Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Learn How to Draw and Paint Detail With my New Kindle Book



How To Oil Paint Sailing Boats is the next project in our Beginner Series of kindle books.  This beautiful painting by Linda, one of my students, is a great example of the finished product.  Linda hasn't been painting for very long, yet has mastered the level of drawing skills and fine brush work learnt from these lessons.  The book will be published in Amazon soon, hopefully.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Our Second Lesson is How to Keep That Background Soft!


For the background, we are using Cobalt, Lemon, Ultramarine Blue and white.  On our palette we mixed up various hues and tones and splodged them onto the canvas.  We made it darker down the bottom then filled in the gaps with a light green.  As you feather the colours off into each other, you can make leaf shapes.  Whatever colour or style you choose for your background, the important thing to remember is to keep it soft and out-of-focus.  The frog will be our star and it will be sharp with lots of contrast.


Thursday, 15 January 2015

Still Trying to Detangle That Hair!

I'm half-way through!  The trick is to keep separating that hair, curl by curl.  I start with the darks again, add the orangey highlights and finally with my really fine brush and a bit of turps, the highlights.  Don't forget the shadows - purples - where the hair, even the wispy bits, caste a shadow over the underlying hair. 

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Let's Start our Frog with Basic Composition and Design Tactics

Our photo shows Scarlett on a brick wall, but we decided it would look more natural on a lovely Australian gum tree.  We included some sky to give the painting a little distance, and another colour to liven it up.  You can see that the body is roughly just below half-way down the canvas, so we drew that first then added the legs.

Sunday, 11 January 2015

How to Paint an Australian Green Tree Frog


This beautiful green tree frog is a common sight in Australia.  They can reach 10 cm in length and live for 16 years, which is a long time for a frog.  One of my students took this photo of her frog, Scarlett, who lives in her garden.  She keeps her well fed with beetles and moths.

Another great photo from Andrea!  Everyone wanted this to be our next painting project.  So here it is.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

How To Make Sense Out Of All Those Curls!

This is the last head of hair to do in my portrait of my grandchildren - and also the trickiest!  So I don't get too confused (which I am), I have divided it up into the biggest rolls first using just darks and lights.  I then went around the edges and feathered the wispy bits of hair off into the wet background for the soft, fuzzy look.  I'm now starting again at the forehead, one curl at a time, using purple to indicate shadows and depth.  I should be finished next year haha!

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Second Figure Finished in my Portrait

My grand-daughter looks a lot better with hair!  Because her hair is so fine at this age, I had to paint a soft shadowy flesh-tone for the top of her head first, then brush the hair on top.  Again, I painted the surrounding background in first, then was able to flick out light green and blue highlights for the wispy bits of hair that stick out.