goetz's workshops address the tendencies students have to lose sight of the center of interest and to mix colors that are garishly overstated or inaccurate value assessments
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  • This Maryland artist always paints from life, creating work that gives personality and history to inanimate objects. Apartment Fridge 2001, acrylic on panel, 5 x 7. All artwork this article private collection. by Naomi Ekperigin Nick Clulow paints household
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  • In an exhibition opening this month in New York City, Daniel E. Greene presents still-life and figure paintings inspired by the experiences and objects of his childhood. Those paintings allowed him to explore the themes of challenge, contrast, and competition
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  • Students at the Community College of Philadelphia receive thorough instruction in the fundamentals of drawing and painting, especially those currently enrolled in Jeffrey Reed’s introductory course, Art 115—Painting I. by M. Stephen Doherty
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  • The James A. Michener Art Museum, in New Hope, Pennsylvania, will host this exhibition celebrating the influence of Bucks County Pennsylvania's waterways (the Delaware River and Delaware Canal) on regional landscape artists. Art and the River Through
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  • Watch a demonstration of Susan Lyon's figure painting in Gold-Trimmed Shawl. Lyon is one of the artist featured in the summer 2008 issue of Workshop magazine (1:29). Susan Lyon Posted to Artist Daily by Karyn on October 08, 2009 Click to Play | View
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  • Two of the world's foremost international landscape painting groups—Landscape Artists International (LAI) and International Plein Air Painters (IPAP)—have come together to organize the international art exhibition "Far and Near Horizons
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  • Ross Merrill, the chief curator of conservation at the National Gallery of Art, in Washington, DC, wrote an article for our premiere issue of Workshop magazine on the equipment necessary for successful plein air painting. Here is an excerpt of that article
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  • This Massachusetts painter uses a closely controlled palette and open painting approach to create highly evocative visions of interiors and figures. by John A. Parks Family at Sundown 2005, oil on linen, 48 x 72. All artwork this article collection the
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  • Utah artist David Koch likes to bring elements of his state’s pioneer past into his computer-aided compositions. by Linda S. Price Crossing The Sweetwater 2002, oil on linen, 55 x 44. Collection Walt and Katie Gasser. Until David Koch won a competition
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  • An appropriate background is essential for setting the scene in a still life composition. by Janet Walsh Silver Server With Cups 2002, acrylic, 12 x 24. The artist has done a nice job painting these still life items. However, the artist may want to consider
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  • Modulate contrast to keep the attention on the focal point. by Dawn Whitelaw The Old Man Pastel, 23 x 17. The artist has done an excellent job with this pastel portrait—the drawing and the use of color are quite effective. My only suggestion would
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  • Three painting friends exchanged photographs and then produced paintings of the same 15 subjects in an experiment designed to teach them about different approaches, challenge them to push beyond their comfort zone, and allow them to work on a common painting
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  • Consider value choices carefully when painting figures. by Dawn Whitelaw The Mother Wore Green (at the Wedding) 2007, acrylic, 12 x 16. The critic manipulated the image in Photoshop to demonstrate how to alter the values of the bodies. I like the energy
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  • In 1994 New York City pastelist Sam Goodsell returned to the art world after nine years away, determined to fully explore the challenging and rewarding genre of figure painting. His dedication is paying off. To read more features like this, subscribe
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  • his Wyoming artist has a simple message—“put the right color in the right place, and use interesting shapes”—that unfolds into much fuller, useful instruction in his workshops. by Bob Bahr Jim Wilcox advised a student during a
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  • The vast array of materials and tools available to artists can make it difficult to determine which is best for rendering a certain subject. Even a traditional oil painter has a wealth of options and can choose from alkyds, water-soluble oils, and traditional
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  • In this online exclusive gallery, view more examples of plein air landscapes by Kevin Sanders, one of the artist featured in the September 2008 issue of American Artist. Ponte Vecchio 2006, oil, 18 x 24. All artwork this gallery private collection, unless
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  • The Florence Griswold Museum, in Old Lyme, Connecticut, is the opening venue for "Impressionist Giverny: American Painters in France, 1885-1915, Selections From the Terra Foundation for American Art," an exhibition of more than 50 oil paintings
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  • Read the transcript from yesterday's live online chat and drawing tutorial with colored pencil artist Arlene Steinberg. Be sure to attend our next live chat with pastel artist Janet Monafo on Monday, June 9 at 2pm EST. 2008-05-12 11:00:03.0 Administrator
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  • American Artist July/August featured artist Michael McNamara offers some tips on painting in a very congested city such as New York. Painting in the Urban Jungle by Karen Frankel SingleTitle Small http://link.brightcove.com/services/link/bcpid1256302615
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  • New Jersey artist Sissi Siska reinvents traditional silk-painting techniques to create multimedia works of art. by Stephanie Kaplan Orchids on Blue Ferns 2005, dyes, gutta, and wax on crepe de chine silk, 6’ x 3’. Collection the artist. Detail
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  • The winner and semifinalists of our annual cover competition reveal how they created paintings that captured the attention of our judges. Frank J. Strazzulla Jr. Studio Interior 2003, oil, 18 x 14. Private collection “One of the compelling themes
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  • The 10 Finalists in the Watercolor Cover Competition offer their insights on the creative process—from finding inspired subjects to selecting materials to applying the final details. Cymbidium Equinox by Kory Fluckiger, 2004, watercolor, 27 x 19
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  • Painting the expressiveness of a person’s mouth helps establish his or her likeness, personality, and vitality in a portrait, yet many artists have difficulty representing that facial feature. Here’s how I teach students to paint a mouth in
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  • Known for his innovative method of using transparent watercolor on a nonabsorbent surface, this California artist employs an open-ended approach. Like what you read? Subscribe to Watercolor today! by Lynne Moss Perricelli Sunday Morning Nougat 2003, watercolor
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  • Midwestern artist Christopher Copeland paints the landscape that surrounds him, imbuing it with emotion and recording the transient moments that are often difficult to capture. by Naomi Ekperigin Midsummer Evening 2007, oil, 30 x 32. Private collection
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  • Watch a plein air watercolor demonstration by spring 2008 Watercolor featured artist Lori Woodward Simons Lori Woodward demo on plein air Posted to Artist Daily by Karyn on October 12, 2009 Click to Play | View Details
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  • Urban landscape painter Scott Prior proves that a contemporary, “punk-rock” alternative to classical California subject matter can still produce moving and thought-provoking imagery. by James A. Metcalfe Island Life 2007, oil, 24 x 18. Courtesy
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  • Californian Patricia A. Hannaway stresses that the best drawings of living things honor the action line and gesture, suggesting their movements in the recent past, present, and future. This dynamic, cinematic approach makes sense for someone who has made
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  • Varying color and subduing the background helps create an effective floral composition. by Janet Walsh Geraniums 2005, acrylic, 8 x 10. The artist has certainly made good color choices in the bouquet, and has created the feeling of sunlight throughout
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  • Use negative space on both sides of the canvas to create a unified composition. by Elizabeth Pruitt Bleu 2007, acrylic, 36 x 24. The artist has created interesting negative shapes on the left side of the painting where the flowers go off the canvas. The
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  • Indicating a light source is essential to painting 3D objects. by Elizabeth Pruitt The Moroccan Vase 2006, acrylic, 19 x 12. This piece is reminiscent of Picasso's work. The eye travels nicely down the curving line of the vase in the foreground. However
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  • The Bay Area Classical Artist Atelier, just outside of San Francisco, began with one woman’s dream to establish a school steeped in the traditions of the European ateliers of the past. Today the atelier is one of the most regarded classical contemporary
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  • The joy and excitement of plein air painting is worth the extra effort required to paint comfortably outside. Here, we address common problems and experiences artists face when first working outdoors. by Naomi Ekperigin Since the 19 th century, artists
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  • Six top artists combined observation, investigation, and invention to respond to the encompassing reality of the landscape. They will be exhibiting their sketches and studio paintings together for the first time this summer. by M. Stephen Doherty The
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  • We present online exclusive student critiques by Jim Wilcox, one of the featured artists in the spring 2008 issue of Workshop magazine. To read more critiques of student work, subscribe to Workshop today! by Bob Bahr Wilcox liked this artist's color
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  • Because most of his Pennsylvania landscapes begin with his photographs, Peter Fiore considers his paintings reorchestrations of reality. “A painting is what I envision,” he says, “not necessarily what nature gave me.” by Linda
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  • Having completed more than 400 watercolor portraits of children, Jane Paul Angelhart knows how to avoid potential problems with muddy paints, uncharacteristic poses, nervous children, and overbearing mothers. Like what you read? Become a Watercolor subscriber
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  • California-based artist Don Gray paints large-scale murals and applies his traditional training to the depiction of historical events. He brings to this work a sense of spontaneity and freedom that is fueled by the creation of a new small painting every
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  • Renowned for his watercolor paintings of the figure, this artist reminds others to simplify, merge the subject with the background, and respond in a way that is natural and authentic. To read more features like this, subscribe to Watercolor today! Watercolor
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  • For me, the goal of landscape painting is to paint stirring images that engage and inspire viewers, and this is more likely to happen when I use information from a variety of sources. by Steve Armes Sketch for Sierra Blanca 2005, oil, 8 x 10. All artwork
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  • From the thousands of art-instruction books available, we offer a list of those that have proven beneficial to new artists. by Naomi Ekperigin There are many options available for artists wishing to improve their skills. However, the price and time commitment
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  • Many artists regularly visit the websites of museums, galleries, art magazines, and art-material manufacturers to get information and instruction on their craft, but not everyone is aware of the increasingly popular blogs in the art world. by Daniel Grant
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  • We present biographies and artwork from our 20 esteemed watercolor teachers. by Beth Patterson Mary Alice Braukman The Power of Letting Go by Mary Alice Braukman, 2005, mixed media and collage, 22 x 30. Collection the artist. Mary Alice Braukman is an
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  • We present the semifinalists in the pastel category. by Karen Stanger Johnston Changing Channels by Mike Barret Kolasinski, 2007, pastel on archival foam board, 12 x 24. First Place: Mike Barret Kolasinski Chicago artist Mike Barret Kolasinski is passionate
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  • Pay careful attention to color temperature. by Elizabeth Pruitt Maddy No. 1 2006, pastel on acid-free foam board, 24 x 20. The artist has achieved an intimate feeling in this paintingâ??itâ??s as if the viewer is drawn into the horseâ
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  • Deciding where to place the elements in a painting can be difficult, but the decisions are crucial to creating a successful piece. by Naomi Ekperigin Deciding where to place the elements in a painting can be difficult, but the decisions are crucial to
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  • In the April 2008 issue of American Artist, we discussed how Christine Lafuente's still lifes and plein air landscapes are oriented toward achieving a color harmony that captures the play of light across the forms. In this online exclusive gallery
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  • Read more information about the arts in Colorado in conjunction with the spring 2008 Workshop magazine feature on Ron Hicks' Denver workshop. by Allison Malafronte Jeanne Mackenzie conducted a plein air landscape workshop through Cottonwood Artists’
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  • Alabama artist Clint Herring has been successful with watercolors that focus on the architecture and people of the Southern United States and the Bahamas. As one of his dealers explains, the strength of the work is its connection to the rich traditions
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  • Michael Albrechtsen achieves a stronger impression of both the emotional and physical aspects of a landscape by standing back from his easel and thinking carefully about what he sees. by M. Stephen Doherty Cool and Wet 2007, oil, 40 x 30. Collection the
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  • When Rhode Island artist Peter Hussey taught himself to paint, he noticed that great artists often used diagonal and curved shapes to bring viewers into and around their pictures. That lesson, along with many others he learned by studying both historic
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  • Many of the great teachers who trained Daniel Graves were featured in American Artist in the 1970s, while he and his students have been profiled in more recent issues. As the magazine celebrates its 70th anniversary, we examine the academic art education
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  • This past summer, 30 outstanding young artists were invited to spend three weeks studying the landscape in upstate New York, where they applied their figure-drawing skills to rendering nature. The intention of the four instructors was to revive the approach
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  • Break up strong lines when possible to add interest. by Elizabeth Pruitt Looking South— Hollywood Beach, Florida Acrylic, 36 x 24. This painting has a nice composition. However, the diagonal line that runs from the lower, left corner should be irregular
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  • An exhibition at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, in Philadelphia, aims to present Cecilia Beaux for the great painter she was: one of the most accomplished among men and woman alike. by Lynne Moss Perricelli Self-Portrait 1894, oil, 25 x 20
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  • Texas cattle rancher Lonnie Shan depicts the animals he admires in stunning watercolors, taking great care to capture their personality and soul. by Naomi Ekperigin Hard is the Journey 1991, watercolor, 14 x 10. Collection the artist. Viewing one of Lonnie
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  • Water-soluble colored pencils offer the perfect solution for artists who want to create watercolor effects without the hassle of watercolor paints. by Stephanie Kaplan Plumeria 2006, watercolor pencil, 8 x 10. Watercolorist Kristy Ann Kutch owned a set
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  • In the February 2008 issue of American Artist, the Plein Air Painters of Chicago revealed both the pitfalls and pleasures that landscape painters often encounter when painting in an urban setting. In this online exclusive gallery, we showcase several
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  • Although viewers may first be attracted to the beautiful and romantic subjects of Steve Hanks’ extraordinarily detailed watercolors, they soon become engaged by the expressions of love, loss, and hope conveyed by the images. That’s because
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  • Albert Handell, one of the most important artists working in pastel today, was the subject of a retrospective exhibition at The Butler Institute of American Art. Here, he describes some of the seminal paintings in the show and his continuing exploration
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  • Oregon artist Scott Gellatly knows that a broad knowledge of materials and techniques can help painters realize their visions. That’s why he now travels around the country on behalf of Gamblin Artist’s Colors teaching painters how to give
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  • by Linda S. Price Anderson Homestead 2002, watercolor, 18½ x 22½. Private collection. Kolb looked for diagonals to create drama in this composition. Vermont artist Kathleen Kolb is not a fussy painter. She doesn’t need sunny skies
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  • Santa Barbara artist Ann Sanders finds natural beauty in her surroundings and puts it down in pastel using proven methods—and she stresses that you can too. by Bob Bahr Devereux Afternoon 2006, pastel, 11 x 15. Collection Shirley Dettmann. The scenes
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  • There are few American painters who were as celebrated, successful, or influential as Frederic Edwin Church. by M. Stephen Doherty Twilight, a Sketch by Frederic Edwin Church, 1858, oil, 8¼ x 12¼. Collection Olana State Historic Site, Hudson
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  • Two masters of still life painting have much to teach us about developing our paintings. by Joseph Gyurcsak Ochre & Blue Gray 2007, oil, 12 x 16. Collection the artist. Two of the most admired masters of still life painting are the Italian artist
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  • Most artists are familiar with the axiom that states there is art created for commerce’s sake and art created for art’s sake, but few are able to find a happy medium between the two. by Daniel Grant Most artists are familiar with the axiom
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  • This Dominican-born artist uses rich color to create an exotic and intense experience of the world. by John A. Parks Standing Nude Study 1988, oil, 20 x 16. All artwork this article collection the artist unless otherwise indicated. Although he has long
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  • We present the semifinalists in the watercolor category. by Karen Stanger Johnston After the Harvest by Gail M. Wheaton, 2003, watercolor, 30 x 22. Collection Evan and Patricia Harter. First Place: Gail M. Wheaton Arizona artist Gail M. Wheaton completed
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  • Painting light accurately can be a challenge in landscape painting. by Shawn Gould Reflecting at Sunset 2006, acrylic, 24 x 24. This is a beautiful painting with nice light, however the sun's highlight is a little too bright. Since the light falls
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  • Pay attention to lights and darks when painting landscapes. by Shawn Gould California Seascape acrylic, 22 x 28. The artist has done a nice job with the composition—the viewer’s eye follows the land out to sea and is brought back into the
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  • Careful consideration of color value and saturation are important in a unified composition. by Shawn Gould Blue Violets of Provence 2006, acrylic, 20 x 20. The artist has done an excellent job bringing the viewer into the painting with the use of rich
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  • We present the semifinalists in the colored pencil category. by Karen Stanger Johnston Ya Reckin by Rosemarie Rush, 2006, colored pencil, 16 x 20. First Place: Rosemarie Rush Like most of the images of Western life by California artist Rosemarie Rush
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  • Santa Fe artist Doug Higgins has many strategies for directing the viewer’s eye toward the center of interest and leading it around the painting. by Linda S. Price Painting at Smith Cove 2004, oil, 20 x 24. All artwork this article collection the
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  • We present the semifinalists in the oil category. by Karen Stanger Johnston Hyacinth (and the McCoy Pot) by Ellen Buselli, 2006, oil on linen, 12 x 16. Private collection. First Place: Ellen Buselli Ellen Buselli’s favorite subject is the still
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  • During the second half of the 19th century a single writer held enormous sway over the hearts and minds of American artists, critics, and their public. by John A. Parks Devonport and Dockyard, Devonshire by Joseph Mallord William Turner, 1825–1829
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  • Childhood memories can have a lasting impact on the artistic imagination and even the creative process. by Carl Dalio Along the Oregon Coast 2007, watercolor, 14½ x 21½. This high view of the Oregon coastline presents a story of endurance
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  • It is important to consider the background color in a portrait. by Dawn Whitelaw Kate Menendez 2006, pastel, 21 x 19. The critic created an adjusted version of the painting in Photoshop to supplement her critique. This artist asked for help with the background
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  • Primarily an oil painter, Elizabeth O’Reilly makes a point of painting the figure in watercolor, where she stretches her painting skills to solve new kinds of problems. by Lynne Moss Perricelli Large Woman With Umbrella 2006, watercolor, 16¼
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  • Liz Haywood-Sullivan relies on several techniques to ensure she consistently achieves rich, velvety darks. View an online exlcusive gallery of Haywood-Sullivan's work. by Christopher Willard Southwest Solitude 2005, pastel, 24 x 36. Private collection
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  • In the spring 2007 issue of Workshop , we discussed how oil and pastel artist Robert Hoffman encouraged students to relax, explore, and experiment in his five-day introduction to plein air painting. Here, we offer an excerpt from the article about how
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  • Finding the right balance of materials can be challenging in mixed-media artwork. by Dawn Whitelaw Red Circle of Life 2006, oil, acrylic, and hammered copper on wood panel, 36 x 84. Orange Dragonfly 2006, oil, acrylic, and hammered copper on wood panel
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  • The artists of the Ashcan School, known for their raw depictions of urban life, shared a background in newspaper and magazine illustration that shaped their drawing and painting styles. by Edith Zimmerman Far From the Fresh Air Farm by William Glackens
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  • A current exhibition in Stockton, California, shows how members of the Plein-Air Painters of America (PAPA) interpret their on-site studies to make larger studio paintings. We asked eight of the exhibiting painters to share their approaches with American
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  • Nearly 60 views of Malibu created by members of the California Art Club are featured in this exhibition, which explores not only the city’s picturesque scenery but also the enduring California plein air landscape tradition. by Michael Zakian Driving
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  • How theatre set design, an eye for detail, and the study of historical traditions and transitions can inform composition in painting and drawing. by Ray Rizzo For his class on the history of costume and decor, New York artist and educator Lowell Detweiler
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  • Be sure to locate the light source in the composition before you begin painting. by Elizabeth Pruitt Moonlit Forest 2006, acrylic, 24 x 30. This artist demonstrates some good, basic painting skills; however, the artist might want to consider the following
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  • This California artist pursues an aggressive, take-no-prisoners approach to plein air painting. by John A. Parks Dos Roses 2006, oil, 12 x 9. Courtesy Red Piano Art Gallery, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. Ken Auster uses loads of thick paint and
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  • Veteran California oil painter Meredith Brooks Abbott explains how she has maintained a devotion to the routine of painting every day, with continually improving results. by Molly Siple Bird Refuge 2006, oil on linen, 11 x 11. All artwork this article
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  • Traditionally trained artist Sarah Lamb uses her passion for the kitchen to bring a new vitality to the art of the still life. Mousse au Chocolat 2005, oil on linen, 20 x 32. All artwork this article private collection unless otherwise indicated. by John
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  • The two most important aspects of taking proper care of oil painting paintbrushes are storage and cleaning. by Bob Bahr An example of a bright brush. Photo courtesy Loew-Cornell. Storing Brushes Always store your brushes flat. It’s best if they
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  • Although Paul Lowe, our Artist of the Month, finds inspiration in nature, he almost always paints his landscapes from inside the studio. by Edith Zimmerman Palm Oasis 24 x 18. Courtesy Galerie Gabrie, Pasadena, California. Although Paul Lowe, our Artist
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  • Read the transcript from our online chat with artist-instructor Dan Thompson. If you have more thoughts to share, chat with your peers on Artists' Forum , and check back for more online chats with featured artists. 2007-06-13 12:00:02.0 Administrator
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  • View a demonstration of artist-instructor Dan Thompson's figure-painting techniques. Be sure to check back in the coming weeks for a more detailed video demonstration of Thompson's work. Step 1: Thompson set up the model in a sitting position
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  • The artistic journey of Bonnie Ramsbottom is one of both tragedy and triumph: she came to art late in life literally by accident when she began painting as a means to recover from the removal of a brain tumor, the surgery of which she was not expected
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  • This oil painter finds that his ongoing series of paintings depicting books allows him to venture into a number of themes—including self-portraiture. View an online exclusive gallery of Rubenstein's work. by William Chapman Sharpe The Great
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  • Teaching students about color is essentially teaching them how to see—and then explaining how to paint beyond the literal. According to students, Montana painter Ned Mueller succeeds in doing this in his plein air workshops. by Bob Bahr Ned Mueller
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  • Oil Painting Pigments and mediums Oil paint is pigment suspended in oil, usually linseed oil. Painters thin oil paints by adding either more oil or a solvent, such as turpentine--or a mixture of both. In addition to linseed, artists use walnut, poppy
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  • The Painting Center, in New York City, recently played host to two watercolor exhibitions. The above paintings were all presented during the "Fluid Fields" exhibition. The Painting Center , in New York City, recently hosted "Fluid Fields
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  • A career as an artist can be one of the most creative, personally fulfilling professions available, but sometimes making art is less about self-expression and more about paying the bills. For Donna Dewberry—an acrylic decorative painter from Clermont
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  • Californian Florence Strauss gradually builds layers of relatively dry watercolor paint on rough paper with a stiff bristle brush, starting with colors that define the background and moving to the objects in the foreground space. by M. Stephen Doherty
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  • We offer a color theory guide to assist novice painters. by Bob Bahr A painter can mix 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
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  • After Colorado artist Stephen Quiller finishes presenting exercises, demonstrations, lectures, and critiques during a workshop, students often comment that no other instructor has covered that vital information with such depth and clarity. Even experienced
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  • After Colorado artist Stephen Quiller finishes presenting exercises, demonstrations, lectures, and critiques during a workshop, students often comment that no other instructor has covered that vital information with such depth and clarity. Even experienced
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  • Californian Kim Lordier has succeeded by pushing herself to create better and more original paintings with pastel and by stopping herself from rendering photographic details. “I had to gain enough confidence to make marks that expressed what I wanted
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  • Despite the differences in their styles, materials, and techniques, the teachers we surveyed offered similar recommendations—up to a point. by M. Stephen Doherty Funchal by Frank Webb, 2005, watercolor, 22 x 30, Collection the artist. Over the past
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  • Helen Klebesadel offers tips on how to introduce the sometimes daunting medium of watercolor to novice painters. by Leanne MacLennan Cedar Dance II 2004, watercolor, 30 x 22. All artwork this article collection the artist. Watercolor instructor Helen
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  • We explored Rose Frantzen's insightful approach to teaching figure painting in the spring 2007 issue of Workshop magazine. Here, we offer tips from the article. Helpful Hint: Evaluate Your Process Subjectively Frantzen uses several methods to judge
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  • This month's featured artist is Alexandre Reider, a landscape painter who lives and works in Brazil. by Edith Zimmerman Washers by the River 2006, oil, 7 7/8 x 11 13/16. Collection the artist. Our Artist of the Month, Alexandre Reider , hailing from
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  • After a Trip to Italy, Fred Wessel learned more about egg tempera painting and adding gold leaf to his panels. He now teaches those procedures for emulating the dazzling beauty and inner glow of 14th- and 15th-century pictures. by M. Stephen Doherty The
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  • Nine years ago, Mark Norseth moved his family to Hawaii and discovered the perfect place to record the power, movement, and coloration of the sea in pastel paintings. by Tamara Moan It’s easy to spot Mark Norseth around the town of Kailua, perhaps
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  • Jean Ranstrom’s artist-friends are often surprised that she can create stunning pastel paintings in locations they would ignore. “If a painting has a strong focal point, as well as varied edges, values, and color temperatures, it can be successful
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  • A combination of variable brushstrokes, a warm and dark underpainting, and careful observation of environmental conditions help New Hampshire painter Colin J. Callahan capture light with a sense of energy. by Bob Bahr Banana 2001, oil on paper, 31 x 21
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  • Time in Giverny with Monet transformed Theodore Robinson's work, and much of what he learned he later passed on to another promising young painter. by Stephen May A recent exhibition on Theodore Robinson (1852–1896) highlighted the importance
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  • In the March 2007 issue of American Artist , Utah artist Brad Teare used a number of techniques to give his woodcut prints a fluid, organic quality that brings them closer in appearance to his plein air oil paintings . Here, we offer more the prints he
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  • Forbes and American Artis t again invited a group of artists to spend a week together interpreting a vast Colorado ranch in their choice of medium, subject, and style. by M. Stephen Doherty View of Cat Mountain by Ephraim Rubenstein, 2006, oil, 9 x 17½
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  • View more of Marla J. Brenner's plein air paintings in this online exclusive gallery, which expands upon the print feature in the April 2007 issue of American Artist . Headwaters of the South Fork 2006,oil on linen, 12 x 9. All artwork this gallery
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  • In the February 2007 issue of American Artist , we discussed Mark Norseth's pastel paintings of the sea. In contrast, we present several of his oil and watercolor paintings in this online exclusive gallery. Approaching Twilight 2006, oil on linen
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  • Ned Mueller discussed how to properly mix the right colors with which to convey a scene. by Bob Bahr “Many students want to learn as much as they can in an expedient manner, but it does take some years to achieve a fairly competent level,”
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  • In the winter 2006 issue of Workshop magazine, we explored how James M. Sulkowski showed students how to paint people posing in lush garden scenes during his Pennsylvania workshop. In this online exclusive gallery, we offer more of his oil paintings.
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  • Our critic offers advice on painting rounded forms with soft edges to create realistic portraits. by Dawn Whitelaw A Spanish Song Acrylic on canvas panel. The artist has created a dramatic composition with a very appealing combination of interesting textures
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  • It’s important to consider color theory when painting a landscape. by John Budicin West Coast Fall acrylic on canvas. It’s important to consider color theory when painting a landscape because often, as in this painting, the colors are too
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  • Our critic discusses the importance of shadows and foregrounds when considering a painting’s composition. by John Budicin Sunset Edith The artist needs to consider how the shadows are placed in this painting. The interior shadows seem a bit dark
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  • In the winter 2006 issue of Workshop magazine, we offered an inside look into Montana painter Ned Mueller's plein air workshops. Here, we showcase his figurative and landscape paintings as well as a few drawings. Norwegian Summer 2006, oil, 11 x 14
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  • While on location at the Forbes Trinchera Ranch, in Colorado, Ruth L. Beeve used watercolor and water-soluble oil to capture a variety of subjects. Back in her California studio, she uses those studies as the basis for more ambitious graphite drawings
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  • This Santa Barbara acrylic painter backs up her passionate views on land stewardship with an equally intense approach to painting the landscapes she loves. by Bob Bahr She is a calm, thoughtful person away from the canvas, but when she is painting, she
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  • We went in search of Anders Zorn in his homeland and discovered a personality large enough to encompass numerous contradictions—and a natural ability to paint in both oils and watercolor. by Bob Bahr When Anders Zorn's name is mentioned in the
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  • It's understood that a career in the visual arts can be personally fulfilling and professionally risky. That's why most people work secure 9-to-5 jobs and enjoy drawing and painting during evenings and weekends. But those limited hours just aren't
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  • In this excerpt from the fall 2006 issue of Drawing , David Mayernik discusses how copying the work of Old Masters trains his taste so he can draw and paint original work with the classical beauty he reveres. by Bob Bahr For David Mayernik , who has gone
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  • With adequate preparation and the right materials, it's possible to create large acrylic landscapes en plein air. by Andrew Paquette In early 2003, I left the high-stress feature-animation industry in Hollywood, California, and moved to Arizona, where
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  • Steve Rogers can point to the specific time in his career when his watercolors changed from being average to exceptional. That occurred when he met his future wife, found a subject he was passionate about painting, and had a religious experience. by M
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  • In contrast to his methodical, painstaking technique, G. Daniel Massad takes an intuitive approach to conceiving his pastel still lifes, allowing the imagery to emerge in its own time. by Lynne Moss Perricelli The Way Through 2001, pastel, 161/2 x 16
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  • Along a moonlit Santa Barbara beach this past June, seven artists learned how California nocturne painter Thomas Van Stein employs strong value contrasts, soft edges, and a simplified design to recreate the light of night. by Allison Malafronte Thomas
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  • Oil painter Josh Elliott strives to paint tones and designs, not just picturesque scenes. by Bob Bahr Evening Shadows, Swan Valley 2006, oil, 12 x 16. All artwork this article private collection unless otherwise indicated. Josh Elliott is 33 years old
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  • In the February 2007 issue of American Artist , James Woodside discussed how his paintings reflected his experiences in some of the planet's remotest locations. Here, we present more of his plein air paintings in this online exclusive gallery. Breaker
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  • Ohio artist Linda Wesner depicts American scenes that are quickly disappearing because she feels it is important that the viewer recognize the universal theme of change. by Bob Bahr Light Along the Hudson 2006, colored pencil, 25 x 12¾. All artwork
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  • Michigan artist Sharon Will uses the elements of color—value, hue, temperature, and intensity—to give her paintings drama and excitement. by Collin Fry Rocking Chair 2002, pastel, 12 x 9. Private collection. All artwork this article collection
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  • Maintaining a distinctive value structure is at the core of Joann Ballinger's pastel instruction--and her own paintings. by Lynne Moss Perricelli In both her teaching and her own pastel paintings, Joann Ballinger emphasizes the importance of a distinctive
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  • by M. Stephen Doherty Winter Ain't Far Away watercolor, 15 x 15. Can a pharmacist who describes himself as cheap actually convince artists to trust his advice about buying art supplies? He can if he is passionate about art, respectful of painters
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  • What will the 25th anniversary issue of Watercolor magazine look like? The answer could well be determined by the artists in this article who were recommended by teachers who are in contact with some of the most promising watercolorists. We asked those
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  • Editor-in-chief of Watercolor magazine, M. Stephen Doherty, recounts his memorable visit to the home of legendary watercolorist Andrew Wyeth. by M. Stephen Doherty In this account of my visit with Andrew Wyeth, I hope to convey the sense that he is like
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  • In the fall 2006 issue of Workshop magazine, verteran artist Betty Carr taught the fundamentals of light and color in the cool spring of France's Loire Valley and in a Scottsdale, Arizona studio. We offer an excerpt from the article explaining her
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  • New York painter Travis Schlaht looks for—and finds—compelling beauty in many corners of life. Then, using a restrained but powerful palette, he mirrors it on canvas. by James A. Metcalfe Bar II 2005, oil on linen, 26 x 36. All artwork this
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  • In the fall 2006 issue of Workshop magazine, Timothy R. Thies taught students how to capture the temperatures of light and shadow in their landscape paintings. Here, we offer an excerpt from the article regarding color charts. by Edith Zimmerman A few
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  • In the fall 2006 issue of Workshop magazine, California artist Sean Cheetham explained how to achieve accuracy and harmony in his alla prima figure paintings. Here, the artist discusses common weaknesses in figure paintings in an excerpt from the article
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  • In the fall 2006 issue of Workshop magazine, Randall C. Sexton taught participants how to create oil paintings in response to subjects that they were anxious to paint. We present an excerpt from the article. by M. Stephen Doherty Keep your palette organized
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  • In the fall 2006 issue of Workshop magazine, Lynn Gertenbach taught her students that plein air painting is a partnership between the artist and nature. We offer an exerpt from the article with Gertenbach's tips for painting water. by Molly Siple
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  • In the fall 2006 issue of Workshop magazine, California nocturne painter Thomas Van Stein taught seven students his process for capturing the light of night on canvas. Of the many challenges students faced, the most difficult ones seemed to involve value
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  • Sondra Freckelton is widely recognized for her well-planned, thoughtful, and expertly crafted watercolors she develops using principles that expand artistic expression; and she is appreciated for helping others learn those principles while gaining a concrete
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  • Like many artists accustomed to working with opaque paints, Jamie Wyeth prefers to use combinations of water-soluble materials rather than just transparent watercolor. He finds that layers of gouache, ink, graphite, acrylic, and watercolor allow him to
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  • Lee Boynton, a master of Impressionistic watercolor painting, explains how to learn more about color and value by simplifying your subject and painting it repeatedly under different light conditions. by Linda Gottlieb and M. Stephen Doherty Cozy Harbor
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  • Milt Kobayashi grants students permission to take complete control of their paintings and not feel obligated to paint exactly what they see. During a recent workshop, he encouraged participants to change a model’s pose, coloration, and costumes
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  • Tonal drawing--the juxtaposition of relative values, the notion of seeing masses rather than outlines--more closely replicates the way humans see than do lines. This emotional way of depicting the world has been explored since Leonardo; modern artists
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  • This New York state plein air artist creates impressive landscape paintings informed by his work as an illustrator and inspired by the work of the Hudson River School. by John A. Parks Creek Above Kaaterskill Falls 2004, oil, 20 x 16. All artwork this
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  • Artists often limit their potential by not taking full advantage of watercolor paints and supplies. Here’s advice that has proven helpful to my students. by Catherine Hillis There is so much conflicting information and advice available to watercolor
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  • “One of the biggest reasons painters get into trouble is because their pictures don’t have a solid foundation of accurate and expressive drawings,” says New York artist Jon DeMartin. That’s why his drawing workshops are so helpful
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  • As the son of Betty Edwards, the author of Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain , Brian Bomeisler helps students access the right side of their brains to improve their drawings. The following describes the first day of Bomeisler’s five day drawing
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  • In the October 2006 issue of American Artist , California artist Ken Auster explained how he pursues an aggressive, take-no-prisoners approach to plein air painting. Here, we offer further insight into his technique. by John A. Parks Canvas. Cotton duck
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  • This Pennsylvania artist combines alkyd with oil to achieve poetic paintings of his local landscape using a closely controlled technique. by John A. Parks Gene McInerney paints delicate views of his beloved Pennsylvania countryside with a fullness and
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  • Room interiors provide an excellent opportunity to paint a variety of light intensities, colors, and effects; but they also present challenges in trying to capture the subtleties of forms within those dimly lit spaces. by Joseph Gyurcsak Interior scenes
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