Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Flower Painting in the Wild

James Gurney has just released a new video tutorial "Flower Painting in the Wild," following in the line of excellent videos he has produced over the past several years. As in his previous video "Casein Painting in the Wild," Mr. Gurney has recorded a series of outdoor painting demonstrations, most of which are executed in casein. The focus here is painting flowers, but the strong sub-thread is how to use this unique paint. The preview below gives you a good rundown of the video itself, which is about an hour in length.

The video is beautifully produced in excellent definition. Mr. Gurney's instructional narration is always smooth, informative, and packed with facts. He discusses everything from basic flower structure and its importance to the artist to the physical properties of his paint. Moreover, he avoids speaking to the viewer from a lofty perspective and his general good humor and humility are sure to engage all levels of artists. The video production quality is excellent and he uses split-screen images to show the subject and painting from the same viewpoint. In my experience a common failing of art videos (for realistic painting anyway) is lack of subject images in favor of mostly showing the painting in progress; here you have many chances to study them side-by-side. 

One of the most important aspect of all of Mr. Gurney's videos is his devotion to solid painting technique. In these demonstrations again he follows a sequence from start to finish that will provide the attentive viewer with an excellent example to follow. His advice from the casein video is to the point: "Start thin, start wet, start loose." He begins with a toned surface and uses big brushes and thin paint to establish big shapes. Mr. Gurney often uses a water-soluble colored pencil to make an initial drawing, but sometimes instead he begins with thinned dark paint. After big shapes and general composition are laid out he paints the background first, trying to establish local color (varied greens, complementary reds, and so on, this being a flower video) before moving on to detail. He works dull to bright and dark to light using thin-to-thick paint consistencies. He shows us how to use casein by taking advantage of its opacity in full strength and semi-transparency when thinned.

"Flower Painting in the Wild" is another excellent video from James Gurney, particularly if you're interested in casein. Using casein in most segments he paints several varieties of flowers, demonstrating its strength, opacity and versatility. As in his previous video demonstrations, solid technique, sharp and useful video images, and Mr. Gurney's good-humor make this a must for the student of painting.

You can download the video (and others by Mr. Gurney) from Gumroad.
Previous posts on this topic
Casein in the Wild

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