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Articles tagged with: instructional

Drawing

Begin by sketching

Doug Swinton Drawing Sketches

Drawing. That simple art exercise that eludes some artists and yet elates others. I can’t tell you how often I am asked if one needs drawing skills to be able to paint. The fact of the matter is, artists able to paint correctly, with no drawing skills what so ever are few and far between. It takes a vast amount of skill and dexterity to be able to paint what you see and juxtapose colour upon colour, stroke next to stroke, without having any drawing ability whatsoever.

In comparison, the music world has many musicians who cannot read a stitch of sheet music and learn by ear. The incomparable Johnny Cash very deftly did this, writing and performing his songs without the ability to read musical notes. Tablature, a form of reading music without notes, was created out of the fact that many musicians couldn’t read music. Similarly, one doesn’t have to be able to draw to be able to paint, or for that matter, one doesn’t need to be able to draw well in order to paint a painting. But here’s the snag…

10 Things I Know About Painting

By Doug Swinton

Doug Swinton • 10 Things I Know About Painting

Since the day the late Brock Linehan asked me "What do you know for sure?", and I had trouble answering, I've never stopped asking myself that question. Over the long haul some things keep repeating themselves and as I paint in my own studio or attempt to solve problems with my students, I realized that some things are always true. This list keeps growing but here are a few of those "for sure" things I've come to believe.

If there is anything you believe to be true every time, in other words, universal to every good painting, please post it in the comments section.

Pastel Demo using Canson's Touch Sanded Texture Board

New product at Swinon's

Pastel Demo using Canson's Touch Sanded Texture Board

For this article we went to the Swinton's Research & Development Team. Deep in our secret underground facility we gave the white lab coat and goggles to Duane Hendricks. His mission: to test the new Canson Touch Sanded Pastel Paper with the Unison Pastels.

All kidding aside. Along with the likes of Horace Champagne and Susan Woolgar (demo), Duane is one of Canada's most accomplished pastelists and he has offered his skill to give us a review of Canson's new addition to the paper world, Mi-Teintes Touch Sanded Texture Board.

Duane Hendricks demonstrates...

Begin With Dominance

Painting Lesson by Doug Swinton

Begin With Dominance

Be it monsters under the bed or skeletons in the closet, for any artist there is nothing is quite as frightening and intimidating as staring at a blank sheet of paper or the vastness of an empty canvas. Since the day I read Painting as a Pass Time I have always agreed with Winston Churchill's analogy that painting is just like War. "To fight. To go into battle against multiple forces. And to go into combat one must be prepared."

10 Painting Tips - Painting Secrets #39

By Doug Swinton

10 Painting Tips - Painting Secrets #39

1. Focal Point: Choose one! The hardest part about painting is the vast buffet of visual stimuli Mother Nature puts out before you. Whether you are outdoors, painting a still life or using a photo you need to simplify thing so you don’t get over whelmed. If you are getting confused then most certainly the viewer will be confused. If you start by saying “my painting is about the barn and the cows and the tree, oh and for sure the puffy cloud and the fence… too much information!!!! Think is my painting going to be about the foreground, the middle ground or the background/ sky. One of these needs to be dominate and be a dominant shape.

 

How to tell when a painting is finished.

Paintings don’t really end, they just arrive at interresting places to stop.

How to tell when a painting is finished.

Something happened the other day while I was painting.  It has happened before.  It’s happened many times before, but this time I decided I would write down all the things that led up to the event and how I can prevent it from happening again.  I was working on a painting that was coming along to what I thought was a fairly nice piece of work.  I was almost finished when all of a sudden it blew up before my eyes.  I had ruined it.

How to choose gesso

What is Gesso?

  1. Select a painting project you want to do. Decide on which painting media you are going to use. Think about what you want to accomplish with the painting.
  2. Do you want to use take advantage of the whiteness of the canvas? Choose a white acrylic gesso. You can add colors to the canvas while the gesso is wet or dry. While wet it will help in the lightening of colors. When dry, the white can show through by glazing with a color over it.
  3. Do you want colors to appear more brilliant against a dark background? Take advantage of a black acrylic gesso. You can take advantage of the black to add to shadows and to make an easy background. It is especially good for portraits and still lifes and can have colors added to the black or glazed over for effect.
  4. Are you painting on something such as wood where you don't want to block the background with an opaque gesso? Use a clear Acrylic gesso. Clear gesso has very good tooth and works well with acrylics, oils, water soluble oils, pastels, oil pastels, graphite and charcoal.
  5. Most white and black gesso can be used for acrylics and oils. With oils, you may choose to use the tradition gesso for oils made from a powdered mixture of gypsum, rabbit skin glue, marble dust, and titanium white.

Painting Tips #42

8 things I know for sure.

Painting Tips #42

Your eyes play tricks on you. Your brain wants to see it all - don't let it! If you want details in your painting, put them in later. Begin by tricking your brain into seeing less. It's simple. Squint! 

What is cause and effect? Every detail in your painting, every stroke, every colour and tone has a job to do. Pay attention to the entire painting to figure out what the effect of an individual stroke is and more importantly, what effect you want to create.

Read more to see the 8 things I know for sure...

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