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To Live and Die with Art

Painting psychology is only about why we paint, or create, or for that matter, are good at our jobs.

I’m a painter. I’m not even ashamed to say so. The palette knife is my favorite tool but I do use the brush. I’m not the worst or even in the middle among the millions of artists around the world. I see art as a need not a hobby. This blog is about helping you transition from hobbyist to a serious artist

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Into the Weeds

Some color theory will go a long way toward mixing accurate colors.

Today we dive into color theory and I apologize in advance if it gets complicated, but I will try to keep it in layman’s language. The science of color is a field unto itself, but we are only going to touch the big ideas. We almost never want to use a tube color on the canvas since it is always garish.

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Painting Texture

There is something called Painterliness. This describes a painting done in a style that celebrates the medium used.

There is something called Painterliness. This describes a painting done in a style that celebrates the medium used. Instead of hiding the brushstrokes of knife texture, we want to enhance it, even exaggerate it.

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Make Cement Live

There’s something poetic about abandoned buildings that have a special appeal to painters

There’s something poetic about abandoned buildings that have a special appeal to painters. Numerous historic mine sites abound in Cobalt Ontario. I chose to give old cement in the ruins of an old mine mill some life, simply by changing the color of the century-old cement slabs.

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Face the Rocks

make the viewer feel the majesty and grandeur of rocks

Start With a Reference Photos

I wanted to make the viewer feel the majesty and grandeur of rocks. No object is included this time to give the rocks an indefinite scale, so they could only look at the nearly abstract quality of the rock facets.

I began by taking pictures of a rock-cut beside the highway near where I live in northern Ontario. Then I chose four photos and printed them out on 8×11 medium quality paper. I didn’t use photo paper as it was a waste since the pictures were only for reference.

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Anatomy of a Failed Painting

Learn from someone else’s mistakes.

Failed River Scene 24×30″ Acrylic on Masonite

This was supposed to be a mosaic-style painting, using the one-touch approach. I had such wonderful plans for this painting, but it careened out of control before I recognized it. This is an example of how NOT to do a painting. I truly believe that the best examples are someone’s mistakes. So I will tear me up, not someone else.

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Some Rules of Design

Rules of Design matter and improve your composition

It is critical to follow some of the rules of design in creating a successful painting. A healthy mix of these guidelines needs to be in each appealing work.

Simple Rules (image courtesy of https://www.painting-course.com/ )
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Abstract Fun

Let’s do something a lot different today. One of my fun things to do is to take a collection of house paint cans and a paint stick ….

Let’s do something a lot different today. One of my fun things to do is to take a collection of house paint cans and a paint stick and work from my shoulder instead of careful brush strokes. Remember, I was a house painter for 30 years so I used to be inside my painting using large arm strokes.

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Simple Impressionistic Painting

Let’s Start Painting. Here’s a simple step by step start

Let’s Paint! We’ll start with a simple painting in an impressionistic style. I will show you some steps. But I know you’re going to say, “How did you go from one step to the next?” I know, I hate those guides too, but I’ll fill in as much as I can for you.

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Philosophy / Psychology of Painting

Here’s a common question. Why do you paint? Easy to answer, right? I didn’t think so.

To say that everyone has their own reasons to paint is a cliche. We have in all of us God-given creativity. Some paint, draw, mold, spin, weave, knit, record, play an instrument, act, dance, etc.

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