Articles tagged with: instructor

Why do I get worse the longer I paint?

How do you know if you're making progress?

Apples and Oranges - Adeline Halverson

I recently read Adeline Halverson’s blog post “WHY DO I GET WORSE THE LONGER I PAINT” and because I frequently hear this question myself I asked Adeline for permission to share the article with you. I’m sure you will agree she tackles a lot of painting issues that need to be addressed.

Enjoy our guest blogger Adeline Halverson and don’t forget to leave her a comment below…

Photo Reference • Print vs Monitor

Painting from a reference in your art studio.

Photos vs Monitor - Doug Swinton

I love painting from life. The challenge of rendering what I see in front of me into a painting is one of the greatest joys in my life.  

Mechanical means of “observation” such as photography, remove most of the personal experience one has when painting from life.  Though a camera is technically brilliant, it feels nothing toward the subject. It has no understanding of what is being recorded. It simply records a flat representation and leaves out the countless stimuli an artist can experience when creating a painting.

In Praise of Painterly Painters

by Charles Movalli

Color Perception

"The piano ain’t got no wrong notes."
Thelonius Monk

While looking through some old notes I had taken a few years ago I came across this article I had photocopied. There ain’t no wrong way to paint but this version of how to paint really speaks to me. It was penned by Charles Movalli, a fantastic painter and an even more dynamic teacher...

Charles Movalli is one of Cape Ann’s best known painters and teachers. Born the son of artists in Gloucester, MA in 1945, Movalli became an art teacher, influential art editor and writer but above all, he is a painter. His dramatic brushwork creates the vibrant lighting and sense of movement that captures the essence of a scene.


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.

Color Understanding vs. Perception

Developing superior color sensitivity • by Michael Downs

Color Perception

Sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch… these are the five basic senses that perceive external stimuli which in turn are interpreted by our brains. Each sense can be refined with training, practice, and experience.

Sommeliers train their palettes for tasting the subtle flavors within a good wine; conductors train their ears for hearing the nuance of sounds within an orchestra; and hence, painters should train their eyes for seeing variation of colors within their subject matter.

Leisure Painter Magazine: Paula Henchell - Part 2

Paula Henchell - Leisure Painter Magazine - October 2013

Paula Henchell Artwork

This is the final part of a two part article published in Leisure Painter Magazine. 

Paula Henchell, one of our fine instructors, demonstrates in a straightforward fashion how this combination of watercolour and acrylic painting comes to life. Paula's paintings are realistic and her approach to painting is systematic and based on abstract design. The dreamy poured background is a soft stage for the rhythmic design of the detailed flower in the foreground.

Leisure Painter Magazine: Paula Henchell - Part 1

Paula Henchell - Leisure Painter Magazine - September 2013

Paula Henchell Artwork

This is the first part of a two part article published in Leisure Painter Magazine. The second part comes out October 2013.

Paula Henchell, one of our fine instructors, demonstrates in a straightforward fashion how this combination of watercolour and acrylic painting comes to life. Paula's paintings are realistic and her approach to painting is systematic and based on abstract design. The dreamy poured background is a soft stage for the rhythmic design of the detailed flower in the foreground.

A Natural Approach to Realism

Paula Henchell - International Artist Magazine

Paula Henchell Artwork

Paula is one of our premier instructors and her artistic feats keep adding up. She is one of the reasons Swinton's has become such a great place in which to learn and create.

If you get a chance to pick up the June/July 2013 issue of International Artist Magazine, you will learn about her process in detail. See the step-by-step stages of working from a reference photograph on a toned canvas, how she builds her layers and uses glazing to get the beautiful subtle colours, all the way to the final painting. She reveals her palette and the kinds of brushes she uses to acheive her soft backgrounds and hard edge details of realism. 

Southwest Art Magazine - October 2012

Spotlight on Doug Swinton

Southwest Art Magazine - October 2012

"The thing that attracted me to draw Brandi was the simplicity of her image. When I saw her I thought she would make an awesome drawing. There wasn't a lot of shading involved. It was about her eyes, nose and mouth, silhouetted by her shock of blond hair. Her mysterious allure - nothing else. It sounds cliché but the truth of the matter is that simplicity wins out every time. Though I like to challenge myself continually, there comes a time when I just know I can draw something end and enjoy it. BRANDI embodied this."

Strokes of Genius 4 - Doug Swinton

The Best of Drawing - Exploring Line

Strokes of Genius 4 - Doug Swinton

"Line is arguably the most fundamental and direct element in art, and also the most expressive ... as personal as handwriting. Strokes of Genius 4 explores the linework of more than 100 contemporary masters. These artists tell the stories of their varied subjects through strong verticals and sweeping diagonals, quick staccatos and loose, sensuous strokes."

We are proud to anounce that our very own Doug Swinton was included in this beautiful publication.  

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