Claude Monet, The Thames below Westminster, about 1871

Claude Monet, The Thames below Westminster, about 1871

“Other painters paint a bridge, a house, a boat, I want to paint the air that surrounds the bridge, the house, the boat – the beauty of the light in which they exist.” – Claude Monet

The French Impressionist painter Claude Monet (1840-1926) is best known for his brilliant paintings of landscapes, coastline and water-lilies, but this month saw the opening of a new exhibition ‘Monet & Architecture’ at the National Gallery, London.

This show highlights his interest in architecture, not only compositionally, but how he used it as a backdrop and tool to capture the changing effects of light and I was fortunate enough to catch it this week!

Bringing together over 75 of Monet’s paintings from all over the world, the rooms are unconventionally grouped following architectural subject matter, The Village & the Picturesque, The City & the Modern and The Monument & the Mysterious.

The idea of creating paintings based on ‘picturesque ideals’ influenced Monet’s early work and this concept was part of the larger ‘picturesque landscape’ debate originating in England.

Professor Richard Thomson, the curator of the show, explains,

“One of the points of this exhibition was to take a very famous artist, who people think they know, but to take a look at his work in a different way

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Morning Class!

If you’re new to the website I’ve put together a Free PDF ‘Beginners Guide to Acrylics’ which includes a brief overview about acrylic paint, colour palettes, tools & materials as well as showing you how the different areas of the Will Kemp Art School fit together.

I introduce the principles behind my teaching, a catalogue of all the free video painting tutorials on the website and a section on how to find the perfect course for you.

If you click the link Free PDF ‘Beginners Guide to Acrylics’ you can download it and have a read through with a brew!

Hope you enjoy it,

Cheers,

Will

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teapot-sketch-pen-ink

Morning class! This week I’ve been putting together a new ‘Beginners Guide’ for the Art School and wanted to add a few little material sketches. For all the sketches I used the following pens on 220 gsm smooth, heavyweight cartridge paper which can handle light watercolour washes.

Materials – Pen & Wash

urban-sketching-materials-pens

  • Lamy Safari Fountain Pen – filled with Lamy water-soluble black ink
  • Pentel Aquash Waterbrush Pen – this bad boy just holds the perfect about of water in the brush filament tip to wash-in water-soluble ink
  • Muji 0.5mm Black Fine Liner – so smooth and works well at any angle at a rapid speed
  • Pentel Brush Pen – if you’re struggling  to create broken line effects, treat yourself to this pen, you can block in deep blacks really quickly

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Morning class!

This week we’re going to be painting a simple study of a fish, taking inspiration from objects you might see everyday and transforming them into paint.

The video tutorial looks at how you can combine a monochrome underpainting with colour glazes to create a luminosity in your acrylic paintings. We’ll keep the freshness of the piece by building up layers of clear transparent glazes and all we going to be using is 5 paints and a couple of brushes.

I’ll be using a stay-wet palette to hold my tonal colour string mixes in, and then any leftover colours from the painting, can go back in there ready for my next piece.

You can download the reference image below to work along from, so grab a brew (maybe a couple of biscuits) and let’s get painting!!…


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We arrived in Paris to catch the last few days of a retrospective exhibition of the Swedish painter Anders Zorn (1860-1920)

After a snowy week in England, we woke to blue skies, warm croissants and this amazing rooftop view from our hotel room. I couldn’t resist a quick pen sketch of the row of chimney pots in the distance before we hit the show, check out those windows!

Sketch from Hotel, Rotring Art Pen (F), Pentel Brush Pen and Pentel Aquash Water Pen in A6 size (10 x 15cm) Seawhites of Brighton Sketchpad (140gsm All-Media Cartridge Paper)

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Thanksgiving Thanks!

by Will Kemp

in painting

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I’ve been reflecting on all the positivity and creativity that comes through the Art School blog.

So I’d like to thank you all for your support & encouragement this year. The most rewarding thing for me is seeing students progress in their drawing and painting where they’d previously been struggling.

Update on our first batch of Winter homebrew:

I think this will be the perfect accompaniment to the festive food tastings in our local town square, it’s a Pale Ale from St Peter’s Brewery in Suffolk, UK, described as having a ‘caramel aroma, with a pleasing toffee apple flavour‘. Not sure I’m picking up all the flavour notes, but the more sips I’m having, the more experienced my palette is becoming!

Have a great weekend!

Cheers,

Will

 

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The Immersive Power of Painting (a painting truth you can learn too late)

by Will Kemp acrylic painting
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How often have you heard yourself say “I’d love to paint but I’ve got too much going on… I’ll have to wait till I’ve finished work….the kids have grown up…. “I wish I had more time to paint but… but, but, but” Just finding space to set your paints out means upheaval of something else […]

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Studying Holbein’s Portrait Drawings: A Brief Encounter

by Will Kemp oil painting
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Detail, Mary Zouch, Hans Holbein The Younger, Black and Coloured Chalks, Pen and Ink c.1532-43, Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2017 I was in London last month to catch the Encounter: Drawings from Leonardo to Rembrandt exhibition, held at the National Portrait Gallery until 22 October 2017. I was particularly interested in studying the […]

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New! Floral Still Life Acrylic Painting Course is now Available!

by Will Kemp acrylic painting
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Morning Class! The new Floral Still Life Acrylic Painting Course is now available! I’ve developed this course to show you how you can transfer the feeling of simplicity and light into a studio floral still life by the arrangement of colours, composition and tonal value range. Taking classical painting techniques to build up an indirect […]

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Water-Mixable Oils vs Traditional Oils for Solvent-Free Oil Painting (Video)

by Will Kemp oil painting
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You like the idea of trying oil paints but the practicalities of cleaning up your brushes with solvents is out of the question. It could be you paint in a small room without good ventilation or you’ve had to stop using traditional oils due to skin sensitivities or asthma. So what’s the alternative? Acrylics? Watercolour? […]

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How to Paint a Plein Air Sketch of a Lemon Tree with Acrylics (Video Tutorial)

by Will Kemp acrylic painting
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Morning class, this week I’ve been in Mallorca soaking up the scenery and enjoying painting outside. I found this secluded tree within a lemon grove that I thought would work well as a little Plein air sketch with acrylics. You can download a reference image below to follow along with the lesson. Downloading the reference […]

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Inspiration, Impressionism and the Power of Environment

by Will Kemp painting
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I’d travelled through the Cotswolds many times before, captivated by the golden glow of the honey-coloured stone buildings, that just seemed to lend themselves to being painted. The earthy tones of yellow ochre complimented by soft dull lilacs of wisteria-laden-branches create a really mellow colour palette, you then have crumbling walls surrounded by trees and […]

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How to Paint a Simple Still Life using Oil Paints

by Will Kemp oil painting
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Morning class! If you’ve ever wanted to have a go with oils but felt the mysterious mix of Linseed Oil and Turpentine put you off, then this simple still life study is for you. It uses just one medium mix the whole way through and I demonstrate the similarities between the techniques we’ve been using […]

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New! Venice – Light & the Landscape Impressionistic Course is now Live!

by Will Kemp acrylic painting
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Morning Class! The new Venice – Light & the Landscape Impressionistic Course is now available! I’ve developed this acrylic painting course inspired by a Venetian Sunset to help guide you through the process of moving from small-scale to large-scale acrylic paintings. What pitfalls does an artist face when painting big? As a student visiting the […]

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Sketching the Light and Landscape in Venice

by Will Kemp acrylic painting
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“I’m not getting on.” “You have to get on.” “I don’t, I’m not going.” 5 minutes earlier, you could have mistaken us for locals, idly chatting to a friendly looking Italian who had informed us we needed to take the Linea Arancio (Orange line) to San Marco. The journey time? Well …it could take anywhere […]

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New @willkempartschool collection – Turner Adventures in Colour Exhibition

by Will Kemp oil painting
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Growing up in Kent, a trip to Margate beach brings back memories of avoiding jellyfish, penny slot machines and overdosing on ice-cream. As kids, we thought it was a pretty good beach. Mainly because it meant the freedom of the Summer holidays but also because of the huge expanse of sand we could run about […]

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Thanksgiving Thanks!

by Will Kemp painting
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Morning Class! In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I’d like to thank all the comments, questions and positivity that have come through the Art School blog this year. The most rewarding thing is seeing students embrace the challenge of portraits with great enthusiasm and achieve some really fantastic results! We’ve also broken through the 8,500,000 views on […]

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How to Paint a Copper Pot in Acrylics – Step-by-Step Video Tutorial

by Will Kemp acrylic painting
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Morning class! This week we’re going to learn how to capture the brilliant qualities of reflections in copper, using acrylic paint. I absolutely love how vibrant this copper pan is surrounded by the dark range. Notice how, even though the background is a dark subject, there is still a lighter tone on either side of […]

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Are You Making Any of These 7 Compositional Mistakes with Your Still life Paintings?

by Will Kemp painting
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Cherries overflowing perfectly in a bowl, a sense of life captured in a single moment, creating the perfect still life composition appears to come naturally to some artists. Reassuringly, there are a few simple adjustments you can make to your own set-ups, that prevent you making the most common beginner mistakes. By making small changes […]

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How to Paint Green Summer Trees with Acrylics – Video Tutorial

by Will Kemp acrylic painting
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Green. Love it or hate it, almost all landscape artists want to be able to paint trees, woods and grass realistically. But mixing greens can be one of the major issues that can start to throw your landscape painting off-course. Greens can be an Achilles heel for beginners, and the urge to grab a vivid, […]

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@willkempartschool Collection #2 & #3

by Will Kemp painting
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This second Instagram collection comes from my studio and painting practice, you can read more about the story behind each photo on Instagram @willkempartschool Cheers, Will

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Is Your Next Painting Hidden on Your Camera Roll? New @willkempartschool Instagram Collection #1

by Will Kemp painting
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After following along with painting tutorials, learning new skills and getting excited to develop your own painting practice, it can feel like a step into the unknown when trying to choose what subjects to paint next. Should you paint landscapes, still lifes or work towards portraits? With so many choices it can quickly lead to indecision […]

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How to Glaze an Oil Portrait Course – New Course!

by Will Kemp oil painting
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How to Glaze an Oil Portrait for Beginners Course When I was trying to find my way in portraiture, I’d spend hours studying Old Master paintings thinking “Wow, how did they do that?” I was flummoxed. Not only did the skin look realistic, but they’d managed to capture those bluish grey tones that lie just […]

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Discovering Velázquez, The Duke & Unexpected Treasures

by Will Kemp painting
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When Vanessa suggested a spot of Winter sun, if I’m honest, I dragged my feet. Locations where being proposed and I politely nodded. When she casually mentioned a possible trip to Seville, my interest was piqued. Why? Seville was the birthplace and hometown of Spanish artist Diego Velázquez, and one of my favourite paintings is […]

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How to Paint a Simple Snowscene with Acrylics – video tutorial

by Will Kemp acrylic painting
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Snow. It can seem a tricky subject to capture. Is it white? Is it blue? How do you paint it to look soft, or darken it without it looking dull? Having a ‘less is more’ approach to your palette can reflect the colours of Winter absolutely perfectly – without getting complicated. And the first clue […]

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New Year, New View? How a Few Small Changes Influenced my Portrait Painting Style

by Will Kemp oil painting
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There was a small sign that hung below an empty black space, it read ‘In Prestito‘. On loan. Last Summer I was back in Florence, Italy, to visit one of my favourite paintings that had enticed me to the city over 10 years ago. The only problem was, when I got to the gallery, the […]

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Urban Sketching For Beginners Drawing Course – New Course!

by Will Kemp drawing
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Morning Class! This new Urban Sketching for Beginners Course, reveals how observing everyday life can give an eye-opening appreciation for the towns and cities that we live in. You don’t need to drive out to the country to draw from life, from an artistic point of view, urban settings have just as much appeal! The […]

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An Art Material Addicts Guide to becoming a Minimalist Sketcher

by Will Kemp drawing
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Hi, my name is Will and I am an art material addict. When the new season art catalogue arrives, I prepare a large cafetiere of coffee, find a comfy chair and indulge in a little bit of window shopping. If I spot a new ‘innovative ink system’, it’s hard to imagine how my drawings can exist […]

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Urban Sketching Tutorial for Beginners (Free 10 minute Video Lesson)

by Will Kemp drawing
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This week we’re going to bring our pen sketching skills into the urban environment. Sketching your surroundings can be such a fantastic way to create a visual diary of your daily experiences and I’m always a sucker for a sketch of a bike. This video tutorial looks at how you can use different thicknesses of […]

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Inside Rembrandt’s Studio

by Will Kemp oil painting
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Earlier in the Summer, I took an impromptu trip to see ‘Late Rembrandt‘. It was the first time that an exhibition had been solely dedicated to Rembrandt’s late works. Many of the most famous paintings that he produced in the last 15 years of his life had been brought together from museums and private collections […]

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