Painting Secrets

The Painting Purge

Getting rid of studio clutter to achieve new directions.

The Painting Purge - Cleaning the studio to achieve fresh ideas.

For some artists, the studio becomes a dumping ground for unresolved artwork and everything else that doesn’t seem to have a home. Although you may not be conscious of it, the clutter in your workspace competes for your attention, resulting in decreased performance and increased stress.

When you are surrounded by unresolved paintings, your brain can’t help but continually try to work out possible solutions instead of focusing on fresh possibilities.

Finding ways to un-clutter will give you a sense of power and a freed mind, leaving more room for you to be creative...

Identifying and Painting Tricky Values Accurately

Light colours in shadow & dark colours in light • Art Lesson by Doug Swinton

Identifying and Painting Values Accurately

This art lesson deals with a simple idea which is often under-utilized or overlooked by most artists. It explains how to accurately recognize and render light values living in the shadow family and dark values living in the light family...

Before you even begin, make sure you have a good source to paint from. Without good lights and shadows in your reference the painting will end up looking flat. Now try to separate your scene into the light and shadow families. Accurate separation of lights and darks makes for a more pleasing painting.

Creative Process (Part 3)

The Artistic Method Continued • Article by Doug Swinton

The Creative Process

Having a plan is the essence of getting good results in painting. Once you go through your process of systematic preparation it's time to get your hands dirty. Along with using the 5 Dominances of Painting to help in the choosing of your reference and developing preliminary sketches, there are a few other simple ways to keep your painting on the right track.

Below is a set of 5 rules to keep in mind. As you follow these methods with every painting they will become engrained in your process. Planning out your method this way allows your brain to be free from overthinking and thus allows you to stay in the creative zone.

12 Ideas for Keeping Things Fresh in Your Art Studio.

Strategies to prevent boredom from creeping into your art practice.

12 Ideas for Keeping Things Fresh in the Studio.

People often ask if I get bored painting landscapes all the time, to which I reply, “Yes yes I do!”. But it’s not the subject I get tired of. I get weary with any painting that does’t materialize quickly enough.

I suffer from ADD, an infliction that wasn’t on the radar when I was growing up. Back in those days it was known as the “He’s such a boy” disease. My eldest son has ADD too, which became apparent when he started performing poorly in school. It wasn’t until I started helping him, along with three special service teachers, while reading many books and attending many seminars on the subject, that I noticed they were also describing me...

10 Things I learned about painting fall colours from my trip to Alaska

Autumn Painting Tips from a Northern Excursion

10 Things I learned about painting fall colours from my trip to Alaska

In the fall of 2015 I drove to Alaska and painted along the way. This expedition was my life long dream - read more here. As far as painting is concerned, the colours there are slightly different and more intense. Below are my field painting notes from this magnificent journey.

How To Sign Your Painting

Branding Your Artwork

How To Sign Your Painting
  1. Do not use your regular signature.
  2. Full name? Surname only? Initials?
  3. Your signature is your brand.
  4. Designing your signature.
  5. Tidiness and consistency.
  6. Where to place a signature.
  7. Composition.
  8. Signature as logo.
  9. To date or not to date?

Dominate Painting

Using dominant & recessive qualities of pigments to your advantage.

10 Things To Ask Yourself While Painting

Painting is about contrasts. Big against small, thick against thin, bright against dull, light against dark or shadow, bold against quiet, colourful against pastel, etc. These dominant and subordinate relationships are what create tension and interest in a work of art.

Dominant/recessive juxtapositions are throughout your work and extend to your palette. There’s a simple rule to follow that will help - Always add dominant to recessive...

10 Things To Ask Yourself While Painting

Self-critique checklist for painters.

10 Things To Ask Yourself While Painting

This list is something I have used for many years while outdoor painting but I recently started using it in the studio as well.

To start with, try to finish within two hours (three hours maximum), before the light changes too drastically and you get too deeply invested in the piece and lose judgment. For indoors, it’s good to walk away after a couple of hours for a bit and come back with a fresh eye.

Throughout the course of the painting a little self-critique is a valuable exercise. My father always said; “When you dig yourself into a deep hole, take the time to inspect the quality of your work that got you there in the first place”. Worthy advice. Thus, during the course of the session, especially when close to finishing a painting, pause and ask yourself the following questions:

10 Things That Cause Mud in a Painting.

Your painting may not be as fresh as it could be.

10 Things That Cause Mud in a Painting.

Many factors can cause your painting to look duller than a subway station in December and you may be surprised to know that most of them are not even colour issues. Here is my list of the top reasons why your painting may not be as fresh and dazzling as it could be.

Repetition is the key to painting mastery.

Discipline needed for artistic self-realization.

Repetition is the key to painting mastery.

In painting, repetition is the key to getting better results. Like warming up with finger exercises on the piano or practicing scales on the guitar, repetition in painting is the key to getting finer work. Even professional athletes continue to hone their skills between games. In the painting game, repetition is one of the disciplines needed for self-realization…

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