A nude

Author: gwendoline  |  Category: Oil Painting

This is a small painting, about 10″x14″.  Painted from life in a day.  I struggled with the left hand side of the background until I carried the turquoise into some drapery which pulled it together.  I later strengthened the colour on the scarf that she is sitting on, to make it a focal point.   Colour can really improve a painting. 

So often a nude can be a little too earthy.  Placing beautiful colour around your subject can bring it to life.  I have greyed the colours in the background so that they dont compete with the foreground.

A few watercolours I've been working on….

Author: gwendoline  |  Category: Watercolour

Egg & Bacon man - Koh Samui

Street Vendor - Koh Samui

Catching a ride - Koh Samui

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