For me flowers are a gift that keep on giving- for my birthday last year my husband bought me tulips and I got a bunch of paintings out – I really enjoy doing little flower series in different mediums. (Hibiscus in Oil pastel,watercolor, pen and ink)
This painting is dark, with scraping black paint revealing fiery colors underneath, as though just out of the frame are roaring flames. Butterflies drift up, floating towards the light at the top of the stairs where the open door welcomes you…
‘Into the Light’ is currently on exhibit at the Hub Event Space in Tacoma. The painting is 18×24″ acrylic on canvas.
Every week I see people paint. Some beginners, some with drawing experience, some who are artists and some who haven’t painted in years. Their skill doesn’t correlate to whether or not they will create a good painting.
There is something beautiful in each one, the more I look the easier it is to find those moments. They are often surprises; those opportunities where paint suddenly transforms and becomes more than just a mark.
Good painters keep painting until they reach such a moment. Good painters are willing to try something new; they switch gears- sometimes scraping away extra paint and going for another round. Good painters have many rounds of failed moments and they kept working at their art. Good painters sometimes spend hours and hours painting, good painters find painting to be rewarding even if they go unrecognized. Good painters are willing to let their ability, where its at, to be enough to enjoy painting itself. Good painters play with the paint, and fuel their painting with their feelings. Good painters Paint, and the process is the painting.
Good painting is not about achieving photographic images or pleasing every viewer or even pleasing the artist. Good painting isn’t perfection and organization and order.
Beginners are open to possibilities and to play, so beginners are good painters.
Yesterday I was painting on my demo paintings so that I could reuse them my stepdaughter Aranna was drawing in a sketchbook and interrupted me to tell me I should do something similar to her favorite things.
I told her if she drew it for me so that I could understand her idea, I would do it. This is her drawing:
When I was using Sketchbook Pro, which I’ve previously lauded as one of the best art apps for iPad, I’d get lost in my work – I loved the app, it did essentially everything I asked it to. But my exported videos would show when I’d zoomed in or out, which meant there was a lot of blank gray space in my videos. And when I was busy working, when time disappeared and things were going great – ZAP! suddenly the app would shut down and I could lose hours of my work.
So I kept looking for a great art app that would let me use my tablet or iPhone just like a sketchbook and I finally found the One. I use it with a regular tablet pen.
My favorite app – the one that I use a lot, that I’m using to create my tarot cards, that I use to create all my digital illustrations – is now exclusively Procreate. Even when Procreate suddenly shuts down, all my work is automatically saved. And every stroke I make is recorded so I can export my whole drawing process as a video when I’m done- here’s a truncated version from the Temperance tarot card I posted to Instagram:
If you cannot draw or paint to save your life, these are the books you would need to get you out of that life threatening situation.
So if you feel like you don’t have any talent, work your way through this library, one book at a time, and you’ll build up the skills that will make people think you’re talented. Talent is just dedication to learning the skills with a bit of obsession.
I’ve loved James Gurney’s art since I ordered a Dinotopia book from Scholastic in fourth grade. He’s a master of articulating the way color and light change the objects we’re all familiar with, from the way light filters through trees to the reason why telephone wires look black in front of the sky and white in front of dark buildings. You’ll have to get this book to learn more 😉
From the golden age of illustration comes the advice from a master artist who breaks down the complexities of the human body so that you can memorize them and understand the anatomy. Absolutely necessary for anyone whose work depicts a human figure.
If you know the bones and muscle structure of the body you can draw any pose from memory. Drawing from memory frees up your compositions and allows you to create more directly from your imagination. This book is the replacement for classical art instruction, as this kind of figure drawing is no longer taught in most modern art institutions as postmodernism made this virtuoso knowledge appear obsolete.
This May I started teaching for Paint Nite Seattle and I love it. I am so delighted that I have dozens of people to paint with every week and I feel so proud of them when they’re taking photos with their finished paintings!
On Tuesdays I’m at Casino Caribbean, which has an excellent menu of Chinese food; black pepper beef with bok Choy is my favorite. Our servers are fun and friendly and they remember my drink and make everyone feel happy. They put the Master Painting up on the big screen TVs and projector so everyone can see it! I think that helps everyone get good results and it’s a fantastic time.
The Harmon Tap Room at 204 St Helens in Tacoma is also wonderful. The staff is always singing along with the music and they are friendly and helpful and always make sure I eat before I leave and that my sound system is working perfectly. The food is totally comfort food and the place always smells like bread because they brew onsite!
And next month join me at Famous Dave’s Bar-B-Que in South Center and will be painting Nile Sunrise.
I love getting mail, especially new art supplies! A good brush pen is hard to find, so when my friend posted one of her lovely drawings on Facebook and divulged her source I ordered a sampler. They arrived promptly from JetPens.com and they were not excessively packaged. One of them came with one ink refill, the other ones appear to be disposable. I’ve loved calligraphy since forth grade when I ordered a Scholastic calligraphy book that came with nib pens and started a small trend in our class. I only wish I spoke Mandarin and Japanese.
I love painting with watercolor, so I’m sharing with you the master painter’s list of watercolor supplies – beyond tempera paint. Its easy to paint beautifully with these art supplies. Tempera paint never mixes into water as beautifully as the sumi-e ink in the opening sequence of Marco Polo, for example.
So spare yourself the disadvantage of poor materials and pick up some Windsor and Newton watercolors and the other supplies on this list.
You can buy all of these Art Materials on Amazon. Listed in no particular order.
Tape the edges of your paper for a clean edge and your paper won’t slide around. Painters’ tape is better than masking tape, which will work if you must paint now.
I bought Bee Paper 100% Rag 140# Cold Press Watercolor Paper Pack, 50 Sheets per Pack from Amazon and was pretty happy with it. I trust Fabriano brand – Fabriano Studio Watercolor Pad 300G 50 Shts- any thick quality watercolor paper will do.
Artist Quality Watercolor Paints
Cheap but Good Brushes
Loew-Cornell Brush Set Value Pack
Nylon brushes are the best ones, this pack has a variety that includes nylon as well. I buy cheap ones at Wal-Mart (the only thing I actually to Wal-Mart for, although I inevitably end up getting other things too :p).
Draw it first in your sketchbook and make sure your painting will be a success.
Canson Universal Sketch Paper Pad 5.5 x 8.5 “: 100 Sheets
Sakura 25-Piece Cray-Pas Junior Artist Assorted Color Oil Pastel Set
The drawing won’t disappear when you start painting, because these pastels resist watercolor. $5.29