Commission Painting: Estonia

So this painting started off by painting the canvas grey. Because there were so many small shapes here I wanted to cover the canvas with a flattish color.

This is just after all the blocking in of main shapes has been completed. You can still see the under painting and the grid lines on top.
This is just after all the blocking in of main shapes has been completed. The ocean is Ultramarine Blue, Golden Acrylics. The greens are made with Pthalo Blue, Primary Yellow, & Hooker’s Green, Stevenson Acrylics. I use  mix of my primaries to get grey. I also use Pyrrole Red (Golden) for the rooftops but later on add some Burnt Umber.
blocking in the main shapes estonia painting
Working out the main shapes and trying to find how all the little puzzle pieces of greys and squares result in looking like buildings. Little attention has been paid at this point to the trees and distant harbour area.
The reference photo my client sent me.
The reference photo my client sent me.
The finished commission.
The finished commission.

It just arrived at its home!

How to Paint Water Lilies like Claude Monet

I created this version of Claude Monet’s Water Lilies to teach at Paint Nite. It’s called “Impressionist Monet Water Lilies.” Click here to find it on the Paint Nite schedule near you.

I’m providing the steps for other Paint Nite master artists to teach their own version, or for you to have a sneak preview of how easy it is to follow along at Paint Nite.

View more of the paintings I teach on Pinterest!

Step one pthalo blue green white acrylic paint
The first step is starting with pthalo blue ragged streaks across the top of the canvas, than green, than white. Then light blue to the bottom of the canvas. The more ragged and streaked the better, so you don’t need to wash your brush between colors. Use lots of paint so it stays wet.
How to paint reflective water
While the paint from the last step is still wet, sweep your brush back and forth across the canvas to drag the paint back and forth and flatten the reflections.
How to paint water lilies
How to paint the water lilies: Using blue white and yellow, mixed, dab ovals in groupings across the canvas. Mix up the paint in different quantities so some are darker and some are lighter and some are brighter!
Dabbing color on the lilies
Start adding blue and yellow dabs on top of the lilies.
Paint lotus flowers
Add red and white W’s wherever you want to paint the lotus flowers.
Paint nite tickets
Your completed water lily painting. If you’d like more instruction and all your painting supplies provided, look for this painting on the Paint Nite website – use code SEATTLE for $25 tickets!

Why Beginners Are Good At Painting

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.