View Full Version : What step is the best first step?
05-03-2010, 08:45 AM
I've been using oil paints for about five months now, and I am starting to get the feel of the medium. For instance, I'm not sparing the paint, instead I'm using enough paint for each stroke instead of trying to get several strokes in with a dab of paint.
My question though is how to get better at it. Obviously to paint as much as I can is the first answer, but I'm not sure if it's better to try smaller things like flowers and other still life, or if what I want to paint is landscapes, then continue on with landscapes. The only problem here is that my paintings all look like a child painted them. I think that I don't have the fundamentals down to achieve what I see. Is there a starting point that any could suggest?
I hope this makes sense, and I thank you in advance for any help.
05-03-2010, 09:27 AM
Hello and welcome, pics of ones paintings are always a tremendous help when giving advice about this type thing. I assume the painting on your profile page is one you did. Nice scene, to me it shows that you are quite capable and just need some fundamentals like you mentioned. First is drawing, in the tiny picture I think I see issues with the perspective in the buildings, the roofline looks off in the rear and should be lower maybe. Thus drawing and perspective would be one first step. After that I would study tone and value, limit your palette to a couple of colors. Here is a good reference for inspiration (http://www.learning-to-see.co.uk/limited-palette) by Paul Foxton. Instruction is available online, in books, you could take a class, there is much info right here on wetcanvas in the article section (http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/Publisher/article_index.php). Check out the Hall of Fame and go through threads of interest. Good luck and post your progress towards art and artistry!
05-03-2010, 10:07 AM
Sid, thanks for the feedback. I will do some paintings and then post them as you suggested.
05-03-2010, 11:02 AM
Hi, welcome to WC and the oils forum! Best first step... if I had to choose one, it would be drawing fundamentals.
By practicing your drawing, you'll train your eye how to "see", you'll learn form, composition, line, and VALUE.
While you are practicing your drawing study color theory. Learn the color wheel and how different colors interact with each other. Learn about chroma, vibration, value, and hue. You'll also learn about light, and how it has color as well as color in shadow.
I know this doesn't sound as exciting as playing with paint, but there is quite a lot of study involved as well as lots of practice.
Above all, have fun!! Art is a journey, be kind to yourself and congratulate yourself on all of your efforts. :)
05-03-2010, 11:26 AM
Thank you for the kind suggestions Stapeliad. I plan on doing some sketches this morning.
05-03-2010, 12:27 PM
The importance of drawing cannot be overstated...
05-03-2010, 12:46 PM
First step is to enjoy what you are doing. :) Welcome to Wetcanvas!
05-03-2010, 12:54 PM
Thanks for the warm welcome. I really like this site. So many wonderful people who pay it forward. I really feel welcome...thank you!:thumbsup:
05-03-2010, 01:16 PM
the best advice is to forget small flowers etc , get stuck straight into what you realy want to be painting !!
sure you'll make mistakes ~( i still do )
but if you are painting a subject that intrests you in the first place it gives you more incentive and motivation to get your work correct
there are a lot of factors that come into landscapes ( and only a very small percentage would be learned by painting flowers !! )
a good series of lessons to view is " wilson bickford " on you tube he simply explains landscape techniques with easy lessons
if you looked at my first efforts from 15 yrs ago they are atrocious compared to what i do now
the basic sequence i follow is
1 create your layout drawing that is pleasing and looks good to the eye
picking up perspective , composition , and other things like vannishing point etc helps a lot
2 i then start by laying down a graduated sky
3 clouds if there are any involved
4 trees and ground or background hills depending on scenery
5 then i'll start on buildings etc
once all that's done i'll return to detail up the work
that's what works for me but the most important thing is to paint the more you do the more you learn and the quicker it comes natural to you !!
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