Today I painted from life, and as usual, I like to experiment in my sketchbook. After all, that’s what the sketchbook is for, to put down thoughts, experiment and grow as an artist. I have been pushing myself to use bigger brushes, bolder strokes, and brighter colors. Stand as I paint, charge the canvas and make each stroke count. So today I stood back quite a bit as I painted from life, and my palette was very bright, consisting of lemon yellow, cad orange, cad red lt., quin magenta, pthalo blue, and emerald green plus, plus white.

I have been reading. A lot. More than just looking at the art of the great painters, but trying to understand what they thought and saw in order to paint a picture. Harvey Dunn, a great painter and teacher, was never one of my top favorites as his brushwork wasn’t super slick, but as I get a little bit older I’m understanding his genius. Here is some of his wisdom.

“Paint a little less of the facts, and a little more of the spirit. Look a little at the model and a lot inside. Paint more with feeling than with thought.”

As I started I was wondering if this palette of “skittles” colors was going to be to over powering, but as I remembered my grays and brown mixtures, and kept my brushes separate, I was actually surprised at the result.

The colors tend to have an outdoor feel, much brighter, and as I painted I stood back, and tried not to allow myself to get a small brush and start painting tiny details but instead capture the spirit of the model.

Dunn had another saying when trying to convince students to use larger brushes.

“Use a big brush for the face and hands — you can get a finer line with an inch wide brush than you can with a tiny hair. And little ones for the sky. It sounds funny but try it.”

I learned a lot today, about color and using larger brushes and capturing the spirit of the subject, and not just thefacts.

-Kyle

 

 

9″x12″ Oil on Sketchbook

 

 

 

About the Author Kyle Henry

I grew up in the Atlanta, Georgia area (small town called Lithonia to be exact) and started drawing at an early age. After high school, I entered the commercial art program at Pensacola Christian College. There I was able to work as an illustrator in the art studio of A Beka Book, where I worked for 3 years. After graduation I pursued a career of freelance illustration and continued learning my craft by studying with great artists and illustrators both past and present. I am fascinated by light and how it relates to edges and color. My goal is that each of my paintings capture the emotion of the subject, and not just the mere superficial facts. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or if I can help in any way.

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