I always try to impress on beginners that the very best way to learn to paint is by doing so from life. The uncertainty of the enterprise stops you from becoming ensnared by a pre-existing representation. That’s not to say you’ll manage to get good results straight away; it’s just that the uncertainty will provoke a more interesting and human result and you’ll learn more from the process.
Hence, last week was spent at each class demonstrating how to paint successfully from a photographic reference. I printed out some pictures I’ve taken over the years that I thought would be worth trying.
Here are the results of my own demonstrations. Each took about 30 minutes and I spent a further hour or so on the impressionist/pointillist one:
I’ve always wondered about the history of certain paints and ultramarine has one of the most romantic. Take a read of the following article on the Winsor & Newton web site:
“The word ‘Ultramarine’ comes from the Latin ‘ultra’ meaning ‘beyond’ and ‘mare’ meaning ‘sea’, as this was how Lapis Lazuli first arrived in Europe. Ultramarine came in the form of lumps of the semi-precious stone Lapis Lazuli (the ‘blue stone’ in Latin), via foot and donkey on the Silk Road from Afghani…” read more on the W&N web site
An alla prima still life of a silver bowl and lemon slice on white, against a grey and deep red background. This video takes you through the composition, drawing, blocking-in stage and up to the initial detailing stage. These are the most important parts of the painting process as they’re the foundation for everything that follows.
The whole process took about 2 hours but I’ve speeded up the video and removed any hesitations and inert parts. About 5 minutes.
A short video (7.5 minutes) about the recommended beginner’s painting kit for my studio class. It’ll save you lots of money and save you from carting bundles of unnecessary material around with you and hurting your back!
You’ll get an idea of what everything looks like before you visit the art supplies shop. Below is a list.
‘Burren’ tabletop box easel: ‘Create’ brand or similar (Winsor & Newton make good, slightly larger boxes, for example).
Some advice on which brushes you should bring to my alla prima oils painting classes for beginners in Dublin. There are many to choose from and I know that it can be confusing when faced with all the different brands and shapes in the art supplies shop. Here is an anwer – with a caveat as to which brushes to avoid. Paint oils, paint small, paint often! The art materials list is on this page.
We’ve often spoken about the old masters’ use of lenses during class and one of my students has found a link to this lecture in University College London which is well worth watching. Now I have to go off and find the film, ‘Tim’s Vermeer’ which is mentioned by Professor Steadman. Enjoy.
I hope that this eBook helps you in your efforts to become a better painter. It takes time and effort to produce these eBooks, so if it does, please consider buying me a coffee by PayPal. Any amount, however small, is much appreciated and will boost my caffeine level.
Art classes are filling up fast for January 15, 16 and 17.
There are 2 spaces left on Wednesdaymorning. 1 space on Thursdaymorning. Come and learn how to create beautiful paintings entirely from life -the BEST and most FULFILLING way to paint. Learn from a master painter who is endlessly patient and good-humoured! Plus -FREE tea and coffee and biscuits…
There are still places to be had on Tuesday and Thursday evening, though. Call me on 086 247 0737 for more information or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.