10 Ways to Kickstart Your Art – #2: See the Abstract!

In four weeks I will be holding my 5-Day “Kickstart Your Art: Oil Painting Bootcamp” here in Bozeman Montana and I will soon be launching an online version, so to lead up to both workshops I’m writing a 10-part blog series!

(See Post #1 if You Missed it Last Week)

These are ten of the things that have helped my own work the most, and that I see make the biggest improvements to my students’ work. The actual workshops will cover a lot more than these ten things of course, so join us in August or sign up for my workshop newsletter to learn more about my online class.

This Week: See the Abstract

We often get so focused on the subjects and objects in our painting that we forget to see the entire composition objectively. It can be very useful to learn to see our painting abstractly, as shapes or puddles of painting held together by similar colors, values, and saturation.

We See Abstractly:

Whether we realize it or not, we see the world abstractly and only “name” the objects and subjects that matter to us at the moment. When we’re walking through a park, do we notice every dandelion and clover, or do they blend into a general “grass mass”? Do we notice all of the upper leaves of the tree, or is everything above our eye level categorized as “sky”? If we noticed every object and detail, we wouldn’t be able to be anywhere more complicated than a white room without going crazy!

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10 Ways to Kickstart Your Art – #1: Value is King!

In five weeks I will be holding my 5-Day “Kickstart Your Art: Oil Painting Bootcamp” here in Bozeman Montana and I will soon be launching an online version, so to lead up to both workshops I’m starting a 10-part blog series!

These are ten of the things that have helped my own work the most, and that I see make the biggest improvements to my students’ work. The actual workshops will cover a lot more than these ten things of course, so join us in August or sign up for my workshop newsletter to learn more about my online class.

First Up This Week: Value is King!

What is Value?

For the purpose of this blog, value is the lightness or darkness of any color on a scale from pure white to pure black. Some people will refer to it as tone, and you may see light and dark versions of a color referred to as tint and shade respectively, but we will simplify everything under the heading of value.

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