Monday, May 16, 2011

Tips and Suggestions to Painting

Tips & Suggestions:

-       Have confidence when you paint. Trust your creative instincts. Paint with expression and voice.
-       Make intentional brushstrokes by putting thought into each stroke, each decision. Make each brushstroke count.
-       Save your darkest darks and lightest lights for the final stages of the painting.
-       Apply strokes in the direction of the form - to help describe the form, imply motion or direction. 
-       You are building a “mosaic” of brushstrokes. Brushstrokes on top of brushstrokes. Smaller strokes on top of larger ones.
-       Apply confident and bold brushstrokes. Do not “dab at” the canvas with a million strokes.  Load your brush with paint, apply a stroke, and then go back to your palette, pick up more paint, and apply another stroke.  Exercise thoughtfulness.
-       One confident brushstroke says more than a hundred smoothed-out strokes.
-       Think of creative ways to apply paint. You can apply: a thick stroke from point A-B, a single dab of paint, scrub at the canvas with an old brush, dry-brush the paint, a palette knife or a shoe or whatever else.
-       Use larger brushes during the beginning stages and progressively smaller ones toward the latter stages. You can get more detail than you may think with using a large brush.  Push your dexterity and skill with a larger brush. 
-       “Fat over Lean”: Use a thinner paint mixture (paint with thinner or linseed oil) during the beginning stages and progressively less medium toward the latter stages. Near the end of the painting, you may find that you don’t need any medium at all. Thin paint is called, “lean” and paint with less or no medium is called, “fat”. Hence, “fat over lean”.
-       At the beginning, when blocking-in your drawing, break your values down to three values: darks, mid-tones and lights. Treat them as abstract shapes.
-       Here are some of the 3’s in painting (push yourself to discover other 3’s):
·      Lights - Mid-tones - Darks
·      Foreground - Mid-ground - Background
·      Tight/Detail - Midrange/Structure - Loose/Abstraction
·      Focal point - Main subject - Overall impact
Shapes: Small, Medium, Large
Image, Message, Context
·      Fine rendered detail - Modeled form - Suggestive space
·      Punchy Color - Muted Color - Grays/Browns

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Mixing Blacks

There are different approaches to mixing blacks. Here are three. Notice the addition of Indian Yellow in figure 1. I've found that Indian Yellow is close to Cadmium Yellow if Titanium White is added. This is very useful when attempting to mix deep blacks.

Titus Castanza's Palette Layout

I like to use a simplified palette made up of mostly primary colors. If you'll notice, I have a warm and cool version of each primary color. In addition, I like to use Trans. Brown Oxide lately. But in the past, I liked to use burnt umber or maybe sometimes raw umber. Black can be mixed using French Ultramarine and brown together. You can mix your own black or just use Ivory Black. Lately, I've just been using Ivory Black directly from the tube (for the sake of ease) but I find myself still adding brown to warm it up.

Occasionally, I prefer to use Magenta into my palette.

Helpful Tip: Some years ago, I familiarized myself with only one brand of paint before introducing other brands to my palette. At one point, I had only Windsor&Newton paints. Over time I developed a propensity for other brands. I very much like Gamblin paints for all my Cadmium colors–but not for much else. Different brands of paint vary with color intensity, tone, quality, viscosity. You're better off becoming very familiar with one brand before branching out.