Packaging your style

Author: gwendoline  |  Category: Concepts

Van Gogh used many lines in various directions in his work.  He was less concerned with tone than he was with colour depth.

A good deal of the magic that transforms a painting into a work of art lies in successful unification.  Pulling together the parts or elements of a painting creates all the components of a picture.  Disassembling these components and experimenting with various approaches can create a style.  Once these components have been thoroughly explored, their strongest points will emerge and you will be able to apply a unifying process of relationships, interlocking all parts of your picture with sensitivity and feeling, forming an artistic whole to your final image.

How do we go about this?

Explore the following components individually with each subject you tackle.  Also try various combinations of these components, stressing one more than another.  Let’s look at each component individually…..

COMPONENTLight and Shade (Tone)

Light and dark gradations are sometimes called values, tones, shades or densities.  Gradations range from black to white – from deep black through a series of greys to light tints.  Harmonizing tonal relationships in painting and drawing is closely related to the integration of shape relationships.  You may not be able to distinguish this relationship in colour in your work, if not, take a black and white photocopy of your coloured piece and compare it to your painting for light and dark values.  You may find tonal differences you didn’t see more clearly.

Whistler was interested in two very strong components in this painting – tone and use of negative space.

COMPONENTWarm and Cool Colour Relationships

After harmonizing the tonal relationships in a painting, two other relationships unique to colour must be balanced.  The first one is the relationship of warm colours – the reds, oranges and yellows – to cool colours – the blues and blue-greens.  Colours should be compared as to which of them are warmer or cooler than eachother eg.  two blues – one may be more violet containing more red and the other may be more violet containing more blue, hence the red violet is the warmer of the two.  A rule of thumb is that if you have a warm area, there should be a little bit of cool and viceversa.

Study a few artists (perhaps Matisse, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Degas, Kandinsky), their techniques of placing a patch of colour with another, one being of a warm relationship and the other being a cool relationship.  They often brush, drag, scrape scumble these relationships over eachother.  Ask yourself what effect these relationships have when placed against eachother.  Learn the colour wheel and understand complementary colours, triads and harmonious colours.

Renoir believed colour to be an essential constituent of the world, uniting everything.  Here he has used many juxtaposed warms and cools.


Colour is one visual element that contains all other visual elements.  If we take a black and white copy from a colour copy, we have excluded one element, however, many other elements or components are left.  We still have shapes which have values of weight and size relationships.  So colour contains all of these.  Learning to balance the components within colour is a study within itself.

Colours could be experimented as flat colours or more complicated, as integrated colours.  Test colours beside eachother, on top of eachother, mixed together.  Create lots of patches in your experiments.  Look at intense to muted colours.  How do colours make you feel emotionally?  Study the colour wheel and experiment using complimentary colours, a triad, harmonious colours.  Try mixing these opposites to gain muted colours.  Which colours attract your attention more than others?  (warm colours usually).  Do some colours receed and others advance?  (cool colours receed, warm colours advance)

COMPONENT Surface Texture

Actual surfaces, ie. wood, paper, canvas, glass can be added to with further applications of texture, ie. gesso, plaster, cement, sand etc. to give us the visual equivalent of tactile sensations.


Experiment with line drawings.  Use various drawing implements, ie. pencils (hard to soft), crayons, pastels, charcoal, inks, coloured pencils, also lines drawn in paint.

Think about lines having qualities of various thicknesses, drawn with various pressures, broken lines, hatching and cross-hatching.    The mood or rhythm of the lines are created by using curvy, jagged, directional marks.  Lines also create perspective, weight and resemblances of textures ie. feathery lines, dotted etc.

COMPONENT: Negative Space

The term negative space means background space.  It’s called negative to distinguish it from the positive subject matter that occupies the centre of interest.  If we draw an outline around the subject to create a two dimensional shape, this shape will be enclosed in a space within designated edges or lines which are also two dimensional shapes.  Your subject cannot exist without negative space, so it is vitally important.

Often the danger of negative space is that large open areas will give the feeling of being ’empty’.  Though there is something very attractive about keeping negative spaces uncluttered (not distracting from your subject -positive space).  Shapes would be moved around to bring the negative and positive spaces into a sensitive balance.

When experimenting with your drawing and it’s balancing of negative space, do not rub anything out, start a new drawing and understand your progress of balancing your subject within a negative area.  Cropping, masking or blocking out the outer edges of your drawing may also help you control the expanse of negative required.

To establish sensitive spacial relationships, it could be considered that geometrical motifs such as triangles, ovals and other basic shapes, needn’t be completely inside the rectangle of the canvas.  The subject may look better in a composition when it’s partly cut down.  This allows the viewer to actively participate by using his or her imagination to complete the subject matter.

Vulliard kept this painting under the primacy of a two dimensional appearance.  Restricting his palette to grey, ochre and brown in order to maximize the decorative effect.  Line too aids Vulliard in deciphering his composition.



Your aim is to exaggerate one of these components more than others.  Or it may be that you elimate one of the components (where possible) to create an effect.  By packaging these components together in various ways, you will create various styles.

Remember also, your audience needs to be able to enjoy your work as much as you enjoyed making it.  Like a good book/film/play, leave something to your audiences imagination, dont tell them everything.  Keep your audience engaged by letting them also play a part in your creative process.





Author: gwendoline  |  Category: Concepts, Oil Painting

In the dim light from the courtyard window, I spied an old basket of books, “free to a good home”.   The Victorian Artists Society were having a clean out.

The books had been gone through by other scavengers, and most of those left were ‘how to paint’ books, which alot of artists are not interested in.  However, I picked up a little hardbacked, A4, red book, “Painting a Portrait”, but by chance noticed it was by P. A. de Laszlo, so it came to my ‘good home’…..lucky me!!

First printed in 1934 and this one is the 5th impression from 1947.  It is written from a recorded interview by A. L. Baldry, who died at the age of 81 years in 1939.

A plate from the book "Painting a Portrait" by P. A. de Laszlo


Telling Baldry the process of producing a great portrait:-

De Laszlo says his palette consists of :  Ultramarine Blue, Rose Madder, Zinc White, Light Cadmium Yellow, Cadmium Yellow Deep, Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna and occasionally, if required for a particular session, he adds Ivory Black, Veronese Green, Lac Garance and Cadmium Orange.  Poppy Oil is his medium, because it was thin and enabled him to work freely.  The Poppy Oil also slowed down the drying process, keeping his work open for a longer period.  He used alot of brushes, endeavouring to keep paint mixtures clean.  For the sake of purity of colours, he avoided mixing more than two colours together at any time.

De Laszlo goes on to talk about making the sitter comfortable, letting them feel less self-conscience.  He looked for their characteristics of personality which would lead him toward producing a better likeness.  Next he would arrange the lighting and a suitable background, in harmony with the intended colour scheme of the picture.  When satisfied, he did a rapid drawing in his sketchbook to make sure the movement, light and shade and placing are as he wished them to be:  “to be certain that the decorative effect of the picture is complete.”   In the case of a larger picture, he would do a colour sketch to be able to judge the effect of the colour scheme in which he wanted to keep the portrait.  He did not transfer these sketches to the canvas, they only helped him decide on how to deal with his subject.

De Laszlo began with a clean canvas, in its frame, as he believed the frame was an integral part of the picture, so must be there from the beginning.  He placed the sitter beside his canvas and observed the sitter from a few paces back.  He would always begin with the head, seeking to express by means of light and shade the construction of the skull and defining accurately the larger planes.  Working rapidly he would establish the exact relation between the head and its surroundings, gradually building up.  He says you cant separate details from the general effect, the details are part of the general effect and come gradually and naturally as he develops the work.  As the painting progresses, having dealt with the larger planes, he occupies himself with the smaller planes and lesser subtleties by which he obtains a likeness.

He judges the sitter and his canvas from a distance away from his easel, not only to see the general effect, but he mentally recorded what he was going to put on his canvas when he walked up to it.  He also used a little mirror to view both the picture and the sitter which enabled him to discover any faults there may be in the drawing, or in the relations of tones.  He says, “It acts like the fresh eye which can often perceive defects that the painter, having got accustomed to them, has failed to detect.”

When the head is finished, the hands and body are firmly sketched in and the background definately suggested.  The hands and feet were considered as much as the face itself, to reveal the character and personality of the sitter, hence, taken every bit as seriously as a face. De Laszlo was very observant of the sitters’ mannerism, movement of their body,  gestures and the way they wore their clothes.  He says that the “more shrewd the insight one can obtain into the sitter’s personality, the more revealing will be the expression of the face and especially of the eyes.”

A fabulous find!!



The Travelling Observer

Author: gwendoline  |  Category: Concepts, Oil Painting

I am fortunate to have the opportunity to travel to many interesting places around the world.  Usually I’m so busy being the tourist, there is little time to sit and paint, though I always carry a sketchbook with me and make a quick image if time allows.  Otherwise I use my camera to capture all the sujects I spot along the way.

I would often zoom in on a subject and crop what I wanted in the frame, but have learnt that sometimes it’s best to crop later on the computer.  There’s been more than once that I wished I could remember what was around a subject I had already cropped.  Below is a photograph I have cropped several times.

Photos are great for recording images, but lack the emotional quality of the original experience.  As an artist I try to breath the atmosphere into my creation.   I often change colours, add or eliminate figures and details, and am forever dramatically altering light quality and mood.  My goal is to impart some of the excitement I experienced whilst at the scene.

I keep a diary going daily throughout my trips and often describe a scene or feelings I had at the time.  This ultimately helps me recall the sensations I need to include in my work.

As the painting progresses I photograph it and scan it into the computer.   The computer image will help show up problems otherwise overlooked.  A mirror image can also help if a computer is not available.

Overcoming artistic doubt…

Author: gwendoline  |  Category: Concepts

Artists everywhere experience artistic doubts.  Their work is never good enough for them, not quite what they wanted to express.  The feelings they had haven’t been conveyed enough in their work.  They are looking for a style, or a trademark which will make their work their own.   Does this sound familiar?

If you are having trouble believing in your ability to achieve your goal, try taking yourself out of the equation and focus on your original goal.  What did you want to see happen?  Let the passion you envisaged during the concept of your work, fire you up again to take action.  Dont put limitations on yourself, there is no right or wrong.  The thing is, it’s ‘your ideas’, no one else knows what they are, or whether they actually worked.  It’s just your dissatisfaction which makes you doubt yourself.

Think of it this way –   One of the nicest things to observe and experience is an artist developing their work over a period of time, and this rarely happens fast. Looking at the early work of someone you admire and realise the time it has taken them to get to where they are, can put your own ideals into perspective. Try going back to your own early work and compare it to your most recent.

If you want something badly and persevere with it, you will get there.  Add a little bit of talent and it will probably happen a bit faster.  If you try to keep moving forward, you will get closer to what you want.  Doubts are natural, just keep them in proportion and remember, the journey is what matters.

Colour combinations in your work…

Author: gwendoline  |  Category: Concepts, Oil Painting, Pastel Painting, Watercolour

Some artists have a natural flair to get the colour combinations looking right in their work, others need knowledge and theory to aid them in their decisions.  The insight of colour theory alone, may not be enough to make your paintings exciting.  Intuition of which colours to put together can often override all the knowledge available to an artist….”it just felt right to put that colour there”. 

Colour has been used in paintings throughout the ages in various ways, for many purposes.  The Renaissance painters built up layers of colours with glazes, giving them luminousity and depth.  The Romantic movement around the 18th century applied colour to create mood.  The Neo-Impressionists placed pure colours in dots, which then became mingled in the eyes of the viewer.  The Impressionists used colour to study light and its effects in landscape, and the Expressionists used colour for its expressional values…etc.

Once you have your composition in mind, the next thought should be, what mood you hope to create in your work.  Colour therefore, must become the next process in your thought pattern.  If you start a work without this concept, it will most likely fail.  Colours have dimension and suggestion of directionality.  Colour can be light/dark and at the same time be warm/cool.

When talking about colour harmony, we are relating to the effect of two or more colours.  Everyone will judge harmony differently.  These judgements are personal preferences, without the theory.  Every day we select colour, to dress ourselves, decorate our homes, plant flowers in our gardens.  What pleases one person, will not necessarily please another, hence we differ in our attitudes. 

 Individual subjective opinion of what appears harmonious can be referred to as ‘subjective colour’.  Subjective colour may reveal character, mode of thought or feelings.  The amount of space allocated to each colour patch would also be a preference.  Colour preferences can be imitated from looking at like-minded subjects of past painters, and  alot of students will compose in the manner of their teachers.  Other artists have seen the colours from the experience of the subject they are about to paint and another group of painters may compose colours according to the subject to be developed, referring to their colour theories.

Light tones on a black ground will advance according to their degree of brilliance.  On a white ground, the effect is reversed, light tones are held to the plane of the background and shades from grey to black are pulled forward to varying planes in the foreground.  We also must remember that warm colours will advance and cold colours will receed.  The saturation of the colour or its pureness can also have an effect  on its depth in the picture plane.  The more brilliant the colour, the more it too will advance.

Based on the 12 hue colour wheel, complementary colours are opposite each other, these are called dyads…, blue/orange, yellow/violet etc.  

  If you select three colours from the colour circle which form an equilateral triangle, those hues form a harmonious triad, ie.yellow/red/blue, orange/violet/green etc.   If you replace one of the complementary colours in a dyad eg. blue/orange by its two neighbours the result would be a triad (sometimes referred to as a split complementary)  blue/yellow orange/red orange. 

  Two pairs of complementary colours which form a square eg. blue green/red orange  and  yellow/violet, would be called a tetrad.  Tetrads can also be obtained by making a rectangle on the colour wheel eg. yellow green/ red violet and yellow orange / blue violet.

All of the above combinations lead to harmony as they contain opposites which have a warm/cold relationship.  One of these should be dominating in the painting, rather than equal semblance.

Each colour has its own trait and these traits should be considered when trying to consider a mood.  Often these traits do not need to be learned but are instinctive to each of us.    Yellow = sunshine/light,    Red = warmth,   Blue = Cold,  Green = vegetation/tranquility,   Orange = energy/radiance,   Violet  = delicate/calm

The science of colour and its effect when one colour is placed against an opposing colour or black or white  in various sizes is quite interesting and is another whole chapter. 

Dont forget to use your intuition in your work with a knowledge of the above to guide you.

Think about 'depth' in your painting

Author: gwendoline  |  Category: Concepts, Oil Painting, Pastel Painting, Watercolour

Everything you paint will have a certain amount of depth, whether it be a short distance (eg. between two flowers) or an infinite distance (eg.  in landscape).  To achieve depth you need to think about the air or atmosphere between objects. 

One way of observing this is to focus with your eyes on your focal point whilst seeing everything else from your peripheral vision.  By not changing your focus to see another close-by object, it will appear a little fuzzy, which is how you might paint it, creating a distance from your sharper focal point. 

Other points to remember whilst painting and trying to create air or depth, is not to paint your background too colourful, instead, neutralize the colour the further the distance.  Weaken the colour and /or lighten the tonal value as you paint objects in the background, this will make more colourful objects in the foreground come forward.  Your darkest dark and lightest light should be around your focal area.  In the shadow areas and the background, try to keep your tonal values fairly close, not too much contrast.

Light on objects makes them come forward, as does brighter colours, but, lightening a background can make it go back.   Dont focus on your background in a still life, if it’s too colourful the foreground will seem lost.  If there is a pattern in the background, only paint an idea of it, an impression, dont explain it all.  The background should be less significant than anything in the foreground.

Cheers Gwendoline

Tip: How to check your tonal values….

Author: gwendoline  |  Category: Concepts, Oil Painting, Pastel Painting, Sketching, Watercolour


To check your tonal values, take a photograph of your artwork and scan it into the computer as a black & white image.  If your tonal values are rendered correctly, the artwork should look good.   If you have not succeeded with your tonal values, it will look flat and have too many similar greys. 

I have posted two small watercolours (Thailand, Koh Samui) which have been scanned into black and white.  The tonal values are reading correctly with form.   Try yours and let me know how it goes.

Cheers Gwendoline

Take a look at your 'edges' and consistency of marks.

Author: gwendoline  |  Category: Concepts, Oil Painting, Pastel Painting

The last task you should do to your painting is check your edges on every part.  At the beginning of a work, keep the edges soft.  It is easy to sharpen an edge, but very difficult to soften one later in its progress.  A continuous edge should be portrayed softly;  a hard edge should be reserved for around the focal point and also when an edge is a finishing edge – ie. edge of a building. 

When painting flesh, try this:   outline the figure in a deep warm red (this could be alizarin and light red with a touch of ultramarine blue), keep this line reasonably dry and thin.  Then paint the flesh colour up to the edge of the line, leaving only a slight hint of it.  This will give the look of a turning edge and add depth to your figure.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     OR:   On the horizon of a river, paint your lightest light, this will give the effect of the river disappearing into the distance.

Edges suggest distances, even if they are short distances.    Examples:     A vase of flowers…….the cameo flowers in the foreground would have sharper edges than those flowers painted behind them.    Grass in the distance will not have any sharp definition, but a clump in the foreground may. 

Edges can also suggest mood:  Example:   A misty seascape……where the line between the sky and the sea meet on the horizon may be totally lost in fog or mist.  The distant ships may be fuzzy, whereas a boat in the foreground may be sharper.

Lost  or broken edges allow your audience to participate in your work.  By saying less, it allows your viewers to connect  and create in their mind, what you have only suggested.  On finishing your painting, look to see where you could say less and simplify.

Whatever type of marks and softening you use, they should be echoed throughout the painting.   If you soften an area, say in the clouds with a finger,  do this elsewhere in other parts of the painting.   If you use one type of mark in one area, and marks with a quite different character in another area, you will destroy the harmony of the surface texture and your technique will look inconsistent.  The same goes for brushwork or direction of pastel marks.  The key is always to be consistent.

Tones……separating them from colour

Author: gwendoline  |  Category: Concepts

The tonal values (ie. light to dark range), are more important than colour in organising a painting.  The tonal values are what give you a sense of depth to your work. 

Before you start your painting, decide where your lightest light and darkest dark will be positioned (this is your focal point), all other tones will fall between them. 

Take into consideration a number of elements affecting your scene, whether it be the weather conditions where a sunny day will give you greater depth than what a dull or misty day will.  The lighting on a model or still life may come from a window which will have a softer effect than a spot light. 

Alot of students have difficulty in separating tones from colour.  To work them out you need to keep looking at one tone in relation to another.  Looking through squinted or half closed eyes can be beneficial, as this cuts down on the detail of the subject and reduces them to simpler shapes whose tonal values become more apparent.  Looking into a black tile or black glass can also do this. 

If you have trouble assessing the tonal values of different areas of colour, you could make a tonal scale on some paper, from white to black with about nine or ten gradations using black and white paint.  Then hold your colour value next to one of the greyed scales and see if you can pick which tone your colour is.

Tonal arrangements are very important to the composition of your painting.  If the lightest light occurs too close to the edge of the canvas it may tend to not allow your audience to enjoy the work as a whole since it may draw their eye out of the picture or make it feel unbalanced.  If you have too light a tone near the edge of your work, darken it slightly.  

Strong tonal contrasts can be used to create emphasis where you want it because they attract the eye, so reserve the greatest contrast for your focal point.      Painting in monochrome is a good way to understand tonal values, as this eliminates colour from your palette. 

Cheers Gwendoline

P.S.  A black glass (4″x6″) can be made from a piece of thick bevel-edged glass painted black on one side.  Use this like a mirror to reflect your painting and your subject at the same time, looking either over your shoulder or holding it like a visor above your eyebrows.  It reduces the colour in the scene and shows up the tonal relationships.  A black tile will also work, but not reflect as much depth.

A day in the Kingdom of Lanna…Chiang Mai

Author: gwendoline  |  Category: Concepts, Uncategorized

Chiang Dao Caves by lantern light

Jostling along the highway, dodging weaving traffic, vying for the best spot on the road, thai taxis’ carry loads of people, stacked in like sardines, hanging on across the back step, swaying to the rhythm of the road. Workers balanced in the tray of utes, holding onto valuable trade tools, share a smoke and small talk before the shift begins.

The stalls and markets are being set up and already are trading. Women arrive to buy their goods before the fierce heat of the day. Prior to this, they woke at dawn, swept their doorways of the penetrating dust that the constant pulsing world throws their way. The children ride seated between their parents legs on the rattling, buzzing motorbikes which clutter the roadways and seem to line the curbs of every street. Small carts attached to them produce amazing delicious morsels of food. A truck of eggs hurtles past us, next a ute caged with pigs, squawking in what appears delight.

Leaving the villages behind, we continue into the countryside. The surrounding foothills are a pale cobalt blue, hazed in smoke from the burning off of the rice fields. From the middle ground to infinity, the edges of all objects are lost in haze. The sun, unable to penetrate the smoke, silohettes the trees in the foreground and our eyes settle on objects closer to us: donkeys and goats feasting in the fields, people working the land, sheltered by their large brimmed straw hats.

No time to sit and paint, but I recall the sensations I experienced, so my inspiration envelopes me once again when I recall these scenes in my photographs.

We reach the Chiang Dao caves and proceed to the entrance down a track which looks like it has been there for over a 100 years. The trees here are huge, maybe a 100 metres tall to match their age. A decorative facade, now crumbling awaits our entrance. The locals going about their business, just passing in more time.

Having purchased our tickets, we climb steep stairs and descend into the cave. Decorated with stone animals, buddas, and rustic bells, it looks like a very ancient archeological site. The cave’s floor has been carved with the movement of past floods from the wet season and swirls in ridges beneath our feet. The sand stone walls and ceiling are draped with formations, veils, shawls, stalegtites and stalegmites.

Some 500 metres onward, we come to a buddist shrine, amongst which is a monk, quietly meditating, oblivious to us and our banter.

We head back to the entrance and hire a guide with a lantern to lead us into another set of caves, not lit with electricity. It is pitch dark, except for the glow of the lantern which we follow closely like moths. The squeeking of bats sound above us and we see their evidence as we watch our steps closely.

The guide swings her lantern high and reveals the extensive chamber we are in, the bats twitch with the intrusion of the light.
Onward we go, through a hole in the side of the cave wall. It’s small, uneven, twisting and we have to contort our bodies and limbs on hands and knees through this keyhole to the next chamber. Ducking our heads as stalagmites try to reach the floor, we keep strictly to following the lantern light, for the unknown lays beyond the small circle of light.

Again the lantern is swung forth and lightens a massive area, draped in all sorts of formations resembling faces, buddahs, animals. Our guide points them out to us, with us adding a few more to her reportoire.

Occasionally she holds the light infront of herself and casts her shadow behind, hiding the uneven cave floor and our own footsteps. Swinging it to her side, she warns us of the pockets of uneven earth which she aptly names elephant footprints.

Onward we go, up and down corridors, through enormous caverns. In here too is a temple to budda, lit by a few candles. A few in the group kneel to show their respect, as does our guide.

Lifting the lantern against a wall, she reveals a spider, as large as a palm. It is spindly and the same colour as the reddish ochre earth. Down very steep steps, we are led back to where we entered. A very exciting experience.

Seven kilometres up the road, into the deeper jungle, a temple is perched on the foothills of the Malay mountains which reach into Laos, Burma and China. The haze still hangs in the air making the mountains only slightly darker than the sky. Their presence towers around us, as do the tall trees and vines growing up them. 500 steps through an adorned entrance of colourful ceramics we see a square man, festooned in costume, jester like, galloping toward us down the steps at great speed, pushing a soiled cloth in his grip of the handrail. He comes level with us and for a split second grins with his toothless mouth, blind in one eye and pride written all over his face. His job is done, then he is gone.

We commence our hike up the steps, the jungle is alive with cicadas and bird calls, though we see no movement except for some large blue butterflies and an occasional large buzzy insect. The steps have been brushed clean of any leaf debris and give uninterrupted procession for the ants.

Perched high up the mountain, the spire of the temple gllistens in the sunlight against the cool greys of the haze. It looks very peaceful and inviting. A few monks are also making their way in our direction, their orange/golden silk robes just brilliant. They are quiet and we lower our voices.

Up to the temple which we discover is a cave of jagged rockface, canoped with a modern roof. Inside a staircase adorned with a colourful ceramic dragon each side, leads us to the roof of the temple which we had seen from below. The spire has bells dangling around it and they tinkle gently with the slightest movement of air. The view over the treetops is spectacular, stretching up to meet us.

Inside the temple a young monk sits quietly, we hardly realise he is there, surrounded by golden buddahs and figurines of monks, the young monk blends. Another monk comes to greet us and asks us to sit with him. He has a very kindly face and looks animated at the pleasure of answering our questions.

It’s been a wonderful day and we are ready to indulge in a late lunch at the Chang Dao Nest 2 which is delightful.

By keeping notes or writing short descriptive essays, they will bring back to you the sensations you experienced when taking your photographs. Feeling the moment when you paint, puts a little bit more of you in the painting and becomes more convincing of the portrayal you hope to capture. Write down words which describe the reason for being inspired to take the photograph in the first place. Search your senses to make interpretations: visually – how did it affect you, what did you hear at the time, how did the scene make you feel emotionally, was there texture involved – what did it feel like. When you are painting, hopefully these sensations will be felt.