I am a self taught painter. I didn't study painting in college and I have no background in color theory. I am an intuitive colorist meaning I make it up as I go and I mix color by looking at the subject and figuring out what colors need to go together to get me what I want. I hear you saying I should produce Richard Schmid's color charts...not gonna happen.
Most of the technical stuff I know about painting I learned from workshops, art videos and Youtube. The rest has come from trial and error and putting a lot of paint down on lots of canvases. My art journey has been greatly helped by the fine folks who make art instruction videos. I watch then regularly and when a new one hits the market by a painter I really like, I snatch it up.
So let's get to the point of this blog. An art instruction video does you no good if you watch it a couple of times and put it on a shelf. Its like buying paint and canvas but never doing a painting. This blog shares with you how I watch and use art instruction videos as they are meant to be watched.
No this isn't it! By just watching a video you might pick up a gem or two that you may or may not remember the next time you paint, but this is a waste of time. If you really want to learn how to paint, get off the couch and into the studio.
Attach a large screen TV (1080p) to a laptop with a HDMI cable.
Put in the instructional video of choice. For the past twenty years all I have painted is landscapes. I have decided to give still lifes and figurative work a try so to teach myself how to paint them I have turned to those artists whose work I really admire and who have good videos available. In this case I am painting from Jeffrey Watts' "Gesture Portraits" video.
I have me easel set up so I can see my painting and the video at the same time.
Its very important to be able to pause the video regularly.
Jeffrey shows the colors he is using in this demonstration and I take this time to put out the same colors on my palette.
Jeffrey has black on his palette which I decide not to put on mine. Too many bad habits will develop if I start using black so I add burnt sienna because if I need black I already know how to mix it. Otherwise I typically use the exact same palette that's in the video.
Jeffrey begins to paint and I paint right along with him trying to keep up. If he gets ahead I hit the pause button on the remote until I get caught up.
I don't follow Jeffrey stroke for stroke, but I generally try to emulate his technique. I will eventually move on to a live model and my own style will develop the more I do these.
As Jeffrey applies color I follow along, mixing paint when he mixes paint and putting it on the canvas when he does.
Twenty minutes into it and we are almost done. Throwing in a background and looking to finish things up.
Jeffrey's finished demo
My finished exercise. It is my normal practice to do the same video demo five or six times then move on to the next demo. Once I've done that and my confidence begins to build, I will find my own subject and paint it several times until my own expression begins to develop. I don't have the courage to paint from a live model yet but I feel that will happen when it is suppose to.
I hope this has been helpful. Let me know with a comment below.
NEXT UP: Art blogs I follow and why.