Miniature paintings are one of the many things that make an Indian proud of his country’s rich cultural heritage. Miniature paintings originated long back in the history of India. Indian Paintings can be broadly classified as the murals and miniatures. Murals are huge works executed on the walls of solid structures, as in the Ajanta Caves and the Kailashnath temple.
Miniature paintings are executed on a very small scale on perishable material such as paper and cloth. The Palas of Bengal were the pioneers of miniature painting in India. The art of miniature painting reached its glory during the Mughal period. The tradition of miniature paintings was carried forward by the painters of different Rajasthani schools of painting like the Bundi, Kishangarh, Jaipur, Marwar and Mewar. The Ragamala paintings also belong to this school.
Indian miniature paintings are renowned worldwide for their beauty, finesse and impeccable detailing. The history of Indian Miniature Paintings can be traced to the 6-7th century AD, the time, when Kashmiri Miniatures first marked their appearance. Miniature Paintings have evolved over centuries carrying the influence of other cultures. The miniature artists gave self-expression on paper, ivory panels, wooden tablets, leather, marble, cloth and walls.
Indian artists employed multiple perspectives unlike their European counterparts in their paintings. The idea was to convey reality that existed beyond specific vantage point. Some of the special Miniature paintings include illustrated manuscripts of Jains and Buddhists, the flowering of the Mughal, Rajput and Deccan miniatures. Themes used were from Indian epics like Ramayana, Mahabharata, Bhagvata Purana, Rasikpriya, Rasamanjiri as well as ragas of Indian classical music, etc.
A miniature painting, as the name signifies, is an intricate, colorful illuminations or painting, small in size, executed meticulously with delicate brushwork. The colors used in miniatures are generally derived from natural sources and materials. Some of the paintings use pure gold and other precious gems and stones to extract the colors for beautifying these miniature paintings. India has a long and varied tradition of miniature paintings.
Themes of Miniature Art Paintings.
After the Mughal reign, which lasted 200 years, by the second part of the 18th century, the Rajput Maharajahs became independent. They employed these highly skilled artists to replace their own artisans, leading to a sort of painting renaissance in northern India. The whole of Rajasthan divided into numerous princely states, patronized miniature art painting. These states had evolved a characteristic style of their own.The paintings of this era have their own unique style, being influenced by the surroundings- the deserts, lakes, hills and valleys, as the case may.Colorful glimpses of history are provided by these paintings depicting hunting and court scenes, festivals, processions, animal and bird life, and scenes from the Raagmala and Raaslila — Lord Krishna´s life story. Also, courtly lavishness and prosperity have been displayed.
Mughal painting is a particular style of Indian painting, generally confined to illustrations on the book and done in miniatures, and which emerged, developed and took shape during the period of the Mughal Empire 16th -19th centuries). Mughal paintings were a unique blend of Indian, Persian and Islamic styles. Because the Mughal kings wanted visual records of their deeds as hunters and conquerors, their artists accompanied them on military expeditions or missions of state, or recorded their prowess as animal slayers, or depicted them in the great dynastic ceremonies of marriages…The painters focused mostly on court scenes, royal portraits, natural scenes and landscapes.
Akbar (1556-1605) was the one who started encouraging of Mughal artist. After he had consolidated his political power, he built a new capital at Fatehpur Sikri where he collected artists from India and Persia. More than a hundred painters were employed, most of whom were Hindus from Gujarat, Gwalior and Kashmir. They worked under the two Persian master-artists Abdus Samad and Mir Sayyid Ali, but they were encouraged and inspired by Akbar.
After him, Jehangir encouraged artists to paint portraits and durbar scenes. His most talented portrait painters were Abul Hasan and Bishan Das. Shah Jahan (1627-1658) continued the patronage of painting. Some of the famous artists of the period were Mohammad Faqirullah Khan, Mir Hashim, Muhammad Nadir, Bichitr, Chitarman, Anupchhatar, Manohar and Honhar. Aurangzeb had no taste for fine arts. Due to lack of patronage artists migrated to Hyderabad in the Deccan and to the Hindu states of Rajasthan in search of new patrons.
The Rajput School of Miniature Painting imbibed inspiration from the Krishna legends. The emphasis was more on the man and woman relationship and paintings were aesthetic portrayal of their emotion, love and passion. The lovemaking scenes of Lord Krishna and Goddess Radha are some of the finest specimens of the paintings. Rajput painting, a style of Indian painting, evolved and flourished, during the 18th century, in the royal courts of Rajputana, India. Each Rajput kingdom evolved a distinct style, but with certain common features.
Rajput paintings depict a number of themes, events of epics like the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, Krishna’s life, beautiful landscapes, and humans. Miniatures were the preferred medium of Rajput painting, but several manuscripts also contain Rajput paintings, and paintings were even done on the walls of palaces, inner chambers of the forts, havelies, particularly, the havelis of Shekhawat.The colors extracted from certain minerals, plant sources, conch shells, and were even derived by processing precious stones, gold and silver were used. The preparation of desired colors was a lengthy process, sometimes taking weeks. Brushes used were very fine.
Jodhpur School: The centre of this hand made paintings are love scenes then the other art figures. The Jodhpur School of Miniature paintings depict love scenes of lovers Dhola and Maru on camel back. There are hunting scenes with elephants and horses. The major colors used in this style of painting are gold and stone color.
Gods and goddesses, kings and durbars are very attractively painted on hand made papers by the artists.
Real gold, stone, and water colors are squirrel-hair brushes are used. Glittering effect is extended using silver and golden colors.
Mewar School of Painting:
These represent hunting scenes which are painted on cloth and handmade paper using stone colors
Technique of Miniature Paintings:
A high degree of expertise is required as it involves the use of a very fine brush. The strokes should be absolutely perfect as they should be intricate, colorful and rational impressions. The colors used are mainly derived from minerals, vegetables, and precious stones, indigo, conch shells, gold and silver which are obtained through a painstaking process. Paper painting in Miniature art are done on old or new hand made paper of very fine quality that depict Animals, Birds, Butterfly, Mughal themes and more. One can put these as wall hanging decorations. Miniature paintings made of pure marble slabs that feature Mythology, Birds, Turbans, Women and Mughal themes can be used as table tops or wall frames as well. Miniature Painting is painstaking efforts of skill and talent exhibited by Indian artisans. They have been well acclaimed and received by the world all over.
Step 1: Choose a design
Step 2: First draw the required pattern on the trace paper and copy the design into the cloth/paper using carbon sheet
Step3 Now first paint the human figures. Then animals and other components of the picture. The background is painted last. This is to set each area’s base color
Step4 This step need fine brushes to beautify the Floors, carpets, human figure with intricate detailing. This also includes techniques like shading, highlighting, washing,
Step 5 Outlines the figures with a darker color and highlight the jewelery and other parts using metallic paints to give an appearance of richness.
Step 6 Burnishing is the last stage. The miniature art painting is laid face down on a hard surface, and an agate stone is used to stroke it firmly. This gives the painting a uniform texture.
To this date, Indian and Mughal Miniature paintings provide an interesting insight into the lifestyles of earlier centuries and continue to fascinate people.
Paint is your passport to colour and arguably the easiest, least costly and most immediate way to transform a home. It can be as simple as brilliant white, but that would exclude all the other drop-dead gorgeous colours. Paradoxically, it’s the vast choice that often poses a problem – there are just so many brands, types and shades on the market.
Choose from historical hues for period homes; sleek chalky finishes that stand up to the rigours of modern life; or new formulas designed to suit all surfaces. By understanding the product you can unleash all the design possibilities of paint that make it such a tempting medium.
Types of Paint
Water-based paints are usually referred to as emulsions and were traditionally used only for interior walls and ceilings. But recently tremendous advances in paint technology mean that water-based formulas, especially the high-performing acrylics, are available for all surfaces, from woodwork to metal, and for interior and exterior use. The advantages of these paints over oil-based ones is that they are cleaner, have less odour and are more environmentally sound. Brushes can be rinsed clean with water.
Solvent or oil-based paints are used where a tough, durable finish is required for interior and exterior timber, masonry and furniture – although, as mentioned above, the new generation of acrylics and multi-surface paints offers viable alternatives. In general, brushes need to be cleaned with turpentine or white spirit.
Make-up and quality All paints are made of four key ingredients: pigments, binders, liquids and additives. Generally speaking, the more pigment used to make the paint, the better the quality it will be: a ratio of 30 to 45 per cent binder and pigments by volume indicates a paint that will be durable and provide good coverage and lasting colour. Consider the following when you are faced with a wall of paint pots and are struggling with what to buy.
Pick a brand you can trust Companies with their own high-street shops, such as Fired Earth and Farrow & Ball, and those that sell through the DIY giants are the most accessible. However, buying paint online is increasingly popular and can bring you a wider choice, especially if you live outside major towns and cities.
Go for good coverage Look at the figures per litre not for the whole can; 12sq m per litre is average. Coverability varies between brands, making the difference between needing two or three coats. You will generally find more pigment in premium paints, giving a greater depth of colour.
Select the right product. There is a dedicated paint for practically every surface, including tiles and appliances, such as fridges. For high-traffic areas consider scuff-resistant multi-surface paints that can be used on both wood and walls. Kitchens and bathrooms benefit from specialist formulas designed to cope with humidity without flaking.
Try before you buy Colour cards are fine for making an initial selection but you will want to see a true paint sample in situ before committing. Tester pots vary in price from £1 to £4. Paint onto a sheet of paper that you can move around the room to enable you to see the colour in different light conditions. The effect varies greatly. The window wall can seem dark while the wall opposite will be flooded with light. And of course there is a dramatic difference between natural and artificial light. Finally paint a patch directly onto the wall to gauge the colour, coverage and the final finish.
Specialist wall, floor and furniture paints
These days, there are paints to decorate every surface in the home, from melamine to ceramic tiles. Many of these formulas require no specialist preparation – Crown’s Cupboard Makeover Paint is available in 12 colours and does not need a primer.
There are also multi-surface paints, such as B&Q Colours Everywhere for walls, ceilings, woodwork and radiators, and Bedec MSP Multi Surface Paint, which can be used on everything from plastic to masonry. Areas such as bathrooms and kitchens benefit from durable, mildew-resistant coverings, which are available in pre-mixed colours.
However, for the more discerning, Dulux Kitchen & Bathroom paint can be mixed in any one of its 1,200 colours, and Farrow & Ball is launching Modern Emulsion. Designed to complement its original Estate Emulsion, the paint has a slightly higher sheen, is fully washable and available in the full colour range.
Specialist paints also include some exciting new finishes, such as suede effects, metallics and high-sheen lacquers. Judy Smith, colour consultant at Crown, suggests an accent wall in one of these to lift a neutral scheme. Crown’s Feature Wall range, which includes eight metallic finishes, nine bright colours and a highly reflective Pure Brilliant White, comes in convenient 1.25 litre tins.
If you have a timber floor that’s not particularly attractive or is made from a patchwork of old and new wood, paint makes the perfect disguise. There are plenty of choices – all the colours from Farrow & Ball are available as floor paint and Nordic Style offers an elegant selection, too.
Alternatively, a timber floor in good condition can be treated to a natural or tinted stain, which allows the grain to show through. Eve Johnson’s Scandinavian woodcare oils will take the yellow edge off pine.
If you are grappling with the problem of choosing a woodwork colour to go with neutral walls, check out Architectural Colours by David Oliver, the founder of Paint & Paper Library. He arranged his off-whites for ceilings, cornices, walls and woodwork in chromatical groups and the concept has been so well received that chromatically arranged colours, such as soft greys, greens and pinks, have been introduced.
Exterior Masony and Woodwork Paints
Specialist masonry and exterior woodwork paints are now available in many of the sophisticated colours offered for interiors.For example, the new Weathershield range of satin and gloss exterior paints from Dulux features innovative shades such as Wild Berries and Wild Roses.
When choosing colours for exterior surfaces, consider the style of the brickwork or masonry of your home along with the colours used on nearby buildings, so as to pick colours that are sympathetic to these surroundings. Colours for fences and sheds should be selected with the same criteria in mind.
Technical advancements are constantly being made to improve the life span, durability, wear and performance of exterior paints. The Akrylatfarg range at Ray Munn, for example, is an environmentally sound water-based option.
Masonry paints come in a wide variety of finishes, from textured to ultra-smooth. Opt for a texture if you need to disguise fine surface cracks. If you favour traditional finishes, then consider limewash, which is available from specialists such as Francesca’s Lime Wash. The beauty of this paint is that it will mellow and weather with time. However, do check with the supplier first to ensure that the surface is suitable for this finish.
Available from specialists such as Farrow & Ball and The Real Paint & Varnish Company, lime wash and distemper paints can be useful for restoration projects, although some of the contents are potentially hazardous and can irritate eyes and skin. Use the modern equivalents where possible, as these are usually safer and more effective.
Cutting Down on Paint Chemicals
Everyone knows the nasty smell of paint drying – worse with oil-based paints, but also noticeable with vinyl emulsions. This is caused by paint solvents containing VOCs. They are proven health risks, and can cause allergies, headaches and breathing problems and irritate eyes, nose and throat. They are also an environmental hazard.
Following a European directive, the British paint industry has reduced VOCs in two stages, the second of which came into force in January last year.
Five categories are used to describe VOC content. For guidance, a minimal VOC content is up to 0.29 per cent, whereas a very high VOC content is above 50 per cent. All brands have, where necessary, reformulated their ranges to give minimal VOC content.
There is still no standard labelling scheme for paint. The blue globe label, pioneered by B&Q, led to VOC reduction on the mass market and has been adopted by other brands, while the European Ecolabel, recognised in 15 EU member states, looks like a flower and appears on brands such as Earthborn. Germany also has a Blue Angel label and there is a green Nordic Swan as well. You will find more detailed information on most of the paint company’s websites, as well as a wealth of practical and design advice.
The “organic” paint brands, such as Ecos, which emerged in the late 1980s, heralded a new era of odourless paints, free of solvents and VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and paved the way for other companies’ environmentally safe formulas. Following European legislation, the first stage in lowering the solvent content in paints and varnishes is set to come into force in 2007.
Traditionally, the solvents or VOCs and other chemicals used to make paints easier to apply give off toxic fumes that seep into the atmosphere for years after application. Paints with reduced or no VOCs are healthier for decorators and the people whose homes are painted with them.
The leading brands now flag up paints with lower VOCs and produce paints that are virtually odour-free – the Breatheasy range by Crown is one example. Most leading brands now produce high-quality water-based acrylic paints which outperform the older technologies of vinyl and oils.
Today, it is increasingly easy to source ecologically sound paints, as most specialist ranges, such as Ecos, Earthborn, Georgina Barrow and Auro are available via mail order. There is a wealth of colour options in these pre-mixed ranges that include lush shades and muted palettes, reflecting their natural ingredients. Ecos continues to lead the field. It has recently developed Atmosphere Purifying Paint, which absorbs and neutralises volatile chemicals, solvents and VOCs from the atmosphere in a home.
Get Expert Paint Colour Advice
Thousands of shades may offer unparalleled choice, but of course it can be harder to pinpoint the right one for you. Dulux has responded with the Tailor Made range, which offers an easy-to-use colour-scheming chart that works with the 1,200 shades available to mix in-store.
Paint & Paper Library arranges its colours in five shades from light to dark to help select coordinating colours for ceilings, cornices, walls, doors and woodwork. If you are decorating around bold furnishings, such as a sofa or curtains, look at paint colours from the same fabric house as they are most likely to be sympathetic.
Malabar and Designers Guild offer some striking brights while the new Shades of Sanderson comprises 120 colours tailored to Sanderson’s collections. If you are aiming for a more subtle backdrop that will flow through several rooms, it’s wise to stick to neutral shades. Kevin McCloud’s Elements of Colour for Fired Earth works especially well with our cool, northern light.
Distemper – A traditional water-based paint made from animal and natural resins, which dries to a velvety matt finish. Primarily used on ceilings and plaster mouldings, and to give furniture an aged effect, but not suitable for areas of high wear. Available to order from specialist companies.
Eggshell – Traditionally refers to an oil-based paint with a silky finish, suitable for interior walls and woodwork. Water-based alternatives are now available.
Flat or Dead-Flat Oil – Provides a completely flat, oil-based finish. Generally used on walls but not suitable for areas of high wear.
Gloss – These paints have a high sheen level and are usually used on woodwork.
Limewash – Made from slaked lime and water, this paint is good for porous surfaces such as brickwork, render and plaster and gives a chalky finish. It is available from specialist companies.
Matt – Describes paints that give a flat, non-reflective finish. It is ideal for walls and ceilings that are not perfectly smooth.
Satin or silk – Water-based vinyl or acrylic paint for walls in high-wear areas, such as hallways and kitchens. A satin finish will be slightly shinier than silk.
Painting in oil has long been a mysterious process the public has believed was relegated to the few and the eccentric. Artists and their lives have always been an unusual breed, but painting a large body of original oil paintings has also been a sure-fire way to drive oneself into immortality. The paintings will always be there, traveling through history, with your name on it! So by this definition it’s definitely a noble profession. Think Dali, van Gogh, Picasso, Rembrandt and da Vinci. Each enjoys a lofty reputation for what others might consider crafts. And their reputations only grow bigger over time. What other profession offers that possibility? So who got the last laugh? Well, van Gogh did, of course. He’s forever immortalized as one of the greatest humans to have ever lived. Not bad for someone who never made a dime in his own lifetime. But in the age of the Internet and the worldwide marketplace, artists don’t have to starve anymore. I’m not starving, and I’m making money doing what I love. I can also work anywhere, whether I’m on vacation or traveling to exotic locales. I love that the most about it. I can do whatever I want and wherever I want, and post a painting for sale from Ibiza, Paris, London…. or Omaha. I wouldn’t trade with anyone. And you won’t either if you work at it and treat as a way to offer beauty to the world and get paid for it!
The purpose of this article is to take the mystery out of the process of painting. This article is only written to get you started. I’ll write more detailed techniques later. But this article will set you on your way to experimenting and having fun with paint. Ultimately it’s like anything in this world. Before you have the knowledge, it’s complicated. But once you have it, it’s easy! Knowledge is power, and this phenomenon definitely applies to painting. The technical aspects are the easy part. Anyone can do it. You ultimately could be as capable as Monet with practice. We humans can do whatever we decide to do! Deciding WHAT to paint is the hard part. It takes discipline and a singularly focused desire to create one painting after another. For whatever reason, I loved it the minute I started. And I never looked back. I love it today as much as I did over 16 years ago. I never have “writer’s block” either as to what to paint. I just paint from my experiences in life. So don’t think too hard on it. Paint that apple sitting on the table, or paint the tree in your own back yard, paint your girlfriend in an unusual way. But paint something that means something to you, that’s all that matters. Make it funky, make it interesting. If it’s abstract, remember that abstract art has long been the most desirable. It’s an expression of the individual, make it unique. For those who want realism, take a picture. What’s amazing is that once you do it, you realize it’s the ultimate escape into happiness. Suddenly you forget your problems for that period of time. You have control, and no one can take it away from you once you are skilled at painting. The process is addicting. But like anything, you must START! And once you do, look out….you’ll be hooked.
OK, let’s get started. Step one…supplies. You need a flat brush, a fan, a small detail brush and a couple of Filberts. A filbert is a rounded edge brush that lets you maneuver the paint easily without going outside the edges. Ultimately buy brushes that you like though, and make them work. Fans allow you to blend, for example. I use fans a lot and it’s how I graduate color throughout my images. Everything I paint is by hand….no airbrushing or assistants. I want it to be an expression of me and nobody else. You also need an oil painting medium to mix with the oil paint to make it more fluid, and to speed or slow the drying process. Whichever you prefer. Go to the art store and don’t be afraid to ask for help….they’ll love helping you! A medium is merely an additive liquid which increases gloss, makes it flow easily, preserves the finish over time, keeps it from yellowing. I personally love Galkyd and Galkyd Lite. If that isn’t available, buy a medium that looks like liquid amber and is kind of thick. Don’t buy watery looking mediums….too hard to work with.
The lite version of Galkyd is simply thinner. I use it more than the other. I love it. Paintings I did 16 years ago using Galkyds look as pristine as the day I painted them. You’ll also need a canvas and some paint. I buy a tube of red, green, blue, purple, yellow, brown, white and black. I prefer what’s called Ivory Black and a soft mixing white as you’ll add white to a lot of different colors to make lighter versions. From these basic colors you can make any exotic color by mixing them in combination’s. Be creative and experiment. And don’t be afraid of color, because color is the most popular in museums! The bright paintings are historically the crowd favorites. As for color variety from these basic colors, mix red and white to make pink, mix yellow with green to make lime green, white with blue to make light blue, white with black to make gray, etc. Use your common sense and play with it! You’ll also need pencils, an eraser and some Turpentine or Turpentine substitute. Keep your brushes soaking in it in a plastic cup to keep them clean and ready for your next color choice…. and to keep them from drying out.
Now, decide WHAT you want to paint. Very important…you do NOT need to know how to draw. That’s the great thing about painting, you can create even if you’ve never had a lesson. Don’t get me wrong, art school is great. But don’t let the lack thereof deter you from creating. You do not have to have a teacher to tell you how to create. You do need to know a few basic techniques, but from there let your imagination fly! When deciding what to paint, go to some websites about artists or Google famous artists to get inspired. Again, do not let a lack of training deter you from painting! Many of the great artists of the past had no training either. Many can’t draw stick figures, but they can paint because the colors give you amazing options of expression! You may also go to my websites mentioned below or Google me to see all the crazy work I’ve created. My personal preference has been to create a large variety of work to keep it interesting and versatile. I did not want to be that artist who only painted one thing over and over. To me that’s boring, and it should be boring to you too. Any known artist of the past has a vast variety of work. You’ll also find that it makes it more interesting to you while you’re doing it, because you won’t ever get bored, you’ll always be wondering how it’ll turn out.
Step two: Now roughly draw onto the canvas what you want to create in paint. Don’t worry, it does not have to be perfect. Your cool application of paint from your innermost imagination will make it look good. If you mess up with the pencil, simply erase it off and start over. Warning: resist the urge to simply copy some artist’s painting from the past. That’s career suicide, and so boring. You’re smart, make your own art. It’s much more interesting and unique. A copy of a painting from the past has the sole purpose of making you look like a copycat, and who needs that on their resume? Remember, deciding WHAT to paint is the hardest part. But once you get into the flow it will come to you, I promise. Paint from your own life is the best career advice as a painter. Truth is more bizarre than fiction anyway. And I believe people like to kind of know what they’re looking at, as opposed to simply painting a solid layer of red and calling it art. Be creative, go with the flow, don’t over think it. Paint what you want to paint and the world will ultimately find it interesting. After all, it’s YOUR art. Painting nature is always a good idea, as nature never goes out of style.
Step three: go online and study the basics of shadow and light. It’s a visual thing, and too complicated to talk about here. But once you see it, it’ll come to you quickly. Simply Google “shadow and light in painting” and the basics will come up. Once you know these rules, you can apply it to any shape, any form, any painting. And it’ll make you keenly aware of shadow and light on virtually any object on earth. It’s what makes a painting three- dimensional and expensive looking. You can also buy art books on shadow and light at any bookstore. But make sure you sit down for a couple of hours and study it. It will come quickly to you, I promise.
Step four: the key to a finished looking painting is to build it just like a house…and by that I mean layers. Paint it in the reverse order in which the eye sees it to make it three-dimensional. By this I mean paint what’s farthest from the eye first, and build layer upon layer towards the eye. In other words, do the background first because it should be the farthest from the eye, then add the objects on top of that, and then add the shadows to complete the look. Ultimately it’s common sense. If you paint a bowl of fruit, the bowl and fruit need to sit on top of that background, much as it would in real life.
Step five: pick your colors and start applying them to your penciled outlined images…make sure to mix the paints with a little Galkyd. Painting right out the tube is probably a bad idea, and it’ll take forever to dry. Mix the Galkyd pretty evenly with the paint until you reach your desired thickness of paint. Less Galkyd keeps the paint thick. More makes it thinner. A safe start for a painting subject is a still life, like a bowl of fruit. No matter what you do…within reason…it’ll look cool. You do not have to make a twig brown or an apple red just because nature says so. Use your imagination. Do something different. Collectors over time like to watch you evolve painting by painting anyway. So don’t worry if your first painting stinks in your mind. It’ll be interesting later once you’re great. And by the way, most famous paintings have an under drawing, so they’ve used this layout technique I mention above. Sorry to tell you, most inspired paintings were planned out with pencil first. They did not happen spontaneously. They were built logically and in a defined order so that the end result looks right.
OK, now let it dry overnight. The next day….or whenever you get around to it….mix a lot of Galkyd with just a little bit of color and glaze it over the first layer. Layer upon layer….allowing each layer to dry… is what makes paintings look finished and interesting and expensive in my view. Certainly you can paint wet on wet, as van Gogh did. But that’s a much harder proposition we’ll talk about later. You can put as many layers as you wish until you get your desired look. A thin glaze of Galkyd with just a little black works great on top of any dried color underneath. It give it an antique and finished look. But be careful not to add too much black. Don’t worry, if you put too much just wipe it off and start over. That’s the great thing about oil is it dries slower and you can tweak, correct, start over before it dries. Tip: a thin layer of yellow glaze looks good on top of almost any color too. A thin glaze of green looks good over blue, a thin glaze of blue looks good over purple. But ultimately you can pick and choose and experiment with which color to add to your glazes. There are no rules. Invent ones of your own. A thin glaze of yellow on top of a dried layer of red looks awesome. A thin layer of yellow on boring brown make it look like expensive and not-boring brown. You get the idea. But make the process your own and have fun with it. No one will ever do it quite the way you do, and that’s what’s interesting about the process.
Step six: once you get all the layers just like you like, let it dry thoroughly for several days. Now take black and apply the shadows with your clean brush in keeping with the laws of shadow and light like you’ve learned earlier. If you put too much, wipe it back with a Q-tip or a rag until it looks like a shadow. Make sure you’re putting shadows on top of only dry under layers. Always clean your brushes in between colors to keep the colors isolated and pure too. You don’t want blue in your shadows, for example. Study my paintings if you wish because I do a lot of distinct shadows and I light things like vases, leaves, birds, fruit, etc. in ways that I think will stand out to you. Like if I paint a vase the bottom of the vase is darker than the top. Just like in real life. This applies to any shape whether it be a face or an apple or a vase. Also look at my backgrounds, as I’ve done a lot of them. Notice how each background is a multitude of layers to give it a finished and complicated look. Glazes allow me to reach this end. When I started out I didn’t know what I was doing and friends and family thought I was crazy. And the very same people act like they knew I’d make it now that I have. Oh well, it’s the way of the world. But stick with it and you’ll be enlightened and inspired over time!
In conclusion, this article has really just been a “Painting 101” exercise. I’ll be adding more articles on the subject once you get more advanced. It’s so rewarding to those who stick with it. My work now sells around the world online. So I’m glad I’m glad I stuck with it. It’s been infinitely good to me, I’ve met the most interesting people….including Madonna! And I am so glad I get to do what I want And ultimately it’s so gratifying to leave expressions of myself behind forever. And if the owners then turn around and sell my paintings for a fortune later, then that’s the cherry on top for me. I feel lucky to have found my calling. And I hope you find it too. And I hope that every single time you view one of my paintings it brings you a little bit of the amazing joy it brought me when I was creating it.
Feel free to email me if you have questions at the email addresses below. But most important, you’ll find that with each painting you’ll get better and better. Carry forward everything you learn from each work and eventually you’ll have real talent! But only if you keep at it. And don’t worry about people telling you you’re crazy. They told that to van Gogh too! Sweet justice Vincent, sweet justice. He’s certainly getting the last laugh, isn’t he? And the world will know who Vincent van Gogh was for the rest of time. Not a bad gig.