Tuesday, December 8, 2009

6 Painting from a sketch 1 of 2

In order to paint with spontaneity you have to do a lot of planning. Trying to inject spontaneity without proper planning is inviting disaster. My approach is to select what aspects I want to plan and generally I choose to plan composition and values. Others might choose to plan saturation and brush strokes by doing a small color sketch. Experience and preference will guide you in your search for your individual style.

Brad Teare


  1. I am really enjoying your blog and your paintings.

    I think your pushpin/string grid is ingenious. I grid paintings up using the diagonal method Kevin Macpherson describes in his book. To establish my grid on the original painting I take a digital picture and make my grid in photoshop. Then I will often print out a grayscale version of the painting as well, to further help me get a handle on the values

  2. Excellent ideas! The Photoshop ideas seems promising.

    I find the string grid to be especially useful with field sketches. I also occasionally use a chalk line instead of regular string (this is good with large canvases). The chalk comes off quite easily if you are painting over an existing coat of paint (but only if you are not oiling up the canvas. More on that later).

    Thanks for your comments.

  3. Hi Brad,
    This is really a great blog. I enjoy watching your methods, they are a new take on some of the things that I learned in art school. I was really wondering how long you leave your paintings to dry with such thick paint. As an illustrator myself, I often work very thin, in order to work very fast. I would love to incorporate some of your methods into my own work, but always worry about time constraints. Thanks,
    Christopher Manzanares

  4. Christopher,

    I try to paint all my paintings in one session so drying isn't a problem. I might have enough time to make a few corrections the next day, add a few strokes here and there, soften an edge, etc. Usually if I am going to make slight additional adjustments to the dry paint I have to wait a month or so. I live in Utah where it is quite dry so your drying time might vary. Winter affects my drying time too.

    With gallery painting there are no time restraints, but on the rare occasion when a painting has had to be dry I have resorted to alkyd paint. Not my first choice as they tend to be a bit stiffer than my Gamblin oils.


Thanks for your comments!


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