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Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Facing a white sheet of paper is often quite intiminating. I don't even look at it until I'm sure what I want to do.

First I go through my reference material and look at photos or whatever until one strikes me as a good interesting subject. I then make several small thumbnails of the picture. I push objects around until I think the composition is exciting. This may take you as long to do as the painting.
I apply the golden ratio for the placement the main subject in the painting.

I draw the details of the painting with a light pencil, saving out my whites. Then I paint as much
of the rest of the painting with a softer color killing most of the white. Now build your colors on top of those colors. Save the real dark values until last. Quite often your painting will not be definitive until the last 5 0r 10 minutes.

Work wet into wet in the beginning stages. Stay loose and don't try to define the detail until your happy with the way colors are working.

With most of my students they want to make the painting look good at the start. Not to worry about this, you are in control and can make changes whenever you want.

Try this!

You'll be surprised at your results.

I have some videos on this concept.

Talk to you tomorrow...

Cloyd Bedke

Monday, August 31, 2009


Today lets talk about composition.

We hear a lot about it but do you really know what composition does in a painting.

Composition is arrangement of objects, values and hues in a painting that will cause it to be more exciting and draw you into the piece. There are lots of ways to approach this problem. The placement of the "hero object" must be well thought out in relations to other objects or ideas in the painting. When working on a flat surface your arrangement of objects is very important.

For centuries some of the old master worked it out mathematically. They came up with a formula called the Golden Ratio (or golden mean). You simply divide the page into thirds horizontally and in thirds vertically. Where these lines intersect on the page you will place your impact objects. (learn more about the golden ratio). Remember pick one of these intersections and place your hero their.

In philosophy, especially that of Aristotle, the golden mean is the desirable middle between two extremes, one of excess and the other of deficiency.

Other ideas are strictly symetrical (gets boring). Sometimes move the hero high in your page and let it fall off the top of the page for attention. (Sometimes when you break all the rules it works)
You have to experiment with the placement of subject matter of the painting.

Talk to you later

Cloyd Bedke