Examining and comparing a variety of paintings helps to develop a better understanding of painting composition. Here are several paintings in which to examine and compare their composition. Each of these paintings is effective for its own reasons. Take the time to study their differences and see how they might inspire your own painting. Read the captions to see my comments about painting composition.
Check out these master painters. Each painting to their own tune. Here we have Cezanne, Monet, Parrish, Fechin, Klint, Klee, Lawrence, and others.
Ask me about these styles and techniques in the studio and we can discuss.
Pumice Gel enables oil painters to texture their painting surface before painting. (It is also used by acrylic painters.) It is an acrylic medium, so you cannot mix oil paint into it. The pumice gel must be completely dry before applying oil paint over it. If the gel is too stiff and grainy straight out of the jar, you can use acrylic medium or molding paste too thin it.
This is a painting of door in Venice that I did, and used a lot of Pumice Gel. The gel comes in fine, course, and extra-course. In this 3 ft x 5 ft painting, I used the course gel. The extra course would have been way too grainy.
Here is a close up of the grainy surface of my painting.
This is what the gel looks like straight out of the jar.
Pumice Gel is made by Golden.
Indirect painting is when the painter paints the picture first in black and white (a grisaille) or in warm tones such as Burnt Umber. Then, after it dries, the painter applies glazes of colors over it.
However, what I wish to point out is that for glazing to be effective over a black and while underpainting, the high-key colors (bright reds, greens, and yellows) must be painted in extra-light values. Notice the values in the bottom painting above, the apples are extra light. That way, when the bright, high-key colors are applied over the apples, you will be able to maintain their intense color saturation.
Conversely, if the apples in the black and white painting were painted in darker values, the glazing over the top of them would only produce a murky color and lack brilliance.
(I don't know who painted the picture above, so unfortunately I cannot attribute it.)
Buying the Right Easel
A tabletop easel is perfect for experienced and new painters alike. Pictured above is one that is light-weight and folds down for convenient transport. Follow this link for a guide on several kinds of easels for indoor and outdoor painting.
A floater frame is designed to make the painting appear to float within the frame. The frame molding does not wrap around the front of the painting and is usually flush to the face of the painting. It has a sleek modern look. I prefer a floater because I usually want the edges of my painting to show.
Consider a floater frame if you want a contemporary look that reveals the edges of the painting.
(Framing is discussed in my live oil painting classes in Seattle. "Specializing in oil painting instruction for 40 years".
Follow this step-by-step guide to paint a brown pear. Go here to download a PDF file. Send me a picture of your painting and I would love to see it!
Oil painting Classes in Seattle. Artist Patrick Howe, specializing in oil painting instruction.