Australian Fine Artist

Letting the Paint Do What it Does

Water colour painting  can be a challenge. A lot of artists avoid it as it tends to do what it will on the paper. Interestingly, you can have control over your water coloours depending on how you use them, and really, some of the beautiful affects gained when allowing the paint and water to flow and merge can be a delightful happy accident or surprise.

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Painting Nudes 2017

The Third of Five Workshops with David Chen

When I began training with David Chen, my goal was to not only learn the principles of Modern Impressionist painting, but also to ‘loosen up’ my style a bit from what i saw as sometimes ‘stiff’ and contrived results. Sometimes the details become so important that I forgot to place the subject within and connected to the foreground and background in which it was situated.

Context is just as important as your focus and main subject, and when the subject began to look disjointed, unrelated or worse, like it has been stuck or pasted on top of an unrelated scene, is when I start wondering how this could have been avoided. My thought was that if I could put more planning and less effort into my paintings, that would be a start, but what kind of thought and what kind of effort?

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How Important Are They? Why do they deserve your suppport?

There may be a lot of people who wonder why we have public and regional galleries. Surely they are just for people who love art or who are in the arts professions? What is not always explained about visual art in particular, is that even if you are not an artist or even in an accepted creative profession, or learning one, the methods of creative thinking and problem solving that artists do, is also useful in science, engineering and other professions.

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Impasto for Oil Painting

Adding Texture and Volume to Your Paintings

If you have ever tried to create volume to your paintings by using your paints alone, you have probably encountered the same problems that I have in the past.

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Titanium White vs Zinc White in Winsor & Newton Oils

You may have grown up like me, thinking that there is just white. What could possibly be the difference between whites in paints, surely they are all the same, but possibly with different pigments or mediums to blend them with.
In this quick blog, I will discuss the differences between the two most commonly used white in oil paints and how you can gain best use from each one.

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A Commentary Comparing Views and Comments
(Written without Prejudice)

“Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.”

Edmund Burke

“How can you tell the story of a culture when you don’t include all the voices within the culture?”

Khalo (Gorilla Girls)

While it could be said that since the beginnings of the Australian Feminist movement women have made inroads into professional acceptance, this may not be the case for generations of women artists. Depending on the sources that the general public may read, a vastly different view of a particular artist may be perceived, and resulting impressions swayed by the research position, personal biases, or emotive rhetoric by the writer. Although I believe it isn’t possible to completely omit a personal interpretive lens, as far as possible, I will endeavor to critically analyse the comments and conclusions made about artist Jane Sutherland in the texts reviewed in this commentary.

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Blacks in Oil Paints

When I first began painting I was told to avoid using black. It was a colour (or tone) that was to be avoided in preference for colours. It was never really explained to me, I just accepted that it was the case.

Without really examining paintings from the past, and how blacks have been used by master artists like Rembrandt, it could be easy t take the word for a well-meaning teacher or colleague about the use of black, but it is there in the paints, for a reason.

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Many of us who are training to be professional artists, or are keen amateurs attend regular workshops with professional art teachers.

Learning from established artists is a long tradition going back to prior to the Renaissance. In the Middle Ages and Renaissance it was common for artists to take on apprentices who over years learnt about the materials as well as methods and techniques to painting and drawing. Later in their training, they were allowed to participate in completed works with their ‘master’. Leonardo da Vinci is a prime example, whose marks are clearly seen in a couple of paintings done by his tutor.

The difference between then and now, is that copyright and intellectual property are more strictly enforced now than they were then, and because of social media and the growth of on-line sales what is done at a workshop, and touched by your tutor may not be yours to sell without their permission, or to say is your own creation.

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One of my students recently asked my about the use of masking fluid for water colour painting. This useful tool was introduced to me only a few years ago, and it is very helpful for keeping areas of your paper pristine for later washes or for the white to show through.

The accepted way of painting water colour is not to use white, but to allow the white of your paper to show through and around your colours. this method also helps the painting to look more ‘painterly’ and can create a sarkle and added dimension to the light.

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If you are fairly new to oil paints, you may not have encountered transparency in the various colour yet. Even for those of us who have been painting for a while, remembering which colours are transparent usually means double checking the back of the tube.

To begin with I will talk about what I mean by transparency in oil paints.

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