Oil Painter Blog

Practice and Observation or Practice makes perfect

other wise known as practice makes perfect

Painting is the perfect combination of science and art. Like science you learn through observation and experimentation. It is the same with art. Artist experiment with color in order to create an image.  Students lament failures, but an artist knows that visual experimentation is the means to create something great. In other words practice makes perfect.

Painting Outside Practice
New Art Classes to Practice

One of the best ways to do this is to make painting studies under different lighting conditions.  You must discard preconceived concepts of the “color of things”. Break down subjects into component hues and experiment with color and combinations to achieve a paint facsimile.

As an art, painting requires constant practice in order to master the form. Studies also play a part here. The more you paint, the better your paintings will be, the easier the studies will be, the better quality of observations you will make. One builds upon the other and back to the beginning again.

The pen may be mighty, but the pencil is versatile

The pen is mightier than the sword, but the pencil is more versatile.

Besides being one of the most basic of artistic tools, the pencils is also one of the most versatile. Pencils come in several different types including; Graphite, Colored Graphite, Colored Pencil, Watercolor Pencil, & Ink Pencil. Graphite is the oldest and what most people think of when you say pencil.

Pencil Dawing
Pencil at Work

The graphite (lead) in art pencils is made from a clay / graphite mix. Manufactures  alter the amount of one to the other to vary the “hardness” of the lead. Pencils vary in hardness from 6H (the hardest) to 6B (the softest).  Most people use the HB which is right in the middle and most know it as the #2 pencil from school. A 6H pencil will give you a very light line that is easy to erase and is good for doing preliminary sketches. A 6B leaves a very dark line that is easy to blend and is good for dark outlines and shading. Colored Graphic Pencils are also made from a clay / graphite mix but has colored pigments added. They are water soluble and can be manipulated and erased much like ordinary graphite pencils.

Colored Pencils

Colored Pencils contain no graphite, are not water soluble, and are difficult to erase. Their (lead) is made from a combination of pigments, wax, and other components that vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. This variation gives each manufacturer’s product a distinctive feel and look. Faber-Castell adds vegetable oil to it’s pencil to give a smooth “buttery” feel. On the other end of the spectrum, Derwent Studio Pencils has a harder lead.  This lends themselves to more detailed techniques. They all  come in student and professional grade.  The professional grade has a higher density of pigment. Generally speaking it is better to start with a small professional kit and add on slowly as you become more proficient with the medium.

Water Color Pencils

Water Color Pencils use a water soluble binder instead of wax. This allows them to be manipulated with water, brushes, and other tools much like traditional water color paint.
Ink Pencils are similar to water color pencils but use ink based pigments that tend to make their colors a bit more vibrant. They can be used and manipulated much like water color pencils; however, once dry the colors are fixed and you can work over them without fear of washing out under layers.

College for Kids Paint Like Masters 2017

College for Kids Paint Like Masters class for 2017


Paint Like Masters
Paint Like Masters

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and when it comes to painting, it is also one of the best ways to learn.  For centuries aspiring artists have studied under great masters, copying and building on their techniques.  Under the direction of professional artist, Jackie Tice, you will learn about different paint handling techniques and the impact of color combinations while learning about the great masters of art.

Deadline for sign up is June 5

Sign up for classes here!

College for Kids Pocket Sketch classes 2017

College for Kids Pocket Sketch Classes for 2017

Hurry to sign up for Pocket Sketch class. Only 5 seats left and registration closes June 5th.

Watercolor Pencil Pocket Sketch
Watercolor Pencil Pocket Sketch

Explore and record the world around you with the technique known as Pocket Sketching.  This quick draw method is a visual arts journal for the artist.  Grab your art pad, pens and pencils, along with a portable supply kit as professional artist, Jackie Tice, will help you capture mood and character in the world around you.

Sign up for Pocket Sketch here.

College for Kids Watercolor Pencil class 2017

College for Kids Watercolor Pencil Class

The secret to watercolors is 50/50.  You only have 50% control over what the outcome is.  The other 50% is the medium.  If you are not the kind of artist that can give up 50% of how the image will look than watercolor is not for you.  However; watercolor pencil gives you more control then straight watercolor.

Watercolor Pencil Class at Parkland College

Watercolor Pencil Class
Watercolor Pencil Pocket Sketching

Learn to shade and color with watercolor pencils and create beautiful works of art!  Under the direction of professional artist Jackie Tice, you will explore color theory as well as techniques specific to the medium.  This is a great class for students who love to draw and paint.  As you learn, you will make some great works of art and develop your own artistic and visual style.

Registration closes May 5th

Sign up for classes here!

Add my events to your Google Calendar

You can now click on my google calendar and add the class or event to your calendar as a reminder.  Wanting to see the work in person?  Are you interested in taking a class?

Don’t have a google calendar?  Simply sign up at the bottom of the page for email alerts.  Every time I post about a new class the info comes right to your email box.

Are you interested in a class but the time just won’t work for you?  Send me a message and Jo and I will work to get you a class time.

Farrington Fest

Farrington Fest

Both Daniel And I will be at Farrington Fest Sunday, October 11th from 1-4pm, on the grounds of the Vigo County Historical Museum at the corner of 6th & Washington. The event is from 1-4pm.

There will be information about Terre Haute’s oldest neighborhood.  There will be children’s activities, refreshments, and us, so stop by and say hello!


Art in Miniature

Miniature Fine Art Painting Class at Gaslight Art Colony

Just as painting large has its own set of difficulties painting miniature is just as challenging. In this class we will be painting miniature images. It is hard to define what is a miniature but we will be will be using a one sixth rule.  What ever the original is it will be painted in one sixth scale.  So bring your smallest brushes and your best magnifying glass.  We will be utilizing different techniques and different materials to create unique small paintings.

Art in Miniature Class will be held on Saturday, November 14th, and 21st.  To sign up for class stop by the Art Colony at 516 Archer Ave., Marshall, IL 62441. Stay tuned for the link to sign up for classes or for more information about this class please contact us at 217-293-1050 or gaslightartcolony@gmail.com.

Painting on Copper

Painting on Copper Class At Gaslight Art Colony

Painting cat on copper
Painting on Copper

Painting on copper has a long history reaching all the way back to Renaissance Italy. Renaissance artist painted

miniatures on copper to give away to perspective clients to show of their abilities as a painter. Creating the very first business card.

Painting on copper has very unique properties.  Leaving the copper to show in spaces lets light reflect of the copper and gives the painting a warm reflective glow.

In this class we will be cover how to prep the copper for painting, techniques for painting in miniature, and how to protect the image for longevity.

There will be two classes held on Monday, November 9th, and 16th. The sessions run from 1:00-4:00.  To sign up for class stop by the Art Colony at 516 Archer Ave., Marshall, IL 62441. Stay tuned for the link to sign up for classes or for more information about this class please contact us at 217-293-1050 or gaslightartcolony@gmail.com.