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Are you sure you want to read all this?   Reading the following is harder than watching it in action, by video.  It's provided here on the page for people to go through in their own time, and this is new information for most, but wouldn't it be better to have someone explain it all to you?  Wouldn't you rather watch videos?

That's why the Online Art Courses were created - to make the following much easier for you.  And of course it's vastly more fun learning this by actually painting, rather than reading.   YES, GO THERE NOW

Techniques start page

What does "Advanced Fine Art Techniques" actually mean?

When we are talking about advanced fine art techniques or, more specifically, advanced oil painting techniques, we are refering to the 12 techniques (the way paint is put on canvas} and the way these combine with each other.

We use the term "advanced" because (sadly) most people use only about three techniques when they paint in oils. This is through no fault of their own, it's how they've been taught. Similarly, most art teachers teach only about three techniques.

It's easier to paint when you know all twelve techniques than it is when you know only about three because you have more tools at hand to do what you want to do, and because the techniques combine in ways that produce very complex effects all by themselves. The reaction could be described as like putting one simple, easy to make chemical onto another easy one and the result is an explosion.



Just a note to start:  A couple of these techniques below may look and/or sound the same - such as the Painting Knife and Creative Knife - but these few are often taught poorly or incorrectly, and when done properly these are immensely different in what they do and achieve for you. Some of these techniques you've probably never have heard of: The Creative Knife Technique, for instance, is extremely powerful and rarely taught. (See its explanation in the next lesson)..  (See its explanation on Techniques Page 2
 
Likewise, a basic technique such as Blending, which is commonly taught, plays a vastly different role when used in advanced painting.


Techniques Page 2 therefore contains information on the 12 Techniques:   
Dagger Stroke
Blending
Painting Knife
Caress Stroke
Transparent Glazing
Opaque Glazing
Creative Knife
Scumbling
Wiping Off
Creative Rag
Liner Stroke
Scribble Stroke 

And there you have it!  That's all 12.


Techniques Introduction    
These techniques are your painting tools. Without the proper tools, or knowing all of the tools, you cannot paint to your potential. As mentioned elsewhere on this site, advanced techniques are so rarely taught. Poor technique is guaranteed to give you frustration and threatens to stop you painting altogether. If you are struggling you will be well aware of this, as well as the wastage of time and money.

Learning advanced technique is easy, and practising them with your painting is exhilarating and rewarding. You can make a dramatic change to your painting immediately, and yet you'll still be excited about what you can paint in two decades' time, because learning advanced technique opens us to our higher imagination as well, bit by bit, with each painting we accomplish. The more we do, the more we see or envision, so we do more.. and envision more! Each step of the way the techniques have enabled us to do and see.

Please note: The explanations on this site are introductory only. We have taken many months and into years to produce highly detailed comprehensive DVD packages and the Comprehensive Online Course by which to teach you the techniques properly.  


Technique Combination     
Please note: One thing we should make clear is that these techniques can be combined any way you want. It's the combination of them that helps define your style. You may not like to use one or another of these techniques - that's great! You may construct a painting entirely with glazes, for instance, or with the impasto (using thick paint) techniques. At least by knowing them, you know you can use a particular technique at any time should you wish to.
 

Thick & Thin Paint    
The physical qualities of oil paint are crucial to understanding advanced technique. Paint can be applied thinly or thickly. The difference is profound. Paint is thinned by the use of medium. We teach you how to make medium in the DVDs and the Comprehensive Online Course, which will save you money, as you will use a lot of it in your painting. Paint can also be applied anywhere within the range of thick and thin, by the use of medium.
  
 
Types of Techniques      
"Day One"
 
As the name implies, Day One Techniques are used on the first day of painting, when paint goes directly onto the blank canvas. We set this day apart because it helps us understand how to create with power. Understanding Day One Techniques helps us to assert our creative energy onto a canvas. Day One techniques blast away the blankness of the canvas and gives us immediate effects to begin working with. Or, if you like, you can paint a picture using only Day One techniques. But if you combine other techniques afterwards (once the painting is dry) you can lift it into a realm where you can enjoy the full flight of painting and creating, going on to mould the image and finally, when it's done, all that powerful energy is held there for centuries. Viewers are affected by this energy. Buyers, particularly, are attuned to it.
 

"Empowering"
 
These techniques empower the canvas with your creative energy. They're strong, bold, assertive techniques. Empowering techniques are used on Day One, but can be used at any time throughout the painting process. These techniques can change the direction or colour or mood - and anything else - of a painting.   
 

"Refining"
 
Refining techniques refine the effects that are already there, either over the whole painting or in parts of it. Empowering techniques often leave a raw effect to the eye, so you can use refining techniques to adjust the paint and make it appear more the way you want. Or, of course, you can leave it raw. These refining techniques don't really add to the creative energy that's there, but they make that energy and appearance more subtle, deep, and nuanced, for viewers to take in.

As you'll see, some techniques can perform either the Empowering or Refining function - this usually depends on the amount of paint or medium used.


Transparent & Opaque Paint    
This relates again to the physical qualities of oil paint. We are blessed today by having a fabulous array of oil paint to choose from - though you don't need very much at all to create amazing paintings. What you do need to understand and enjoy is the difference between transparent and opaque paint. For paint manufacturers this usually also means a change in the colour, so we talk about transparent and opaque colours. You can see through transparent colors, but not opaque colors.

Transparency can be obtained in varying degrees by the use of medium - even with opaque colors. We use these varying transparent qualities to create amazing effects. Briefly, the way this advances your painting is through a process whereby the light which lands upon your painting actually enters the paint surface, through the different layers, finally reflecting off a foundation you've created, and as it bounces back out it picks up all the different colors and effects that you made. This sounds awesome and it is - but it's not hard to do. By learning the techniques correctly this will happen naturally with your work. The result is a painting which looks as though it is lit from within. It is extremely vibrant and alive, and of course you can use this to create not only minute detail, but also the capturing light itself - that's top shelf art creation. And all happening like the chemical reaction described above.


Number Two Medium
Rembrandt used something very similar to this in his day.   It's your stable, ever-present medium for use with Fine Art Techniques.  Basically, this alters the physical qualities of your oil paint.   The changes you make to the paint enable you to apply the paint differently, and the altered paint throws up very different effects.  You'll come to love your Number Two Medium. 


Picking up the paint
The way you learn to pick up the paint, using a brush, knife or rag, is absolutely critical to the successful use of any technique.  It sounds almost too basic to be of importance, but if the paint is picked up incorrectly the technique cannot be performed correctly.  Of course, once you learn it for each technique, which takes a few moments, you don't have to worry.  But beware any teaching that excludes this critical factor from teaching art.

Taking this a step further, we can break down the critical factors of advanced painting into three elements. Thus, the quality of your work is entirely dependent on the way you:
a) prepare the paint (on the palette);
b) pick up the paint (on the brush, knife or rag);
c) apply the paint (to the canvas).
We refer to these in the Online Courses as the "3 Factors of technique".  Again, it is very simple, but learning these is essential to your advanced fine art painting success.


A note about the term "Fine Art"
To put it politely, the act of putting paint on canvas has brought about a world of misconceptions. The mere fact that paint is applied to canvas doesn't mean that the result is always art. It is all too often craft.  The distinction is important because misconceptions can sideswipe your creative efforts. 

Similarly, all too often a person paints for a little while and refers to their work as 'fine art'.  Of course, they mean no harm in this, and really are just expressing their aspiration, and wish to benefit from using the term.  However, it doesn't do the cause of creating art any good.  Likewise, a person can use very poor technique for decades and refer to the work as 'fine art'.  These are all misconceptions that can mask the wonderful knowledge available to both beginning and practising painters.  For the beginner, the move towards learning to create art thrusts them into a veritable minefield of fallacy.

By learning proper use of techniques, the beginning or practising artist stands on rock solid grounds, of truth, of clarity, of qualty and purpose.  And nothing more swiftly nor securely develops the artist's eye.  Thus, by learning the techniques, your eye develops not only in the ability to see what's on canvas but the wider world itself.

Okay, that's the background basics.  In the next page we'll start looking at the techniques themselves. Or, if you're ready to get the full benefit of a comprehensive course where it's delivered to you far more effectively, click the link below to see everything that's provided for you. 

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