What are the 7 Painting Principles and why do they matter?
“Painting is drawing with the added complication of tone and colour.”
Harold Speed – The Science & Practice of Painting
My philosophy is less is more.
By focusing on the ‘7 Painting Principles‘ I offer a distilled approach to classical painting.
The following principles will give you a solid foundation for anything you choose to paint, regardless of subject or medium.
They are the why behind the how.
You’ll discover why you should be selective with composition, why colour mixing ‘works’ (and why it doesn’t), and see the benefits of dramatic use of contrast.
Below are links to posts and free video tutorials that fall under the 7 principles so you can work through the articles chronologically, as if you were in my studio, taking you on a journey from amateur to artist.
1. Coloured ground
Getting Started: How to Apply a Coloured Ground
An Old Master technique to rapidly improve your paintings
How to Apply a Coloured Ground with Acrylic Paint (video)
Video demonstration on how to apply a coloured ground
2. Contrast & value
The Importance of Contrast in Painting
How learning to view your paintings as drawings can improve realism in your work
How to Instantly add Depth to Your Mountains in Landscapes
Learn how Da Vinci used science to create depth in his paintings
The Rule of Thirds in Landscape Painting (video)
A simple rule to ensure a balanced composition in your drawing
4. Colour mixing
How to Choose a Beginner's Starter Set (Without making an Expensive Mistake)
Which colours should you buy when you first start painting?
The 3 Tricks of Complementary Colours you can Learn from Van Gogh
Learn how Van Gogh combined colours to create a vibrancy in his works
How to Draw Perspective for Beginners
Simple methods to be aware of when creating the illusion of depth in your drawings
Sketching the Light and Landscape in Venice
An inspirational sketching trip through the streets and canals of Venice
6. Negative space
Are You Unwittingly Creating a Compositional Cardinal Sin?
How to avoid a visual jarring in your drawings
Plein Air Acrylic Sketch of a Lemon Tree
In this on location video lesson, paint a lemon tree within a secluded grove as a plein air sketch with acrylics
How to Paint an Oil Portrait – Part 1 of 5
How to use classical oil painting techniques to build up a Grisaille portrait
Acrylic Cherry Painting - Part 1 of 4
If there is one lesson that will give a beginner amazing results, this is it. In this video tutorial series of 4 lessons, learn classical glazing techniques with acrylics