Things we See

Watch this jellyfish oil painting come to life in just over 1 minute (time lapse)

You might remember when I shared this one in April? I painted this using ordinary oil paint on a black matte canvas. These are not special neon paints, even though they seem to glow. They are not paints of vibrant hues, they only appear that way because of how the wet blue and white oils look on the black matte. As we know that jellyfish have bioluminescence, and appear as if they are doing an electric light show, our brains are more susceptible to the illusion that these paints are glowing.

But these are the same kind of low budget paints I always use, on a cheap budget pack of black canvases. Illusions are very effective. Sometimes the world’s global powers pull off convincing illusions in the form of psychological warfare against the human race for their own gain, agenda, and ideology. When we can see beyond the illusion, we can make good decisions for ourselves and our families.

Who cares about our health and safety? What does history of deception, patterns of past behavior, conflicts of interest, alliances, ideological or cult views, propaganda, profit motive, and other observable factors tell us? When we see that the canvas isn’t glowing, but is just a flat matte with ordinary paint on it, we no longer see what the artist expects us to see. Maybe then we see what’s real.

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New Painting Finished!

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Back to Work! Session 3

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Today’s Painting

LOL! It looks like my daughter (girl in the painting) is afraid of my fan brush in this still photo I lifted from the video!

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Painting Action

Today’s “Compare 3” is about painting action. In the first example, “Sparrows“, we have a bird in flight; coming in for a landing, and a bird at rest; perched on the ground. The feathers on the sparrow in action are more linear than the rounded feather patterns on the resting sparrow. The claws on the landing sparrow look extended, while the resting sparrow’s claws- while also open- look relaxed. The action is shown through subtle differences in line shape, weight, and direction.

The next example “Wild Horses“, isn’t subtle in its representation of the act of running. The action is boldly shown through skewed perspective and heavy brush strokes, deep shadows, and contrasting highlights. This style of painting action looks almost like animation or cartooning. Because of this, the painting has a fun vibe. Compare “Wild Horses’“, carefree emotional weight to that to the rather serious, pensive emotion of “Sparrows“. How an artist depicts action depends on the story being told.

The following video of “Wild Horses“, session 1, is a tutorial about how to approach this type of painting, that depicts action. Skewed perspective, blurred lines, and the illusion of some parts of the body nearer to the viewer than others, are all effective means to paint action. The video is 13 minutes long and shows parts of the process in real time.

If interested in viewing more tutorials, you can see all of my free art lessons through the Classroom landing page. “Wild Horses” was a great project for illustrating action. So, we went from a subtle representation of action in “Sparrows” to an overt depiction in “Wild Horses“. In our final example, the swimming action of the dolphin is a blend between subtle and obvious.

The “Dolphin” action is shown through the bold water spray, but also through the subtle bend of the body and the gentle shadow changes in the water. In this way, the natural elements the dolphin interacts with support the illusion of action. When we paint connectivity between a subject and the natural world, action and stories are more believable.

Painting action is important to stories about drive, freedom, joyfulness, and passion. Moving is living. While a still life and a restful impressionistic scene are quite beautiful, balance is even more glorious. For all the days we sit, may we also splash, run, and dream that we can fly.

“Crocus in Snow”

See this “Crocus in Snow” series come alive – 2 minute time lapse

This art was painted January 2021 for art collection “50 Oil Paintings Inspired by Nature”. “Crocus in Snow” is a series of three oil paintings that bring to life the hope of spring coming soon. This project was an experiment to film three separate paintings to give the illusion of a painting changing and developing. To truly do this right, there would have been many more phases and steps between the three stages. However, this was a quick project and the effect showed that a stop-motion style of animation could work with classical oil painting, although it would be so time-consuming that it’s likely not worth it for most artists. But, if the project were set up at a separate station to dabble with here and there, it may be something interesting to add to the workflow. The idea DOES work, it just might not ever feel worthy of the time investment.

Trying new things, even if only a quick version of it, aids creativity. It forces the artist to do something different and breaks the monotony of the usual work pattern. So, from time to time, it’s good to depart from routine. That’s true of any type of work or schedule. Do something different, then see how fresh your perspective and energy is when you go back to your regular routine.

“Crocus in the Snow” series- three separate paintings that could be displayed together

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