Last summer, I had the priviledge of attending a Mary Jo Leisure design class. One of the “challenges” she gave us was to create a design for a flat piece of wood with a pre-cut shape. The cut shape on one end made me think of ribbons so naturally flowers came to mind. I was torn…should I draw my favorite summertime hydrangeas or wintertime poinsettias? Continue reading Summer Hydrangeas/Winter Poinsettias
In May, I had the pleasure of teaching the Advancing Your Skills class at the SDP convention. One topic presented in the class addressed the attributes of color. All colors have three attributes: value, intensity, and temperature. These attributes are as important to consider as the color itself.
Value is the lightness or darkness of a color. In my early years of painting, I thought three values of a color on my palette (light, medium and dark) were plenty to paint with. When I learned to use five values, my painting grew better. I no longer limit myself to five values although I usually start out with five on my palette. There is an infinite number of values for each hue. It is most important to understand the proper placement of values to create accurate basic shapes. Continue reading The Three Attributes of Color
Some time ago, a question was posted on Facebook about waxing painted pieces. Waxing with a fine quality paste wax after varnish is dry will not only add a rich luster to your painted piece, it will add durability. Any piece you’ve painted that will be used in the kitchen or bathroom should have a good coat of wax to protect it from water splashes and humidity. On a waxed surface, water will simply bead up and dry without causing damage. Water and high humidity are the enemies of wood.
Attention to good detail is important whether you are painting realistic floral arrangements, fruit, vegetables, sharp focus still life, landscapes, animals or portraits of people . The glint of light in an eye or on a water drop, pollen on a pistol, tiny stamens in a flower center or bug bites on a leaf; attention to details will give your paintings life and a spark of realism.
Center of Interest
Not all details should be painted bold and outstanding; some must be calm, quiet, soft and subdued. Whether a detail is major or minor is dictated by its location in the painting. When painting details in the center of interest area, develop them to the fullest extent as the center of interest has the brightest and warmest colors, strongest value contrast and sharpest details. As details on objects in the design move further away from the center of interest area and into the supporting areas or background, contrast is less, details are not as sharp-focused and therefore developed less to keep them softer and make them less interesting.
Softer or less interesting means less noticeable but not poorly painted. Even though details are soft or even obscure, they should be neatly and carefully executed. Control of value and intensity are important factors in keeping details quiet in the supporting areas.
Technical Skills and Brush Control
All detail line work should have a graceful flow and clean edges. Detail and liner brushes in excellent condition are important tools for executing fine detail work. Detail strokes should be executed with one continuous flowing stroke and not be overworked or have cleaned up edges. It has been said many times that practice is the key. Practice is the only way to achieve good technical skills and brush control.
If your eyesight or vision is less than desired, the use of a magnifying glass can be a beneficial aid for doing the tiniest of details, especially in the center of interest area where they must be the most skillfully executed. There are many kinds on the market; I find that one with a good light is best for me.
Skillful and beautifully painted details will give your painting a professional touch.
Last month, on our way north to a family reunion in Ohio, my husband and I stopped in Atlanta at the Museum of Decorative Painting that used to be called the DAC or Decorative Arts Collection. Through the years, I’ve seen pieces from the DAC displayed at various Society of Decorative Painters conventions but it was wonderful to see it all together under one roof. On arrival Continue reading Museum of Decorative Painting
This is a short video presentation of some of my paintings showing the wide range of art instructions available on my website. You will see still life and floral, as well as holiday and nature themes. Enjoy!