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Old 02-05-2006, 01:23 PM
Visualone Visualone is offline
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How I Paint, A WIP by Visualone

I have taught at art schools and given workshops many times over the past 30 years, but this is a first for me over the Internet. I will try to be as thorough as I can in this media. I invite questions from any and all who are interested. I intend this to help painters in oil of all levels. I hope it helps you.
This will be how I paint a landscape in the studio using photos, sketches and my "artistic license" (imagination). This painting when finished will be one of the paintings I will show at a museum in Wyoming this coming summer.
The painting is 18"x 24", stretched Claussens #12 Belgium Oil Primed Linen. The palette I will be using consists of Utrecht Cadmium Yellow Light, Rembrandt Cadmium Red Medium, Utrecht Cobalt Blue, and Utrecht Mars/Ivory Black. My white is Utrecht White. In the photo you can see other colors on the palette, but I assure you they are only what is left after I scraped away another palette. I have used this glass palette for over 25 years.

You will notice on the left side of the palette; white, Cad Lemon (NOT used for this painting), Cad. Yellow Light, Cad. Red Med., scraped away color, Cobalt Blue, and Black. Moving across the palette to the right is a good supply of Scott Brand Shop Towels (a extra heavy weight paper towel), Below that are the bristle brushes I will use for the intitial lay in of the painting, two palette knives (one for mixing, the other for painting) and lastly the tubes of color laid out for this demo.
I want to say something about the way I lay out my palette. I always lay it out the exact same way every day. The only difference would be is when I use a different color selection than this (that is what you see scraped away). You will also notice that the colors go in the order they appear on a color wheel. What about the Black you may ask. Think of Black as if it were a Blue and use it in the same manner you would use Blue.
This palette arrangement does a number of things:
1. Fresh color out of the mixing area.
2. Maximum mixing area that is easy to clean.
3. Particular colors always in the same place. I never "hunt" for a color.
4. An easy way to see the natural order colors fit in the color spectrum and the color wheel.
5. I never "pollute" a color by adding more paint and putting it in the wrong place and into a wet different color.
There are a number of ways to lay out a palette, this is the way I do it. You may do it however you prefer. I just strongly recommend that you keep a clean and orderly palette and your mixing area open. Remember, what ever is on that palette is going to get on the canvas. Avoid a messy palette always.
When beginning a painting, I usually make a number of pencil sketches. I say "usually" because I don't when working from a plein aire piece I did and I like the painting, or it is a nude or a still life done in the studio using a live model or set up arrangement. In this case I am using three references. Two photos and my own imagination. For this WIP I only show the final sketch. First are the photos and then the sketch. Pardon the glare on the photos.



Note that the sketch is very rough. This is just the final one of many rough ideas and it is the compostion I like best of all the ideas. Next an explanation of compostion.
Visualone
www.johncoxfineart.com
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Old 02-05-2006, 02:08 PM
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antgeek antgeek is offline
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Re: How I Paint, A WIP by Visualone

very instructive, john. looking forward to the next installment!
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Old 02-05-2006, 02:21 PM
Visualone Visualone is offline
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Re: How I Paint, A WIP by Visualone

I will be speaking about this compostion in this post. Obviously we all are aware there are a number of ways to compose a painting. This particular one, I am using, is very strong, yet very simple. It is one of the most common ones I use. It also contains all the elements of good compostion in a simplified way. It is stable and solid which gives it strength, it draws the viewers attention to the center of interest and has movement to allow the viewer to move around the painting but always return to the center of interest.

First I establish where I want my center of interest. Just right and just below center of canvas (the sun and area around it in this case). Next the horizon line. Here it is low since the painting is primarily a "sky" painting. Next (and this is a major key element), I make an "invisable" vertical line right through the center of interest. Note, it is almost 2/3 of the way across the canvas. This vertical will be in every painting I do. It is the "main support" of the framework of a painting. Think of a tent. You can pull and peg down that tent and it's lines as tight as possible, but it will always lay flat until you put the vertical pole in it. Now it stands up and is workable. The vertical is not necessarily an actual line across the canvas. It is a "line" the viewers eye unconsciencely "draws". It is made by purposely placed objects in the painting. Say a cloud at the top over the center of interest, a bush, rock or change in color or value at the bottom of the painting below the center of interest. It can be as subtle as a color or value change, as I said or as blatant as I large pine tree as the center of interest running nearly the height of the painting (not recommended). This is accomplished the same way as directional lines that guide one through and to the center of interest Study the illustration above and you will see this. In a way, I have the "spokes" of a wheel all leading to a central hub, the center of interest.
There are a number of books on composition, but one good one is Edgar Payne "Composition Of Outdoor Painting".
After I have settled what my composition is with the "roughs", and have collected all my reference material (roughs, photos, color studies if needed and such), I draw my compostion on the canvas. I am accurate in scale and placement, but general in shapes. I use a mixture, in this case, of Cad. Red. Med. and Black with a lot of turpentine and a #8 bristle Filbert brush. I can begin painting as soon as the turps evaporate, usually 15 to 20 minutes in this dry Arizona climate. Your area may be longer due to humidity. But most of the time and in this case, I allow the "drawing" to set over night. The reason for this is, it does let the paint set up more, but mainly it is because I like to start a painting such as this when I am fresh in the morning after a good nights rest. (forgive me, I'm an old guy ) Actually I have found my mind is clearer and the previous days work is not still fresh and I can start new. Here is the canvas with my "washy drawing".

Next post I will begin mixing color and begin spreading it. Or as my daughter once described my work when she was young, "He's coloring"
Any questions so far?
Visualone
www.johncoxfineart.com
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Old 02-05-2006, 03:23 PM
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Re: How I Paint, A WIP by Visualone

Thank you John. I'm looking forward to this.
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Old 02-05-2006, 03:55 PM
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Re: How I Paint, A WIP by Visualone

Had a look at your site. Your landscapes are gorgeous. I also like the face on your sitting figure, the last piece I believe it was. Also, like your shadow representation.

It is nice of you to share your work and methods. I look forward to seeing more of your work. A big welcome to WC!

Jocelyn
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Old 02-05-2006, 04:56 PM
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samhill samhill is offline
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Re: How I Paint, A WIP by Visualone

Great stuff....thanks for sharing your teaching skills with us here, visualone! Very much looking forward to your future posts......

BTW, I'm curious how big your glass palette is? I dont think you mentioned it. I ask because I plan on making one soon. Thanks......

PS...whoops....sorry for posting this below Jocelyn's post.
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Old 02-05-2006, 05:02 PM
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TerriMarie TerriMarie is offline
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Re: How I Paint, A WIP by Visualone

A Big Thank you John! I think it's very generous of experienced artists such as yourself to share their knowledge, and as a beginner/self taught I truly appreciate it!
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Old 02-05-2006, 05:29 PM
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Re: How I Paint, A WIP by Visualone

Thanks John. This is what makes WC so good. Artist and teachers such as your self passing on there knowledge.
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Old 02-05-2006, 06:23 PM
Visualone Visualone is offline
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Re: How I Paint, A WIP by Visualone

Thanks all for your kind words. Know that it is my pleasure to share whatever knowledge I have with all of you.

Rockchuk, My palette is only 18"x 24". I've used this one for over 25 years. It is one of those things that I keep saying "I've got to make a larger palette surface." I've been saying that for a little over 20 years now. :-) Oh, Well.
When I get to it I want to make it about 20"x 30". I've painted many large canvas's using this one and I am always out of room.
Visualone
www.johncoxfineart.com
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Old 02-05-2006, 06:31 PM
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Re: How I Paint, A WIP by Visualone

Looking forward to this one. Another fantastic mentor to learn from.. Thank you for sharing your techniques.

Warren
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Old 02-05-2006, 08:34 PM
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Marcella B Marcella B is offline
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Re: How I Paint, A WIP by Visualone

Thanks John for all the work you've done to get this started, I'm anxious to follow along, I just got in on it , so I'm going to study what you have so far.
Looks like a good start.
Marcella
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Old 02-05-2006, 11:14 PM
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Marty C Marty C is offline
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Re: How I Paint, A WIP by Visualone

Great WIP, John! You detailed explanations are invaluable. This is going to be a good learning experience.
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Old 02-06-2006, 12:02 AM
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Re: How I Paint, A WIP by Visualone

Whee! I'm sitting down for this one!
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Old 02-06-2006, 02:34 AM
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Re: How I Paint, A WIP by Visualone

Quote:
Originally Posted by Visualone
Thanks all for your kind words. Know that it is my pleasure to share whatever knowledge I have with all of you.

Rockchuk, My palette is only 18"x 24". I've used this one for over 25 years. It is one of those things that I keep saying "I've got to make a larger palette surface." I've been saying that for a little over 20 years now. :-) Oh, Well.
When I get to it I want to make it about 20"x 30". I've painted many large canvas's using this one and I am always out of room.
Visualone
www.johncoxfineart.com

OB: Thanks for that, John....maybe I'll go ahead and make that larger size then as I seem to need a lot of room......not that I do big paintings, just sloppy once I 'get into it'. :-)
Say, that painting on your website front page is fantastic. I would give my left heuvos to be able to paint like that!

.
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Old 02-06-2006, 03:05 AM
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palob palob is offline
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Re: How I Paint, A WIP by Visualone

Thank you for this thread. I have found a lot of important information for me there. I am looking forward for next installments.

Pavol

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