Basic Oil Painting Cont

Basic Canvas Painting

This lesson is a summation of the practical demonstration I sometimes give to further explain some of the points made in the previous lesson. My purpose is to use common household materials to make an oil painting while my method of teaching this is similar to those cooking shows you see on TV. My desire is to familiarize the students with what 'might' have happened during the 'invention' of oil painting back in the sixteenth century and thus remove some of the hesitation from trying the method...

Techniques Of Painting In Oils

From the earliest days of oil painting to the time of this writing (late Twentieth Century, into the early Twenty-first), a number of oil painting techniques have evolved. A great deal has been learned through the processes of trial and error and from the experiments of various artists through the centuries. From Jan and Hubert Van Eyck, possibly the first innovators to paint pictures in oils, in the late Fourteenth and early Fifteenth Century, to William Bouguereau, Jean L on G r me, Alexandre...

Virgil Elliotts painting below demonstrates his mastery of the silk satin technique

Diaphanous - Remember Virgil Elliott said 'The key is to understand that light on diaphanous cloth renders it more opaque, and thereby obscures more of what is underneath, while in shadows it is more transparent, allowing more of what is under it or behind it to show through. The diaphanous textures can also be done this way as well, by painting the cloth and what shows through it at the same time. Virgil's method - 'To simplify the painting of diaphanous cloth, let's ignore the refining...

Alexander and the Gordian knot

Alexander And The Gordian Knot Painting

'Ifthen such praise the Macedonian got For having rudely cut the Gordian Knot' Waller to the King Alexander was reputedly a strong, handsome commander with one eye dark as a black night and one blue as a burnished sky. He lead his army on his faithful black stallion Bucephalo and was accompanied by the best military formation of the time, the Macedonian Phalanx which was armed with sarisses, the fearfully brutal five and half meter long spears. Parmenion, the general shown here on the left of...

Painting Cloths And Fabrics No3

Grisaille painting the classic method of painting sub-forms in shades of grey paint in an effort to divide the processes of painting into easy stages. This is the first stage after drawing and its purpose is to render value or tonal differences between the forms. Strictly it means 'painting in grey,' but for practical purposes artists usually use favourite browns or muted blue greys. I use a mix of raw umber and cerulean. Grisaille painting is often a precursor to numerous applications of...

All Paintings on this page are by William Whitaker

William Whitaker Artwork

STUDENT ACTIVITY Write a short essay on the relationship between size and wall presence, colors and wall presence, design and wall presence. Give examples of each. Also explain how you think William Whitaker gives his paintings such great wall presence. Allow 40min. GO TO Bill's demonstration painting lesson menu I took this photo at the end of the first painting session. With neither face nor hands to slow me down, I was able to bring itthis far pretty easily. Given the Ingres-like neck and...

Cities In The Sky Painting Clouds

Best Clouds And Sky Pencil Shading

You can do this simple little exercise on a sheet of paper with some colored pencils. Later people will wonder why you keep looking up at the sky and most likely assume you are either idealistic or a deep thinker both these roles being totally foreign to most painters . Using simple perspective construct some blocks lighter lines than above . The light source will be front, top and left. Then we do some simple shading And a mid-tone and a cast shadow. When painting use colors from your existing...

Painting Something Contemporary Using Past Techniques Part

'Cyberscape' or 'The World as a Smaller Place' In the detail below you can see how I have added earth color the land masses and begun to hint at a horizontal design of highlighted colors. The idea is that we make this a continuous area of interest so the eye can travel left to right and back again and if it wishes to escape we will provide definite routes for that purpose.

Brushes And Knives And Wet In

Here is a simple little 12x 14 painting that anyone can do if they have a favourite figure they can plonk on a beach somewhere. I will show you how it is done then you will be able to see what happens when you paint thin over thick. 1. You will note a pinkish underpainting peeking through the waves. This is because I pre-painted the canvas with a mixture of light red and alizarin red with a little white to lift it up. At the time I painted this it was my usual background for seaside studies and...

Likely To Scumble

Scumble Paint

As the judge remarked about my life. 'Its like paint parts are opaque, parts transparent, and parts somewhere in between, according to how much light is able to pass through the tiny particles of your credibility.' But he was right about the paint. It can be opaque, transparent, and somewhere in between, according to how much light is able to pass throught the tiny particles of pigment. Transparent pigments are like tiny colored crystals, whereas opaque pigments are like little colored or white...

Innovations Of Rembrandt

Rembrandt Harmenszoon Van Rijn, whom many consider the greatest artist of all time, learned all that was then known about oil painting while still a very young man, surpassing his teachers very early in his career, and then proceeded to add his own discoveries to the technical knowledge of his time. To this day his best works remain unsurpassed, and serve as inspiration to the rest of us who paint. This being the case, any book on advanced techniques must address Rembrandt separately and at...

What Makes A Masterpiece

Arsenal Paintings

A painting masterpiece is 'a portal or magic window that will draw the imagination.' How is this done and why are we humans drawn to certain paintings like Icarus was to the sun, or flies to Why, because the painter desires the viewer to enter into the painting, and once there, to make them want to dwell awhile. And how do they do this By imagination and the use of all the means, tricks, skill, subterfuge, and techniques at their disposal. The techniques include texture, design, color,...

The painting of fur linen cotton velvet silk satin gauzes and other diaphanous materials

Thick Gauze Linen

Drawing the edges and the folds the thickness and pliability softness of the cloth determines the size and shape of the folds. Fur and thick wool that is soft yet pliant requires little drawing as it is mainly composed of large gentle contours. It usually dominates the form it conceals. Thick heavy linen or damask that resists folding will show straight edges and will stress at the folds with double or even triple indents see in the acute angles left . It also will override the shape it...

Depth Of Field

Depth Perception Painting

The human eye, like the camera, has a limited depth of field. In other words we focus on one level and the objects in front or behind are often blurred. When Deigo Velazquez painted Las Meninas he, along with many artists pre-photography , painted everything in focus. This was part of the magic of painting as the viewers perception was thereby expanded - rather like a hologram. Today wide angle lens may produce something similar but unless you intend to spend hours in a darkroom it is an all or...

The Painterly Effect

Painterly Painting

In these lessons I do not hesitate to assert that art is about illusion and great art is the total presentation of the greatest illusion. This brings me to the 'painterly effect' or the process of having your brush strokes or knife effects appear on the canvas as you see opposite in the detail from a pink rose I painted 'wet-in-wet' before the blooms could wilt. The full painting is shown below JH

Color Harmonies And Psychology

Dark Values Dominant Fashion

Using colors and developing a color scheme for your painting is a lot easier than you think. Many more color combinations work than don't work. Let us think more on the music analogy where each note has pitch, force and length - just as in painting each color has hue, value and saturation. A chord in music is a collection of notes that harmonise. Similar to music I like to think paintings can be composed of color chords. A painting 'chord' could then be thought of as a collection of colors that...

Shadow And Transparency

Let us recall our lesson on sunset and sunrise and remember the effect of atmosphere on light rays. Remember how the motes in the sky or mist intercepted the long blue rays and let the red through Now we will treat that 'mist' as a piece of glass or plastic a solid yet semi -transparent medium. In the first example below the reddish pigment particles suspended in the glass are sparsely arranged. As with the earth's atmosphere at sunset the pigment particles in the glass absorb the blue-green...

A Reverse Sunset Night and CLOUDS

High Horizon Painting

The sky of the reverse sunset or sunrise approximates the midday sky, but with less veils of atmosphere. The predominant light from the setting sun often gives the blue cerulean a slightly warmer yellowish feel on the horizon. The red-yellow light rays come from behind the viewer and strike clouds and solid objects bathing them in a warm orange glow that contrasts nicely against the cooler blue. The effect can be strikingly subtle. In this example the polished floor reflects the blue of the...

Finding a satisfactory format for a square canvas

You will recall my explanation of how the 'golden mean' is constructed I intend to use this golden rectangle as the basis for the major composition elements in my painting. First I will extend the diagonal of the original square to meet the extended vertical of the right side of the rectangle as shown in Fig 5 From this point of intersection I draw a square that will encompass and center the original square here shaded as in Fig 6. Thus I have established the proportions of my smaller square...

Make sure ye grab it

William Whitaker Oil Paintings

I began my next stage by replacing the chalk with paint and roughing in the couch and adding some strategic cushions. I intend these to be of various colors and materials and subdued hues. I discovered a pattern I like on a silk blouse in a Watteau painting so I will use it on the most dominant pillow. I arranged a few of my own pillows about the studio to better define the stretch marks. Suggest a foreground and background - but nothing definite at this stage. There seems insufficient tension...

Painting The Nude No3

My technique is first to establish the details then lose them as I need for the 'fade in - fade out' effect. I desire a balance between reality and mystery. Well, enough of the dreams the cushion under the left foot requires some work. The highlighted foreground will be a problem. The usual rule is as objects get nearer the viewer contrast increases as does the color saturation aerial perspective . That doesn't seem to be working here though so I will try and introduce some more detail and come...

Classic Illusion And Photorealism

Here we will examine the notion that good paintings can be made by simply copying photographs. To do this we shall return to the latter half of the last century when photography was all the rage and the great debate of the time was whether photography should confine itself to science or also develop as an art form. The perceived danger to painter's incomes was what spawned the impressionsists who believed representational art was doomed. Meanwhile it gave the academy painters something to think...

Texture And Pattern

Examples Pattern Painting

Texture texture is one of the three main elements of a picture - the others being design and shape. Of course their are many subdivisions that include color, light and shade etc. 1. The 'feathery' red hat is an example of Vermeer suggesting texture by means of 'working the edge'. This is probably the simplest method of creating a texture impression. 2. The polished ebony lions head is deliberately unfocused to bring it forward. Solid dots within a milky halo are the method used here to suggest...

Drawing The Many Uses Of A Line

Ancient Olive Paint

Fig.1 Here is a fine example of using rounded female forms to make a youthful face. Full cheeks and rouge lips Fig. 2Great delicacy is displayed in the grip and in the form of these young fingers. Fig. 3The powerful masculine shoulder and arm are defined by the flattened ovals of muscle. If we combine all these we should get an ambiguous picture, neither male or female, youthful or mature but with elements of them all. Fig.1 Here is a fine example of using rounded female forms to make a...

Painting Little Waves No2

Painting Figure Eight

In the detail of the wave shown opposite you may be convinced you are looking through the wave but this is mere illusion. My steps in painting were as follows 1 Paint the whole canvas a thinned mix of dirty sand colored raw sienna mixed with a little raw umber and white. Adjust for a approx value 5 or 6. Let dry to the toutch. 2 With a nice runny flake or lead white with a little ultramarine and cobalt blue and using flowing figure eight horizontal hand movements create the wave tops. 3 Add...

Then your artistic slump will vanish just in time for your real torment to begin

Now it becomes what, how, which combination, what is the essence of the feeling and how do I paint describe it, how do I start I had a folder here with great color schemes somewhere now which one was that How can I encapsulate the feeling, yet be subtle and convincing What forms lines textures patterns color can I apply But, just think when it is all over - and if it all works out brilliantly, you can wildly celebrate, wake up hungover and start all over again. Now where did I put that red...

Design

TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS and get to the theory later Let us assume we are faced with the situation where the following picture must be cropped to fit a particular frame. How should it be done You probably have quite definite ideas about your preferred option and if I said I preferred No.2 you may decide I should seek serious counselling or some other form of professional help. But most paintings do have accents or points of natural interest. Sometimes these are the areas of maximum contrast...

Cascading Light And Shade

CHIAROSCURO - creating depth with light against dark and dark against light. By forming a sky of scattered clouds a marvellous opportunity presents itself on the ground. The artist can use light to highlight certain areas he and darken others. The artist becomes like the person controlling the lights on a stage production. In the example below I use the bands of light to draw and direct the eye and all is done by utilising the dramatic effects of light against dark and dark against light. Note...

The Golden Mean or Golden Section

The 'Golden Mean' is merely a mathematical ratio usually discerned by the painter as the ratio of the larger side of a rectangle as it relates to the shorter. Derived by the ancient Greeks it can be constructed geometrically or expressed as a simple ratio, namely 1 1618 Like pi, the number 1.618 is an irrational number. Both the ancient Greeks and the ancient Egyptians used the Golden Mean when designing their buildings and monuments. The builders of Paestum used the Golden Mean in their...

Painting Little Waves

Rippling Waters Swimming Pool

Remember the first lesson on the importance of really looking at things and studying them Well this lesson is a reminder of that and will also give you an understanding of how a painter must analyze the smallest things so as to best understand how to paint them in the biggest way. Nothing is more important than understanding this. You might think the figures I put into the following painting are the key. Not so, it is the study of the wave that makes this painting unique. Have you ever wondered...

Drawing Proportion And Observation

Cubes Drawing Color Shading

Observation and genesis of the line and of freehand drawing Long before an infant understands that milk finds its own level he or she learns to up-end the bottle to feed. When, a little later, the child is asked to draw the level of a liquid in a tilted glass the result is often By observation or logic the instant a child realizes liquid finds its own level he or she has learnt a principle that will help it to survive and to understand the world. My point here is that descriptive drawing is...

To Create Three Dimensional Spaces

Point Perspective Drawing Lesson

The rendering of a three dimensional landscape, portrait or still life on a two dimensional surface is to some people a trick, and we know tricks are mostly magic As with magic some people are content to just observe and wonder at the skill of the magician, others want to know how the trick is done, while a few want to do it themselves. If we lived in a yellow two dimensional world and a blue ball passed through we would experience something like this Let us imagine we live in a giant room...

Painting Beyond Fashion

Basic painting and drawing principles and techniques from the Renaissance to the present by John Hagan 1. aerial perspective -6 lessons perspective - the basics perspective - lets go outside veils of atmosphere sunrise and sunset reverse sunset and night clouds, mist and other veils 2. color - 2 lessons color the hows and whys color a different approach 3. looking harder - 3 lessons painting waves 2 shadows and transparency 4. light and shade - 4 lessons backlight works its magic side light and...

Aerial Perspective And Atmosphere

Paper Cut Put Layered Waves

The best magicians will pull a rabbit out of the hat then the rabbit will become a balloon that floats into the air, the balloon will burst and pigeon will appear in its place, the pigeon will explode into a cloud of confetti and as it settles we find the magician has vanished You see great magic, like great art, has many levels - and they are usually subtle and seamless. That is why it will last. Whereas rabbits and hats may be for the children, works of Titian or Watteau might be for the...

Sunrise Sunset And Waves

When the sun is low its rays pass across the curved surface of the earth and encounter the thickest film of atmosphere than at any other point during the day . The shorter light rays the blue end of the spectrum are almost entirely deflected by the heavier particles in the atmosphere whereas the reds and oranges the longer wave lengths are the ones that will reach the observer. Under certain conditions, like after a rainstorm, the sunsets can be bluer whereas after a fire they often become...

First The Pearl A Lesson In How To Look At Things

An apprentice painter might learn how to hold a brush, mix colors or how to use a palette knife, but it matters nothing if the same person does not learn how to 'look' at things, and to look with the eye of someone who wants to explain the world in terms of paint. After many years of learning to 'look' we come to understand the nature of things and how they relate to each other. This first lesson is an entertaining introduction to give you some idea of what I mean by 'looking'. Don't be too...