Tinting and Shading Your Colors

Tinting and Shading Your Colors

I've talked many times before in my videos about the importance of contrast in paintings, and how contrast makes paintings pop. One of the most effective ways to create needed contrast is through manipulation of value. Value is the degree of light and dark in a painting. The more contrast between the lights and darks in a painting, the more the painting will pop. Think about the work of Vermeer or Rembrandt.

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Abstract Painting - Contrast is King

Abstract Painting - Contrast is King

In abstract painting (and all other painting) contrast is king. Contrast gives your work more interest. I've said this before: without contrast, your work is boring, and boredom leads to sleep. Contrast leads to interest, and interest leads to engagement by the viewer.

Contrast can take many forms: big vs. small; thick vs. thin; light vs. dark; intense vs. dull; color contrast; value contrast; edge contrast; size contrast; shape contrast. Contrast helps your work be more powerful, more visually appealing and helps it to pop off the wall.

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Artists Create the Life You Want

Artists Create the Life You Want

When you own your own art business you can build it around whatever is the highest priority for you. One of the highest priorities for me is freedom. Freedom to do what I want when I want. The freedom to work on the projects I want to and say no to the ones I don't. The freedom to make my own decisions and create the kind of business that I want. I spent 30 years in the corporate world, and cannot imagine being chained to a desk in a cube farm any longer. It just isn't me (and it really never was me).

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Differentiate Your Art

Differentiate Your Art

I'm a big fan of the TV show "Seinfeld" that ran for 9 seasons, from 1989 to 1998. There is an episode about "doing the opposite" that is one of my favorites. There is a scene in the episode where the main characters are sitting in the coffee shop (OK, in most of the episodes they're sitting in the coffee shop, but hang with me here) and one of the characters, George is in a very depressed mood. Mainly because he has no job, no girlfriend and is living with his parents.

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Did Paul Newman Show Up?

Did Paul Newman Show Up?

This is one of the questions that I ask my workshop students at the end of the day critique session where everyone brings their paintings to the front of the class and I review them one by one. 

Paul Newman, back in the day (I realize he died in 2008) was The Star, The Man, The Big Kahuna, The Main Man. Usually, if he was in a movie he was the star of the movie. He was the star because he could drive viewers to the movie. He made the most money in the film and had his name listed first in the list of cast members. Paul Newman was the most important part of the film.

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Acrylic Painting Brushes I Use

Acrylic Painting Brushes I Use

The question I get asked the most is, "What kind of brushes do you use?" I'm always happy to share what I use, but it really doesn't matte what I use. Brushes are a personal preference and what I use may not work for you. It really only matters what you use, and what you can do with it! But since I always get this question, I am providing this video to solve the mystery.

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Acrylic Gesso I Use-Utrecht Gesso

Acrylic Gesso I Use-Utrecht Gesso

What is gesso? Gesso is a primer used over canvas to seal it so that the paint doesn't seep into the canvas. If you've purchased a canvas before, the surface has already been coated with gesso - that's why it's white. It is usually added in multiple layers by the canvas manufacturer and then sanded smooth. Gesso gives you time to move the paint around on the surface of the canvas (or any other substrate you may use). Gesso is used as a primer for both oil and acrylic paint, and has a tooth to it that hold the paint to it. Back in the day before the advent of gesso, rabbit glue was used as canvas primer-yuk!

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