What Is Painting From Life
Painting from life is a term artists use when they are painting something they are actually seeing.
They've set up a still life,
a vase of flowers,
painting plein air or on location.
You're looking at something and you're painting it.
I like to practice and I want to show you the difference between painting from life and painting from my memory or imagination.
I started this project painting from memory or from my imagination.
As you will see, neither of them must be very good.
I'm practicing on the slick side of freezer paper.
Why you ask?
Well, it's cheap and it's slick.
I can buy a whole roll of freezer paper for under $7
it's slick so I don't have to fight the tooth of a canvas.
I just have to figure out how to move my brush to manipulate the paint. Once I have it on there, I can almost always transfer that knowledge to paper or canvas or wood.
Then my sweet husband picked these flowers for me from our yard.
Sunflowers and zinnias.
The most important thing about painting to me, is learning how to see. If you can't see the highlights and shadows, the shapes, the negative space, it will be very difficult to learn to paint it.
This short video walks you through a few of the things to look for when painting from life.
Now that I've inspected these flowers,
and looked them over and made some mental notes about what I'm seeing I'm ready to paint them.
This even shorter video shows you both sets of work and how different the final results actually were.
Even I didn't realize the difference until I saw them on this great big sheet of freezer paper, clamped to my work table.
I will probably make some sort of reference book with these flowers, so I can look at it and remember why there were problems and how I fixed them.
It's not just the color differences, but I can see the difference in the quality of the work where I was actually looking at what I was painting as opposed to just remembering it.
The details and the nuances aren't in the memory flowers,
but they are in the ones painted from life.
If I paint them enough I will get much better at painting from memory, but it will take time and I will need to do a lot of practicing and studying before that happens.
It's like having muscle memory.
I can't tell you where on the keyboard most of the keys are, but my fingers know where they are and that's all that matters.
I hope you will give painting from life a go,
and it won't matter what the subject is.
It could be a chair,
or sunflowers and zinnias,
or any flower in your yard.
Just get out those brushes and give it a whirl.
Are ya whirling yet?
What would you like to paint from life?
Leave a note in the comments.
Click HERE to go to my online art course and classes.
I have a FREE daisy painting class on there.
Scroll all the way to the bottom,
(after you look at my super fun full blown art course)
and you'll see a box that says
FREE Daisy Painting Class.
Click on that box and it will ask for your email address.
No credit card or anything like that.
Just an email address and you'll have pretty close to instant access to the FREE class.
You'll see I also have a paid class for learning to paint iris,
and off course my full blown art course where you'll start at the very beginning learning about color,
learn about brushes,
and all sorts of goodies you'll be using forever,
and I'll take you through step by step
as we paint two paintings together.
Nope, I'm not leaving anything out,
there won't be any time lapse video lessons,
you'll learn step by step.
This course is perfect for home school families who would like to add art to their curriculum, but aren't artists.
Give it a look.
Thanks for stopping by today.