Art is about brush movements. I study clouds here in Nebraska. It changed the way I painted roses. It changed the way I paint birds last year. I wrote of the best bird books I feel I have done when I came here and studied the wind blowing over the short grass prairie. It changed the way I paint water. The more things you study, the better at observation you are. Observation is the key to being an artist. I may discover while painting clouds a new technique that I can use on roses to give new looks. I may discover while painting a rose a great way to create an illusion in a landscape. It is about observation and that is a skill you must refine. You refine it by forcing yourself to "see" other things and by doing it every day.
Tomorrow, I will paint different. I will create some new ways to capture an image. I will create new brushwork because I am studying different things that change me and I am routinely doing this everyday to refine my skills. My goal is to paint different and advance my skills.
In the photo above, you can see the transparency. It is an illusion. The illusion can be used in one way on a rose and another way on water. Many times I will use different techniques to create this illusion form direct painting, negative painting to back painting. I practice these everyday so my observational skills increase and so does my brushwork.
This week I was painting prairie grass, writing a seascapes book and this morning I painted a new look to roses that I really love. I mean really love! What changed me..... trying to capture prairie grass completely changed the way I see roses. Undertones are so important to the grasses in the prairie, so I tried it on the roses...WOW.. Amazing. Now I knew about undertones since studying the Dutch techniques, but I really never saw them in this way until I tried to capture the short grass in the wind. Time for another book...
Painting everyday increases my observational skills. So does painting different things. I am going to get a calendar and mark an X each day I paint something. Anything. That is my goal. To make an unbroken chain and see where it leads me. Have a great painting day!