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Understanding Colour Values and Tone for Better Painting

  There are three primary colours. Red, blue and yellow. Amazingly all colours can be made from these three colours. Mixing blue and yellow makes green. Mixing blue and red makes purple. Mixing red and yellow makes orange. I find this magical how just by mixing two different colours can make a completely new colour. Of course, there is also white and black which aren't colours but when mixed with colours can change the tone either lighter or darker. Obviously adding white lightens the tone. You will find that you use three times more white than any other paint. It is what can bring those distant soft lights to your skies and water. For the darks, I don't actually use...

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The Importance of Composition in Art

  The important role that shape and size play in your paintings. Sometimes when you are all set up with your new white canvas in front of you and all your paints and brushes laid out ready to go, you feel a little daunted about where to start but also excited. To start off you generally focus on placement. Where you place things and the size you use is very important. For example, if you are going to put a horizon line into a landscape then it's best not to put it through the center of your picture. It is more pleasing to the eye to either put it one-third or two-thirds of the way down from the top of...

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Finding inspiration to paint

I find no better inspiration than Gods own creation. The magnificent landscapes, seascapes and skies that surround us every day is a constantly changing source of painting material that we can tap into. The changing seasons from Spring, with all of its new life, with the colours of blossom and new growth in the leaves, through to Summer, with the strong contrasts of light and shadow. Autumn, my favourite time of the year, with its stillness and beautiful colours of the leaves as they change colour and it is a great time to paint water reflections due to the lack of the wind and soft light. Then, of course, Winter, with its short days and long nights and often the...

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How to blend colours with oil paint

  The above oil painting is my latest and has quite a bit of blending of colours to it. I tend to start with the distance and work my way to the foreground. In this case, the sky was first. There are several colours that are blended. Red, orange, yellow, cerulean blue, cobalt blue, magenta, a touch of Payne's grey and as always, lots of white. Once I roughly know where I want the colour, I lay each colour down with a large brush for each colour. (75 mm or larger, depending on the canvas size) I work quite large. It's important to have a separate brush for each band of colour so they don't mix together.The paint is mixed...

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