Painting process

I’d like to share a bit of my painting style (if such a thing is even possible on a blog)

This series of pictures was taken during a painting demo by one of my students. Some of them are a bit out of focus but it shows clearly how I tackle this rather complicated street scene.

One of the major mistakes is to try to put everything in that you see in the reference picture. Of course, if painting onsite, this problem is multiplied! It is easy to get overwhelmed by all the information. The key is to pick what’s important, or essential. What makes this scene? is a good question to ask.

Another thing to remember is: there is no formula to painting right. There are as many painting styles as there are painters out there. Everybody’s developing their own style and painting techniques, what works for one person doesn’t for another!

What’s really important, and often overlooked, is how well your drawing skills are developed. The better you draw, the better you paint. If you can’t draw, you can’t paint! I had a student once tell me, ‘I am a pretty good painter, but I just don’t know how to draw’! She was serious. What are the chances that you put that pigment in the right place, if your drawing is no good??


8 thoughts on “Painting process

  1. lesliepaints

    Excellent point made about drawing and painting, Frank. I have wondered how the two have been referred to with such division all these years. The same thing we consider in a drawing is what goes into a painting. I often think the only thing that divides any art are the mediums used, not that any painting or sculpture, for that matter, differs from the experiences we learn through drawing. Enjoyed seeing your process represented in pictures, here!

    1. frankeber Post author

      Well said, Leslie – people tend to forget that becoming a proficient artist also means putting a lot of work into it! Just like a master carpenter has to spend hours and hours to hone his craft. I think it’s a problem with our society in general, always looking for the quick fix, not willing to put the effort in. Thanks for another great comment. Very happy you are still stopping by here!!

  2. Sherry Schmidt

    Beautiful piece Frank! I love the tips and reminders you give. San Pedro has some wonderful views to paint.

  3. Ryan Fox

    Loved this blog Frank. When I have attempted painting like this the results are usually mud, but I know it takes a lot of practice. The looseness of your style is great and reminds me of other modern masters such as Castagnet or Reardon.

    1. frankeber Post author

      Thank you, Ryan! Nice to be compared with such great names in the watercolor world! You are right, this is a more demanding painting style since it requires us to keep the painting alive (so to speak) and alter the washes for long periods of time. Not for the faint-hearted, for sure…

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