Simplify the Scene: Advice From Richard McKinley

Richard McKinley is world-famous for not only his pastel landscape paintings, but also for his teaching of art. He’s been a long-time contributor to Pastel Journal, The Artist’s Magazine, and ArtistsNetwork, sharing his “pastel pointers” and more for artists of all backgrounds. That’s why we’re thrilled to bring you an exclusive e-magazine that you can only get here: Richard McKinley: Painting Pastels en Plein Air is hot off the screen.

Here’s a sneak peek at what you’ll find inside!

Late Afternoon Color (pastel, 12x16) by Richard McKinley

Late Afternoon Color (pastel, 12×16) by Richard McKinley

Simplify the Scene by Richard McKinley

“Because light changes, it’s important to work with efficiency and power when you’re working en plein air. Detail is not an artist’s friend; it’s easy to believe it holds the answers, but in fact it becomes the diversion. Simplifying what you see is a necessity. Remember, it isn’t individual blades of grass that make the field rise and fall across the landscape.

“Without light, we see nothing, so light falling on form is the key to communicating what we see. It’s by arranging shapes and creating the form that you represent the scene to the viewer. Your goal isn’t to create a painting that’s polished and finessed, but rather to capture the essence of the light and the magic that captured your attention in the first place.

“Ever since the arrival of photography, artists have had to fight the urge to see it as the master of what is real. There’s no doubt that photography, used carefully, is a valuable tool. What limits its usefulness is the belief that it can’t tell a lie. That can prejudice your thoughts more than you realize. Try to imagine what artists thought the world looked like two hundred years ago. It’s difficult to do when you’ve never known a time without the printed picture as a part of your consciousness.

“When you take photos back to the studio to use as reference, be sure to ask yourself: What is it that the camera won’t capture? That’s what you want to infuse into the painting.” ~Richard McKinley  (click here to share this quote on Twitter)

In my humble opinion, there’s nothing like being outdoors–and what better way to enjoy fresh air than with your art? Download Painting Pastels en Plein Air for the information that you need to get started, or discover new guidance even if you’re a seasoned plein air painter. After you get your download, please take a moment to leave a review so that others know how much you enjoy this new e-magazine–we know you’ll love it!  for the information that you need to get started, or discover new guidance even if you’re a seasoned plein air painter. After you get your download, please take a moment to leave a review so that others know how much you enjoy this new e-magazine–we know you’ll love it!

Until next time,
Cherie

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

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Simplify the Scene: Advice From Richard McKinley

  1. marymarin

    Cherie, I want you to see the viewfinder set I invented and am selling on Etsy now. These viewfinder cars are great for determining what to include in your painting, but they have the added feature of being terrific as a tool to use with your sketchbook to make thumbnails prior to painting, too. I hadn’t even thought of that use, but some of my customers thought of it for me! Please take a look: http://www.artistsnetwork.com/articles/art-demos-techniques/landscape-painting-tips-helpful-tools-for-isolating-the-view

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