Saturday, November 17, 2007

How to begin your painting.

This is the easiest, fastest way to begin painting. Place your primed or gessoed support flat on a table. Dip a large round oil painting brush in your turpentine or odorless thinner. Dip your brush into any color of paint on your palette. I like to use colors that will be complimentary to major colors in the painting. This gives the painting a glow you don't achive otherwise. Smear the paint and turpentine around the canvas. Your goal is to cover the support with some color. You want this color to be loose and what a painter will call "washy". The color doesn't need to be dark.

Beginning your painting, by DAW

While I'm finding my image on the board, I'm constantly thinking. How far away from the edge should this line be? How does this shape curve? Where does it meet the next shape? Is this line half way across the painting horizontally? Where does it cross this vertical line? You can see in the image above, you might call this a complicated painting. It really isn't. While you're drawing, never think about horses. Don't say to yourself, is this horse's neck long enough? Is his head big enough? Gosh, I don't know how to draw horses. I can never get the eyes right. Toss all of those thoughts out of your head and think about your lines and shapes and where they need to be on the painting. You'll be surprised at how easily your drawing will appear.

Coming along with your painting.

This method of drawing the image right onto the support will save so much time and energy for you. You don't have to bother with drawing an image on paper or transferring it to canvas. It's there on the painting as you go along. When you make a mistake on your drawing, dip your brush in some more paint and turpentine, and smear paint over the area you wish to correct. Dip your brush back into the turpentine and begin to find your image again. Keep the drawing light in color and you can paint over it and redraw it over and over until it looks right. When you grow used to this method, you'll find it easier and easier to create each painting.

I read many books on how to draw before I found one that made perfect sense to me. I didn't like methods where I learned to draw circles, put the circles together and try to make them form the shape of a horse. I didn't like other methods I found. Nothing seemed to work for me. Then I took a drawing class put on by an artist friend of mine. She used the Betty Edwards book "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain". It was like a light came on in my head! After I studied this method of learning to see, I could draw anything!

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I hope this lesson was helpful to you. You can see some of my horse art on my website. I've also posted pages of Christmas gifts there. You'll find gifts you can't get any where else for a horse loving person.