One of the topics we discuss in oil painting DVD is that most people learn to paint backwards. They are so busy focusing on the model and then maybe occasionally they will look at reference material (example: photos of famous painting…or just photos of works you love)to see how it is. No, the best way to learn painting, and to learn oil painting fast and good is to focus on the reference material and then on the model. And then as you get better at developing a style you can focus more, and more, and more on the model. That’s why learning to paint paintings and copying paintings, which has been done for generations, and generations, has been such a wonderful learning tool and it is something that was lost when the impressionists came along and everyone rejected the teachings of the old masters. Focus on making a great painting not getting you portrait to look like the model…the drawing skills will come just be patient. Otherwise you will learn how to draw and get that perfect likeness and THEN you will still need to learn to paint. More on this later…and check out my oil painting DVDs
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Do you know why it is so hard to paint as good as Rembrandt? At Oil Painting DVD we think we have a interesting answer: the reason it is so hard to paint as good as Rembrandt is because you do already paint as good as Rembrandt. There is no good painting. There is no bad painting. Art is just art. There is no good, there is no bad. It is impossible to define it. There exists no single set of criteria that can explain how Rembrandt, Grandma Moses, Twactman, Zorn, Alice Neal, Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, etc were all great artists.. There is no set of circumstances that exist that encompass all of those as great art. Instead, what it is “he’s great because he did this; he’s great because he did that”. Well, I am here to tell you that you are great because of what you do. So, if you want to try and understand this more, try to define your art… then define what is great art and then see if just doing the exact opposite to say here is my art because I don’t follow rules isn’t equally valid. And once you find out that it all is equally valid, which you will discover with enough thought, then you will realize that there is no such thing as good art or bad art – there is just art. So, you already do paint just as good as Rembrandt. That’s what makes it so difficult and the difficulty lies not in your skill level but in your understanding of art. If you want to learn to paint as good as Rembrandt what you are really saying is I want to learn to paint like Rembrandt. I want to use the same techniques as Rembrandt. Then that is a horse of a completely different color. You can learn to paint the way Rembrandt painted and then we do have a set of rules that fall into place such as color, value, edges, paint application and resolve – all of those things that make Rembrandt look like Rembrandt as well as his vision of his art not only in terms of his paint application but in terms of his subject matter, composition and mood. So, the way you would want to do this would be to take reference material, like a hand of Rembrandt or a flower of Latour and say that is how he has painted a hand, or a finger or a rose and that is how I need to do it. Study that and learn and copy that and make that your reference piece. Make it more of a reference than your actual material. Then once you see how they painted you can learn how they translated what they saw from the set up or the model to their canvas. Painting isn’t really copying what is up there it is translating into what you want it to look like to create something that is beautiful and an enjoyable proces.
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