Five Keys to Optimal Realism

Simply put, Arleta Pech’s watercolor and oil still life paintings are stunning. She’s a gifted artist who loves to share her talent by teaching others how to paint, and to learn from the trials and errors that she experienced as a self-taught artist who wanted to explore transparent oils to see just what they can do. The results speak for themselves.

Summer-Splendor-by-Arleta-Pech

Summer Splendor (oil on hardboard, 13×32) by Arleta Pech

In her instructional book, Radiant Oils: Glazing Techniques for Paintings that Glow (newly available in paperback), Arleta writes about her beginnings as an artist. Perhaps you can relate? “I learned to paint from art books just like this one, taking tiny pieces of knowledge from each book I read,” she says. “I tried all the suggested exercises and spent hours and hours practicing. I still have all of those art books, and many times I return to them, whether to look through an old favorite or to recommend a title to one of my students. Sometime I simply stop and read remembered words that meant so much to me when I was a beginning artist struggling to learn and grow.

“We are all on the same path as artists, some are just farther down the path. I hope you never stop searching for artistic growth.”

Time-Suspended-by-Arleta-Pech

Time Suspended (oil on hardboard, 26×54) by Arleta Pech

Arleta shares her passion for working with this medium through demonstrations and helpful tips in Radiant Oils, including these: 

Five Keys to Optimal Realism (click here to Tweet this list)
1. Plan your painting. Take plenty of time to draw accurate shapes before you begin painting.
2. Use a full range of values to create realistic forms and lighting.
3. Balance your composition with light. The flow of light helps move the eye through the whole painting.
4. Create soft and hard edges.
5. Strive for realistic color or color as we see it in nature. A yellow rose is not just yellow, but is made of many colors. 

transparent glazing collage

But let’s revisit transparent glazing; what is it, exactly? Arleta describes it as “the process of optical color mixing using transparent oils … With transparent oils, colors are layered, and since the layers are transparent, the viewer can see through them to the colors below.” How many colors do you see in the example above? Would it surprise you to know that it was created with only three colors? Learn how and more when you order your copy of Radiant Oils: Glazing Techniques for Paintings that Glow.

Happy painting,
Cherie

Cherie Haas, online editor**Click here to subscribe to the Artists Network newsletter for inspiration, instruction, and more!

 

 

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