Depth Of Field

Fore Gore Middle Ground Background

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...

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

Velvet And 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...

Painting which is well worth remembering warm light cool shadows cool light warm shadows

Cool Light Warm Shadows

When considering this scheme also remember the unifying effect of the discordant note. Painters use this is when applying 'spot' compliments (opposites to the unifying hue) which, as in jazz music, has the effect of underlining or exaggerating the unity of the rest. In the painting above I could have done this by making the bird's wings greener (removing all the red from that hue). There is nothing psychological in this, it merely is a practical tool for the painter to employ if the painting...

Brushes And Knives And Wet In

Steven Stipelman Illustrations

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...

Painting Little Waves No2

Painting Light Waves

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...

Combining computer technology and principles of painting

Source Morals

I quickly separated the major elements of the picture knowing I could always use the smudge tool to put them back together. Using some color controls (in a graphics programe), I removed color from the grey. This has the effect of giving the picture tints of the opposite (complimentary) hues without affecting the contrasts (values). In this operation I applied color theory regarding complements - while keeping the values bright. The reason for this is important. In previous lessons I have talked...

Skin Colors Or Flesh Tones

Flesh Light

I wrote this lesson in response to a number of letters - to quote but one 'Some people have difficulty mixing what are called skin colours. I have seen portraits where no flesh tones were used at all (somewhat like the dutch painter example in your lesson). How do you actually decide what values and hues you will use for a certain person's skin tones Do you think cool and warm colours Do you decide the hue based on the shadowed colours or the colours in the light, or perhaps you use some other...

Principles Of Visual Reality

Discipline With Empathy Art

The greatest art is that which moves the viewer in a positive way, which touches perhaps dormant sensibilities inherent in human nature, and awakens and or fortifies man's better qualities in so doing. Great performances in all the arts accomplish this same goal. A well-written operatic aria, for example, sung brilliantly and with feeling by a virtuoso soprano, can move an audience profoundly, raising the hair on the neck and bringing tears to the eyes, leaving at least some of them gasping and...

Inside out

When painting a head and shoulders portrait I usually establish the rough proportions of the sitter by way of freehand line. I plan the future positions of the areas of maximum contrast and interest. Next I paint the eyes mouth and nose. In other words I work from inside the overal shapes. As I reach the boundaries I find they often suggest themselves. Some I might like to edge or define while others I let fade away. In general it is appropiate to paint inside out if the figure inhabits more...

Abstract And Texture Painting

Light Texture Paint

Many confuse abstract painting with modern painting or modern 'art'and wars and battles rage in the 'art' world We are concerned here only with painting. In truth, an abstract design is one that has no pattern and an abstract painting is one that has no form. The painting above is not a photograph but its realism is undeniable. It has form but no pattern repitition . In a previous lesson I stated 'the human mind does not like to be overloaded with detail, particularly in a painting. It revels...

Pattern And Repetition

Rapetion And Pattern

Some of the most effective designs are the simplest. The head is centrally positioned. The horizontal line of the eyes is 'golden' approx 3 5 up the canvas. The two vertical straight lines provide the 'discord' to the circular patterns. The hard edges of the pearl which I think is really a silver ball eyes, and face make them all equally smooth and spherical. Here again we encounter repetition. The eyes and the pearl, because they are more reflective, have sharper and more defined highlights....

Painting Decorative paintings

Desire Painting

When everything else fails So how do you do formula paintings, and what are the formulas that always sell In the business we call these 'potboilers' and the problem is not in painting them it is disguising them sufficiently so they seem fresh and new, one off originals instead of formula paintings. There are of course certain things that have universal appeal and I will show you two variations of them in this lesson. Understand however, this universality needs to be tweaked and adapted...

Painting Glow And Light

Glow is essentially a factor of value rather than color. How is this achieved Paint a black canvas and let it dry. On your finger place a little white and with small circular smudging motion apply it somewhere to the canvas. It should now look like a milky smudge. Next take a pinpoint of paint on the end of your finger and touch it once in the middle of the smudge. The result is the essence of glow, total value differential as well as the milky area being a transmission area that will...

Rollover perspective

Famous Distorted Landscape Paintings

Here is a painting that utilizes a single vanishing point without unduly discomforting the eye. I call this roll-over perspective. My aim in this painting was to paint the total extent of the landscape beyond what the camera or the eye would see, and without moving the eye's cone of vision. As the landscape is essentially flat the illusion needed is one that combines in the perspective mode a plan view with an elevation. Also to make the transition as seamless as possible Secondly the...

Shadow And Transparency

Light Source Color

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...

Basic Oil Painting Cont

How Paint Light Source Oils

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...

Likely To Scumble

Teen White Opaques

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...

Value differences Tonal this is the value difference on the grey scale between the highlights and the shadows of the

This factor should be approached completely independently of any color considerations and for practical purposes we shall assume one light source and one direction not backlighting . The artist will usually limit these tonal divisions to a minimum of two and a maximun of four with the following approximations Fur and wool - two - with little value difference between highlight and shadow Flax-linen and heavy cotton - three - values between highlights and middletones closest Satin - three -...

Refined Painting The most advanced concepts go beyond words VE

Advanced Light Source

Rembrandt developed the technique of glazing over dried impasto for a bas- relief effect, wiping the wet glaze off the high spots and allowing it to remain in the nooks and crannies for a heightened three-dimensional effect. Used in this manner, impasto can actually enhance the illusion of the third dimension. Gerome below insisted on a perfectly smooth surface to the painting, and forbade his students to use impasto anywhere. My first instructor, who happened to be my mother, told me it makes...

GO TO Painterly effect No2 main menu

Rembrandt Chiaroscuro

KISSING PRACTICE - A DEMONSTRATION PAINTING - PART 2 In Fig.5 I have brought some of the highlights forward by use of a higher value blue-gray and added some wings. This stage you could call 'molding' the forms or to use its proper terminology you could call it the application of chiaroscuro. This was the method made famous by the Renaissance painter Carravaggio and copied in the north by painters such as Rembrandt, Rubens and Vermeer. Adding wings and cool grays Scumbling with some highlights...

All Paintings on this page are by William Whitaker

William Whitaker Painting

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 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...

Iian Neil writes

'Certainly Bouguereau does have a certain Romantic flavour to his works, but by and large he did not work in the style of Delacroix, David-Freidrich, or Gericault, to name a few exponents of that style. When I look at Bouguereau's work, the overwhelming impression I receive is of Classical polish and perfection, its potential severity softened with aspects of Romanticism. One must understand that by describing Bouguereau's work as Photo-Idealism one risks classing him amongst those who merely...

Direct Painting

The Direct Painting Method differs from the Venetian Technique and the Flemish Technique in that the artist paints in full color from the very beginning, without requiring an elaborate under drawing or underpainting, and without resorting to the use of glazes or scumbles. All paints except the deepest darks are used as if they were opaque, and are usually applied heavily enough as to appear so. The object, ideally, is to paint the entire picture wet into wet, from start to finish. Terms such as...

Virgil Elliott

Virgil Elliott Paintings

Detail from The Songstress by Virgil Elliott GO TO Techniques of Painting in Oil KISSING PRACTICE - A DEMONSTRATION PAINTING One of the most difficult painting tasks it that of actually painting realistic flesh. Nowhere was this excelled but by the French Academy painters of the late nineteenth century or their counterparts across the channel such as Leighton, Waterhouse and Alma-Tadema. Perhaps the most sublime of all these was William Bouguereau whose paintings of people were so convincing it...

The Flemish Technique

The earliest oil painting method evolved from the earlier discipline of egg tempera painting, as an attempt to overcome the difficulties and limitations inherent in that medium. As this took place initially in Flanders, the method is referred to as the Flemish Technique. Essential to this method of painting are a rigid surface primed pure white, and a very precise line drawing. The Flemish painted on wood panels primed with a glue chalk ground, which caused the transparent passages to glow with...

The Venetian Technique

Titian and Giorgione are generally credited with originating what became known as the Venetian Method of oil painting. The Venetian Method, or Venetian Technique, shares with the Flemish Method the use of transparent glazes for the shadows, darker darks and for certain special effects, and opaque highlights, but differs from the Flemish method in several important ways. The method evolved out of necessity, as the church desired large paintings of religious scenes for cathedrals, and wealthy...

Techniques Of Painting In Oils

The Book Sounder Painting

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...