Saturday, May 30, 2009

Paint like Norman Bates (Pyscho) - Finding a painting style

OK, I'm a old movie buff. Norman Bates is the killer in the movie Psycho. In the shower scene, he just keeps on stabbing Janet Leigh as the Violins shriek. Do you wear your brushes out, or do they last a long time. If your brushes last a long time, you are way to tense! Chill out a bit. You need to learn to use every conceivable part of the brush. Stab, Stab,Stab! Dab,Dab, Dab! Smear and Smouch!
Try painting a painting with one brush. Learn to use the side, tip, corner and just a couple hairs of the brush. Load it to a sharp point and learn to make straights line with it. Try painting a whole painting with a large Fan brush or a 1 inch flat. If you always use a Round, throw it away. It is one of the more restrictive brushes you could use. It is good for broad stroke flower petals, but not so much for Landscapes. Not, if you want to loosen up. Stab,Stab, Stab!

"Light Revealed"
original impressionist acrylic landscape painting

Here is an example of a painting that I painted with a 1 1/2 stiff Bristle Fan Brush.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Don't be afraid, this is a test!

I'm am trying to get the feeds working, don't worry this won't hurt!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Paint like a Third Grader - How to find your painting style

A third grader just can't seem to color within the lines. If you are a super realist, you should just leave right now before I drive you crazy. Do you draw everything out in precise detail before you start painting. Stop right now! Do you hear me! This is for your own good. Does everything have to be perfect, really! There is no such thing as a perfect painting. If it was perfect, it would be a Photograph, and not a painting.
I read an article in an art book a long time ago, and it had three different paintings of a bird nest. These three paintings looked exactly alike, but they were painted by 3 different artist. That's what happens when you paint exactly what you see and you don't put a personal touch on it.
Does that tree really have to be that exact shape? Trees come in every shape imaginable. Try drawing your paintings out in as few lines as humanly possible. This will allow you to make more decisions along the way, and react to the paint. When I paint trees. I paint the foliage first. Then I paint the trunk and branches to fit the shape of the foliage. This helps me to get different shaped trees. If I paint a painting with a road in it, I will draw a line for the horizon and draw the road , that's it. This means I have to make more decisions along the way. The more decisions you make, the more you learn, the faster you will develop your own style. Simplify! Paint outside the lines.

Fall Leaves
An original splattered watercolor painting
The foliage in this painting was all splattered on with a 1 inch brush, in 9 separate splatterings.
The tree trunks and the sky were painted last.
Recommend a topic!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Be Schizophrenic - Finding a painting style

Be Schizophrenic
I am from Indiana, in my area, a lot of people vacation in the Smoky Mountains. I used to hear about a Smokey Mountain painter named Jim Grey. Once, on a trip down there, I happened upon his Studio. His whole Gallery was filled with Smokey Mountain, Watercolor paintings. Then to my amazement, I found this separate room with Nautical paintings. Coastal scenes, boats and such. I was shocked! There was a sign that said "Jim Grey, National Society of Marine Painters". Here is an example of an artist painting different bodies of work for different markets. In the Smokies he's painting watercolors. On the West coast he's painting Nautical Oil Paintings. Painting different work for different markets, will also help you stay fresh and energized. In Picasso's lifetime, he did Landscape Realism, portraits, pencil scetches, collage,cubism and painted on mass produced pottery. If you have seen my work on the internet, you have seen mostly landscapes. When I do art shows outside of the Midwest and in larger cities I take abstracts. It would be pointless to try to sell a Midwestern landscapes in Houston.

Here is one of my abstracts!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Be a Mad Scientist - Finding Your Niche

Be a Mad Scientist. Be willing to experiment. Do you really want to paint the same thing in the same way your whole life. Some artist do, and are successful. I am not made that way. To me the great joy in painting is Discovery. A new way to paint a familiar scene. If you never experiment, you are not likely to learn anything that you don't already know. Making mistakes is how you grow as an artist. It is part of the process. Don't be afraid to fail.



People have told me, "I can only paint a scene once and I am bored with it." That's because they are only painting what they see. If they paint it again, it will look the same as the first one, because they are only painting what they see. You should be interpreting what you see. Don't paint a scene the way it looks, paint it the way you want it to look. Try different colors than you normally use. Paint it in summer,winter, overcast, hot, hazy. With a Knife, with a different color under painting. Try mixing your colors on the canvas or paper instead of on the palette, the possibilities are endless. You will learn in the process.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Be A bird of a different color - Your niche or painting style

One way that you can beat the competition is to have a speciality. If every other landscape painter has a variety of landscapes and you do also, it could make it harder for you to compete. If you however, have a speciality, it could give you a competitive advantage. Let's say you specialize in Skyscapes. This doesn't mean that everything has to be a skyscape. But if 1/3 of your exhibit is Skyscapes and they are grouped together, people will start to get the ideas that you are the sky painter. Because you have a lot of sky paintings, you are more likely to sell one, because you are giving the customer more options. As opposed to the other artist who only have 1 or 2 skyscapes. Some people have particular interest, and by doing this you are targeting those people.

"Cloud Movements"

Original acrylic landscape painting on canvas


Since we were talking about Skyscapes. here is one of mine

Friday, May 22, 2009

Painting - Finding your Niche

Niche and Style
Lets say you enter an Juried art Fair. You have traditional landscapes. You have just started doing shows. When you get there, there a lot of other artist who are doing traditional landscapes. Maybe their skill level or the presentation of their work is better than yours. They are better at dealing with customers,(not timid) they have been doing it for a while. The people who come to the show have seen these artist at the show for many years, so they have more credibility than you do. How do you compete with these established artist?
In any market, at any one time, there is a limited number of people who will buy art.
Many of these people have already bought from some of these artist, they have relationships, so to speak. If these more established artist are selling 16x20 paintings for $250, do you think it is realistic for you to sell paintings for the same price? It's just a question.
This is where finding your niche comes into play.
I will expound further on this in my next post.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

How to make to your painting have depth

This is a repeat performance that I had on My other Blog. For my first lesson, I thought, there is no point in re-creating the wheel. Especially since I have a show in Lafayette, Indiana coming up and my time is limited. I hope to make these lessons very specific, and yet leave room for you to make your own choices. If you do exactly what I am doing, you will never improve and you will never develop your own style..

How to create depth in a landscape painting!

How to create depth in a landscape painting! I think you are asking the wrong question. When I first started painting, I had that kind of mind set. It is the way most people are taught. The way that I learned, was to have your background colors paler, and to use a blue, gray, or a purple. Muted these colors will recede. Then, as you come forward in the painting you add more intensity to the colors, and add more detail. Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t totally discarded this principle. The problem with most beginners is that they are afraid of dark values (dark colors).
When a beginning artist paints in this manner, they tend to end up with a pale and washed out painting. I was a beginner once. I remember not being able to paint green trees. I would start painting the leaves with a green, after all trees look green. Grass is also green, so I would paint the grass a different green. Before you know it, the whole painting was green and totally hideous, because there weren’t any darks. I have an old friend who doesn’t know anything about art.
Years ago, when I wasn’t yet making a living with my paintings, I showed him some of my latest paintings. He said , “They are nice, but why would I want them“. That is the question you should be asking yourself. What can I do to this painting to make somebody want it? Drama! You need drama, not depth. You need the painting to pop. You do this with dark against light. Without a dark, dark, the light isn’t very bright. The brighter you want the light to be, the darker you have to make the dark. If you concentrate on lights against darks, I promise you, your paintings will have depth.
You are going to have to use your imagination here. First, think of a painting as a group of objects or planes. Imagine cutting each object or plane out, and then stacking them from front to back, to make a 3D image. In the back you have the sky, then the clouds on top of the sky. Then the distant mountain, the distant yellow field, the closer green field, etc. Now lets go from the back to the front, and paint this painting in layers of light against dark.


If you focus on the lights and the darks, I promise, you will improve your paintings. If one plane is light, the next plane has to be darker and visa versa. If the plane or object is a middle value, you can go either way. Make it a lot lighter or a lot darker. You choose!


A lot of art teachers give the exact colors you should use, I.E., that color is 2 parts Sap Green and 3 parts indecision. I'm telling you that the color isn't as important as the value. If you concentrate on the value instead of the color you will be much happier with the outcome.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Finding a Niche – Your Painting Style

"Boldly Exclaiming"

original acrylic modern landscape painting
$68 in My Yessy Store


Style, this is a broader term than you might imagine. Find a niche. I’m sure you have heard this term. They are one and the same. It does you no good to have a style that nobody wants. You can approach this in two different ways. As a beginning artist you have 2 choices. Either you paint whatever you want and then try to find a market for it. Or you experiment with different things, until you find something that starts to sell,then you run with it. This depends a lot on the skill level that you have. Are you a trained artist, or are you self taught? If you are a trained artist and have a body of work, maybe you can approach some Galleries right off the bat. If you are self taught, maybe not yet. The internet is a good place to experiment with selling your art. Juried art shows are also a good place to start, I will talk about art show at a later date.
Remember the term, finding your niche. You wouldn’t need to find your niche, if what you are already doing is your niche, now would you! I think experimenting with different styles of art is the way to go. Maybe you experiment with impressionist knife paintings, and find you have a knack for it. You will never discover that if you never try it. You may find that you really like a style that you didn’t think you would like. You may find a style in the process that is uniquely you.

How to find your painting style

"Mighty Sunset"

original impressionist acrylic sunset painting

12 x 36 on Canvas


In My Yessy store

My Web site, a new painting each day.

This is my first Post. A bad tme to start a blog, as my show season is starting to come around and it can get very chaotic, but here goes.

Twenty years ago when I was young at art, I showed a friend some of my new paintings. His response was,they are really nice, but why would I want them. If there isn’t something different about your work why will someone pick your work over someone elses. If you don’t even know what that means, then you won’t know how to get there. It took me a while to figure it out. I think about this as I paint every single painting. You should too!