Art & Architecture
Artists Back to Basics

Artists Back to Basics

Issue 10 Volume 1

Artists Back to Basics is an entry level magazine for all artists. From setting up a studio to what easel to choose it’s a must for all artists. Featuring the latest in news, reviews and products from the art world as well as exhibition previews and reviews

Sunray Publications Pty Ltd
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4 Issues

In this issue

7 min.
traditional landscape and still life artist

With a garden full of blossoming roses, camellias and azaleas, South Australian artist John McCartin never needs to look for inspiration to paint. Red brown chooks and white ducks fossick free range in nearby farmyards. Around the corner are country lanes and paddocks full of gnarly gum trees, grazing cattle with misty mornings and hazy golden sunsets – daily life is indeed a canvas. The similarities between John’s paintings and those of Hans Heysen are unmistakable, but not intentional, when you discover that John resides in the Adelaide Hills on the outskirts of the charming village of Hahndorf, half an hour from Adelaide. It’s Hans Heysen country. Indeed one of John’s favourite trees is a beautiful old white gum tree, and the first one John painted when he moved to Adelaide.…

2 min.
onkaparinga morning

Charcoal Drawing The complexity of this composition calls for a detailed charcoal drawing in preparation for the large painting. This process highlights potential pitfalls and avoids the problem of having to rework the composition if things go wrong. Colour Study A small colour study was made to compensate for the camera’s shortcomings eg diminished hues, colour distortions and tonal deficiencies inherent in photos. STEP ONE A transparent monochrome block in (from the charcoal drawing) is a good way to map out the basic composition on a larger scale. I use a mixture of transparent oxide red and ultramarine or indigo. A warm underpainting is preferable to a cool one in that the latter has a tendency to produce a dirty or muddy appearance in the shadows. STEP TWO “The complexity of this composition calls for a detailed…

1 min.

• Brushes – Select the right size and type of brush for what it is you are painting. Filberts are good for general brushwork and for softening edges. I often use them in portraiture and still life painting. Flat brushes are useful in achieving a bold blocky treatment as well as for hard edges. A half a dozen of each from very small to large should do. • Palette Knifes – These are very useful not just for achieving very sharp edges but also for creating textural and other effects not possible with the brush. What they lack in accuracy that more than make up for in versatility. • Paints – I use artist quality paints of various brands: Art Spectrum, Rembrandt, Old Holland and Michael Harding. The latter two are very…

1 min.
hints and tips

• Try to stay fresh throughout the painting if you don’t want the painting to appear as tired as you are. • Stepping away from the painting for a few days is helpful. Looking at the painting upside down or in a mirror will show any obvious faults that would otherwise be easily overlooked. • Use good quality brushes. They will keep their shape and spring for longer. Somewhere in the middle between the cheapest and most expensive should do the job and make accurate brushwork easier to achieve. • I always use a large flat brush for large areas particularly at the block in stage. I use smaller ones as required.I prefer medium to long bristle length as these hold more paint and a more flexible. • Cleaning Brushes – I use Art…

10 min.
the bare bones

Before any toning of a drawing can begin you have to first get to what I call the ‘bare bones’ stage (the bare bones of the drawing) which is laying down all the features of the composition that can reasonably be represented by an outline as accurately and lightly as possible (fig 1). It’s up to you how far into the subtly detailed areas you go with this but the aim is to get all the proportions as close as possible before you even try and tone (hatch) anything. The sharper and more precise the lines used in the latter stages the easier it is to judge the subsequently finer proportional adjustments as you go along. In the initial stages of laying out any freehand drawing that you intend to make…

3 min.
art tours

Art tours combine a holiday with art tuition and travelling with like-minded people. They are suitable for all skill levels and for all ages and are done at a relaxed pace with some free time to enjoy as you wish. The tours cater for small groups and all your needs are taken care of, leaving you to focus totally on local scenery and a relaxing holiday combined with drawing and painting. For solo travellers who would feel more comfortable painting in a group and travelling with like-minded people, art tours are ideal. I have been taking holiday sketching art tours overseas as well as in Australia for many years. On my tours I teach how to visually record your travels and holiday experiences through pen and watercolour wash sketching. All sketches are…