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A Painting is a Puzzle

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A painting is nothing but a carefully arranged puzzle of shapes of value and color. Get the shapes right, the value relationship between the shapes right, and the color appropriate. Then the painting will probably need fewer details than you had thought.

Sandstone Abstract

Remember that YOU are the master

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Remember that you are the master of the painting. Never let the subject matter, or especially a photo of the subject matter become your master. Be willing to toss out a lot of “stuff” that makes it into a photo. Your camera does not have that kind of editing tool.

Draw for Understanding

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Drawing connects you with a subject more directly than any other thing. Draw for understanding. Draw to explore the subject. Draw to search out its hidden patterns. Draw to pursue its design possibilities.


What to ask yourself about a subject

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The first question to ask yourself about a subject is Why? Why does the subject want me to paint it? What about it catches my attention. If you can answer that, you have the basis for making a good painting.