Knowledge precedes execution: the more you study prior to painting, the better your actual painting will be. So with the arrival of a new year, I have a renewed vision to reread all the best art books in my collection. Here is my list of the top ten art books every artist should own.
Express yourself and be inspired with the help of these wonderful books, tips, & tutorials. From the beginning artist looking for a comprehensive introduction to the more experienced painter looking for a challenge, everyone can find a valuable lesson designed to help you create a brand new piece or add new depth to your technique. Here’s to your creativity!
Since 1932, Disney studio has offered free life drawing classes for its artists. The idea is that understanding and capturing the anatomy and sense of motion from a live model improves all your other artistic skills.
There’s something special about drawing from life. Maybe it’s the connection between you and the model, which doesn’t happen from a photo. Maybe it’s the way our eyes see things in three dimensions compared with the way photos flatten out the form. Perhaps it’s the fact that you are setting up your own composition in the moment. Whatever the reason, working from life helps you realize the real sense of the form and how to render it.
1 - Cadmium Yellow Deep is the number one secret to painting warm yellows. Every cadmium yellow I have tried has a tendency to the green side. This green tendency makes it really hard to keep your colours warm and thus makes your painting pasty. It also makes it hard to get warm dark yellow for the shadow areas. Cadmium Yellow Deep and Burnt Sienna (an orange) mix will give you a great dark yellow that is warm.
This article has been edited and published with the author's permission.
Roberta Murray is an oil painter and master photographer. Until recently, Roberta and I were only Facebook acquaintances. I enjoy the wonderful photos and paintings she posts. Recently, she wrote a piece for her blog that resonated deeply with me. It's a subject I have spoken about many times and I think she has summed it up very well and wanted to share it with you.
I love using pencil. Just me and a stick of graphite. I’m a persistent scribbler but at times I wish I could slow down and capture a bit more. The other day I overheard the artist Michelle Grant talking to a student about using different grades of pencils to achieve different effects and it was very interesting, so I asked her to write down her thoughts. Below is what she came up with. I especially love the idea of a marriage between the type of pencil and the paper you're using…
We are always proud to showcase the talents and achievements of our art instructors. Paula has been teaching at Swinton's for six years now, and in this time has honed her skills, in teaching and in her art, to great heights.
Follow her painting process in the latest of her articles published in Leisure Painter Magazine (August 2014), where she outlines how to achieve the illusion of depth, what colours to use for skin tones, how to attain glowing colours by glazing and create visual interest by building up areas of detail.
Enjoy the demonstration and don't forget to leave a comment below. Paula loves the attention :)
Painting rainy scenes takes a bit of skill but the potential for a great painting is worth the effort. Here is why.
Just before a long stretch of rain, the atmosphere builds up with a momentum of activity that has clouds gathering, dancing, swirling and pushing up against each other, jockeying for position. The heat from the earth rises and the cool air falls, precipitating chaos in the sky. When the rain breaks out, the cloud formations can be jaw-dropping. Giant puffers bubbling up and disappearing as fast as they are born. Perfect for sky motive paintings.
My youngest son is a genius. He asked me, “Dad, how come you are having a sale in the store, and while trying to sell more paint you write about painting with fewer colours?”
Using less colours means you are spending less money but you will paint more when you see the results. The goal of a limited palette is to gain more control and get rid of the frustration and confusion. You can always expand your repertoire once you learn to paint efficiently.
Framing doesn’t have to be expensive to look good. There are many options for making frames look fantastic without spending a lot of money. Below is a list of 10 things to consider while making decisions about how and why to frame your work.
During these short winter days here in Canada, there is one thing we have a lot of: night. Oddly, not a lot of artists paint nocturnal paintings. I learned to paint nocturne's from artist Harold Lyon, for whom night scenes have been a significant subject for more than four decades. Regardless if you're painting a landscape, a western cowboy and horses, or a romantic scene of lovers under the stars, the reflected light from the sun, bouncing off the moon and illuminating our nights creates an alluring image... Here are some of the things I know about painting moonlit scenes: