The Fourth of Five Workshops with David Chen
This workshop followed on fromthe previous subject about “loosening up” your painting style. One thing that I have noticed over recent years is how edges can make or break a painting. The softer and “looser” result that you may be looking for has to do with how you approach painting edges, particualrly those on you main subject in relation to the surrounding composition.
There are a few different methods to help with creating interesting edges that also bind your subject to their surroundings, rather than having them look like cardboard cutouts.
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?
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.
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.
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.
A Commentary Comparing Views and Comments
(Written without Prejudice)
“Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.”
“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.
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.
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.
The Second of Five Workshops with David Chen
Have you ever noticed when you paint a subject, that it looks like a stencil sitting on top of the surrounds? Painting along the edges when we paint can result in the subject, in this case, the figure, looking like it is popped on top of the background with no relationship to it.
There is a place for edges, or clear defining changes of colour and tone in a painting, but suing them all through the work can result in somethign that looks ‘stiff’ and lacking in life or movement.
How to avoid this when painting, so that the model is placed within the context of the background and a narrative is created is something that we see in the examples of artists that we admire in galleries, and somethng that we can achieve if we work at it.
Tip for Drawing from Winsor & Newton
I especially like the Winsor & Newton brand. I used it many years ago when I first began painting. Interestingly, the paints I had left over from that time were stored away when I began work full time and didn’t have the time or a place to set up to paint have lasted to today.
When I pulled out my old art kit about ten years ago to start drawing and painting again on the weekends I found that my Winsor & Newtons were still mostly useable! Only a couple that I hadn’t sealed properly had dried out. The same was appliccable to my left over drawing materials, all still good to go, even my small jar of Indian ink.