Tag: Art

Composition VII, 1913 by Wassily Kandinsky

Your Painting (and Mine!) Fails Because of THIS

Avoid This Beginner Painting Mistake Since the mid-1800s, numerous artists (and beginner painting students) have stressed color over other elements in painting, mistaking color choice as the root of all success or failure in painting. They cite the Impressionists as examples, but Monet, for instance, explored how to paint light and its effects on the…

Painting by Marc Dalessio.

What Do Painters Really Do?

Mixing Color Like a Master 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 mixing color. I have such a visual lust for color–learning new colors, discovering new color combinations, figuring out how various light sources effect hue, and how…

Beginning at the Water's Edge by Jovan Karlo Villalba.

Tissues, Sand Paper, and Razor Blades

Attack Your Canvas with More Paint Texture I sometimes put so much emphasis on what I’m painting—thinking about what makes a strong composition and how to lead a viewer through a work—that sometimes I forget or forego the opportunity to explore a purely sensory relationship with the surface and paint texture. Try closing your eyes…

Cheers to the human form, figure painting, and
how it continues to inspire. Water
Serpents II by Gustav Klimt, 1904.

Cheers to Conquering My Fear

A Toast to Quiet Moments, Figure Painting & More   As I am faced with being a little over a month into this “new” year, I wanted to take the opportunity to belatedly craft a toast to 2016 and acknowledge all the great art that has been created in the past and has yet to…

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Do You Want to Paint Like the Old Masters?

What was emulation? The classical formation of artists and architects in the Renaissance and Baroque took the apprentice on a trajectory from imitation to emulation to invention. If imitation was the foundation of an artist’s training–copying a master’s drawings, drawing from casts, eventually drawing from the live model–emulation marked the stage where the apprentices began…

Boldini's abstract painting style

He Has a Sketchy Side

Giovanni Boldini & Abstract Painting But sketchy can be a very good thing in this context! When I was trolling for artists who draw like they paint and vice versa, Giovanni Boldini immediately came to mind. His mark making is a tour de force, no matter if he is working in oils, pastels, or when…

Star of the Hero by Nicholas Roerich, 1936. Pinning inspirational images on Pinterest is a great studio activity that keeps me engaged.

Beating the Winter Blues

  The Plein Air Studio Solution 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 we’re waiting for…

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No Two Shadows Are Alike

Beginner Drawing Shading Tips I am usually heartened when I hear disagreements about matters of art and technique. Maybe I’m just combative that way, but more likely, I think I take such debates as a sign that there are more artists coming to the table, that the field is growing and evolving, and that there’s…

Color wheel exploration: painting by Peter Van Dyck

In Living Color

The Not-So-Simple Beauty of the Color Wheel 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 I…

Dancing by Emily Falco.

Painting with a Magical Medium

Think Like a Watercolor Painting 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 materials, whether it is watercolor painting, acrylic, or oil–among others. For them to articulate such positive responses about…

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Van Gogh’s Xanthopsia?

How Van Gogh Saw the Color Wheel Vincent van Gogh was an artistic genius – no question. Although he may well have had psychological troubles, there is no proof that his distinctive use of color, especially those intense yellows, arose from an overdose of any pharmacologically active drugs, such as digitalis. There has been a…