How To Start An Original Painting   What Artist Need To Know

How To Start An Original Painting What Artist Need To Know

I'm Stephan Baumann I would like to invite you on a special journey to discover the splendor encounter the grand jury feel the excitement come along with me experience that thriller painting outdoors [Applause] [Applause] a three-day journey that will change your art forever in one of America's most stunning locations Mount Shasta everything you need to know is on our website WWF and bellman calm we'll get to some of the process of painting and we'll discuss everything that I do there's so many questions and everybody's like yeah what do you use how do you use how do you travel what do you do I'm not going to work at this to try to get it done I will try to answer questions and why I'm doing it how I'm doing it you guys are going to be asking questions there's certain things about how to stand when you're plein air painting and why we do things and all that so there this is not going to be like a demo like let's just see if you could paint because if you want to see that you can watch my PBS television show and painting in the national parks or you could go to YouTube yes forty years yeah so let's be a smartass right so anyways so so what I've been teaching for forty years which is oh so anyway so my process of painting is that I go down into the national parks I take my easel and I set up and I'm out there painting now this painting here that the on this and this is a very good question asked because it's a process of painting so if I sit down and paint this or this I can pretty much paint that painting entirely in a day and for a lot of people that would be awesome they'd be like they'd look at and go don't touch it don't don't you know and so I painted that whole painting in a day probably as as well as anybody would want to do as a plein air painting but that's not me so I can sit and do a plein air painting in a few hours but I'm not done with it I am NOT that kind of artist and when it comes right down to it I would say they're very few artists are and it's not that I can't I just don't appreciate it to that degree you know plainer opinions really an awesome thing and it's a wonderful thing to do but it's kind of ruined the art world in a way because back in the olden days used to go into the galleries and holding dates in the 70s and you would go into the gallery and you can see these wonderful big landscapes got Christensen's kind of incredible studio stuff studio payments they'd be forty thousand sixty thousand dollars and people go man I would love to have one of those but I can't afford it art wasn't something that they could acquire but they could dream about and you go into the gallery she'd say wow that's really gorgeous and when you stand in front of some of those paintings you're just in awe like I said they don't put seats in front of paintings in the modern museum you don't linger around so much it's like instant impact but if you go to the Bierstadt's exhibits and stuff you really have to grab a seat because literally you'll just pass out there's a reason why they have chairs in the middle of the museum is because people stand there long enough and eventually they just drop do you know so because it's so incredible and that's the kind of painter I like now you see a lot of beer stout paintings he came out west when he came out west he painted on paper predominantly and because that was lightweight and he could carry that and then he would do a lot of sketches and the sketches that you saw were never meant to be anything but just sketches and then you go back to studio and paint none of the paintings that you actually see that a really his grant works were ever done like outdoors at all and even Thomas Moran his best pieces were done in the studio so why do we plan our paint is this because it's a way of sketching and it's developed with the Impressionists that they would actually see who could paint better in a period of time and so it became kind of an interesting movement can we actually paint in a couple of hours can we paint our primo the impression has taught us yes we can we can paint an Alabama we don't have to put all that labor but I find that the whole plein air movement has actually kind of taken the mystique out of painting and so it's kind of something everybody's trying to do and it's a wonderful thing to do it's a wonderful activity I mean imagine if you every everybody who I run into says oh when I grow up and get out and retire I'm gonna get a motor hona I'm gonna travel the national parks and I'm sure every one of you know somebody who said that and then a year later you say so how is that going you go well we got our motorhome up for sale I go why well you know it's a big hassle to get there and when you get there it's a big hassle to set up and take down and then when you're there what do you do you know you spent three weeks in Yellowstone whoo-hoo after two drives you've seen it and it's like use how many mud pots do you want to see right so then a no-no corn well let's go to Yosemite and then you go here and you go here here here with all of the burden and you know even have you ever emptied out a toilet out of an RV yeah it's not it's not romantic at all and the thing is well I had a trail yeah the beautiful aluminum shiny gold the IR screen kind of thing as a Silver Streak but it was just as gorgeous no higher end than the air screen and finally it was I was dumping my crap at a at a station and I got in a big fight with somebody there and finally John said that's it we're going that's almost ran the guy over the next day went up on Craigslist so it was like that's what happens to people on motorhomes there oh yeah the parks are completely a different thing but the thing is when you get there it's like what are you going to do well this is a wonderful activity to do and that throughout my television show was like if you're going to go travel the national parks do something and it doesn't mean painting you could write music or write poetry or take up an instrument or something because you're going to be in the park for hours and as well magic as it is most people don't know how to appreciate nature but when you paint I mean most of you agree that most of you haven't even seen nature until you actually start painting and when you're out in it it's a different experience so when I go out to paint I can actually put this whole painting in a day and I've done 40 by 60 paintings where I just like barrel in I mean I could bring one tomorrow that yeah it's one day and you can see what you can get done you can get the lights of shadows and stuff and you swear was a finished process I think if one of you remind me I'll bring it you know go oh my god but there's done in four to six hours somewhere around there all these are but then I look at it and go it's like they have most impression I'm your most playing their paintings oh well that's kind of nice and then I go over here well that's kind of nice oh that's kind of nice you know in the default so I like more of the beer stuff Hudson River skull painters I like to bring my people into the painting and then I go pull up that bench in the middle of the room and sit for a while so galleries now are filled with a bunch of kind of insignificant little vignettes of paintings done kind of mostly chalky and very brushy with kind of a really gaudy gold frame around the outside and the paintings are all about a thousand bucks and that's like oh that's nice people can afford galleries love it because they can sell merchandise a everybody who comes in so it's kind of this whole clicky kind of thing nothing wrong with it but I'm a little bit more of a romantic so here I take this and obviously I've got a moose you know that moose I had to catch him four times and got him to stand there what's great about plein air pain as I can writing is beautiful communication with land and scape stuff but I love going through so when I do one of these pinions like I do with with animals and stuff because people go wow you have to chase after these animals up on the cliffs and I love animals on cliff I don't know because my life is kind of always that a balancing act and I'm always at the edge and so all of my animals are kind of always doing that this one's not but they go how do you get that and go well I sit in front of an empty canvas look a you don't have a picture and I go no I didn't have a picture of this and what I do is like in my mind because I've painted so much plein air that's really where the secret is because when you're out there painting you actually start feeling what it's like to be out there and you can start actually being in places without being there and without the drugs so turpentine gets you there kind of but you've got to be you got to be there for for to experience nature what I do is I imagine being in a Canyon someplace and I stumble upon a moose and I'll start with a blank canvas like this and I'll start with a scribble of a moose and then I'll kind of tell the story of some fallen logs and stuff and I think to myself I love logs laying underwater so it's okay so I put the Moose in I want to put his his feet around lily pads because lily pads on water are really cool and then that kind of shows the edge of a water and then how do you paint the the logs under the water so then I started with kind of a question or curiosity I go where's my Center focal point well I wanted somewhere on the Moose but I also don't want to have it if you notice the center focal point isn't really it's on the eye it brings us there but it really is when you squint your eyes the light on that horn and it's just a little spot there and so what that does this kind of gives us a little play because we want to look at the eye but then we're distracted by the horn but they're kind of close together so we're still in the same zone so I play with that and then I start with trees and at some point in my drawing this might have been a waterfall in the back and then I think oh that's kind of contrary because moose is kind of hangout where it's kind of soggy and stuff in it yeah so so then and so I have a painting at home that's a mother bear and a cub and originally there was mother bear's standing on a forest floor and cub kind of climbing over a log to try to get to mom okay kind of a neat little story and I looked at it and after I painted it this size and then when I finished I was I looked at a first layer of six hours down I looked at it go that's kind of boring so I said hmm I think mom should be standing we should make this a waterfall so I brought a big waterfall in and so mom now is standing in the water and the cub now standing on a rock and there's a big fish and mom's foot you know so obviously she's teaching her little cub to fish and other stories a little more interesting but I had to negotiate a forest flat scene like this now into a waterfall so now everything's vertical instead of horizontal so the process changes and changes and changes until I go that's good so what may have started off on the ground might end up on the edge of a cliff you can do that if you have a lot of experience and then what happens is that finally when I get to the zone I actually will start drawing the moose now you know I haven't spent lots of my life around mooses they've been up in Mount Shasta in San Francisco I kind of know with the anatomy of animals and so I start sketching kind of how I want them to be so they so it's natural now Michelangelo had said if you really want to be able to sculpt something you have to know it so if you look at Michelangelo's sculptures you'll notice that a lot of sculptures are of male and they're like holding up tombs you know and a lot of his sculptures were never finished but you have this incredible muscular body that's holding up a big – how would a human body hold up a tomb you can't get a model to do that in order to do that you have to really know the human anatomy and then you twerk it you bend it you shape it so when you're working with things out of your memory you have to stay in your memory and say this is what I want and so you stay steadfast I want to see the back of the Moose turned in and when it's heads up I went the light a certain way I went his head turned a certain way when his body is gesture everything in I pre-plan it and then we live in a world of Google and so once I have the idea down then I go to Google and I started looking at what does some loose but look like let's turn that way and then I won't find a moose that's shaped just like that nor do I want to because then I feel like I'm transforming that moose but what I do is I start checking to see you know what is the front of the moose look like if it's at that angle as opposed to this angle and you know what is the width of the neck and how does that attach the body and what kind of horns does it have and there all kinds of mooses out there there's all kinds of breeds and stuff and there's all kinds of horns and things like that and then you just start adopting the drawing they have all this stuff but I'm doing all that stuff on top of the painting that has spent four hours painting six hours painting so the initial painting of this look like a moose out of my memory exactly how I want it and if you looked at you said well that's done but I want to be able to take it further and bring more into it and so I go in and I might have to forest really vivid and then I start toning the forest down to bring the Moose out of what was really important to me is the light going to the wall over there so I went into light to go all the way out and every one of these cross-sections that are in here on means and so I measured out the means and when I put a log in the log went from a mean from the bottom up to another mean and Junction over here so where that's rested everything is literally just place like the log in the is placed to bring your I this line here goes to this stick here that points inward and all of my paintings are all designed to go back in if you notice this line comes back down that line goes back up and all kind of is designed to purposely bring you back into the thing and you can't do that when you're just caught me in a picture so so all that stuff is actually done out of my head this when I got back with this sketch I went back in the studio and then I went with palette knife and did all of the work there's several hundred hours worth of work on top of the sketch but no it wasn't done my location this is a masterpiece masterpiece started doing canvas boards all these companies are starting to do canvas boards and masterpiece is just one of them he has you know fine oil prime surfaces and then this is a little lower grade surface I told masterpiece 15 years ago that he should be making camera sports that this whole plein air thing was going to take over and after 15 years he finally decided hmm maybe I should have listened to Stefan you listen to me I told him 15 years ago you should start making golden mean canvases and guess what he's like the only company out there that does own so anyway so I start off with with the canvas board I like usually I work on smaller canvasses my thing with canvases now is that I no longer work on canvases this small in fact that's done on a on a board that's not even down on the canvas either went on a masonite board so the masonite ports that are you know you can use primer auto primer on and spray primer they're actually really pretty good and some people have have listened to my recipes and go oh my god you've saved me a ton of money I like working on that better than anything and a cousin auto primer spray wrist Oleum Home Depot you can go to Home Depot buy a huge masonite board have them cut it into 8 by 10 s 9 by 12 s 12 by 16 s and then buy a couple cans of Risto Liam auto primer and prime them 98 cents in canvas and it's just as nice as the am percent expensive ones now this is an ampersand canvas I like working with them when I go bigger canvases because they actually will put a frame in behind it and makes a little bit more substantial but that one is done does not have the frame in it that's just one big piece of masonite the reason why I stopped using canvases is because I thought to myself why did they invent canvas and the reason why is because back in the olden days paintings were predominately done on boards the Renaissance happened they needed paintings for churches and and the Medicis and stuff and these boards were too heavy and and too impossible to actually manufacture so they started putting making canvases and the canvases that they made were done so they could be rolled up and moved and they were trying to finish the canvases to be like the surface of the wood panels so the canvas is in superior it is a new product but the thing is I don't think anybody should work on canvases until they go bigger than 24 by 36 because after that it becomes too heavy and if any of you lifted this up into my car you go wow you'd need to put that into a stud yeah it's a really really heavy painting anything bigger would just be like impossible to hang but anything smaller I recommend not using canvases all and the reason for that is because the truth of the canvas now they make really fine canvases and that's a little different thing but the truth of the canvas actually ruins the luminosity of the painting so all of those little bumps or like pours in a face and if you're trying to get a luminous face you put makeup on and try to get rid of the pores I know that from my television show i warming i don't know how women can do that but i have big pores so I had to put makeup on out there so that my face look good it's like I couldn't wait to get through filming it's like get that off it's like oh that's awful the board allows you to have a beautiful surface without all that and if you look at surfaces like this wall where it's shiny it's more luminous and where all the bumps are the light is broken and you don't want that in a painting because it dulls the painting down you want the painting to illuminate and just the surface itself makes a huge difference if you have to try kitchen for yourselves whether you're a beginner or an advanced Peter please some visit eight to give me a call – five six oh six New Zealand seven four join us on our website at you

18 thoughts on “How To Start An Original Painting What Artist Need To Know

  1. Excellent lesson. I totally agree with the wood boards. They are better on a small scale especially if you are travelling they take the knocks and the bumps of transport. I primed a marine ply board last month with marble dust, rabbit skin glue and a hint of red ochre after sanding it back the board literally sparkled in the light. Im producing amazing colours with this technique.

  2. I really like Ampersand – always use my 40% off coupon:)
    I enjoyed my vacation a lot this year painting on the beach. I always like looking at the lake but there is something special looking at it with the thought of painting it. Finished the painting back home and started another from memory and a picture. If I sell those paintings is my vacation a business expense? 🙂

  3. You said most of us have never seen nature until we start painting it. That is so true. I never realized that snow glistened until I was taught to paint it, then I noticed the glisten the next time it snowed.

  4. My preference is to learn and take from what is appealing in the advancements made by impressionism and abstract expressionists and move painting into the now not being stuck in some stiff and stuffy Hudson river school only but to each their own

  5. He is so practical, and step by step teaching. I look at Akiane"s art a lot, what do you think about her paintings? I also never saw nature until one day I became fascinated with painting, for the first time I was able to see the greatness, the beauty of it all.

  6. Please inform me about the 50 top painting channels award? at the very opening of your videos? i.e. Where is the list? who was the judge. I would very much be interested to see the list as there is bound to be a channel or two I'm not aware of?!? My channel page includes a list of excellent painting channels, well over 50, if you are interesting in finding painting channels. PLEASE IF ANYBODY KNOWS WHERE I CAN FIND THIS INFO ABOUT THE SAID AWARD I WOULD APPRECIATE IT I DON'T THINK STEFAN RESPONDS OFTEN TO YOUTUBE, MUST I CALL HIM ON THE PHONE FOR THIS SIMPLE QUESTION? Please help me, thanks 🙂

  7. Stefan, moose and deer don't have horns. They're antlers. This may seem a small thing, but to me it's huge.

  8. May I ask what is was you said to use on the masonite to prep it ? Also I have found that some of my masonite paintings have warped a bit there a solution for this ?

  9. In an illustration class I was given an assignment. I decided to use sea gulls in the illustration. I went to Google and sketched several hundred sea gulls. After that I *knew* sea gulls intimately and could draw one, from memory, from any angle. The illustration can be seen on my website,

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