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Monday, October 31, 2011


Art Lessons
Contemporary Art

Be yourself. An original is always worth more than a copy -  Unknown

Every artist dips his brush in his own soul and paints his own nature into his pictures.  - Henry Ward Beecher

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. - Scott Adams

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.  - Picasso

Life beats down and crushes the soul and art reminds you that you have one.  - Stella Adler

Painting is silent poetry. -  Plutarch

Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.  - Da Vinci

Art is the desire of man to express himself, to record the reactions of his personality to the world he lives in. - Amy Lowel

Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter. - Oscar Wilde

Art is a collaboration between God and the artist, and the less the artist does the better. - André Gide

Anyone who says you can't see a thought simply doesn't know art. - Wynetka Ann Reynolds

What art offers is space - a certain breathing room for the spirit.  - John Updike

No great artist ever sees things as they really are. If he did, he would cease to be an artist.  - Oscar Wilde

Everything in creation has its appointed painter or poet and remains in bondage like the princess in the fairy tale 'til its appropriate liberator comes to set it free.  - Ralph Waldo Emerson

I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn't say any other way - things I had no words for. - Georgia O'Keeffe

As far as I am concerned, a painting speaks for itself. What is the use of giving explanations, when all is said and done? A painter has only one language. - Pablo Picasso

I want to reach that condensation of sensations that constitutes a picture. - Henri Matisse

God is really only another artist. He invented the giraffe, the elephant and the cat. He has no real style. He just goes on trying other things. - Picasso    :)

Art... does not take kindly to facts, is helpless to grapple with theories, and is killed outright by a sermon. - Agnes Repplier

As the sun colors flowers, so does art color life. - John Lubbock

Coloring outside the lines is a fine art.-  Kim Nance

The artist is a receptacle for the emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider's web. - Pablo Picasso

The true painter strives to paint what can only be seen through his world. - André Malr

The artist does not see things as they are, but as he is. - Alfred Tonnelle

While I recognize the necessity for a basis of observed reality... true art lies in a reality that is felt.  - Odilon Redon

The question of common sense is always what is it good for? - a question which would abolish the rose and be answered triumphantly by the cabbage. - James Russell Lowell

The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.  - Aristotle

Art is when you hear a knocking from your soul - and you answer.  - Terri Guillemets

Listen carefully to first criticisms made of your work. Note just what it is about your work that critics don't like - then cultivate it. That's the only part of your work that's individual and worth keeping. - Jean Cocteau

Art, as far as it is able, follows nature, as a pupil imitates his master; thus your art must be, as it were, God's grandchild.  - Dante Alighieri

Artists can color the sky red because they know it's blue. Those of us who aren't artists must color things the way they really are or people might think we're stupid.  - Jules Feiffer

Art is Man's nature. Nature is god's art. James Bailey

Fine art is that in which the hand, the head, and the heart of man go together. John Ruskin

Every good artist paints what he is. - Jackson Pollock

A work of art which did not begin in emotion is not art. - Cezanne

All my life I have worked to be able to earn my living, but I thought that one could do good painting without attracting attention to one's private life. Certainly, an artist wishes to raise himself intellectually as much as possible, but the man must remain obscure. The pleasure must be found in the work. - Cezanne

When I paint, the sea roars. The others splash about in the bath. - Salvador Dali

Have no fear of perfection, you'll never reach it. -  Salvador Dali

Where the spirit does not work with the hand there is no art. - Leonardo DaVinci

One can have no smaller or greater mastery than mastery of oneself. -  DaVinci

I have simply wished to assert the reasoned and independent feeling of my own individuality within a total knowledge of tradition. - Henri Matisse

I do not literally paint that table, but the emotion it produces upon me. -  Henri Matisse

I am unable to make any distinction between the feeling I get from life and the way I translate that feeling into painting. -  Matisse

An artist must possess Nature. He must identify himself with her rhythm, by efforts that will prepare the mastery which will later enable him to express himself in his own language. -Matisse

A young painter who cannot liberate himself from the influence of past generations is digging his own grave. - Matisse

My garden is my most beautiful masterpiece. Monet

Painting is the grandchild of nature. It is related to God. -  Rembrandt

My opinion is that the best thing would be to work on till art lovers feel drawn toward it of their own accord, instead of having to praise or to explain it. - Van Gogh

I want to touch people with my art. I want them to say 'he feels deeply, he feels tenderly.' - Van Gogh

The emotions are sometimes so strong that I work without knowing it. The strokes come like speech. -  Van Gogh

Art is a collaboration between God and the artist, and the less the artist does the better. - Andre Gide

Art is the desire of a man to express himself, to record the reactions of his personality to the world he lives in.  - Amy Lowell

Art is the unceasing effort to compete with the beauty of flowers - and never succeeding. - Gian Carlo Menotti

Every artist was first an amateur. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Every human is an artist. The dream of your life is to make beautiful art. - Miguel Angel Ruiz

Every production of an artist should be the expression of an adventure of his soul. - W. Somerset Maugham

Fine art is that in which the hand, the head, and the heart of man go together. - John Ruskin

I don't think there's any artist of any value who doesn't doubt what they're doing. - Francis Ford Coppola

I've been called many names like perfectionist, difficult and obsessive. I think it takes obsession, takes searching for the details for any artist to be good. - Barbra Streisand

I've never really had a hobby, unless you count art, which the IRS once told me I had to declare as a hobby since I hadn't made money with it. - Laurie Anderson

If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced. - Vincent Van Gogh

In art as in love, instinct is enough. - Anatole France

No great artist ever sees things as they really are. If he did, he would cease to be an artist. - Oscar Wilde

Rules and models destroy genius and art. - William Hazlitt

Some painters transform the sun into a yellow spot, others transform a yellow spot into the sun.  -  Pablo Picasso

The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider's web. -  Pablo Picasso

The essence of all art is to have pleasure in giving pleasure. - Dale Carnegie

The principles of true art is not to portray, but to evoke. - Jerzy Kosinski

The true work of art is but a shadow of the divine perfection.-  Michelangelo

Things are beautiful if you love them. - Jean Anouilh

Treat a work of art like a prince. Let it speak to you first. -  Arthur Schopenhauer

True art is characterized by an irresistible urge in the creative artist. - Albert Einstein

What art offers is space - a certain breathing room for the spirit.  - John Updike

When I work, and in my art, I hold hands with God. - Robert Mapplethorpe

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” - Oscar Wilde

Where the spirit does not work with the hand there is no art. - DaVinci

I paint my own reality. The only thing I know is that I paint because I need to, and I paint whatever passes through my head without any other consideration. - Frida Kahlo

The painting has a life of its own. I try to let it come through. - Jackson Pollock

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up. - Picasso

The position of the artist is humble. He is essentially a channel. - Piet Mondrian

All art is an imitation of nature. - Seneca

I try to apply colors like words that shape poems, like notes that shape music. - Joan Miro

Art is an adventure into an unknown world, which can only be explored by those willing to take the risks. - Mark Rothko

Everyone wants to understand painting. Why is there no attempt to understand the song of the birds?- Pablo Picasso

I begin with an idea and it becomes something else. - Picasso

The painting has a life of its own. - J. Pollock

An artist is not paid for his labor bu for his vision. - James McNeill Whistler

There is no "must"  in art because art is free. - Wassily Kandinsky

Art is God´s way of letting us partake in the creative process. - Me

I was having one of those moments when we question the purpose of life and why we are here.
What´s the purpose? Why even bother to create all this? Why do we even exist? Was God lonely and in need of company?
An answer came, in the form of a thought:
"Creation is an Act of Love. 
 For no other reason than for the love of it."
Wow! I don´t know if that really came from God or my subconscious mind or from where...but the insight makes sense to me.
Why did God make all this?
For no other reason than for the love of it !!
Perhaps we should have the same attitude when we paint. - Me

Sunday, October 30, 2011


Contemporary Art

Oil Painting Lessons/Demos

Oil Painting on Canvas by Beatriz Socorro
Here´s an example of how often I change my mind while working.

My first colors of choice were:  a red back ground with a purple flower.

Once I had filled the background, the flower and the leaves, I wasn´t satisfied with the red background. So, I allowed it to dry and then changed it to orange.

I still wasn´t happy with the result. So, after the paint had dried to the touch, I changed the background again as well as the flower. As you can see in the top photo, I left some of the orange.

Of course, throughout the entire process I keep track of how many layers I have already applied and make sure I use the appropriate medium.

For the final result, I re-painted the whole flower and most of the background.

Flower: For the highlights, I mixed White + a pinch of Magenta and used a darker tone of the same colors for the shadows and the grooves.

I used the same blending technique as in the previous demos.

If you observe the first photo, you can see where and how I applied the different shades of Magenta and White.

Background: I mixed, on my palette, different shades of:

Cadmium Yellow Deep + White
Cadmium Yellow Light + White
and some pure Cadmium Yellow Deep

and applied that to the rest of the background with loose strokes.

For the orange section of the background I used pure orange.

Leaves: For the leaves I used three different shades of Viridian Green + Cadmium Yellow Pale.

Notice that each leaf is done in a different shade of the same color: the uppermost being the lightest and the darkest one in the back.

Note:  I did not add any highlights or shadows to the leaves. I applied the paint evenly on each leaf using a thicker coat of paint and applying  pressure on the brush to give it  texture. The different tones you perceive and the semblance of veins on the leaves are caused solely by the texture resulting from pressing on the brush.

For the center of the flower I used the a darker shade of the same green as for the leaves. Once the center dried completely, I gave it a thin glaze of Cadmium Yellow Pale.

To see the photo I used as a model for this painting, go to: Flowers A1

I hope you have an easier time with this painting than I did.

God Bless!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Contemporary Art

Here are a couple of good links as to how to mix and use mediums:

1. Oil Painting - Mediums

2. Wet Canvas

Monday, October 24, 2011


Art Lessons
Contemporary Art

As I have said before, I believe we´re all born with the ability to paint. Before we can even write, we already know how to paint. It´s an innate ability.


Even the cavemen knew how to paint even though they didn´t know how to write.

I remember that as far back as  kindergarten the nuns used to give us tracing paper and we would first trace the image and then paint it.

It wasn´t until age ten that I began to learn  about proportions, perspective, light/shadow and how to draw without using tracing paper. But who is to say that when I was tracing in kindergarten, I wasn´t already learning how to draw? The mind is an amazing thing...

So, if you can´t draw right now...trace...or use a grid.

You think that´s cheating?

Years ago, I met an artist who would do pastel portraits at a 5 star hotel. He would take a Polaroid picture of his clients (some of them were members of royalty) and then he would take the photo to a backroom and put it on a projector. He would then trace the photo, after which he would return to the hotel Lobby and sit and work with his pastels. He used to charge US$ 80 per portrait in 1980.

His dominion of pastels and the quality of the final result made you overlook the fact that he used a projector.

You still think this is cheating?

Well, let´s go back in time...

Da Vinci  used to place a glass on two easels to trace the landscapes and he, as well as other Master Artists used the camera obscura (a projector).

To find out more about the camera obscura, go to:  Camera obscura

So, do you still think it´s cheating?

If you´re not comfortable tracing, then use a grid. Many artists do. Even I use the grid, on occasion, when I don´t want to spend too much time sketching a subject.

Van Gogh used a perspective frame (similar to a grid that also aids perpective). To learn more about the perspective frame go to:
Van Gogh Museum

I prefer not to make a habit of using a grid because I don´t want to lose the ability of drawing freehand, on the contrary, I want to improve.

However, if you´re just starting and you´re having difficulty with your sketch, I highly recommend using the grid until you can draw freehand.

To learn how to use a grid go to:  Drawspace.com - Grid

You still think that´s cheating?

Then try "Naive Art". What is Naive Art?  Draw and paint...like a child.

For a more detailed description go to:  Naive Art

Also go to Google images and search for Naive Art and you will see exactly what I am referring to.

While I was surfing the web in search of some quotations for my next blog, I came upon this one:

When my daughter was about seven years old, she asked me one day what I did at work. I told her I worked at the college - that my job was to teach people how to draw.
She stared at me, incredulous, and said, "You mean they forget?" 

Howard Ikemoto - Art-Quotes

You still doubt you can paint? Well if elephants can do it....so can you!

Watch these videos of real elephants... painting  :))  :


I hope this has been helpful.

God Bless and Happy Painting!!

Saturday, October 22, 2011


Art Lessons
Contemporary Art


Keep in mind that the art critics of the time ridiculed and rejected the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists. They cut them and their art to pieces.

Fortunately for us, the impressionists didn´t listen.

I wish I could go back in time and listen to what they had to say about them then, specially Van Gogh.  They must have put him in a shredder...

I will now put on my "Art-Critic-Hat" and give you my opinion:

If a work of art "speaks" to you and/or "stirs" something in you, by all means, take it home. It belongs with you.

If it doesn´t...let it be.

Truth be told: the best art critic in the world is YOU.

Keep in mind that there´s a huge difference between an Art Critic and an Art Consultant.

When buying a piece of art that´s worth hundreds of thousands of dollars and up, such as a Van Gogh or a Da Vinci...you obviously need to have it evaluated and verified by a reputable Art Consultant or someone who is very well versed on the subject and whom you can absolutely trust. 

Here are some good links about art critism:

1. Blank Canvas

2. Markel´s Rules for Buying Art

3. Art Criticism

4. What Makes Good Art?

5. The Future of Art and Art Criticism

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Oil Painting Lessons/Demos
Contemporary Art

Oil Painting on Canvas by Beatriz Socorro

To see the photo I used as a model for this painting, go to: Free Photos Gazanias


If this is your first visit, I recommend you read, at least, through the first 3 demos as well as read  Painting Tips and Art Notes. Also look through the archives for additional information.

You will notice that some of the photos differ slightly in color. This is because I usually like to work through the night (when I don´t have as many distractions) and, therefore, have to take some of the photos with indoor-lighting.  The true colors are the ones that you can see on the last photo.

First, prime the canvas with a coat of white acrylic paint and allow it to dry.  See ROSE DEMO 1 to see how it is applied.

Once the acrylic paint has dried well, transfer your sketch to the canvas.

On your palette mix three different shades of  Cadmium Red Deep + Cadmium Yellow Pale.

Since, at this time, we´re  not doing an under-painting, we don´t want the paint to be too thin.

Start with a medium mixture of:  3 tbs Turpentine + 3 eyedroppers Damar Varnish + 3 eyedroppers Linseed Oil.

For the Maroon color under the flower, mix: Magenta + Ultramarine Blue.

Please review the section: Fat-over-Lean in Painting Tips

Even if you have already read "Oil Painting Tips", I suggest you check it  out every-so-often, since on occasion I add new info to it.

Fill in the background.



On your palette, blend two different shades of Orange + Cadmium Yellow Pale.

First, fill in the center of the flower with the darker shade of orange.

Next, study the pictures below to see how the paint is applied to the petals.

Notice that I have left a small space between the two shades of color and also left a small space between each petal.

Oil Painting Lessons/Demos - STEP 2 a
Oil Painting Lessons/Demos - STEP 2 b

Next, gently and softly blend the edges of the two different shades of color into each other.

Oil Painting Lessons/Demos - STEP 2 c

Leaves: Viridian Green + Cadmium Yellow

On your palette, mix two different shades of green and follow the same procedure for the leaves as you did with the flower.



Once the paint has dried well, add Cadmium Yellow Pale to the tip of each petal.

Remember to add the appropriate medium.

In the photo below, the petal on the right shows how the paint is applied before it is blended.

The petal on the left shows what it looks like after being blended.

At the very edge where the orange meets the yellow, what we want to do is more like "scumbling".

We want this area to be a gradual transition between the two colors. When nearing this area, I used a stiff flat and a butterfly brush. This allows for the under color to show through.

Do this with each petal.

Oil Painting Lessons/Demos - STEP 3 a
Oil Painting Lessons/Demos -  STEP 3 b 


Using the same colors as you did with the leaves, on your palette mix a lighter and a darker shade of green.

Enlarge the photo to see how it was applied to the center of the flower.

Using lighter and darker shades of the same green, add highlights and shadows to the leaves (where needed) . Scumble the highlights and the shadows. Use the same scumbling method as used in ROSE DEMO 1

Oil Painting Lessons/Demos - STEP 4



Use a lighter shade of orange (mix Orange + Cadmium Yellow Pale) to add the stamens to the center of the flower. Enlarge the photo to see how this was done.

For the yellow spots in the center, use Cadmium Yellow Pale + a touch of White.

This time I applied the yellow spots in the center with the smallest round brush I own, instead of the paper clip. Use whatever works best for you.

Oil Painting Lessons/Demos - STEP 5

Next, fill in the spaces between the flower petals with a slightly darker shade of orange.

Once you´re finished with the flower, use a lighter shade of the same Maroon color that you used on the background (lighten it up by adding White) and fill in the flower bud.



Enlarge the  painting below.

Notice that under the yellow highlights on the flower bud, I first outlined where the highlights will be with a thin shade of orange.

Do likewise. With a light shade of orange, outline where your highlights will be.

Then, with Cadmium Yellow Pale, add the final highlights. I find that a soft flat brush works well for applying the thin lines.

Oil Painting on Canvas by Beatriz Socorro - Gazania

I am not sure as to whether or not, later on, I will add a light orange wash over the bud or maybe even lighten up the highlights on the bud or just leave it the way it is.

If I do decide to make any changes to the bud, I will post it here.

But remember, we need to know when to stop...

We´re done!!

I hope you have enjoyed this demo!

God Bless!

Beatriz Socorro

Monday, October 10, 2011


Contemporary Art

While I still work on my own paintings, here´s another one of my favorites:

Sergey Zakutaylo

You will learn much just from watching (like when you were a toddler), as to how you can use your brushes, palette knives, fingers, rags, etc..

Sergey has over 30 excellent videos so I think it´s best if you just go directly to his site:

Sergey Zakutaylo Videos

Enjoy and God Bless!!!

Friday, October 7, 2011


Oil Painting Lessons/Demos/Videos
Contemporary Art

Vladimir Volegov

Some of the most beautiful paintings I have ever seen and he makes it look soooo easy.....

1. Creating an Oil Painting

2. Speed Painting

3. Theme 2

4. Theme  3

5. Theme 4

6. Theme 5

7. Theme 6


Beatriz Socorro