Learn to classically oil paint lemons, pocket watch, radishes, ballet slippers and cup of coffee. This video is ideal for the beginning art student who wants to learn how to oil paint from direct observation. Professor Groat’s fully narrated videos introduce various interdependent painting concepts in different stages.
Each of these phases are both labeled and described within the first few of his videos. Hall believes that it’s very important for students to learn how to apply each one of the twelve concepts outlined below to different types of painting situations. He explains that these concepts are universal to all paintings, and do not necessarily need to be addressed in the order that they are presented. During this first introductory video the camera focuses in closely on Hall’s classical brushwork, which enables students to clearly see firsthand how he applies the paint to develop the forms of the four different still life objects.
Video Length: 1 hour and 45 minutes
Fundamental Phases of Painting
1. Basic Sketch & Major Value Relationships
2. Surrounding Space: Background & Foreground
3. Accents & Cast Shadows Opposite Light Source
4. Front Light of Form
5. Shadow of Form
6. Restate Contour of Form & Primary Planes
7. Secondary Planes
8. Suggest Details
9. Restate Cast Shadows & Accents
10. Reflective Light
11. Background Variation
Still Life Props for Print Out (pdf. files)
Demonstrations Included on Volumes #1-3 Videos
- Ballet Slippers
- Teacup & Saucer
- Pocket Watch
- Grapes and Creamers with Milk
- Pocket Watch with Novel
- Basic Sketch & Major Value Relationships
Establish the composition and major value relationships—including low key, middle value, high key areas—through an undertone. After a basic sketch is completed, the major shapes may be painted in a simplified manner with a large brush, establishing the value relationships between the motif and the surrounding space. The undertone used may vary from warm umber (ex. burnt umber) to cool gray-blue. If the motif is predominately cool it may be helpful to use a cool undertone, or warm undertone if the subject is cool. These combinations result in opposing color interaction, which suggests movement on the painted surface. During this initial stage a paper towel can be used to wipe away areas back to the white of the canvas, and to model form through smearing with the towel a transparent layer of paint over the surface. This is similar to the technique used to rub a broad tone of charcoal on to a drawing surface. This procedure may be completed several times before the composition and scale of the forms are the way you would like them to be.
- Surrounding Space: Background & Foreground
Paint major areas surrounding the motif. The value, intensity of color, and hue may be varied from one side to the other to add visual interest and a sense of movement. I typically contrast the subject both in value and in temperature from the surrounding space, working predominately with complementary colors. And use a larger-sized brush at this initial stage to simplify areas, and implement either a modular or scumble stroke.
- Accents & Cast Shadows Opposite Light Source
This step anchors the subject so that it doesn’t appear as if it’s floating, and gives the motif a sense of visual weight and volume. This may be painted with the same undertone color that was used during step #1. It’s helpful to make the value of the cast shadow similar to the value of
the shadow of the central form, in addition to softening the edges of the cast shadow as it diffuses outward away from the subject. It’s important to closely observe the relationship between the hard and soft edges of the cast shadow.
- Front Light of Form
The temperature of the front light is dependent on the color of the subject and type of light source. In all of the demonstrations included in this DVD artificial light is used, therefore the front light appears warm. When natural daylight is used to illuminate the motif the front light will typically appear cool. Once again, a paper towel can be used to wipe away areas back to the white of the surface, which will enable areas of clean color to be applied, and not be muddled by an existing layer. This is especially important when working with high key tints that must appear bright! When working with low-key colors this situation is not as much of an issue.
- Shadow of Form
The shadow of the form typically will be a low key, cool color. For example, in a painting of a red apple the shadow side of the form may be painted with a violet, which when mixed with the warm umber that is already underneath it will become slightly warmer within a low-key value range.
- Restate Contour of Form & Primary Planes
There exists a relationship between positive and negative space at this stage. The form now may be restated to reflect the motif more accurately. When restating forms the areas already painted in step #2 will be fused with the edges of the subject through overlapping brushstrokes. Essentially, the tone that has been established beforehand in the background is used to re-shape the contour of primary form. Therefore, the quality of the edge must be considered. The edge on the same side as the light source will be sharper, compared to the soft or diffused edge, on the shadow side of the form.
- Secondary Planes
Begin to model forms by painting secondary planes over top of primary planes. The area where two large planar stokes meet is the area where the secondary planes should be suggested. These are executed with a brush that is typically smaller than the one used to block in the larger planes, and are what gives the form a convincing illusion of volume.
- Suggest Details
The key concept at this stage is “suggest.” If details are overstated and not subtly integrated the painting will look unnatural. Often time, details may be suggested and then restated several times before they appear natural.
- Restate Cast Shadows & Accents
Restate cast shadows and accents more specifically through suggesting both the cool and warm areas that exist within the cast shadow. When restating these areas closely observe the manner in which the edges change from hard to a softer edge as the shadow extends outward from the motif.
- Reflective Light
Suggest rim light/reflective light (if it’s present) along the edge of the shadow side of the motif.
- Background Variation
Vary background value and temperature to suggest light and movement. This is completed in relation to the value and color of the motif. A scumble and modular brushstroke can be intermixed to add visual interest through variation.
The areas of the motif that are closest to the light source will appear the highest key. These areas can be painted with a smaller brush with more of an impasto application of paint, using pure white or Naples yellow. Highlights are meant to be the finishing touches that enhance the volumetric illusion of the motif and sense of light.