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~Painting Tips~
..:: Excerpts from my newsletter ::..

Dick Blick Art Materials


Painting Demonstrations
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...:: Have fun painting... don't take it too seriously ::...

I am assuming that you have some experience with painting and some knowledge of how to put a picture together. If you are unfamiliar with certain terms used among artists, please visit our Painting Terms and Tips page for information regarding definitions, perspective, composition, etc.

These simple demonstrations are presented here as a helpful aid to your painting endeavors.

Note: Keep in mind that the colors in most of these demos are not true to the originals.


When painting a picture, I always use a limited palette. I rarely use more than two colors of any particular hue.

Each artist has their own individual style and painting technique. My painting style is representational and detailed, therefore my approach to painting is done in a very controlled manner. I dilute the paint with water and apply it in thin layers of washes, scumbles and glazes. I will often start with a toned ground or an imprematura.

This is a painting of *Rock Stars*

The paints I use are acrylics because of its fast drying time. The pigments are thinned down to the consistancy of syrup using water mixed with a medium. There are many brands of mediums on the market. I am happy with *Liquitex - Gloss Medium & Varnish*. I use this as a final varnish for my paintings as well. The mixtures for painting are kept in small containers with lids. The containers for ketsup and tarter sauce provided by restaurants works great. Acrylics dry very quickly, so I will often store the mixtures in my refrigerator.

When I'm ready to implement glazes, a mixture is pooled up onto my palette. I then load my brush with water and draw out a portion of the mixture to further dilute it. The glazing mixtures are close to the consistency of watercolor.

This is a painting of *Misty Morning Majesty*
The colors chosen for the underpainting differs from piece to piece. Warm colors complimentary to subsequent hues are good. Generally, the underpainting is created using warm earth colors; browns, oranges, reds. Raw umber and white is an excellent choice for the majority of underpaintings. Limit yourself to one or two colors and mix it with white.

The technique I'm currently using is not etched in stone. I'm continually experimenting with various ways of creating a picture. My current approach to painting suites me well for now.

I have had some experience with teaching people the art of painting. Shortly after graduating from High School, I taught a course in painting there. Then, I was asked to teach at other schools - I turned them down, as my attention was more focused on doing works for Galleries.

I consider myself always a student. The more I learn and understand... the more I'm humbled to what I see can be achieved.

I'm doing these online demonstrations because of the many suggestions and inquiries regarding instruction... I don't give workshops, but at some point in my life I will take on an understudy.

I hope that these demonstrations clarifies the painting procedure I'm currently engaged in. As a self-taught artist, I do not consider myself an authority, but perhaps these instructions will convey some technical information that you may find useful. If so, then my time spent doing this is well worth the effort.

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