Blank Canvas, Where Do I start?

Blank Canvas, Where Do I start?
Ron's Artist Tips:

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Some students always start to lay out their paintings at the horizon; some start at the sky - some the foreground.

For me, the answer has been little more complex than that. I need to ask myself a few questions.
1. What would I like to keep away from the middle of the composition?

2. What detail do I want to be sure not to lose off the sides, top or bottom?

3. What was it that made me want to paint this? Where should that element appear in the composition?

Blank Canvas school paints
Blank Canvas Where do I start?

Too often, I have noticed paintings skilfully done but with some vital element crowded closely to the bottom edge, while there is much too much sky at the top!

So start drawing up your work at the point of primary interest or considering my three questions, and start there.

If you give the canvas a light coat of linseed oil first, (use a rag) and then draw it up using a pastel colour (I use an atmosphere colour of the particular work) to draw in the elements using a fine round brush. If you make a mistake, it will rub off easily because of the linseed oil.

If some of your drawing up is still visible in the finished work, it doesn’t matter; as the atmosphere colour is not going to look out of place anywhere at all.

I don’t use pencil or charcoal as it will have to be thoroughly “fixed” and it will show through the paint. Let’s not make life harder than it has to be!

Happy Painting

Ron Gribble
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