10 Ways to Kickstart Your Art – #5: Use the Tools to Your Advantage

In less than a week 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!

(If you missed the previous blogs, catch up on the whole series here)

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: Use the Tools to Your Advantage

One of the things that can be overwhelming about oil painting in the beginning is the sheer volume of supplies that comes along with it. I’m a huge proponent of both starting small and simple, and also experimentation. I remember in the beginning being so afraid that I was using the “wrong” tool or using a tool the “wrong” way, but that can limit creativity so much! Painting is simply about getting paint from the palette onto a surface in an efficient way with a mark that excites you! That said, there’s a few different ways to do that…

Read More

10 Ways to Kickstart Your Art – #4: Take Control of Your Palette

In two 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!

(If you missed the previous blogs, catch up on the whole series here)

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: Take Control of Your Palette

Your palette is the console in the spaceship of your studio, and you can’t get to the destination of your finished painting without it. A lot of the time when you end up lost (in space), the problem stems from your paint mixing and management skills. Knowing how to choose and organize colors, how to get the most out of your mixtures, and some technical tips on tools go a long way to make painting more intuitive and productive!

Read More

10 Ways to Kickstart Your Art – #3: Make Drawing Part of the Process

In three 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!

(If you missed the previous blogs, here is Post #1 on Value, and Post #2 on Abstract Design)

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: Make Drawing Part of the Process

There seems to be a lot of resistance to – or at least avoidance of – spending time drawing before painting, but I’ve found that one of the biggest ways to make my paintings better is to spend much more time drawing. A big reason I feel there’s hesitation to spend more time doing it is that we see the process as separate from painting, but I want us to re-think how we see drawing!

Do I Have to Know How to Draw to Paint?”:

This is probably the most common question I get from beginning artists. I usually shake my head and say, “Oh not at all.” …then, the first day in class, I teach them to draw with a brush. 😉

Why do we all think we dislike drawing so much? I think a lot of the problem comes from a misconception of what drawing is. We all think back to using one of those horrible yellow school pencils to doodle and being frustrated when our drawings don’t look how we want them to look. Or, we think of an illustration class with tedious (though valuable to learn!) perspective drawing, or a “right side of the brain” class where we do a contour drawing that helps us to see differently, but doesn’t really lend itself to creating a painting with depth.*

Read More