Monday, November 25

Painting the Weather

Gray Day in the Valley
Acrylic on Artist's Canvas
9 x 12 in/22.9 x 30.5 cm
Copyright 2013
I hope wherever you are, the weather matches your mood today, especially if you are painting.

Although I don't know if painters are more susceptible to the effect the weather has on our mood, I suspect that is so. I think that because we are probably more aware than others of light source and environment as we plan and create our work.

Capturing the effect of light and atmosphere is a key part of most representational paintings, not only landscapes but still lives as well. The light, or lack thereof, and the state of  the ambient atmosphere are almost as much a part of your painting as the composition and focal point.

The weather affects your own mood, probably more than you think. I seem to have more energy and inspiration when the sun is shining. On those days, I get to work more quickly and seem to paint my best. Fortunately, I live where the sun shines a fair amount of time.

But that doesn't mean I'm not able to paint when the weather is less than ideal. That was the case the day I worked on today's image. It was cold and rainy, much like it is today. To paint on gray, overcast days I have to get into the right frame of mind, and it affects the values I see and the colors I mix.

So, wherever you are and whatever weather you're experiencing, I hope it suits your painting today.

Monday, November 18

Painting Tip: Paint Naturally

South on Highland
Oil on Canvas Panel
8 x 8 in/20.3 x 20.3 cm
Copyright 2013
Today's blog is to give you a tip I attempt to practice, not always successfully, that is, to paint naturally.

"Paint naturally? What do you mean?" you ask. I mean you must allow yourself to be yourself and let the way you paint come naturally to you. That's not easy.

That means you must try not to paint the way anyone else paints. It's one thing to watch and learn how artists paint through workshops or by DVD or even private lessons or by just looking at another's paintings. Emulation is one thing.

Slavishly copying the color palette or materials or the routines or how he/she holds an arm/wrist/hand or makes a brushstroke or sits or stands, etc. will not make your paintings (much) better. Nor will that allow you to express your natural style.

I agree with the publisher of one of the art magazines who recently noted the sameness he sees in painting as he travels around to events.

If we're all trying to paint the same way, oh my, what a boring, boring outcome. Paint the way that's natural for you--the motion you're comfortable with, the colors you love, and let your application and brushstrokes look the way you paint--naturally.

Then you will be expressing your natural style.

Tuesday, November 12

Figuring Out Painting

The Palm at Balboa Park
Oil on Canvas Panel
6 x 6 in/15.2 x 15.2 cm
I'm not sure we are supposed to figure out what painting is really all about. I certainly haven't figured it out, either as one who paints paintings or one who views paintings.

I think I know what kind of paintings I like and like to view. I think I know how I want to paint.

But as for figuring it out, not as yet; but I believe figuring it out is more important than the end result itself (it's the getting not the having).

I have figured out that improvement is part of it, at least for me. When and if I see improvement, I am motivated to paint more and better.

Improving, or thinking you have improved even if you're the only one, is part of figuring it out.

As for the rest of painting, well, I haven't figure that out yet.

Monday, November 4

More Time Painting...

Courtyard and Tower
Acrylic on Canvas Panel
8 x 8 in/20.3 x 20.3 cm
Copyright 2013
Today I will begin to paint more. I will spend more time with my paints and brushes and supports actually painting. I will spend more hours in a day painting with the intent of incrementally increasing the number of hours.

I will still read and research art and artist's techniques including looking at favorite painter's paintings online. I will still read art books that will enhance my skills. I will still attend art galleries and art museums to see beautiful paintings. I will still go to my local art supply stores.

In short, I will spend more time painting and improving my painting, but I will spend less time:

- On painters' blogs

- On painters' YouTube videos

- On various Art and Artist Magazines and Online Art sites in business for themselves

- On social media

I'll post my paintings on OrbisPlanis, but I will spend more time actually painting.