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Australian How To PaintAustralian How To Paint

Australian How To Paint

Issue 30

Australian How To Paint magazine chooses a topic or style of art each issue and gives you a comprehensive guide for you to develop your skills. Over the series we will cover all major painting techniques plus popular paint ideas.

Sunray Publications Pty Ltd
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4 Issues


access_time9 min.
country life

I grew up in Sydney. After leaving school, I won a scholarship and spent three years full-time at the National Art School. Leaving there, I went out into the world to earn a living. In the early 1950s you could count the number of artists actually earning a living from painting on your fingers. Even such masters as Eliot Gruner had worked in a Sydney department store. Others were teaching, which I was disinclined to do; or else they were involved in commercial art. I travelled, and worked on a Moree sheep station as a jackeroo. I loved the life. Riding, mustering and droving, and all that went with a country existence. However, if you were not likely to become a land owner (which I was not), there was little future in…

access_time4 min.
gentle giants

My works start long before lifting a brush. To gain familiarity with my subjects, I have visited many properties in different parts of the country. I have attended shows and events. I have sketched and taken many photographs. To study the action and feel of horses I have ridden hundreds of miles – trail riding, mustering and droving with sheep and cattle. In my studio I have about 30,000 slides and countless photographs, together with a library full of books (collected on my travels) on art and horse anatomy. I also have reference books on the various breeds of horses as well as farm machinery, horse-drawn vehicles and harness. I have collected harness, saddlery and vehicles over the years and this has proved to be a hobby of great value. I…

access_time1 min.
master hints and tips

• II use a Perspex palette upon which I lay out my colours (always in the same order); and I mix them on disposable palettes. This means I do not have to set up again when I restart work after a few hours, as the paints are not too dry to use. Sometimes they even remain useable overnight. • I often tone down strong colours with Naples Yellow, rather than White which can make them too cold. • It is best to keep a work for a while before letting it go, because you will always find something which needs to be done. However, be careful not to remove the vigour from a canvas by overworking it.…

access_time4 min.
the desire to experiment

Ian Reardon first became interested in art through his grandfather who worked in pencil and watercolours and also painted window-front signs for shops in Grafton. Ian took art as a subject at the Southport school on Queensland’s Gold Coast when he was 12 years old. Art was always his favourite subject. During his school years, his grandfather entered two of Ian’s works in the Jacaranda Art Exhibition. He was delighted and encouraged to receive a first prize in the Under 14 section for a watercolour, and a ‘highly commended’ in the Open section for a pastel picture. “I left school at 16 years of age to work on the family farm,” Ian relates. “I am still there today; and now run the property with my son Dan. Those early years, for me,…

access_time1 min.
images of heat and dust

THE PROCESS Most of my subject matter comes from my immediate environment, memories and photographs. Firstly, I take a picture ‘in my head’ of the subject matter. Then I try to imagine it in my head as a finished work. I use my sketch book to try different compositions of the subject, to see which one strikes a chord. I next produce an A4 sketch – trying to get things as accurate as possible – sometimes doing a watercolour wash to attempt to get a feel for the subject and an insight into how it might look as a completed work. Most of the time (although not always), I will use the image from my sketch and square it up onto a larger surface. I like using Tinted Spectrum Sanded Paper…

access_time3 min.
simple and basic

I believe every painter can only be taught the basics. After that, we are on our own. Nature has all the answers, and will provide them to painters who ask the right questions. In the early eighties, Gloria Ransom and Allan Fizzell were instrumental in my own vital art training. They were both generous with their teaching and encouragement. Since then, my continuing lessons are from Nature herself. I am passionate about painting sunlight. All subjects are paintable if the light on them is right. The most ordinary subject, in great light, can become an extraordinary painting subject. My subject matter can be anything! Animals, figures, boats, still life, landscapes, seascapes, flowers … If we are to call ourselves painters, we should be passionate and excited about any subject. I work with oils mostly. I…