I had to forget about art for a while

It’s been a while. Again. I haven’t disappeared, I was just having a surgery because my worsening condition did not provide with a better option. If you are following my secondary blog, you probably know how I had to struggle with post-surgery complications. Updates are here: https://inesepogalifeschool.com/2016/07/18/the-inappreciative-patient-and-my-lost-summer-pleasures/

It didn’t go as smooth as we expected.

It is the first day since long time when I can type a small article. It was rough, that’s all I can say. My student Liz came to see me and brought me some nutritious food when I realistically was unable to do anything. Thanks Liz, that was the best care ever!

Liz and Gord had also left a beautiful flower bouquet, card with wishes to get better soon and a gardening book. Very thoughtful. I do not have many friends here, if any at all, so this was I appreciated sincerely. Here you can see what’s left from the colorful bouquet by now. Honestly, I was so bad I could not even speak with them on the day they came, and I am genuinely sorry for that. The small bird was attached, too, and you know, I just love birds.

health and art 4

Small bit left over from the cheerful bouquet 

Artistic projects and any painting did not cross my mind, although, it helps doing something. I just couldn’t. When I was not in a nightmarish sleep, I was dizzy and shaky, basically side of this treatment are not pleasant. Well, I am just starting to see things clearly and walk around slowly and carefully.

Last class was in first half of June, and that’s how the gallery looked like at that moment.

Art sale Whitby Ontario

Before heading to surgery, I tried to keep calm and work on finishing some small 16 x 20 inches paintings that were left unfinished. I will call them “Idyllic 1” and “Idyllic 2″which means to me a place which is totally different from the current reality. More idyllic images will follow.

Art for your cottage

They might need some work, but I intend to leave them as they are because these paintings are for ever linked to this pre-surgery moment when I needed dreamscapes to avoid the daily anxieties and suffering.

Art for your cottage

If everything goes better and smoother, I could restart some classes as early as in August. We will see.

The sale to raise funds for my treatment was very short because I had to deal with health issues. I would love to invite anybody to either look at Fine Art America site (on the right side is a link), or just scroll through my paintings and the blog. Ironically, when expenses reach peak levels, there is no energy and chance to make any income. If you are somebody who won’t be hurt by spending $50-$100, I could send you some originals, especially small to medium size watercolors. FAA has all kinds of products from prints, phone cases, pillows, T-shirts, purses and bags to shower curtains and more . I receive a little bit, $2-$10 from each sale, but that is still great. I am hoping to recover soon to the point when I can do something: it is so intolerable to just sleep and stay in bed when there is so abnormally much to do. I also hope the crisis is over and, therefore, the future will be definitely better.

Stick to your plan and pay attention to reference

Lesson 3

Whatever we are doing, we need some kind of a draft in our head or some plan which we keep in mind. However, it is easier said than done. That especially refers to classes. I have noticed that most people want to draw or paint without any plan and without any thinking. It might be so that when starting out it is hard to know what parts or segments should be paid most attention to. There are lots of simple things which make the object look multi-dimensional. By far, those are not only darker and stronger values. Strongly emphasized edges or absence thereof, always darker spots behind the lighter areas also contribute a lot to the spatial perception, not to mention color if it is used. I remember from early years I was told that the darkest dark should meet the lightest light. It can be tough to implement, especially when not having a real reference, but just a photography or sketch. I am personally not excited about patterns which repeat in a regular rhythm such as petals or trees along the path, blooms on a branch and similar things which we unintentionally place on our canvas when there is no firm plan or sketch.

Flower paintings in acrylic magnolias

Magnolias, recent class demo and I always work together with students straight in front of the class

Why am I saying: pay attention to reference? Because most people don’t do that. When we are just beginning the painting, they would have a look at the reference image or set-up. After a while, I notice nobody looks any more at the reference. You have to! The only exception is when it is a completely abstract work which has been drafted in one’s imagination or when we paint from memory. Painting from memory takes practice, however, and beginning artists cannot handle that too well. Reference or value drawing (if you have created such) has all the answers: where to use dark color, where to make strong edge, where to wash edges to lose them, where to place highlights and what exactly the shape of something is. It is extremely important, much more important than what brush to use. Talking about brushes: always use these ones which you feel comfortable with and which suit the size of the area you are working on. Very simple. We can use no brush at all, use a sponge or palette knife, that is a matter of a preference and choice. I know how some instructors want to make rules about everything. There are no rules in the use of tools. It is very obvious that using a very wide brush for tiny spot is simply difficult and vice versa. I know a lot of artists who create the entire painting with just one brush. I do that sometimes, too.

Flower paintings in acrylic Pink rose

The Pink rose, recent class demo

So, the conclusion is: do not change things around dramatically or completely when the work is halfway through and always keep an eye on the reference. That’s why it is so rewarding to paint from real objects, live is live and photo is just a photo. Live comes with smell, touch, very visible shape and very noticeable values. Do not pressurize yourself and painting: there are moments when we need to stop and make a decision about the next step.

Flower paintings in acrylic Pansies

Purple pansies, finished just yesterday

Paintings and drawings really hate when they are not treated with due respect. It is much better to allow everything to develop in a natural way. For illustration I have attached the recent flower paintings. There are many more, but they just need finalizing touches. You know: painting is never done, right?

Happy and creative New Year: do not forget your artistic side

Belief is like light that never goes out as long as we have strength to overcome our weaknesses and doubts.

New Year inspiration

The year is almost over, just a few hours, and we will be writing 2016. Was 2015 a year what I expected it to be?

Yes and no. I usually do not write any New Year’s resolutions since I am simply doing what I have decided. If I have made a decision, I will bring it to implementation no matter what. For me it is always: speak less, do more.

Time disappears too fast, that is for sure. Although, January 1st is just a point in time which we are using as a date to mark the beginning of a new year, many people associate lots of expectations and hopes  with this date. It feels like a new chance to refresh, to regroup and to start with renewed energy and more understanding. It certainly is a good time to review what went wrong in the previous year and what should be changed in the New Year. Realistically, any date for changes is as good as this one because any changes are up to us. When the desire to achieve something is strong enough, I cannot see why it would not take place.

New Year love and happiness

I also hope that more people will include their artistic and creative side in their self-improvement programs. That is incredibly important especially because we are spending way too much time looking at screens of different devices. Therefore, keep your artistic activities away from devices, food and drinks.

Our brain has a wonderful ability to adjust. We are able to learn something new regardless of our age and so we should. Learning, challenging our capacities is the key to staying young longer. That does not involve a facelift, but that refers to a much more important part of our existence: memory, thinking and decision-making ability and brain flexibility. Therefore, I wish those who have at least the smallest intention to devote some time to drawing, sketching and painting: do it. For the sake of more relaxed you, for the sake of happier you, and to multiply and grow great things around us.

I would like to say also a huge Thank you to all my fellow bloggers who stopped at this blog for numerous times, commented, made me laugh and think, made me explore and dig deeper, made me a better me. Thank you, and without you my dear friends, my world would have much fewer colors as it does now.

Happy New Year dreams and hope

Happy New Year! See you on the other side.

If you get a chance, please follow also my other blog http://inesepogalifeschool.com/

The current post talks about New Year’s resolutions and goals: Setting steps and path to achievements

The pleasant laziness on cozy Christmas day

It is such a blessing to slow down, take a breath and enjoy doing nothing while listening to fantastic Christmas songs. The lights are on, some candles are burning. It is so peaceful, indoors and outdoors, in the soul and heart, that the feeling of happiness, gratitude and love is almost touchable.

Peaceful Christmas day paintings and home decorations

I have put on the Latvian radio 2, they play non-stop Christmas songs, and these melodies are so sweet and touching that I couldn’t wish for a better music to accompany my memories tonight.

I hope all fellow bloggers are having a good time wherever they are, I hope they didn’t have to experience the rough weather which destroyed so many people’s homes this Christmas.

Peaceful Christmas day Snow painting and decorations

The weather is great in Whitby, Ontario. There is no wind, stars start showing up, the sky is almost clear and the silence covers everything.

Peaceful Christmas day beautiful decorations

Wishing everybody peace, warmth, love and light during this Christmas day and all the following holidays! Have a blessed evening and night! May stars and the full moon shine on you and remind that love never ends.

Peaceful Christmas day

Sending hugs, love and prayers to everybody who shares peace, hope and love at Christmas!

Latvian radio Christmas music:

Latvian Radio 2

The most recent Lifeschool post reviews ways we can improve the way we feel by simply choosing the right nutrients and avoiding alcohol, drugs and medications: Feed your happiness, not depression

Inseparable fellows: desperation and delight, which one wins?

Shadows in my tea-cup, darkness behind the window and soft warmth from the small outdoor lights: that is the calming scene which surrounds me at the moment. The scent of a live fir-tree is absent, but I can certainly imagine that, too. As the year is fast approaching its end, my hopes and expectations get smaller and smaller until they will fade away completely.

What a terrible thing that is to get sick straight before Christmas and in the middle of the last potentially successful sales period! I did exactly that, I worked very hard for about a month and then my body told: that’s it; I need to shut down for a while and get some rest. Well, I missed all the potential sales opportunities since I couldn’t even lift my arm, not to mention do preparations, final touches on art or crafts, and I did not post any ads and I even did not turn on the “Open” sign.  Finally, it’s the first day now when I am a bit better, I can see the computer screen at least. What a relief!

Well, when I hear the big numbers what people are spending during Christmas and holidays, I get even sicker. Is that even possible? Most likely it is.

I took some pictures of the recent works with my phone. It’s so dark, that trying to take a picture with my camera is totally out of question. Oh, like all people who are born under the Leo sign, I love warmth, sun and light. I love the light so much that I believe I’m not going to disappear in any darkness ever. I have actually devoted all my existence to multiplication of light. Nothing warms me more than a sunny day looking through curtains at my window.  Not good news for me so far, because nobody even knows I worked a lot to make this pre-holiday sale happen, but broke down straight before the rewarding finishing line.

I’m not a real Canadian either because I don’t put up a Christmas tree or decorations in November; I do not do the Christmas shopping until the last-minute, and therefore I am only catching up when others are way ahead of me. My Christmas means to put up the tree in the morning, decorate it around lunch time, and then cook a nice meal to have it at night. That’s how it always was since I can remember me. My dad and I went even to the forest just early on the Christmas morning sometimes. If I have everything ready month before this day, I am losing all the Christmas spirit and mood because for me these preparations are the celebration. Songs, flavors, candle lights and sparkles on the Christmas tree is all I need.

Since there is still a full week, I hope that my bank account miraculously turns from red into black, well, that might be also the only occasion when black is a good color; and I can supply myself completely with all the medications before the pharmacy shut-down period. I sincerely hope there might be a person who wishes to see some of my original paintings on their wall or assumes they are good enough to be presented as a gift. We used to say in Europe: hope is a comfort for a fool. Despite the poor odds, I won’t panic just yet. Everything goes on with or without fireworks.

 My Christmas still life acrylic 20 x 16 in

When we painted this still life about 2 weeks ago, I was still feeling fine.

My Christmas trees painting acrylic 20 x 24 in

One class was painting this winter scene along with me, we are doing some winter every December

 My Christmas landscape acrylic 20 x 24 in

The other class was doing more forest-like scene

 My Christmas trees painting acrylic 20 x 16 in

Smaller 20 x 16 version of Saturday painting. I haven’t managed to get good pictures yet, therefore everything is available only as originals. And some 300 other paintings, too.

The Life school blog talks about memories that are beautiful, but can be painful, as well: http://inesepogalifeschool.com/2015/12/18/christmas-memories-that-can-make-us-cry/

Ode to perseverance and how to overcome I cannot

Life is always full with something, and we are mostly busy, sometimes with the most beautiful things and events, sometimes with terrible, annoying issues. We simply deal with that, and not everybody has the courage to take some time for them and to spend it as they wish. We often hear: oh, I cannot attend your event because there’s too much on my plate at the moment. I cannot participate because I simply don’t have time. I cannot do this because I’m too tired after work. I’m too sick to paint and create. There are billions of excuses, and behind “I cannot” is quite often hiding: I don’t seriously want it. I am not willing to make a commitment. I am not sure if I want anything at all. It is so much better to do nothing, to stare at a screen, to watch other lives unfold and get complicated. It is so much easier to let everything just flow by and to go with the stream. The power of doing nothing is great! It is huge and it can take us over with ease.

Who doesn’t know moments of emptiness, moments of weakness, and moments of a complete exhaustion: mental and physical? That is life, and unfortunately, nothing and nobody can prevent such moments from happening. I know this so well: it can be abnormally tough at times to resist the tiredness and pain. Well, we have two choices: feel sorry and cry or stand up and get going.

I am for those who make everything happen. I am with those who fight their own moods, pain and helplessness. We have a fantastic tool to make our life better: it is the self-improvement. Step by step, one move at a time.

Therefore, I feel extremely blessed that my art and painting classes have brought me together with such sincere, honest and creative people. It is very simple to take a brush and swipe it over canvas. Play is attractive. How about when we want something more? Not only spots and splashes, but something way exceeding basics?

Creativity and self-improvement are both: rewarding and demanding. Rewarding all the way through the discoveries and confusion, giving back things which we never even expected; and demanding because we cannot give up our efforts by facing the first difficulties. Self-improvement requires perseverance, a strong spinal cord and ability to go against the wind. I suppose, life is generous mostly to those who dare. Dare to overcome at least their own resistance and remove the internal brakes.

I would not call the participants of the Wednesday group students anymore. Some of them have become established artists after attending my classes, and I am really proud of that because I care how my students are doing and they try to do their best. I am sometimes telling them: you don’t even need any classes any longer. They answer: we love the group and the atmosphere, and we still appreciate the advice. The Wednesday class takes a break now. We are meeting closer to the fall again. However, the question that surprises me most is: how do these really busy people always find the time not to skip any single class? Well, the secret must be unsophisticated: we always can find time for things we love. I would like to thank all my long-term creative friends and participants of these painting classes. Keep your brushes wet!

I am attaching some pictures from the recent painting class which was the last this spring/summer.

Adult painting class Birch painting

Sarah joined the group just recently

adult painting class LIz working at her masterwork

Liz working at her masterwork

adult painting class Gordon is a musician and artist

Gordon is a musician and artist

adult painting class Bev's birch painting

Bev’s birch painting: she is one of those who keep attending art classes regardless of anything

adult painting class Classroom

Birches and bluebells: nice and extremely simple scene!

adult painting class Birch demo

The picture of the demo didn’t come out too clear, but it is visible

Adult painting class Whitby Ontario

Nice mood and lots of fun

adult painting class Liz paints with passion and no wonder she sells her paintings

Liz paints with passion and no wonder she sells her paintings

adult painting class new artists are welcome

The last spring/summer Wednesday class: see you all in September!

Please accept these unpretentious flowers

How did flowers evolve?

From happiness.

What gave them their fragrance?

Love.

I hope all moms received plenty of flowers today. They are a thing of enormous beauty, and they can say everything without words, just like art.

I also hope you are showing your love to your mom while there is still time enough, and you are not too late with your “I love you mom!”

It is so easy to love a small child; it takes more than superficial attraction to love genuinely very old people. To understand them and to appreciate, and to be grateful they are with us. Moms of people who belong to my generation are getting close to 90.

Thankfully, my mom is still doing lots of good things, sewing and gardening, not to mention small daily stuff like dishwashing, or cleaning. She loves flowers, so I sent her some, although, the Ocean is between us, that cannot stop us from exchanging some words on the phone or over Skype. The distance has the ability to make things clearer and more valuable. Simple words can get a new meaning.

Well, I was not very productive recently, but I have made some watercolors for cards, something unsophisticated, but sincere.

Happy Mother’s Day to every mom, grandmother and great grandmother! I hope your kids, grandchildren and great grandchildren are blessings to you.

Pansies for Mother's Day

Please accept these unpretentious flowers as small thank you for everything you are to your children!

To praise the divine, to overcome the dullness of routine

By far, my life hasn’t been a fairy-tale, but rather continuous attempt to prove that our powers exceed the known limits we have put ourselves within.  I believe that talk solves nothing. I am deeply convinced that too much fake positivism and superficial “everything is fine” statements can actually cause harm. When our intentions remain only as to-do-lists, there is no result. There is huge gap between the real action and intent.

We often hear that life is not fair. Well, life as such is fair and fine, it is humans who make things become unfair and unfavorable for others.

Therefore, I wish there was much less pretending that everything is fine and much more doing in order it was like that.

For me, praising the divine does not mean unstoppable talking about it. That means bringing the beauty to people and making them understand how little, in fact, we need to experience the most valuable things on this Earth. There would be much less suffering if one day we had opened our eyes and started calling things their correct names. Becoming realistic is not a bad start.

The daily routine is absorbing plenty of time and taking large amounts of energy. People who are not rich have to deal with this whether they are happy with it or not.  Even though, I could do so many useful and exciting things instead of cleaning up and washing dishes or cooking, that is not going to change. I do everything fast, and I have a prevention system in place: to avoid general cleaning, I do not allow any dirt or messes to accumulate. I spend 12 hours or more a day quite often on medical writing. That is the job I make my living with. I wish I earned my living with teaching and doing art, but that is a bit of unreal idea at the moment.

The other energy drainer is my health conditions. Thankfully, I have a huge medical knowledge, so I can realistically access my options. I deal with that, too, as good as I can, and I do not pretend these conditions are going away or disappearing, because they are not. Not all wounds can be healed with good intentions and positive attitude: some take surgeries and some take long treatments. However, I refuse to be completely limited or defined by these conditions. Whining or crying is not going to help, so I am a realist and I am setting for me reasonable goals. This does not mean having a negative attitude; this is just honestly evaluating the situation and having it under control.

I have inherited love to the nature and all Gods creations from my great grandparents, grandparents and my parents. I strongly believe that family either makes one creative and resourceful or completely ignores this necessity by not appreciating the great experiences and benefits creativity has to offer, although, this does not always mean any financial benefits. I am genuinely thankful I have all skills and knowledge to dress myself, sew and design my clothes and outfits, to grow my own garden plants , flowers and vegetables, to cook fantastic meals with little efforts, to decorate my living space and create all necessary items for that and so on and so forth. This is all because of my family. Somebody might call me workaholic, but I hate simply sitting around and doing nothing. I cannot recall any single episode of my childhood or earlier years when I had to admit I was bored. I was always busy. Trying to make something from nothing. That is a great way to, a great way to live since I am seeing some opportunity just about everywhere.

Spring flowers for greeting cards

I am sending flowers to my mom every time whenever there is some important day or some celebration because I know she appreciates and loves them. We are far away, the Ocean is between us, but we can talk on Skype. My husband gives me flowers on every occasion, not only when there’s a celebration or birthday, but just for pleasure, as well. I have always fresh flowers around me, many are potted. I believe he does this because he knows how I am talking to plants and how much I enjoy them. They respond with adorable blooms and never-ending beauty.

Apple blossoms and butterflies for greeting cards

I feel that my duty is to teach other people to enjoy things which are not that costly, but rather a true source of happiness, pleasure and satisfaction. It would be tough going through life without art and beauty. The importance of brain fitness is completely ignored, but I am trying to make everybody aware how this can be achieved with simple sketching and drawing on a daily basis. If one can escape the age related dementia and loss of brain functionality just doing some visual art exercises, why don’t they do that? That’s a good question because physical body is always put first and mental and spiritual well-being is supposed to occur automatically which is absolutely and totally wrong.

I hope I’m doing my part and creating art pieces for our eyes to enjoy. To me, this means praising the divine every single moment not only in words, but with doing.

Robin nest Easter card

Robins nest: a greeting card, poster, art print, and wall art

Spring art prints flower wall art

View on the table of my paintings, originals are 16 x 12 inches each

Wall art for spring decoration

I struggled a lot to get the right colors on photos, some came out ok, some not that much

Butterflies and birds spring watercolor paintings

These are the new images for spring cards, Mother’s Day cards and cheerful prints to decorate our living space for warmer and lighter season. They look excellent as pillows, too, I cannot enjoy enough. Everything is available through Fine Art America at very moderate prices (link on the right side).

Pink rose watercolor painting Orange rose watercolor painting

Apple blossoms and butterfliesSpring tulips

Happy Easter and sunny spring for those who do not celebrate Easter!

The art of giving gifts 2: traditions, colors and symbols

This is the time of giving, forgiving and showing our love and gratitude to people who are in our lives, to people who we know and to everybody who we don’t even know, but believe they need some Christmas mood lift.

The Latvian proverb goes like this: Dear God! Help us be so well off that we could give others generously and not beg them kindly. Giving generously involves giving gracefully, with pleasure and beautifully.

The ancient Latvian proverbs, folk songs and fairy tales were given verbally from one generation to the next one for many thousands of years, and they carry the Latvian moral and ethical code. They always emphasize that it is not a big deal to have much of golden money because much bigger deal is to have a golden heart. Well, we know how it is in reality: we need both, and yet, we need the latter one way more.

Many centuries have passed by and life is not the same, obviously. The Latvian Christmas was initially mixed with the celebration of winter solstice, and we have so many superstitions and traditions regarding this time of the year! Thousands! Did you know that it is not a coincidence the Christmas or Advent wreath is round? This shape symbolizes the year and the human lifetime: the end meets the beginning, so our children pick it up where we left things.

The circular shape of the wreath also represents God, with no beginning and no end. Circle means completeness and abundance; and it is also related to the eternity. The evergreens in a Christmas wreath are used to share the message of the eternal life. The tips of a fir-tree branch remind a shape of a cross, which means this wreath is going to protect us from everything evil.

The Western world got its first wreath around 16th century, in Germany. Latvians were using wreath and circle shaped ornaments and decorations ever since they existed. The solstice is the time to call the sun back, and it needs to know the place where to return. Latvian wreaths and ornaments initially symbolized the eternity, the divine and the Sun. Whatever, it’s meaning and whatever it means to us, the Christmas wreath is a beautiful thing. So are all the decorated gifts. Adding greens from the backyard adds so much freshness. We love the green color because it symbolizes the life and everything what is alive.

Christmas gifts Wrapping ideas

It is important to be generous, not only at Christmas time, but always. We think giving a gift is a small gesture of kindness, but in fact, it’s much more. Small or large gifts, they all have to be wrapped up nicely because that shows we care about the person who is receiving our gift.

Christmas gifts wrapping tips

I kept my show gifts in the traditional colors: heart red, evergreen green and added some gold, silver and some blue.

Tips Wrapping gifts

An idea wrapping up round objects: make it look like a vase with blooms of ornaments and pine cones.

Roll up a tube of a firm paper. It has to extend the length of the gift item. Tape one edge of paper to the back of the gift object. Wrap around the wrapping paper. Tape one edge on the back. Fold in the bottom nicely and secure with tape. Fold in the upper edges. If needed, secure with tape from the inside. Wrap ribbon or gift string around the object. Add a bow or leave loose ends. Fill the upper part with tissue paper or some other light paper in any suitable color. Add some branches, pine cones and some small ornaments at the top.

Holiday gifts

It looks like winter vase with Christmas flowers! This takes practically 5 minutes when we have some materials and greens.

Painting as a gift

Flat and square objects are easy to wrap up.

Holiday gifts sale

I decorated some painting and book this time. The smaller gifts are coffee and herbal tea packs.

Gifts in traditional colors

Sets of gifts look nice and they also speak to the viewer with enhanced beauty.

Christmas gifts

Traditional and very attractive colors warm up our hearts.

Christmas gifts inspiration

We start with the base and place the gift face down. Tape with transparent tape or tape in a matching color. Use some ribbon or colorful strings; once again we start that placing the face side of the gift downwards. Add some bow or roll up the ends with the blade of scissors. They become curly and add look very artistic. I like splitting up large surfaces, just as with painting, so I’d use everything what’s around. Gifts are wrapped for a short time, so we don’t need to worry about the durability of our construction. Its main purpose is to say “Merry Christmas, I love you!”

Santa Claus and holiday gifts

Santa was helping me, as well. I also listened to beautiful music, and gift wrapping is a huge pleasure for me, in fact, always has been!

Crafted and hand-made is the new luxury 2: nature helps with materials and subjects

I am slightly behind everything because my health was giving me hard times and, secondly, I had many workshops and classes recently. Although, I took quite a lot of pictures, I did not get a chance to post nothing.

Returning to hand-made items and DIY art, I must say we were dealing with pumpkin still lives for quite a while. Therefore, all pictures will show different stages of just started, half-done and almost done fall still lives with pumpkins, apples and leaves which we used very directly, sometimes even placing on canvas and simply drawing around. Lots of fun and it is very easy way to straighten out our composition because leaves are an extremely decorative element, they can be in all imaginable colors and we can place them anywhere filling up all spaces that need some coverage.

Classes provide students with ideas about different techniques, steps, approaches and methods when working on some particular project or theme.

Tips for beginning artists:

Using pre-toned or pre-painted canvas speeds up everything. You can use a mix of gesso with some earthy, brownish-yellowish or greyish-brown shades. Good colors to cover canvas are something medium dark made of yellow ochre plus burnt umber plus white or small amount of light blue, or yellow ochre plus burnt sienna plus white plus raw umber, or the same with small amount of blue. Our goal is to have not very light and not very dark, but attractive medium light shade. Such canvas works much better than pure white canvas, unless your painting involves a lot of white objects or large white spaces. Pre-toned canvas allows seeing and perceiving objects in a more correct manner, therefore, it is much simpler to add shadows, dark values, and highlighted spots.

First layers of paint should be applied using generous amount of not much diluted color. Don’t be afraid because acrylic tolerates quite a lot, and everything can be adjusted and straightened out! Sometimes beginners use paint very sparsely. It dries out extremely fast, does not give a chance for washing out edges and looks streaky. It is also wrong to stop working on some area because of fear to damage this spot. This might take some additional time, but results will be more pleasing.

When in doubt, start with medium dark, however, many objects require starting with deep darks. Medium dark is a good spot to be, because you can lighten it up and add stronger darks, and that is really useful for still life objects and floral painting.

Leave the tiny details and small adjustments for the end stage. There is no need to work out perfectly parts that will be covered with other elements.

It is always important to simplify the scene or image we intend to work on. That means to start with very simple shapes, very simple edges, and basic accents.

It is easier to apply wet acrylic paint over dry surface, especially when we need strong highlight and strong values. That prevents the fresh part from mixing in with the rest, and if applied incorrectly, can be swiped off with wet paper towel. The edge is rubbed off with dry or slightly damp brush. That allows connecting the freshly painted part with the dry part seamlessly.

Fresh acrylic can look much lighter than it will be after it dries. No need to worry that some part looks too light while the painting is wet. Darks are achieved easier; lights sometimes require the use of multiple layers and repetition of steps. Do not be afraid that you need to repeat some steps and paint application sequences. That is a completely normal process.

I hope everybody can follow these simple steps. For more assistance, you will just have to attend some art classes!

We created quite a few of great works for our own decorating needs. Some still need some work.

Pumpkin still life: works in progress

Pumpkin still life: works in progress

Pumpkin still life: works in progress

Pumpkin still life: works in progress 2

Pumpkin still life: works in progress

Pumpkin still life: works in progress 3

Practically finished painting

Pumpkin still life: works in progress: this is practically done

Autumn art painting class for adults 9

Painting loosely can be of great advantage

Art classes for adults: fall still life

Art classes for adults: fall still life

Res MY Pumpkin paint

Art classes for adults: fall still life demo version, still needs some work, but I will probably call it a day