Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Details- How to Paint Them

“Times Gone By”

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The weather in Shasta is amazing! The warm temperatures, clear weather, and very little snow on the ground makes it feel more like spring than the dead of winter. It is hard to pass up the opportunity to work outside clearing brush and burning the dead wood at The Grand View Ranch, but my artistic muse calls me to capture the beauty that surrounds me on canvas. By the way, it is time to register for this year’s Spring Workshops in Mt Shasta. Space is limited, and information about the workshops is on our web site at http://www.thegrandview.com/. or call me at 800-511-1337 anytime.

Last year during our workshops, we visited eight locations and of all the spectacular places that we painted, this is one of my favorite locations. It is at the end of Louis Road just west of Yreka at the base of Mt Shasta. Compared to the way it must have been over a hundred years ago, this place is quiet now, and accept for a few eagles that screech, the earth is silent and still. One can really concentrate on painting the landscape.

I painted this painting titled “Times Gone By” entirely on location. At first glance, the viewer’s eye sees the abandoned farmhouse in the background and the vigorous, overgrown foliage along the bank of the river that is reminiscent of a time gone by. Then, a lightly traveled road comes into focus at the bottom of the painting, drawing the viewer into the painting, to the river where the viewer sees the reflective colors of the sky on the water. The journey continues along the river, around the bend, and ends where it began at the distant, neglected farmhouse. The trunk of the old weathered cottonwood tree represents the end of the journey and sense of time passing.

Oil paintings are visually attractive because of the rich, textured details and brushstrokes that are not present in watercolors. Beginning students seldom create juicy, luxurious strokes (especially with light colors) simply because they do not use enough paint. Don’t be timid. Experiment with your paint by painting thick and thin brushstrokes as you go. Once everything in your painting is complete, details are the final additions to your painting. Add details where you want the viewer’s eye to linger. All of the other lines in the composition should be soft. I use a squirrel-hair brush and lightly soften all edges in the painting, and then, with precision, I take a detail brush and I place the final details within my central focal point. The key is not to add too many. If you have constructed your painting successfully, you will need to add very little detail to impact the viewer. Make every brushstroke count, and remember that less is more.
If you are interested in experiencing a breakthrough weekend that will take your art to the next level, visit our new website at http://www.thegrandview.com/,
You can download my FREE BOOK where I share “Everything I know About Painting.” At my website
I hope that we can build a community of artists that can share information with each other.
If you know of any artists that might appreciate being included, let them know about this blog.
I hope to offer more painting tips as this conversation continues. If you have questions that you would like me to answer, please don’t hesitate to email me anytime.I welcome your feedback. Stefan_Baumann@yahoo.com


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