Category Archives: Beginning Artist

Encouragement and help for the beginning artist

Painting of a lotus by Lynnette Horn

Following the Light

Another beautiful day in the neighborhood. I haven’t been able to get out much, with all the Easter brunch preparations, but the windows are open, the sun is shining and a lovely breeze is flowing through the house.  I’m sitting here, watching the light dance across the carpet in rhythm with the curtains as them billow in the breeze.

It got me thinking about light in terms of art. In my painting it seems I am always following the light.  Of course, the brightest light and the darkest shadows will be the main interest in any painting. This is the money spot where I want my audience to linger. It’s call the point of focus and can be within a larger focus area. But, I don’t want my viewer to only see the point of focus, or why would I bother painting the rest of the canvas. I can use the path of the light to lead the viewer’s eye around the painting.

Besides a direct main light source, another light to take into consideration is ambient light. It bounces off of everything, creating light even in the shadows. That’s why shadows are not totally black. Think of a cloudy day when the sun is blocked by the clouds. There is still like but it isn’t coming directly from the sun, but bouncing off the clouds. Then there is reflective light.  This can seem confusing to the novice artist. Picture an apple on a counter and the sun shining in from the window on it. Light bounces off its shadow , creating a reflective light on the apple. The light appears on the shadowed side. How cool is that?

If I’m painting a realistic apple I need to give it a reflective light on it’s darker side, or it won’t look real. As you practice with your artist’s eye, follow the light and see where it takes you. Take a look at my painting above. Where is the light coming from? Do you see any reflective light? What about ambient light? Let me know if you found this blog helpful or if you have any suggestions for future blogs.

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Clouds photo by Lynnette Horn

Are Clouds Really White?

I can’t believe the beautiful day we are having.  The sun is shining, birds are singing and the trees are blossoming. It’s a perfect day to go outside and put on my artist’s eye. Yep, you heard me right. Artist’s see things differently from the average person. It’s a way of seeing beyond our color biases.

In art, color bias usually means how a pigment leans toward another pigment. For example one red might lean more towards blues, while another red might lean towards yellows, like Naphthol Red and Naphthol Red Light. Both are red, but one is better for mixing purples and the other is better for making oranges. But this is not the color bias I am referring to.

Color bias can also mean the influences that affect how we see objects. It is a hindrance to observation. We are taught in school that trees are green, mountains are purple and clouds are white. But if we painted them as such they would look flat and not realistic at all. Take clouds, for example. We’ve been taught that clouds are white so when we look at a cloud we see white. But is it really? If we take the time to push through our bias and really observe, we’ll see  many possible colors in the clouds–pink, orange, blue, grey, purple and yellow.

Pushing past our color bias, for white in this case, is called seeing with our artist’s eye. It takes practice until it becomes second nature. So while you are outside this spring and summer, get your artist eye on and really observe what’s around you. Before long you’ll be making wonderful discoveries and blowing away those color biases for good.

 

Beachy_Shell_Collection

Beachy Collection

I’m so excited about my latest downloadable painting patterns being released today. I really didn’t expect them to be available until next week. I put a lot of thought into their creation, so that even someone who has never picked up a paintbrush can paint these. They can be found at http://www.artapprenticeonline.com.

One of the many tools of the learning artist is painting patterns. The trick is to find patterns from artists who do more than teach disco painting, “”Dis go here and ‘dis go there.” A painting pattern should give you something that will progress your journey as an artist not just a pretty design. With it you will expand your arsenal of skills and broaden your knowledge, as well.

Many artists only paint patterns. There is nothing wrong with this if that’s what they want to do. But for me painting patterns is a means to an end, a method of learning, along with DVD’s, streaming videos, seminars and classes, that can advance you towards whatever goal you have with your art. It doesn’t matter if you choose a path to decorative painting or fine art, availing yourself to painting patterns can lead you to become an independent artist. I know that is what I wanted when I first started this journey. Luckily, I found  wonderful mentors at Art Apprentice Online, which provides many resources including painting patterns that actually teach.

You can imagine my excitement when I reached the point where I could create on my own patterns with which others could learn. So the cycle continues. The student becoming the teacher.

 

Painting of a lotus by Lynnette Horn

Art is for Everyone–Talent is Optional

I can’t tell you the number of times someone has told me they can’t paint, that they can’t even draw stick figures. It seems the general consensus of those around me has been that if you aren’t born with artistic talent you can’t be an artist. In reality, there are very few born artists. The rest of us become artists the hard way, through learning and practice and practice and practice.

The only true prerequisite is a hunger or passion for art. The rest can all be learned. Through this site I hope to nurture your hunger and help you along the road to becoming an artist. There may be a hint or two along the way for those who are already on their way, also.

So I hope you will join me through this blogging adventure and maybe grow your artist wings in the process. Stay tuned…