You may hear me using the term “translation” in oil painting class and this is a relatively new in the
scope of oil paintng instruction and techniques for many artists. You look at a setup or
model which is exists in the visual world, then translate what you see
into paint. Much like you might do if you translated French into
English…during this translation process the words you choose will be
colored by the intention of the phrase. What is your intention? When I use
the word translation, I mean I want you to take the painting to a little
bit different, higher place than maybe what just copying could do. Once
in a while copying the subject is the highest place that the painting
could get to although, I would say in most times, that is not the case.
What I want you to do
is to look at the still life or figure, and look at how the light is
arranged, how the color is arranged, how you want the eye path to go, what
the movement looks like from light and value changes and decide what would
be the absolute best painting possible. You get to pick and choose what
flowers go where, or how you want the light to travel across the model
until you get exactly the effect that you want. Examples: – where do you
want the painting to have the brightest color, where do you want the
brightest light and what is going to be the best arrangement of the
elements of color, value, edges, paint application – thick and thin, to
yield the absolute best oil painting. Don’t save these oil painting instruction tips just for oil painting class but try putting notes on your easel to remind you to use these tips.
Not only are you
going to look at the set up, or the model, I recommend you look at
references and see how other people have done it and borrow any good
ideas. You then decide what would work well for this painting and that
would work better than what I am seeing in my photographs and better than
what I am seeing in reality.
Sowhen you are in an oil painting class take the best of
reality, take the best of photographs that you have, the best from your
computer screen, the best of reference pictures of other paintings (these
can even be paintings you have done) of similar types of things and you
combine them to create the absolute best painting possible. I hope you can take this little bit of oil painting istruction and use it in one of your next paintings. For more info like this check out my oil painting DVD series.
by Daniel Edmondson
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