Artist Studio Ebook


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Artist Studio Ebook

  1. 1. Inside The Artist’s Studio Brought to you by Contributing Artists: Jim Thomas Donald Neff Lesly Finn L. Diane Johnson Susan Bronsak Tom Poole Copyright © 2007, and Ralph Serpe. All rights reserved. This book may not be reproduced or distributed in any way without first obtaining permission from the publisher Ralph Serpe. The information within this book is provided on an “as is” basis and under no circum- stances shall Ralph Serpe or the contributing artists, be liable for any damage to your computer system, data, or any personal objects that may result from viewing, printing or by any other means, any material and/or data from this book. The publisher of this book does not guarantee the accuracy of any information in- cluded in this book by the publisher or its contributing editors. All information within this book is provided as entertainment and educational purpos- es only. You agree to accept full responsibility for any information that you use from this book.
  2. 2. Introduction I hope you enjoy reading this book. After you are done, make sure you check out the fol- lowing great resources as well. If you would like to share this book with friends, family, or anyone else you feel would be interested, please send them to the following link to download this book: For more free step by step art demonstrations, lessons and tips, visit today! Other points of interest: The Creative Spotlite Art Instruction Blog Popular Art Instruction Books: Popular Art Instruction Videos: Quality Art Supplies At Competitive Prices: Learn How To Sell Your Art & Crafts (Free Newsletter): Posters & Prints Superstore - Visit the #1 Resource for Posters, Prints and Custom Framing online:
  3. 3. Contents Chapter 1 - “Grand Canyon North Rim” by Jim Thomas Chapter 2 - “Plein Air Painting Demo In Oils” by Donald Neff Chapter 3 - “Life Can Be Delicious” by Lesly Finn Chapter 4 - “Plein Air Painting - In or Out?” by L. Diane Johnson Chapter 5 - “Stella d’ Oro Lily” by Susan Bronsak Chapter 6 - “New Mexico Memories” by Tom Poole
  4. 4. “Grand Canyon North Rim” Four Panel Mural Polyptych oil painting of North Rim View in Fall. Beginning date: 10/05/03 By Jim Thomas Dear Reader, This will be an extensive project that includes a preliminary painting for the sole purpose of practicing and studying the values, colors and problems in this panora- ma. The Grand Canyon is very difficult to paint as its geology and geometry defy logical surface modeling. Here is the goal. This is a slightly posterized version of a photo I took during a recent vacation to the north rim in September during Fall colors. There are some bright yellow- gold Aspens on the canyon edge. The San Francisco Peaks, where I live, are visible in the background. Even this far away I remain personally connected. Each panel of the final painting will be 12” wide x 18” high. Overall width will be over four feet. This will require a lot of color correction and value work. Here goes!
  5. 5. Part One... The Preliminary Study 10/06/03... the beginning As I’ve indicated many times I do most of my paintings on masonite panels. In these pho- tos you can see how I build an attached frame on the backside, quite similar to a canvas frame. It gets sanded and spackled and sanded again. I then glue the paper drawing to the rough surface of the masonite. Here you can see these steps. You can also see my pencil drawing of the canyon panorama, or at least a chunk of the final painting, for prac- tice. I often do not use a drawing but the canyon is so specific it must be recognizable. I am forced to “paint within the lines.” This practice panel is 26” x 16”.
  6. 6. 10/09/23... When the above process is dry I do two things. On top of the paper drawing I paint a clear coat of acrylic gel to both seal the surface and to provide a nice brush stroke texture. Then I paint several coats of black paint on the sides. While this is drying I began to do some color sketching. I want to soften and simplify this palette to create a more pleasing finished piece, something easier to live with over time. On a small panel previously painted solid with Burnt Umber I painted this extremely simply sketch. I’m not interested in accuracy of the drawing at this point, just the color, the simplest color possible. I’ve reduced my sketch to about six colors to see if it works. Any experienced painter will tell you of the freedom within a limited palette. It’s a start.
  7. 7. 10/15/03... Preliminary study... just getting started. As I’ve mentioned I want to do this practice paint- ing before I tackle the whole thing. This represent a portion of the final four panel mural. 10/23/03... I’ve blocked in the shadows portion of the drawing. The process is very much like carving or sculpting in that the shadows reveal the most basic form. Even though it is extreme it does help it look like buttes with form.
  8. 8. What I’m thinking: I’ll share with you what is in my mind throughout this painting, the “big shapes” and the color perspective that makes it work. Every color I mix and its placement will always be influenced by these dynamics that make color perspective work. As my teacher from Italy used to say, paint what you know, not what you see. The camera has only one eye and doesn’t record reality. And the purpose of this prliminary painting is to study what’s hap- pening with color, shape and distance. In Photoshop I’ve created this simple sketch to explain what I see as the big dynamics underneath the painting. There are large planes beneath all landscapes that make things work. The great paintings all follow these rules. In this picture the first large plane is the sky, with the darker color above and the lighter color below, as with every sky. The second largest shape in this painting is the far south rim of the Grand Canyon. Although lacking much contrast it remains true that the left side of the rim is further away and therefore a bit lighter. This also verifies that the light is coming from the west, or the right, as we’re looking south. The third largest shape in the scene is the huge butte which dominates the picture. There are blends within the details we must keep in mind. These blends are more apparent in real life, where we can look with two eyes. The camera doesn’t do this as well. The camera also turns the distance more blue than it really is, this manufactures false dark values. Copying a photograph is an amateur’s mistake. As always the greatest fidelity, contrast of color and value, is right in your face, up close. All color and value becomes lighter and grayer, absence of yellow, as it gets further away. All of the secondary shapes fall into their respective places within this formula. This will be apparent as we build the additional buttes and other details.
  9. 9. 10/25/03... The underpainting is complete here. The simplicity itself is attractive. Reminds me of Ed Mell’s work. 11/05/03... In this brief session, following my own intentions explained above, I’ve begun blocking some of the distant shapes while also building the subtle blend of the far south rim wall. I’ve also begun developing the sky blend. Each one of the “big” dynamics builds the great panorama and largeness of the atmosphere.
  10. 10. 11/09/03... Here I’ve done some more work on the southrim. This area is so easy to over work. Time to complete the sky blend. 11/13/03... Here, the distance portion of this study is complete. I’ve repainted the sky, realizing that it needed to be lighter. This also meant making the mountain range lighter, including the small blend from right to left. Next I will begin work on the butte in the foreground.
  11. 11. 11/19/03... I’ve begun here to map the vertical surfaces on the large butte in the foreground. As I said earlier the Grand Canyon defies normal modeling, lights and darks are often reversed. Side lighting not only adds drama but it helps to solve this riddle. 11/20/03...
  12. 12. Continuing to develop the “skin” color and texture of the form of the butte. You’ll notice that I’m intentionally working only in the areas in the sunlight, ignoring the shadows at this time. It is also a “technique” or “device” in oil painting to leave shadows more void of detail and to add more detail where the light is bright or brittle. This enhances the whole affect. Many times while doing a painting I’ve made the mistake of over working the shadows and spoiling the focus. Remember, painting is the process of simplification, capturing the elements that make it work, ONLY. Otherwise it provides no experience beyond what a photograph can do. 11/22/03... Finally, some actual detailed work on the butte formation. Here you see my color palette and a close up of a portion of the Coconino Sandstone chunks which still sit over the great Supai Group within this butte just off the north rim of the Grand Canyon. The work on the Supai Group is very early in development. Paint colors used, and seen here, are titanium white, naples yellow, permanent sap green, cobalt blue, indian red and black. The mixed puddles were all created from these raw tube colors.
  13. 13. 11/23/03... Today I took the time to paint most of the Supai Group formation. I realize again the value of doing a practice painting. What I’ve learned will be invaluable on the final mural. 11/24/03...
  14. 14. In this brief painting session I blocked in the under color of the fall aspens in the lower left corner. 11/28/03... In this painting session I had the pleasure of painting in the areas in shadow. This is al- ways exciting as it finishes the statement and lets me know how much more light and fidelity is needed in the areas in the bright light, which I’ve also increased in this picture. Detail and contrast have been understated for the sake of the painting’s intent, to create excitement over the part of the butte in afternoon sunlight. This is where one artistically “edits” what a camera sees. Discretion becomes the greater skill. In my posterized photo at the top of this page you see how dark and blue the shadows become in a photo. Scan- ning through copies of Arizona Highways magazines you’ll see this over and over, par- ticularly where the photographer used a polarizing filter to add contrast. When you stand there in real life it doesn’t look like that. The “painter” must bring skill and discretion to the problem by using a controlled and mel- low palette. This is even more true when using photos for your reference.
  15. 15. 12/01/03... I managed to complete this “practice” study over the four day Thanksgiving weekend. So here it is. This painting is sold. Now, I’ll begin the development of the final four panel version. Part Two... the 4 Panel Painting 12/11/03...
  16. 16. I’ve finished building the masonite painting panels and today I applied the first coat of black paint on the edges. I’ll be adding several coats on the edges and sanding the front surface. 01/22/04... With Christmas, New Years and major web site changes I needed to make, progress has been slow. But here it is, the finished “underpainting” for this four panel mural. You’ll notice similari- ties with this same stage on the practice painting with greater attention paid to some de- tails and the big blends I explained previously. The value of doing a practice piece is now clear, it provides the “roadmap” for this study. In a way this is one big “number painting” at this point, the effort remaing disciplined labor with attention focused on two things: Cover- ing the white background and maintaining the drawing.Now you can make comparisons between my palette of colors and the posterized photo at the top of this page. I indicated at the beginning that my photo was too bright and too blue. The drawing was my biggest concern and the only reason that I’d work from a photo anyway. This is a portrait of a spe- cific place and the photo serves as a blueprint for anatomy. But the color and the light are all mine! This is a picture of the painting on my newly remodeled home studio easel.
  17. 17. And now, dear reader, this is the payoff for having taken the time to invest in a preliminary painting. Here you can see where I kept an actual paint swatch from each of the colors I used in the detail work of the first painting. I applied these to a piece of tin foil as I worked on the first piece. These will be needed as I proceed. 02/02/04... As it is with most landscapes I paint, I work from back to front, which almost always amounts to be the same as from top to bottom. And for those who watch me on a regular basis, you’ll recognize that I paint from dark to light with few exceptions. I love the opac- ity and the effect created by scrumbling over the darker color and leaving small “holidays” that show through. 02/07/04...
  18. 18. Working in very subtle value and color changes I am blocking in the shapes of the far away north face of the south rim cliffs, based upon my photo reference. You can see that my underpainting is a little more blue than my new work. This is inten- tional as I am dry brushing the new color and I want the dull blue in the shadows to show through, it increases the feeling of atmosphere and distance. Layer over layer I work. Lecture Notes: Although very subtle, there are large basic shapes to keep in mind while working on this far canyon wall. The light is still late afternoon coming from the right, or the west. This sim- plicity must be represented in execution even though very soft. Photographs often do not capture this essence and it is incumbent upon the artist to see it. As I work I’ll be looking for this reality. 02/10/04... At this point the sky, the mountains and most of the far cliff wall have been repainted. The photos above indicate the steps and how much is changed. The mountains are lighter and therefore further away in the atmosphere. In reality it’s about twelve miles to the south rim and about 75 miles to the Peaks.
  19. 19. 02/15/04... Here’s a photo of panel two after the most recent work session. As the small geometric drawing shows, the walls of the hermit shale, as well as most of the canyon, is a series of cliffs and ledges, each varying according to rock type and erosional characteristic. This first pass over the surface anatomy serves only to apply a detail value that represents the side wall cliffs which are lighter than the upper surfaces in the canyon. This is part of the anomaly of painting this place. I’ve shown you how I keep basic geometrical shapes in my mind as I work on these com- plicated shapes. The artist must always know where he is within the picture. These basic shapes and elementary blends are my method of understanding what the source photo doesn’t explain.
  20. 20. 02/16/04...
  21. 21. In today’s session I mixed some colors, four related values, that I carefully dry brushed over the background south rim cliffs. The background had become dry enough for this next step. Remaining consistent with the former process I added a color that appears redish ONLY when applied on top of the dry background paint. Allowing the “blue” color to show through in the shadows and the crevasses I modeled new surfaces with new shadows and forms. This is all VERY subtle work, but important. It is the final touch that “keys” the background with the foreground color, making it all hang together as a whole. After all, it IS the same eroded soil just separated by about twelve miles of haze and atmosphere. 02/17/04... The purpose of today’s session was to begin developing the upper surfaces of the many small ledges on the foreground butte. There’s much more work done than shows in this photo. But the logic behind what you can see is this. After the long monsoon season of late summer there is a lot of green foliage on the upper surfaces of the higher portions of the canyon. Pinon Pine and Juniper grows in abundance.
  22. 22. The more horizontal the surface the more growth. Hence you can see where I’ve painted some greenish surfaces. Although more extreme than the final color it serves to guide me as I work. It also immediately makes the scene organic. 02/20/04... I am finally to the point of the painting where there is some visual gratitification as I work. The Hermit Shale is taking shape. My intention in this session was to further develop the contrast between the side walls where the afternoon light is hitting and the foliage covered upper surfaces. I’ve also added the first light tone on the upper Coconino Sandstone buttes. As it was on the practice painting I’m doing work ONLY in the light areas.
  23. 23. 02/21/04... In this session I further develop the western sunlight and how it creates a sheen on the vertical walls of the foreground butte. The hotter brick red under coat is allowed to show through where it matters as the more organic tones are painted over in small pointelism patterns. All of this brittleness creates light. 02/22/04...
  24. 24. This picture will show you the fun I’m having developing the detail on these sunlit surfac- es. I have the values and the late summer / Fall colors about where I want them now. You can see that I’ve built the details well beyond the level of my practice painting. Without that exercise I would never be able to handle all of this. It is a very complex subject. 02/27/04... In this photo above you can see my development of some of the shadow areas. As it was in the practice painting, within the shadow area I play down the color and value contrast. In these areas where there is an absence of “light,” I leave out a lot of color fidelity and detail on purpose. I paint with a larger brush than usual and I flatten the detail. All colors mixed are duller than real life and a little “bluer.” The contrast makes the portion in sun- light look more brittle and on a higher octave.
  25. 25. 02/29/04... At this point the butte is about 85% finished. I will spend the next week working on the aspen trees and doing highlight touch up where I discern it’s needed. 03/04/04... In today’s painting session I blocked in the aspen trees. My intention here is to paint the colors you’ll see later between the cracks and spaces of the final leaves.
  26. 26. 03/08/04... Today I continued to work on the aspen tree group on the first panel. Step by step. 03/10/04...
  27. 27. Today, five months to the day from the day I started, I applied the final details to this won- derful project! For the artistically curious! In response to inquiries for seeing greater detail on this painting, I’ve installed these ex- treme close ups of the finished painting. I know that this will have meaning for other paint- ers as well as for my various potential collectors. Enjoy!
  28. 28. Please take a moment to Visit Jim’s Websites: html This demonstration, the photographs and all artwork within this demonstration, are copyright pro- tected by Jim Thomas. This demonstration and all images within may not be copied in any way, for any reason including; education, any commercial use or publication (printed or electronic media), without expressed, written permission from Jim Thomas, the artist and creator of this artwork and demonstration.
  29. 29. “Plein Air Painting Demo in Oils” By Donald Neff The Truckee River between Lake Tahoe and Reno is a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts, whether you are a fisherman, rafter, swimmer, biker, walker, etc. there is something for everyone. This painting was part of a series I did of the Truckee River over the winter of 2004-2005. We had record snowfall that year, but by late April, when this painting was done, quite a bit of the snow was gone and replaced by the grassy riverbank. The pictures at the left are close to where I did the painting, but were actually taken the day be- fore around midday. At the time I did the painting, I neglected to take a picture of exactly where I painted! Let me just say I did the painting later in the day and it was more cloudy than these photos show. This of course, added to the mood of the paint- ing as there were more shadows and the colors richer. At least you get an idea of what the area looks like.  
  30. 30. After locating the scene I wish to paint, I used a small brush to gen- erally outline the painting. I am using canvas on board which I toned with an acrylic Transparent Iron Oxide. This color is similar to Burnt Sienna, but a little more transparent and richer in hue. I want to capture the colors and reflections of the river, so set the horizon line high. I still want to see some of the sky, however, because it will be reflected in the foreground pool, and will balance everything out a little better. I also changed the curve of the riverbank a little, and left out a little island in the middleground which would have made the painting too cluttered. My brushes are a #10 Bright for about 90% of the painting and a #4 Round bristle for the remainder. My palette here consists of Thalo Blue, Ultramarine Blue, Cobolt Blue, Quinacridone Red, Cadmium Red Medium, Sap Green, Transparent Iron Oxide, Cadmium Orange, Yellow Ochre, and Cadmium Yellow Medium. I occasionally use other colors, but this is my primary palatte. I usually mix a combination of Ultramarine Blue and Quinacridone Red to form a purple. I also sometimes mix Thalo Blue and Cadmium Red Medium to get a rich gray. This is the only use of these two blues in the painting. For most of the blue tones during the painting process, I usually stick with Cobolt Blue.
  31. 31. I next block in quickly the general colors. I first paint the sky pretty much in it’s entirety, and then use the same colors slightly darkened in the reflection in the foreground pool. In the darkened hillside, I thinly block in with the mixed purple, Transparent Iron Oxide, and a little of the earth colors. When I paint over this, the layer will blend with the next to give it a nice rich tone. I then block in thinly where the snow and grassy areas will be. I then start working on the back- ground hillside painting it in it’s entirety as I go. Using the #10 Bright, I paint the trees with a variety of colors. I start with pri- marily a light purple ridge in the far distance, and as I work closer gradually add more color such as greens, blues, and the yellow of the sunlit areas. This is another shot with the hillside basically done. The far left of the hill- side will be covered with foreground trees, so I leave it fairly unformed.
  32. 32. I now start painting some of the snow at the base of the hillside. At times I paint up into the trees and hillside to give it a little more variety. It is generally easier to paint lighter colors over dark in a wet-on-wet technique. For the colors of the snow, I start with Cobolt Blue and white, grad- ually warming it up with Quin Red as it comes forward. I also gray it out in places using my gray mix- ture of Thalo Blue and Cad Red. Continuing to work on the far bank, I add more snow, plus the details of the tree trunks. The reflections in the pool of wa- ter consists of the same colors as the background hill, but darkened just slightly with a touch of green added. I paint this very loosely, as I will later blend it with a brush. Next, detail is added to the far pools and river banks. The fore- ground river bank also gets an- other layer of paint. Notice here, I paint both the bank and it’s reflec- tion. Later detail with delineate between the two.
  33. 33. More detail is added to the river banks, and the snow. The tree on the far left is added. In the foreground pool, I first blend the colors with a fairly stiff #4 filbert. The water swirls and eddies are also added with this brush. Detail is added to the foreground bank. I also add some of the brush growing along the river bank. I also work on the water in the middle ground. Here is the final painting. It took about two hours to finish. This painting was actually deliv- ered to a nearby gallery the next day, so I didn’t have time to take it back to the studio for any touch- up...although not sure I would change any of it anyway!
  34. 34. About Donald Neff Donald Neff is a nationally recognized artist, showing his work in galleries, institutional, and private collections throughout the United States and overseas. He has had one man shows at such institutions as the Carnegie Museum in Oxnard, California, and Ambassador Gal- lery in Pasadena California. He has shown at the Salmungundi Club in New York, Yosemite Valley Museum, and won numerous awards in both regional and national exhibitions. His work is also in a number of US Embassies abroad. For more information, visit Donald’s website at . This demonstration, the photographs and all artwork within this demonstration, are copyright pro- tected by Donald Neff. This demonstration and all images within may not be copied in any way, for any reason including; education, any commercial use or publication (printed or electronic media), without expressed, written permission from Donald Neff, the artist and creator of this artwork and demonstration.
  35. 35. “Life can be delicious” By Lesly Finn STAGE ONE My concept for this piece was the enjoyment and pleasure to be found in playing music. I spent a long time choosing and arranging my pieces for the collage portions. I wanted to use the image of a previous painting of mine - ‘Etude’. This was a Conte drawing and I decided to make a colour copy of the image on cartridge paper so that I could use part/ all of it here. The other pieces were just bits torn from newspapers, magazines and one very old piece of sheet music. I began by arranging and re-arranging different pieces on my canvas and looking at the results of each arrangement in the mirror. Once I had finalised my choices I applied the pieces with modelling compound and also added some texture to the canvas.
  36. 36. STAGE TWO My ‘inner vision’ for colours in this piece were red-golds and dark green ..... and maybe other colours in small amounts later. I always find deciding colours and colour mixing to be one of the most difficult parts in the process, and often change my mind at a later stage! I always mix up my colour first, never on the canvas, but this tends to slow things down and is probably not always good for spontaneity. STAGE THREE I tried three different colours for the background and didn’t like any of them .... so frustrat- ing! finally I mixed this green-black shade which I felt looked right. At this stage I felt con- tent to keep the colours pretty much as they were and not introduce any more new ones, but maybe later....
  37. 37. STAGE FOUR I decided that the images were not integrated enough and were too ‘real’. So ... nothing ventured, nothing gained ... out with the palette knife and a touch of obliteration using a lighter colour! I also added lighter passages to each side and the top, linking the main mass to the edges of the canvas. STAGE FIVE Next I applied layers of thin glazes, keeping mainly to orange/reds and blue/greens. I also went over the green background with a mixture of Cadmium Red and Red Gold, applying thick paint with pieces of kitchen roll using a dabbing motion. As a result the background acquired the look of antique leather.
  38. 38. FINAL STAGE I continued with glazing all areas except the dark background, adding in Alizarin and Red Gold to some passages. I always take short breaks away from a piece I am working on and then look at it in the mirror to check progress! Eventually I know that I can use- fully do no more. I am pleased with the finished piece and feel that it came together very well. Life can be delicious (22” x 28’) Acrylic collage on canvas Lesly Finn is a British artist living in New Zealand. Working mainly in pastel or acrylic on canvas, she often incorporates collage or textured elements. She finds that one of the delights of painting is the continuous development of skills and techniques which can be utilised in future work. Although her images often contain landscape elements, Lesly’s real interest lies in de- picting people and a shared experience. Her paintings aim to intrigue, to tell a story or to evoke an emotional response in the viewer, and her more recent work explores a more abstract approach to expressing these ideas. This demonstration, the photographs and all artwork within this demonstration, are copyright protected by Lesly Finn. This demonstration and all images within may not be copied in any way, for any reason including; education, any commercial use or publication (printed or electronic me- dia), without expressed, written permission from Lesly Finn, the artist and creator of this artwork and demonstration.
  39. 39. Plein-Air Painting - In or Out?: Demonstration: “From My Window” By L. Diane Johnson I recently had the pleasure of instructing a workshop in Monet’s garden for the second time. There is nothing quite like painting en plein air in the master’s garden, birds singing, breezes carrying the scent of oceans of flowers, while furiously trying to capture the light and joyous colors. Painting in the garden was limited to Mondays and a few designated hours. We were free to paint in and around the village of Giverny at any time rich with subject material includ- ing hills, pastures, charming cottages, and delightful rooftops. Even while in my tiny hotel room, I was itching to paint. I had the perfect view of a lovely private garden just below my window. I’d sneak a peak when dashing back and forth between sessions. At any time of day the changing light was interesting, sometimes dramatic. The days were very long, the light lasted till nearly 10 pm. Dare I paint an outdoor scene from my window? Would this still be considered a plein air painting? Pictured above is the view from my window. Sun coming from the West. Even with the parking lot, it was appealing!
  40. 40. I reached the point where I just had to paint this scene. So I set up my pack equipment in the window sill then made a quick charcoal sketch to accurately work through architec- tural features. The canvas was only 12x12 which is small for such a scene. I welcomed the challenge of creating an intimate feel without crowding the subject. Charcoal also allowed the flexiblity to move things as needed. Since I would have the luxury of painting for a few days (a few minutes each time, and even during the rain) I worked just a bit slower than I would have if painting on the field. I will use cobalt blue, cadmium yellow medium, lemon yellow, vermilion, cadmium red me- dium, alizarin crimson, viridian & white. Sketch time for some paint! Using acrylics I applied a wash of warm vermilion/cadmium red medium with a large brush. When nearly dry, I blocked-in the larg- est areas with local color. You can see the warmth of the red wash glowing through on this overall cool-colored scene. Staying loose for as long as possible helps me make changes/ adjustments all along the way. I place in the darkest darks and mid-tones in to anchor the composition. Notice that I remove one arbor and replace with the gate / fence to open up the foreground. This change will assure directing the viewer’s eye inside the painting:
  41. 41. Next, building the painting with second layer of paint. I applyed more color to the flower areas. But even using dabs of color I looked for masses otherwise the painting would fall apart visually. I also varied my strokes to achieve visual texture and movement. I try to paint as fast as my eye can see. This is always a challenge, but when I paint this way, I know that I am painting what I “see”, not what I think I see. Things are still loose enough for me to make necessary changes. If the painting be- comes too loose however, I just stop to restate the subjects before moving on: I finally get to the fun part -- really painting. I step down to a medium-sized brush to push/pull the values and colors. The lights get lighter, the darks become richer, and col- ors begin to glow. I define crisper edges as well diffused ones to achieve depth. The last touches are done with a still smaller brush, but never a tiny one unless I am creating a very tight, realistic painting. The final strokes applied are the highest highlights and very darkest darks in the scene:
  42. 42. When I steped back to check the painting I noticed that the curtains matched the painting! This did not impact the paint- ing at all, but was a pleasant surprise. Here is the completed paint- ing ready to roll into my travel- ing tube. I tape as many as 3 layers of pre-primed linen to different sized boards for ease in painting in the field. The masonite base itself is primed and ready to use as well. Back in the studio I restretched the piece onto bars. Now you decide -- is this a plein-air, or studio painting? Wishing you great painting wherever you may be! Diane
  43. 43. About L. Diane Johnson L. Diane Johnson PSA ISAP PAPOH, has been painting for over 30 years; professionally since 1981. She was the Founding Editor of Plein Air Magazine (now titled, Fine Art Con- noisseur), is a respected instructor in Europe and the U.S., and lecturer and author in the areas of fine art and marketing. She began as a classic oil, and soft pastel portraitist, and for the last 20 years has concen- trated her efforts in landscape painting in acrylic, soft pastel, and oil en plein air. Johnson is a full member of the Pastel Society of America, is a Signature Member of the Great Britain National Acrylic Painters’ Association, the International Society of Acrylic Paint- ers and Plein Air Painters of Hawaii. As confirmation of her rapid development as a rising artist, Johnson was selected in 1988 as one of the top 100 emerging artists in the U.S. by the American Artist magazine, and in 1990 was rated as one of the top 10 “Best Buys” for investment art by The Roanoker magazine. Diane has received numerous awards for her work, and by 1998 was listed in the Who’s Who in American Art, Who’s Who in the South and Southwest; as well as Who’s Who in Information Technology for her contribution to the Internet in Web site design and illustration. In 2000, Johnson was invited participate in the first-ever, White House Conference on Cul- ture and Humanities. Selected Affiliations Pastel Society of America, Full Member Plein Air Painters of Hawaii, Signature Member International Society of Acrylic Painters, Signature Member Mid-Atlantic Plein Air Painters Association, Member Plein Air Florida, Invitational Member Plein Air Georgia, Invitational Member For more on Diane see: This demonstration, the photographs and all artwork within this demonstration, are copyright pro- tected by L. Diane Johnson. This demonstration and all images within may not be copied in any way, for any reason including; education, any commercial use or publication (printed or electronic media), without expressed, written permission from L. Diane Johnson, the artist and creator of this artwork and demonstration.
  44. 44. “Stella d’ Oro Lily” By Susan Bronsak This demonstration shows how to use tonal values to help separate flower petals, add interest and help give an overall 3-D effect. INTRODUCTION: The first part of this tutorial is designed to help you become familiar with the subject you wish to paint. One of the best ways for one to get to know their subject well is by drawing it out in pencil, either as a small thumbnail sketch or full scaled drawing. This helps one work out complicated sections and offers the best way to determine and work on values before a brush is ever picked up and loaded with pigment. The second part focuses on the painting process of the individual petals. By working the petals individually, you will gain practice working the wet in wet technique and then mov- ing to the glazing process. This section is broken down, step-by-step, with illustrations to aid in color placement and to show the process of those techniques used. Please read through all instructions before beginning. Finally, we will bring all the components together to create the final flower by showing the order in which this study was painted. TOOLS, BRUSHES and COLORS: • Pencil • Paper or sketchbook • Putty eraser
  45. 45. • 140 lb NOT or Cold Press Paper • Brushes: #4 Round, #6 Round, and 1/2” Slanted Flat (Rigger and/or #2 Round optional) • Stylus or any object with thin point to bruise fine lines • Masking Fluid • Colour Shaper (I use a small chiseled pointed shaper) • Colors Recommended: Aureolin, New Gamboge, Burnt Sienna, French Ultra Blue and Olive Green • White Gouache (optional) SPECIAL COMMENT ABOUT COLOR CHOICE: What helped me determine the colors I wanted to use, I first used my photo editing pro- gram, Adobe Photoshop Elements, to take samples of those colors in my flower. I used the eyedropper function to carry this out giving me the following readings. Those first col- ors from darkest brown to light yellow were throughout the petals with the darkest being in the center. The other colors are described in the illustration. And, although I didn’t use all these colors as shown in this chart, this gave me a fairly good idea what pigments and mixtures I wanted to use.
  46. 46. INSTRUCTIONS: DRAWING/SKETCHING EXERCISE: Using the following as a guideline, practice drawing/sketching until you feel confident in the structure of the flower and have a good idea of the values you hope to obtain in your flower painting. Please note in the following illustration and in the painting examples that follow, the tone values are actually darker than that which is shown in the photograph. The rea- son for the darker values is to help separate one petal from another, to add interest, and to give an overall illusion of 3D. PAINTING EXERCISES: 1) Mix up washes (‘thicker than water’ consistency) of Aureolin, New Gamboge, Burnt Si- enna, and Aureolin mixed with a little Olive Green. 2) Begin the painting exercises working with the individual flower petals commencing with the smaller back petals.
  47. 47. Note: Except for the initial wet in wet stage, the petals are worked with glazes of color by pre-wetting petal and then gently brushing or dropping in the color needed. You may glaze as many layers as you feel necessary to achieve your tone values and colors as long as you allow each layer to completely dry and you don’t mess about too much when applying an- other glaze. Small Petals: Wet in Wet - Illustration 1a - 1c 1) First lay down a thin wash of Aureolin. 2) Drop in New Gamboge beginning at the bottom of the petal where you want your darkest value. Allow the pigment to travel toward the outer edges and top of the petal. Note: It might help to turn paper upside down where the bottom or darkest portion of the petal is turned to the top. This allows the pigment to run towards the outer edges. Do not allow pigment to cover entire petal. You want some of the Aureolin along the inside border or edge to remain untouched by the New Gamboge. 3) Working quickly and while this is still wet, drop in a little of the Aureolin plus Olive Green Mix. 4) Take stylus and gently and lightly bruise fine vein lines as shown in the illustration. If you are unable to work fast enough to where the wash is still wet when time to bruise the vein lines in, you can always go back in and detail with fine lines of paint and a rigger brush (or corner edge of the slanted flat brush). 5) Allow to completely dry. Glazing - Illustration 1d 1) Re-wet petal and drop in a very light mix of Burnt Sienna....again working from the bottom of the petal. You want a hint of orange in these petals to unify with the larger petals but not so strong that they compete with the top petals. 2) Allow to dry. 3) Wet the petal once again, taking care not to disturb the colors already applied, and drop in a stronger mix of the Aureolin plus Olive Green. 4) Allow to completely dry. 5) Go back now and ‘fine tune’ what you feel the petal might still need. This will be a good time to add the thin vein lines if they were missed earlier. If you paint them in, do so very lightly.
  48. 48. Large Petals: Wet in Wet - Illustration 2a - 2c 1) First lay down a thin wash of Aureolin. 2) Drop in New Gamboge beginning at the bottom of the petal and allowing the pigment to travel toward the top portion of the petal. Note: It might help to turn paper upside down where the bottom or darkest portion of the petal is turned to the top. This allows the pigment to run towards the outer edges. Do not allow pigment to cover entire petal. You want some of the Aureolin along the inside border or edge to remain untouched by the New Gamboge. 3) Working quickly and while this is still wet, drop in a little Burnt Sienna. 4) Take stylus and gently and lightly bruise fine vein lines as shown in the illustration. If you are unable to work fast enough to where the wash is wet when time to bruise the vein lines in, you can always go back in and detail with fine lines of paint and a rigger brush (or corner edge of the slanted flat). 5) Allow to completely dry. Glazing - Illustration 2d 1) Pre-wet petal and with a little Aureolin plus Olive Green, lightly drop in depressions and inside curves there at the petal edges. Not too much as you don’t want but a hint of green for the shadows (yellow-green). 2) While petal is still wet, drop in additional Burnt Sienna if you need the value darker than what was achieved during the wet in wet stage. 3) Allow to dry. 4) If your petal is not yellow enough, pre-wet the petal once again without disturbing the previous layers of color and lightly drop in Aureolin.
  49. 49. 5) Allow to completely dry. 6) Using a damp brush and tissue, lift a little color here and there towards the edges of the petals. This not only gives you highlights but also gives the illusion of translucent areas near the thin edges of the petals. You would want your highlights lighter (almost white) but the translucent areas you would want to keep some color remaining. Painting the Center - Stamens: 1) Apply light wash of Aureolin over stamens and allow to dry. 2) Taking New Gamboge, paint a line on one side of each individual stamen and then with a clean damp brush, run it gently along one edge bending to a soft edge towards the lighter side of the stamen. Allow to dry before working on the next stamen. Continue this process until you have separated each stamen from one another with one side darker then the other. Remember to be consistent with the dark/light sides from one stamen to the next. See illusion for example. 3) After that is dry, if need be, apply a little stronger value by adding a hint of Burnt Sienna to the New Gamboge. 4) Allow to dry. 5) With the very tip of your brush, dab Burnt Sienna at the tips of the stamens following the design as shown. Then add a little French Ultra Blue to the Burnt Sienna and dab a few darker spots. 6) With the same mixture of FU and BS, darken the spots or little areas of the flower (be- tween the stamens) as shown. 7) Gently darken around the other perimeters of the stamens should you find you need that value darkened or extended out as you see in the 4th illustration here. I pre-wet with water first and then just dropped my BS and BS plus FU where I wanted it to go.
  50. 50. 8) If you wish, you can go back in after completely dry and apply a few small dabs of White Gouache and/or light yellow dabs mixed with White Gouache and Aureolin around the tips of the stamens. BRINGING IT ALL TOGETHER: 1) Lightly pencil the outline of the stella on your watercolour paper. 2) Mask out the center using masking fluid (I use the tip of a colour shaper to apply my masking). 3) Using the techniques learned in the previous exercises, paint the stella d’ oro in the fol- lowing order: If petals join one another (as the larger petals do), make sure to allow the paint to completely dry before moving on to the next.
  51. 51. Here’s an idea of what it could look like against a purple/blue background. I used neat (straight) Winsor Blue in some areas and Winsor Blue mixed with Aliz Crimson in other areas. I applied my background in after the flower was finished by carefully applying water, a section at a time in which I thought I could work wet in wet, and dropped in the colour. I allowed each section to dry before proceeding to the next section. If not dark enough, you can go back in after completely dry and repeat this same process. This demonstration, the photographs and all artwork within this demonstration, are copyright pro- tected by Susan Bronsak. This demonstration and all images within may not be copied in any way, for any reason including; education, any commercial use or publication (printed or electronic media), without expressed, written permission from Susan Bronsak, the artist and creator of this artwork and demonstration.
  52. 52. “New Mexico Memories” By Tom Poole This is a demonstration of painting on dry paper and allowing each wash to dry completely before adding more. The idea is to keep each shape flat (no gradation or variation in the wash) and to ignore perspective. I started with an outline drawing done first on a small scale and then on the watercolor paper a size 22x30in. It would be a good idea to do a value sketch but I had a good idea where the whites and darks were going to be so I didn’t do one. Since the subject is based on the Southwest I wanted a warm painting and settled on red as the first wash. I painted in several parts of the painting using this “mother” color while still preserving a lot of white paper. I will decide as I go along what parts of the painting will remain white.
  53. 53. The entire painting was done with these two brushes, a 2 inch flat and a number 36 round. Both are Robert Simmons synthetic brushes. I don’t think you need expensive sable brushes but you do need large brushes! Wait until each “layer” is completely dry or use your hair dryer. If the paper feels cool to the back of your fingers it is not dry! Here I have introduced green, the compliment of red. That one little section where I painted green over red created a ‘shark’ shape in the top of the tree. I will try to get rid of that or at least diminish it in subsequent washes. Added another wash of the red over the sky to make it richer and darker. This time I left some ‘doves’ on the left that I forgot the first time. Yellow over red in a few spots creates orange.
  54. 54. Here I have added quite a few more shapes. That is what we are doing, just making shapes and overlapping them at times. Still have that ‘shark’ in the tree! Wait till it drys and add more shapes. A wonderful thing about painting this way is that you can paint on the same painting for days just adding a shape or two a day if that’s all you have time for. I decided to keep the figures pretty simple in keeping with the painting. Of course figures become the center of attention when added to a painting. The ‘statue’ counts as a figure.
  55. 55. I’m gradually cutting in on the remaining white shapes and could have stopped here and probably should have! Did I disguise the ‘shark’? I wanted another cross shape on the building on the right so I used drafting tape to tape off the shape and then brushed the shape with plain water and blotted with a paper towel. I repeated that until it was the desired lightness. Use drafting tape, it doesn’t stick too tight to the paper. Masking tape is likely to remove some paint or even tear the paper when removing.
  56. 56. “New Mexico Memories” The finished painting! About Tom Poole Kentucky artist Tom Poole paints with watercolors, acrylic, oils, pastels and mixed me- dia. He also likes to do drawings using oil pastels and charcoal. He has studied with some of the best artists in the world and considers Cheng-Khee Chee to be his mentor. Tom’s work has been accepted in many regional and national exhibitions including the Southern Watercolor Society annual juried exhibit, the Kentucky Aqueous Show and the Louisiana International Exhibition. He is a signature member of the Louisiana Watercolor Society, a member of the Southern Watercolor Society , the Georgia Watercolor Society, the Mississippi Watercolor Society and a regional director of the Kentucky Watercolor Society. He is also a member of the International Society of Acrylic Painters. For more information, visit Tom’s website at . This demonstration, the photographs and all artwork within this demonstration, are copyright protected by Tom Poole. This demonstration and all images within may not be copied in any way, for any reason including; education, any commercial use or publication (printed or electronic me- dia), without expressed, written permission from Tom Poole, the artist and creator of this artwork and demonstration.
  57. 57. Conclusion: I hope you have enjoyed this ebook. For more free step by step art demonstrations, les- sons and tips, visit today! You may also be interested in signing up for our free monthly newsletter which offers more free resources including step by step demonstrations, product recommendations, artist interviews and more! To sign up for the free Creative Spotlite Newsletter, Visit: http://www.creativespotlite. com/art-newsletter.htm Other points of interest: The Creative Spotlite Art Instruction Blog Popular Art Instruction Books: Popular Art Instruction Videos: Quality Art Supplies At Competitive Prices: Learn How To Sell Your Art & Crafts (Free Newsletter): Posters & Prints Superstore - Visit the #1 Resource for Posters, Prints and Custom Framing online: