Don't "Photo-Copy" Your Next Painting-Updated for 2019

Don't "Photo-Copy" Your Next Painting-Updated for 2019

As artists we sometimes get into a rut using photographs from which to create our work. Photographs are easy because the image they contain is right in front of us. I find that nearly all beginning students completely rely on the image in the photograph as their composition - this is what I refer to as "photo-copying". This is not necessarily their fault because no one has ever taught them about the principles of design and how to utilize those principles to develop a composition. The design of the painting is really more important than the production quality of the finished work. The design is as much the "art" of a piece as the production.

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Structure and Spontaneity for the Artist

Structure and Spontaneity for the Artist

The concept of Structure and Spontaneity is something I have talked about before: other posts in this blog, in talks to art groups, and in my abstract painting workshops. It is one of three main concepts that inform how I paint. The other two concepts being Bigger, Faster, Fresher, Looser and Paint First, Then Think.

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Don't Paint From Photographs

Don't Paint From Photographs

Painting from photographs is a very bad habit that many amateur painters and students consistently utilize to make paintings. Photographs can be used effectively as reference material for paintings, however what I see and hear from most of my painting students is that they replicate the photograph completely without first organizing a separate painting composition or value study.

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Abstract Painting Academy is Now Live

Abstract Painting Academy is Now Live

Abstract Painting Academy is an online version of David's wildly popular Bigger, Faster, Fresher, Looser Abstract Painting Workshops. This online workshop is specifically designed for those who, for whatever reason, cannot attend one of David's live workshop events. The in-depth content is the same that he teaches to hundreds of students in live workshop events all across the country each year.

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The Painting of "Midnight in the Garden 4"

The Painting of "Midnight in the Garden 4"

The "Midnight in the Garden" series is one of my favorites - and a favorite of collectors too. The concept for the series is to use dark, rich violets and blues to create the feeling of late night when darkness begins to overcome you but there is still enough light from the moon to see. The yellows, dark oranges and muted greens represent the garden elements.

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Using Gesso to Texture Your Painting Surface

Using Gesso to Texture Your Painting Surface

In my workshops students often ask about the texture on my painting surface and how I achieve it. It's quite simple actually. I use gesso. When you buy a canvas at an art supply store it comes primed with gesso which covers and protects the surface of the canvas itself. The gesso allows the artist time to move the paint around on the surface without it soaking into the canvas. I take it a step further and use very rich, thick, creamy gesso to build up a textured surface on my canvases and the watercolor paper that i paint on.

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Artists: Use the Color Wheel to Develop Color Harmony in Your Work

Artists: Use the Color Wheel to Develop Color Harmony in Your Work

I teach painting workshops all across the country. I find that when I begin a discussion about utilizing the color wheel to develop color harmonies in paintings I receive lots of blank looks on student's faces. I have come to realize that nearly all amateur painters paint from photographs, trying to exactly match local colors without any thought given to creating harmonious color combinations. I guess they think that everything in a photograph provides color harmony. It doesn't.

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