Painting Techniques

As my work matured, I eventually developed techniques. Two for more detailed work and one for plein air (examples below). Detailed work has to do with more accurate explanations of the elements within the painting. For plein air painting the emphasis is on color, directional brushwork, palette knife and the use of analogous, complementary and near complementary color. Detail is suggested. The majority of my work is plein air. A technique is the characteristic appearance of an artist's paintings which identifies them as the work of that artist. Technique can be forced by the imposition of tricky paint applications but this approach has the unfortunate consequence of producing only short term attraction-power and for the viewer to look at the painting rather than into it. Then too, the adoption of the technique of another artist or that of a teacher is to be avoided due to the revelation of an undesirable lack of originality. The work of an artist should exhibit individuality but not call undue attention to the methods employed. The way to arrive at a technique is to have it evolve naturally as the artist develops. Artists learn largely by imitation and my work and techniques have been influenced by studying and sometimes copying the paintings of artists I admire. Artists such as, Frederick Waugh, Edgar Degas, Fedor Zakharov, Bernie Fuchs and Anders Zorn, to name but a few, but in my current work these influences have been subsumed and my techniques are my own. I think it was Harley Brown who said that, 'To paint like one artist is a kind of plagiarism but to paint like many artists is research.'
Zacharov Copy

COPY of a ZAKHAROV, unsigned and not for sale

                                        Example of a technique with more accurate descriptions. Here the emphasis is on drawing...                                             A more vigorous plein air technique. The emphasis is on brushwork, color and various palette knife applications...                                           A technique similar to some illustrators (Oil and China Marker, Black and White photo reference)...                                             The following is a step by step demonstration of a technique similar to the above painting that I use for studio paintings. Color photographs as reference... The first step is a loose drawing. It may not look it but it will become evident how accurate this drawing is and must be...                                           A rough approximation of some of the colors...                                             Near finish of the player on the left. The center of interest...                                             Finished painting...