Steveston BC Art Gallery 
Richmond, British Columbia

Painting Tip No. 1

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If you want your work to look professional, start with a good drawing. One of the most repeated mistakes I see in beginner and self taught artists is in their drawings. No amount of ‘paint application techniques’ or ‘modeling’ can make up for a drawing that is distorted and incorrect in its perspective.

Artists have been using drawing aids for centuries. In the 15th century Albrecht Durer invented a drawing machine to aid artists in reproducing accurate images (see photo inset). It was a sort of a crude digital camera. Basically the device allowed the artist to accurately transfer what he saw on to his work surface by dividing the scene into a grid created by threads stretched across a frame. By repeating the same grid on his work surface the artist could more accurately draw what he saw.

The modern artist has some of the best tools at his or her finger tips, and the digital camera is probably the best tool to aid beginner as well as the seasoned artist. With a camera and computer printer an artist can record an image, reproduce it on paper and then transfer a reasonable and accurate facsimile to his canvas by tracing the image or using a grid similar to Durer’s machine. By marking out a grid with the same number of lines on your canvas, an accurate reproduction can be copied to the painting surface. Remember, detail in the transferred image is not necessary. A simple but accurate in perspective drawing will suffice. You can leave the detail for later when you begin to paint.

Painting Tip No. 2

In my first lessen I mentioned the importance of using good drawing techniques, and some simple ways of improving your drawing, and transferring the image to your canvas. A good way to start a new painting is the ‘under painting’ technique.

Many of the old Masters of Renaissance Painting used the ‘under painting’ technique which was comprised of a monochrome image painted on a canvas coated in a mid toned grey wash or neutral tinted ground. This allows you to adjust values either darker or lighter of the image to be painted.

After completing the monochrome painting, color can be employed directly to the image or applied as a transparent overlay. This technique work well with oils as well as acrylic paints. I usually use a combination of both transparent overlays and direct color application. The latter being used to enhance highlights and detail.

Below are some examples of paintings that I completed using the under painting technique. They show the monochrome image before and after color has been applied.


Here are some links to other Artists:

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Artists In Canada Listings
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Still Life Paintings
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Realism Paintings
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Seascape Paintings

Artists: If you would like your own Website to Sell Your Artwork, Click on the Link Below.

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