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Oil Painting Techniques Tips & Instruction
Capture the Light in Your Landscape Paintings Fill your paintings with light and color with Brian Keeler’s workshop on painting the luminous landscape in oils. In this workshop, you’ll learn how to paint landscapes, step by step, with a focus …
I come from a family of painters. My father taught me my first lessons. Then, later on, I went to an art school in my hometown, Paris. I can’t do anything else but paint, and it’s the human body that interests me the most. During my training, I learned to work the majority of medias, but I have a special relationship with oil. I also draw a lot with graphite.
Artists have felt compelled capture the wonder and beauty of the natural world around them as long as there have been artists. From cave paintings to modern times, we are constantly striving to record a lasting image of what we …
While the majority of our ArtistsNetwork newsletters are about how to improve your own art through tips and advice from contemporary professional artists, today I’d like for you to take a moment and consider your artist friends.
Before I begin, I position my canvas next to my subject and, with the palette positioned on my arm, I step to a viewing position about 8 feet back. I start by squinting as I look at my subject, which helps me blur my view and reduce the detail of the subject so I see a simplified version of darks and lights. From this vantage point, I make a decision about the mark I’m going to place on the canvas and walk forward to apply the paint.
Painting self-portraits has a long and continuing tradition, from Rembrandt to Vincent van Gogh to David Leffel. It’s a wonderful way for artists to experiment with materials and techniques while creating interesting characters. In the Studio (page 29; oil, 40×30) was painted directly on the canvas from life, using a mirror, without preliminary drawings or oil studies. It was completed in 4 days, with 4 to 6 hours of work each day.
“What I find exciting is to deviate from direct observation in exploration of territory that challenges and surprises me: ideas that relate to the psychology of our inner selves or the interplay between the conscious and unconscious aspects of our existence,” says Dorian Vallejo, in The Artist’s Magazine (November 2013). Vallejo’s images are dreamlike and haunting, as you can see for yourself below. Learn more about Vallejo’s figurative oil paintings in the following excerpt.
As a child, I remember wandering the aisles of the local department store that was filled with patent leather shoes. Their shiny and reflective nature was mesmerizing. As an adult, they artistically inspired me. Not only were they shiny and reflective, but the heels were also very high. I began to think about how I had grown as an artist and how these shoes were an analogy for my life. I felt that trying to do my best and creating high standards for myself could create opportunities for me to improve and showcase my art, just like the height of these beautiful shoes.
Learn how to infuse your paintings with dramatic light, even when the hour is getting late, for a beautiful spin on painting landscapes in oils. In this art lesson, Brian Keeler demonstrates his favorite painting techniques to create a moody …