Monday, December 9, 2013

#6: Less is More

I did a bit more reading on Will Kemp's Art School site. I am enjoying what he has to say. It sure makes sense to me, even as a rank beginner. One thing he states is that beginning with only a few colors, and a few brushes helps you make the most of what you have and teaches you brushing techniques that you can apply later, when you have more brushes to select from. He also encourages the beginner to use a larger brush, to force you to focus on the "big picture" instead of jumping right in to the details, something I tend to do. His reasoning about using only a few colors is that you have to do the best with what you have, and you are less likely to start mixing many different colors, creating a muddy mess.

How to paint a warm and cool still life painting, a tutorial for beginners on Will Kemp's site. The challenge is to use 2 colors and 2 brushes!!

I used a round brush and a filbert, sizes 6 and 10,
Burnt Sienna
Cobalt Blue
Titanium White

Will's original:

Will's finished still life:

My attempt:

10" X 12" canvas paper

What I like about the painting:
  • I'm beginning to like the background. It's growing on me. 
  • I am in awe of the changes as I painted, especially using the glaze with the Burnt Sienna.
  • The end result looks 3-D
What I might do differently:
  • The reflection under the lip of the jug needs to be more blue.
  • I forgot the white reflections on the handle and edge of the jug
  • I need to work on brush technique. When Will demonstrates painting different areas, it almost seems like he scrubs the canvas. When I try doing that I get brush marks. I'm not sure if it is the wrong brush, wrong canvas or wrong paint.
What I learned:
  • If you are ever unsure of a color's family, add a bit of white to show where it would land on the color wheel.
  • My picture ends up looking warmer than Will's painting and the original. I'm not certain, but it might be due to the light when I took the picture. 
  • The Burnt Sienna in my painting isn't as deeply colored as in the original. I'm thinking that is because that particular tube of paint is from a different manufacturer, one that is slightly less expensive. 
  • This isn't my favorite picture. In fact, I'm ready to paint over it! But, I am fascinated by how many colors and tones one can create with such a limited palette.
  • Apparently I don't copy images well. I need to practice sketching and basic drawing.
What thoughts do you have?


  1. I came over to see how you are doing..looks great to me! :)

  2. Actually, I liked the brighter color of your pitcher. Your painting pops and glows ~ has a liveliness to it lacking in the one above. I'm having so much fun watching you paint and reading your comments! You go!