Posts Tagged Gail McDaniel Art


    If your values are still not working, remember when your painting is dry you can always glaze over it as many times as needed as long as each layer of glaze is completely dry. Remember “G” is for GLAZING—GET IN AND GET OUT!



Light and dark shapes (values) in your paintings should be good neighbors, living close to each other. The same can be said for warm and cool colors (also values)



I have been there. If you buy just one sheet of watercolor paper—that sheet becomes very precious to you. Buy 10 sheets at a time and feel flushed with paper thus messing up paper while learning becomes easier.



The more watercolor paper you mess up the quicker you will begin to get where you want to be. You can paint on both sides of your paper—learn while using less paper.



The more watercolor pigment you put to paper; the sooner you will learn how much water is required to get the results you seek.



However, don’t go overboard and “Throw out the baby with the bathwater.” Too much pigment and not enough water may make a "stickie" mix that will not flow.



When we first started painting in watercolor, we were afraid to use more pigment and less water because we had spent so much time working on our drawings. We were afraid we would mess them up. But using too much water gave us poor values. Are you still guilty today?



In watercolor, using too much water gives you weak values. You need to use more pigment and less water to get glowing, vibrant, lively values. For “WOW!” paintings, learn to control your water!



In “Richard III,” William Shakespeare wrote, “An honest tale speeds best being plainly told." In watercolor, the best paintings are those that tell their story as simply and as straight-forward as possible. Remember: (1) Less is more. (2) What you leave out of your painting can be as important as what you put in your painting.



Hannah More, an English poet, playwright and philanthropist said, “Goals help you overcome short-term problems.” To overcome short-term problems in painting: (1) Draw thumbnail sketches. (2) Work out your color palette on w/c paper for this painting. Limit yourself to four or five primary colors.  (3) Save this limited palette for future reference with the names of the pigments written by the color swatch. (4) In your head, work out the mechanics of how you want to paint your selected subject matter. (5) Put you drawing on tracing paper. (6) Always save your tracings to use parts in future paintings. (7) Go for it! With these steps -- “Goals" -- you will succeed!



E.M. Foster, an English novelist, said, “Spoon feeding in the long run teaches nothing but the shape of the spoon.” From the beginner to the most advanced artist, in order to continue to learn and grow, you must always be challenged, always reaching just a little past your known abilities. If you stay where you are, never learning, never growing, all you end up knowing is “the shape of the spoon!”



When you paint just in your comfort zone—you are just that—comfortable. However, being in your comfort zone teaches you nothing! Learning and growing are painful! They lead to mistakes and failures. But you only learn from you mistakes and failures. That is when you grow! You learn nothing from your comfort zone.



Reggie Jackson holds the record for the most career strikeouts by a batter with 2,597. Was he a failure? NO! Reggie Jackson was voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1993.



The Successes Are the Failures Who Keep Trying!



Do not be discouraged by your failures—They are your learning and growing experiences!



With your failures, you are not failing. You are growing!



Even as a successful Artist, you will continue to have failures—Failures are the only way can you grow!



You became an Artist, not because of your successes, but, because of your failures!



Do not ever throw away a painting that you have given up on. You may later learn something new and exciting that can resurrect that "Ole Dog" of a painting. Later, if no Epiphany, flip it over and paint on the back!



"They'll sell you thousands of greens. Veronese green and emerald green and cadmium green and any sort of green you like; but that particular green, never.” -- Pablo Picasso



Artists should always keep in mind that not only we are entertainers, but we are also educators. An example of us as mentors: If we paint a still life of a vase of flowers, they will NOT all face forward. We will show the front, the back, the sides and also their flaws. Nothing in nature is perfect. Nature is full of Variations!



There is a direct relationship between the effort you put into your art and the results you get from those efforts.



Small pieces of bright unexpected color in a quiet landscape can pique the viewer's interest. But do not let them become the “Star of the Show."



Every day is Ground Hog Day in my studio! I am so glad my Wednesday and Thursday Students have kept me busy. They e-mail me photos of their current projects for critiquing. This is a win-win situation for my students and also for me. It keeps us busy and our minds off COVID-19.



You can’t be successful if you’ve not had any failures. In art, like life, we only learn from our failures.



The "HOW" is left up to you. You are the artist and you are in charge. "HOW" you put pigment to paper is your job. You are the creative artist. If you don’t paint that painting, no one else will. Your vision is within you and only you!



"W.H.Y." — Creating and designing for myself! Why am I saying this? How do I say it? You are the artist; you are in charge. Do whatever is necessary to make your paintings work. Be it making changes of (1) composition, (2) value or (3) color of items within your reference, which may be your photo, still life or painting en plein air.



"W.H.E.N." — Don’t forget…! What you have in mind at the beginning, may not be where you end up. How you apply the pigment is up to you. No "Busy Brush Work!" Engage yourself totally in your work. No painting is ever really finished. You just find a good place to stop!



"W.H.E.R.E." — You need a map! Where to start? In my sketch book working out my problems there, NOT on my W/C paper. Help is there. You must watch your painting and be willing to change your mind. Every time you pick up a brush or a pencil, it is a learning experience. Repetition is the mother of learning. Experience is accomplished through trial and error.  



"W.H.A.T." — Be complete. What can I do to make the subject matter more interesting? What is the Story? What is my painting about? How should I approach the subject matter? Always have your camera with you. There are paintings waiting everywhere. Keep your mind alert and your eyes open.



Check your paintings "W.H.O." What is it about the subject matter that excites me? How can I put my stamp on it that would be different? Omitting unnecessary information is my first job!



Learn about 1. composition, 2. value, and 3. color. Then because you are the artist and you are in charge, using your artistic license, be willing to change things in your reference to make the painting work. Be it 1. composition, 2. value or 3. color of items within your reference. Your reference may be your photo, a still life, or you painting en plein air.



To neutralize a color, glaze over it with its compliment. That would be the color straight across the color wheel.



Remember that everything reflects everything around it. That is exactly why I do NOT wear orange.



Shadow Problems? Shadows in your paintings may be warm or cool depending on the temperature of their surroundings. If it is a "hot day," your shadows should be cool. If it is a "cold day," your shadows should be warm. Shadow colors should be as interesting as the rest of your painting. Never just gray or purple. Even shadows have reflected colors in them.



From Christopher Schink:  “The process of applying various earthen, metal and synthetic dyes to a sheet of pressed wood or paper with fur hairs attached to a stick—is not a natural act.” gailism: Yes, becoming an artist is not a natural act. Becoming an artist is a process. A process that requires time, energy, hard work and desire. But what great rewards await us for our efforts!



Decision time? Sometimes there are really difficult choices. Just make the best choice with what you have before you and move on.



You never know where your inspiration will come from! Keep your mind alert and your eyes open. And always have a camera with you. You never know...!



Color photos of your references, when enlarged to 8½ by 11 and printed Grayscale on Glossy Photo Paper, make for great value studies.



There are no rules in art... just sharing learned experiences we have had and shared choices we have made along the way.



The escalator to success is out of order. You’ll have to take the stairs. Becoming an artist and staying an artist requires continuing hard work, taking one step at a time. But the rewards are so very worthwhile!



In art, we make good choices because of our good experiences. We make bad choices because of a lack of experiences. You make good choices by first having bad experiences.



"A good teacher, like a good student, must keep learning. When I quit studying and learning, I will quit teaching."



No artist learns to paint. Artists are always learning to paint all their lives! Learning to paint is a continuing, ongoing lifetime journey. An artist never outgrows their need to learn.



From D.H. Lawrence: “The eyes don’t see what the mind doesn’t know.” gailism: The eyes don’t recognize what the mind hasn’t been taught to seek. To keep growing, you must keep seeking.



Once you become fearless, Art becomes limitless.



Every problem is an opportunity waiting to happen.



As an artist you are a storyteller, an educator, a director, a gatherer or collector of ideas, materials/supplies, and a scientist.



The only way to never fail is to never try. Keep reaching beyond your comfort zone, and you will be rewarded.



When you are struggling with a painting remember: You’re not failing. You just haven’t succeeded yet!



Be Aware:  The line between success and failure is constantly moving.



Three Knots: Knot letting the colors mix on the watercolor paper. Knot understanding negative painting. Knot leaving enough white sparkles. Don’t tie your paintings in Knots! Knots are hard to untie!



From Pat Dews: “Painting is a journey. You start by taking small steps that lead to bigger steps. Once you have taken the basic information, then you have a guide for the path you are to take. Above all, the most important thing is to paint what you want and what you feel.”



To quote Tony Couch: “One of the advantages of transparent watercolor over other mediums is its fresher, sparkling spontaneity.”



A quote for Edgar J. Whitney, the "Father of Watercolor": “A vignette is a piece of subject matter in a well-designed piece of white space.” gailism: Vignettes can be painted off one, two, or three sides of your watercolor paper, BUT NEVER four.



To quote Ava Duvernay: “If you try and it doesn’t work out, you’re not a failure. You’re a risk taker.” gailism: Remember, you learn more from your mistakes than your successes!



Too much pigment and not enough water may make a "stickie" mix that will not flow.



In April 1998, Ken and I vacationed in Rome. More Masterpieces of 2-D and 3-D art and Architecture than I could ever digest. I was overwhelmed by the beauty and majesty of all the city had to offer. I was moved to write the following note on April 29th: “Perspective is the road to understanding what you see!”



Birthing a painting is similar to birthing a baby! You decide to. You make your plans. You gather supplies. The baby arrives, the painting is started. Each one goes through phases of development until they get to be teenagers and you want to throw them away! That is just before they start to mature and become your own work of art! Now you begin to really enjoy them.



There is nothing that I, as your instructor can do, which will overcome what you, the student, is not willing to try!



A palette full of pigments and a jar full of brushes does not automatically make you an artist. You can paint anything you want with one tube each of the three primary colors and three brushes. Why do I say this? Because my first w/c instructor started me that way. I can paint anything I want to paint using only the above mentioned three and three.



Oscar Wilde said, “Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative." You must have "Variations" in your paintings. Variations of Line, Value, Color, Texture, Shape, Size and Direction. These, by the way, are “The Seven Basic Elements of Design.”



Alexander Graham Bell said, “Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.” You can’t drive from where you are to Alaska without a detailed plan. In life and in art, if you don’t know where you are going, how will you know when you get there? You must plan your painting before you start putting pigment to paper. Save