Learn to Paint Club – Episode 8 Preview.
Find out more about the Learn To Paint Club
Learn to Paint Club – Episode 8 Preview.
Find out more about the Learn To Paint Club
More student success using the Moore Method of Painting today.
Well done to Susan … here is what she had to say:
Find attached my first attempt at an acrylic painting.
I found the method really easy to follow and quite rewarding being able to complete the whole thing in just a couple of days.
I had not used acrylics before and only have a very little experience in painting using watercolours. So I did find the acrylics difficult to get used to. The paint seems dry and difficult to apply but after following your advice and with a little practice I have found that it is forgiving and it is possible to cover errors without too much difficulty.
I am excited to try a few more landscapes using this style and develop a bit of confidence with this medium. Hoping to progress quickly and then start to do my own creations but we will see.
Thank you for simplifying the process so well and sharing this method with those of us who want to try their hand at this form of art.
A quick note to let you now that the Learn To Paint Club is now open.
The Learn To Paint Club is going to be the place to learn how to paint.
Check it out here – http://www.LearnToPaint.club
Get the details here – http://mooreartschool.com/
To celebrate the launch of the Learn To Paint Club we are giving 100 people the chance to join for just $1.
See the details at the links above.
I look forward to you joining us.
I have been busy over the last few days filming episodes for the soon to be launched Learn To Paint Club.
This is a sneak preview of the third episode which is the ‘Morning Walk Sorrento’ , a great little painting project for oils or acrylic.
Have a look and let me know what you think.
The Learn To Paint Club will feature full length episodes of projects like this one with a variety of subjects, as well as both oils and acrylic projects.
I love getting emails like this and seeing students finish paintings they are happy with. It’s just further proof that the Moore Method of Painting works. Michael has just completed our FREE five day learn to paint course.
Read what Michael had to say below. Well done Michael and I’m looking forward to seeing more of your paintings in the future.
Michael is also now in our monthly draw to win one of our painting courses.
Thank you for your tutorial, I found it to be very easy to follow and your tips on creating distance in the painting were excellent. I liked your relaxed style and felt at ease following your step by step approach to painting. I am not a beginner but for the last two years I have been trying to learn the art of water colours. I think I have reached a reasonable level but I am never going to be very good.
So I thought I would have a go at this. I had not got any acrylic equipment but I do have some oils, so I followed your instructions using oils and they appeared to work very much the same. The experience has boosted my confidence and I am very keen to try another subject, perhaps a little more complex.
You will notice on my painting that I altered the building, but that was not because I did not like yours but it was just to put my own mark on the picture and not copy yours exactly.
Thanks again and I look forward to the next tutorial.
Just launched a brand new course designed for beginners and intermediate painters titled ‘Learn To Paint’. The course takes you step by step through how to start painting using my simple 3 step Moore Method of Painting.
The course can be taken in either oils or acrylic. You can register for the course here:
You will see that we have recently set up the new Moore Art School Academy where you can now access all of our courses.
In this three part series I want to discuss with you some ideas on how to create greater harmony in your paintings.
Harmony is important in any painting as it holds the viewers interests for longer. Good harmony means that all of the elements in a painting look like they belong together. When a painting lacks harmony and unity you intuitively know something is wrong with the painting yet you just can not put your finger on what it is.
Hopefully by the end of this three part article you will have the keys to greater harmony in your painting.
So here are the three things we are going to look at:
2/ Limited Palette
3/ Integration of Elements
When you apply the lessons in each of these three key areas your paintings will have a greater sense of harmony and unity … in short they will just look right.
So lets talk about Balance first.
Creating Balance In A Painting
When a painting is out of balance then it will not hold the viewer for long.
Balance is created when there is an even weighting of the elements across the painting.
Lets look at some quick sketches as examples:
In the above thumbnail sketch we have a little landscape with a house, background mountain, big cloud and an old tree log all on the left hand side. There is only a small bush on the bottom right hand side. If this was done up as a larger painting with this composition then even though the painting may be executed technically correct it would still not feel right because it is out of balance. Obviously all of the main elements in this painting are on the left hand side with very little to balance it out on the right hand side.
When you are designing your composition think of the old see saw you used to play on as a kid. Right in the middle was the pivot point. If you were on one end of the see saw and you were heavier than the person on the other side then of course your weight would bring your side down. Well your painting, when viewed, will be viewed as a whole. There is an imaginary pivot point half way across your painting. If the elements on one side have more weight then the whole painting will be brought out of balance. Again this is generally not something that people will assess consciously … in fact they probably could not point out this as an error. They will just know something about your painting was just not right.
The good news is it is easy to correct …
In this sketch I have simply added a larger tree on the right hand side to offset the weight of the elements on the left hand side. There would be a lot more harmony in the painting with this counter balance brought into play. What if there was no tree on the right hand side of the scene you are trying to paint? Well this is where you need to use some artistic licence of course and add a tree in.
Let us look at another example of a beach scene.
As you can see in this thumbnail sketch I have a mother and child walking along the beach with the waves coming in. Again the weight is too much on the left hand side. Now if you have learnt anything about basic composition you will know about the rule of thirds. The mother and child here are positioned at the intersection of the third lines yet the painting is out of balance.
Again … it is easy to bring a painting back into balance. In this little sketch I have added in the distant headland and closer foreground rocks on the right hand side. I have also added in a surf live saving flag. Now you probably do not need to add all three of these in to create a greater sense of balance … this is just to demonstrate what you could add in.
The important thing is when you are designing your next painting create a little sketch like these and play around with the positioning of your elements until you get the right balance. This will translate into paintings filled with greater harmony, and viewers who will linger longer when taking a look at your paintings.
Here is a great exercise for you …
Get your last ten paintings you have done and asses each one for the balance. For those that are not in balance ask yourself what can you add in (or take out) to have the painting be in balance.
Next week we will look at your choice of palette and how it effects the harmony of your painting. We will discuss how and why to use a limited palette.
In this series on how to paint a landscape I will take you step-by-step through one of the projects in our online course Painting Landscapes – Level 2.
Painting landscapes is one of the most rewarding challenges an artist can have as it gives us the opportunity to capture a moment in time in a way that a photo will never be able to. Landscape painting allows the artist to highlight that which he /she connects with in the landscape. Traditionally landscape painting has been the focus of most artists however true landscape painting has been on the decline in recent years.
In this two part article I want to give you a step-by-step overview of how I approach painting a landscape.
Note: The best way to learn to paint landscapes is from life. In this particular painting I had been to the location, walked around and taken lots of photos that I was using as reference for the painting. So make sure you are either painting on location (plein air) or working from a real life subject. Trying to paint landscapes from your imagination can only lead to imaginary looking paintings.
I start out every landscape painting by doing a quick sketch. Using a mix of Ultramarine Blue and Alizarin Crimson I outline the main shapes in the landscape. The key here is to simplify everything you see in the landscape into a hand full of large shapes. When you do your drawing as above the goal is to place these large shapes on the canvas in a pleasing composition. At this point I will use some artistic license if need be to move things around so that I end up with a composition that will be pleasing to the viewer.
When I am happy with the sketch I start to work on the sky. I am using a pastry brush (thanks to Robert Hagan) as the main brush I use for most of the painting. The sky is painted with Cobalt Blue and a little Titanium White and just a pin head of Alizarin Crimson. Notice that my brush strokes are random and I keep the brush moving to give the feel of movement to the sky.
In the lower part of the sky I add more Titanium White to the mix to lighten the sky as it gets closer to the horizon. I also start to work in some clouds. These are Titanium White with some Yellow Ochre to warm the clouds up. I rough them in initially and will come back to work on them some more later on. At this point the sky is quite wet as I have used a fair amount of thinner in painting in the sky … so now is the time to move on to another area to give the sky I chance to dry off a little.
Now I work on my most distant mountains. In order to have these look like they are in the distance you want to get the value and colour right. The value needs to be darker than the sky at the horizon but light enough to keep them in the distance. Using mostly blue helps to keep the mountains looking distant. Notice I take some time to work around the foliage of the middle distance trees. This can be a little tricky to do so you need to be patient.
Next comes the layer of mountains that are closer to us. Notice that it is a darker value … more Alizarin Crimson is used to darken the mix. You can see how it has pushed the first row of mountains back into the distance. Remember that all painting is about creating the illusion of three dimensions on a two dimensional canvas.
Moving forward I start to paint in the fields behind our center of interest which is the farm sheds and buildings. This is just Yellow Ochre with Titanium White. I also grey down the colour by using some of the mix that I used to get the initial sketch in. When you grey the colour down it helps to make it look more distant. Objects that are closer to us have increased colour saturation and as they go into the distance the saturation decreases (ie they grey down).
I am now about to start on the middle distance and foreground fields. Notice I am still using the pastry brush at this stage as we block in the main shapes with the correct value and colour.
With the middle distance and foreground fields I start off with a light mix and low saturation. As it comes forward towards the viewer I strengthen the mix and saturation of colour. I also warm up the foreground more by introducing some Burnt Sienna and some Cadmium Orange. A good rule to remember is that warm colours come forward and cool colours go back into the distance. Notice the shadow of the main trees now plays an important role for a number of reasons … first it is a cool colour which contrasts nicely against the warm fields, and secondly it just breaks up the larger shape of the fields to keep it more interesting.
Now I move to a key part of the painting which is the farm sheds and equipment. I am now using the small flat brush. The key here is that I am just making marks to indicate the farm sheds etc. I am not actually trying to paint them directly. By giving the impression that these buildings and equipment are in the landscape the eye of the viewer and the mind fill in the blanks. Importantly around the lighter colour farm buildings I am adding in shadow colours of trees and bushes at the back. Again this is to create contrast in this focal area.
It is time now to move on to our middle distance and main trees. First thing I want to do is mix up a strong dark and strengthen all of the darks. This includes the tree trunks and branches as well as the foliage. For the middle distance trees we do not use as strong a dark as the foreground trees.
Well at this point we have blocked in all of the main shapes with the right colours and values. You will know if you have this right because you should already be seeing some depth in the painting.
Next week we will finish off the painting with the refinement and finishing touches.
Leave your comments and questions below and I will be happy to answer any questions you may have.
In this video I show you how to paint waves so that they look like they are standing up and rolling over as they break.
This video is taken from our new TV Show “Yes You Can Paint”.
The full painting demonstration is available on DVD or as a member of the DVD Club.
Take advantage of our special offer – click here <<< Limited time offer
As an artist it is easy to over complicate things.
It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking … ‘If I just had that new tube of green then my painting would improve‘ or ‘If only I could get a new easel‘ etc etc.
We have a tendency to focus on the things that make the least amount of difference to what will improve our painting.
As a beginner just starting out on your painting journey it is even harder. There is so much to learn and think about.
So the more you can simplify things down to just a few things to focus on the easier (and more enjoyable) your painting journey will be.
At Moore Art School we teach what we call the Moore Method Of Painting. This is a simple 3 step process to starting a painting and finishing it.
If you follow the three steps we teach in the Moore Method of Painting through our one day Art Workshops or our Online Art Classes then you will quickly improve and at the same time get more enjoyment out of painting.
So what are these 3 steps?
Glad you asked … lets look at them in more detail.
One of the challenges I believe with the wet-on-wet method typically taught by Bob Ross and Bill Alexander is that they do not teach you to draw.
I really believe if you want to be a good painter you need to be able to draw reasonably well. Simply because in order to be able to draw a landscape for instance you also need to be able to see accurately. It is this ability to be able to see that will fast track your painting skills. So the more you learn to draw what you see in front of you the more you develop your ability to see.
Now when I talk about drawing I do not mean drawing a detailed pencil sketch of the subject (although that may not be a bad idea).
What I am really talking about is placing the outlines of big shapes on the canvas.
This is important because first you have to simplify the scene down into a handful of big shapes. You also have to place them on the canvas so you get to see right away if the composition is going to work.
Here is an example of what I mean:
When I draw in my big shapes I either use Burnt Sienna thinned right down with thinner, or a mix of Ultramarine Blue & Alizarin Crimson which are both transparent colours … again with plenty of thinner. You want the paint to be an ink like consistency.
Forget the details at this stage … look for big shapes and if necessary combine elements into big shapes.
Once you are happy with the composition you have laid out it is now time to start with the block in stage.
This is where start to establish the values pattern of the painting. If you are unsure of values then I recommend the Get Started Painting course.
At this stage I am still using very thin paint and looking to cover the canvas and remove the stark white that puts of many would be artists.
Focus here on getting the relationship with your dark’s and light’s right. First start with the dark’s establishing your darkest dark’s.
Then work on your mid tones and finally the lightest tones.
With a bit of experience the first two steps can happen fairly quickly. You will find the more you paint the faster you will move through steps 1 and 2.
When you come to step 3 you want to slow down and take your time. The refinement of shapes, colour and values plus the focus on details are what separates good artists from great artists.
Notice in the above photo how the main trees have had midtones and highlights painted over them. In step 2 we just blocked in the shadow value for these trees. In step 3 we bring everything to life.
In the photo above I am working on the details around the cottage, adding in bushes and grasses, fence posts and the like.
Take your time with step 3 and enjoy the process of seeing your painting come to life.
A good rule of thumb is to use bigger brushes and thinner paint in step 2 … then in step 3 use smaller brushes for detail work and thicker paint.
Follow these three steps with each of your paintings and you will progress as a painter faster than you might have thought possible.