5 Stages Of A Painting | Robert Joyner | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

5 Stages Of A Painting

teacher avatar Robert Joyner, Making Art Fun

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

6 Lessons (41m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Composition

    • 3. Color

    • 4. Build Up

    • 5. Light & Shadow

    • 6. Details

  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels
  • Beg/Int level
  • Int/Adv level

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

In this class you will learn the five stages of a painting. This will help you simplify your creative process and eliminate many mistakes such as bad compositions, adding details too soon, and much more. Building momentum in the studio is all about having a workflow which eliminates painting in circles.

The five steps is one of the methods I use & teach often since it's easy to understand and apply. Plus, it gets results! Students that apply this method have success right away and better understand how to achieve successful artworks.

Here is the final painting from the demonstrations:


Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Robert Joyner

Making Art Fun


Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • Exceeded!
  • Yes
  • Somewhat
  • Not really
Reviews Archive

In October 2018, we updated our review system to improve the way we collect feedback. Below are the reviews written before that update.

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


1. Introduction: Hi. I'm Robert Joyner With paint loose. I'm excited to share this class with you Here on skill share the classes the five stages of a painting. I find many artists lose their way when they're painting. The idea is to simplify the creative process from composition to color, to build up to lighten shadow. And then if you follow these steps, that will help you create better. Now the project is very simple. You'll create a painting using stages and then share that with us. Here in the community Key is that you follow the stages so you start to understand how to build. Create beautiful artwork again. I'm Robert Joyner. I love the paint loose, but I also love them. Build my paintings stages. I hope to see you on the inside When I kicked things off with the very first stage composed . See you soon. 2. Composition: All right. Welcome to stage one. All right. We have to think about composition. It's something we have to use and artwork if you don't use it in the beginning. If you don't fully understand how your painting will flow, then you're in a world of hurt. Okay, So what I would like to do is just simply do two types of drawings. Woman is basically a line drawing. So let's say here, I'll use line and then all you blocks. All right, so this would be Step one, Step two. Okay. Now, let's say this is our layout, so I have a rectangular look to it. I have an image there. The first thing I'm going to do is make a basic line drawing about how this can work. How can simplify this and to maybe, you know, a syriza, maybe five or 10 lines. So basically, if this is the top of my composition or edge and this is the bottom, some artists will break it down into thirds. I mean, I'm sure you knew that other artists will break it down and 2/5 which is kind of what I would do in this case. I think it works better. So what I'll think about is looking at my horizon. I will go in place my line there and now It's just really about when I look in, the image is very complex. There's all types of buildings. This one goes up and it's just is very, very busy. Okay, so for me, I will simplify that. I will find the bottom of this line, the boats, and then this one runs up. Okay, so I have a line line, line line. Okay. And then over here, I have this boat, which is basically I'll just say, um, for the sake of it, a square even. And then maybe a little rectangle besotted. All right, so that's kind of my composition. Okay. And sense of line haven't decided. Does that work? OK, I think so. Because you have something that will leave you when you've got something here in the foreground that, um, keeps your eye in the air and that that's fine. I think something like that is an interesting composition for meat, and I would want to pursue it, but but again, note how us simplified it. Very, very easy. Now, over here, I'm gonna thing, Block. So one thing blocks. I'm thinking like color. Maybe a sense of lightning shadow. How is that gonna work? And I think for this, you know, I could go ahead and you put my line in here lining here and so on. Something like that. And I've got my thing happening here, so I can say OK, well, maybe I want my light source to come from this side. Okay? And again, there's not much light and shadow in the image not picked it for that reason. I mean, I like it, too, but I want to work this out before I get into my painting so I can make this and shadow some misusing A This is compressed charcoal, a large block and something like that. And we have all these little boats and things happening here and again. I'm real loose with it. I'm getting that feel of how that's gonna work, and then we have another little shadow area there, and then this background is going to be very muted. Okay, so something like that, and then over here in this corner way had this block of shapes, and then we have this little boat here. It's gonna be a shadow there. And I can run these shadows down the reflection. Like so then all of these kind of darks here would run down and to it, and the boats are gonna be a little bit later. They're kind of grayish color. I think that will break up the darkness there from here to here. And And I think for me, what this does is that, um simplifies the painting and not naive in the painting. It just simplifies composition so that I can start to see the blocks of color that the darker tones and values and how that light source can help it. And then also do I need anything like over here. Maybe I would need something just to kind of keep you in the image to lead you over to the boat and so on. It's simple. It only takes like you saw here. What? Maybe, I don't know, five minutes or so to do a simple line. Beukeboom simply again, not adding porches and windows and all that stuff. It's not about that when we don't need that. Right now, we don't want to invest a ton of time into it. I just want to get a flu for it and then figure out how your light and shadow is going to work for you. And then I can decide if if that's worth pursuing and and for May, this works pretty good. I mean, this is stage one finding that connection to an image or subject simplifying it. But by just using this line in these blocks of color and values, then it helps me reduce the details. And then how can focus on more about the next stage? Okay, but this is how I like to compose my stuff, very important for this stage to do it. If you buy past this, you're gonna get to the end of many of your paintings and realize, why is it not working? It's so frustrating. And I made this mistake so many times in the beginning, especially deal with landscapes and cityscapes and things like that. It just it was so I don't understand. I mean, why did I get here in the painting? Wasn't bad and executed the painting part OK, but the fact wasa composition was bad and just didn't hold together. Even when it was painted all right. Okay. Then I started to realize, Well, that's the problem. I started to think a little bit more about my compositions and the composing aspect of it and fixed a lot of my problems. Okay, Stage one is done. Now we can start to break out some paints and get to stage to see there. 3. Color: all right. Now that we have our composition, we could start to go to the next stage. Okay, So before I do that, I just want to take that composition using a big brush here and just put that down before I can move forward. Right. So I've got basically transfer my thoughts there and my but I did in the previous stage to my surface, and that's basically all we need to do their. So some boots, the feeling, that feeling of that block moving, leading your eye into it. We've gotten this foreground boat there, and that's all it needs to be. So that brings me to my next stage. That's color. And color is a very personal thing, obviously, right. We have things. We we have ideas of what we think art should be, and some of us will take the image and paint what's there are So we're just feeding off what it is in real life, and others will use arbitrary colors. Andan. There is a lot of things in between. Whatever your methodology is for color, that's fine. You can certainly do any of those and create successful artwork, create successful paintings, but that brings me to you know that Stage two and that's color introducing, you know, Hughes that you want to work with. Like I said, I'm on the arbitrary. And so what I would like to do is I'll take my composition, something like this and this. Maybe I'm mixing some. I'm looking at my image. I can see there some grey buildings and structures here and of this graze yellow sienna and that that's fine. The out feed a little bit off. What's there? So Sienna and with these blues and just trying to get a comma khaki color here and that's fine. And maybe I want to lighten that up just a smidge. Just because I had this building here that is a similar color already, and that's fine. And we course had the front of the building something like that. Now the background. I'm just going to keep graze violets or something like this. The sky for now, a little bit of my blue and I can touch into some of these warm colors, and it's going to put something down here for the sky on. That's very, very dark and that's fine for now. I'll take a clean, brush little blue, some white and just work that into, uh, this area on. Just try to clean that up. I can go ahead and run that color down into the water reflections while it's home. I'm brush and that's probably a little too light. Someone's going dark in that a smidge and what this is doing isn't setting a tone and the mood and all that stuff for what type of colors I will use throughout the painting. And that's fine. I'm not too concerned about this area because of the boots are I don't want them to be too strong or too much of, ah, a distraction in the composition but could take my Browns and greens and just kind of put in kind of the shadow areas. You know where the doc and that sort of thing will be. I can throw some color here, and that's fine. That's just anchoring the boats and really just tying in that. Okay, so we have some colors happening here and and that's good. So for now, um, that sets the town for me. So when I'm looking at these kind of grayish blues course, I don't need tweaking Okay, We will adjust these values accordingly. I've gotten this sort of thing, you know, happening with the building in the foreground. I got these nice burgundy red to the touch and green here in the shadow area. Pull those greens down. Made him a little more dominant over here. And, um, you know, So I've got a pal there to work with. And you can you know, I use a little bit of what was there a little bit of what I felt I wanted and just let the colors mingle, Play and do its own thing as I splashed down, you know, or filled in the big shapes. OK, so for now, um, I want that too dry. So I'm not gonna do what? In wet I'm gonna prefer to dio wet and dry. And the beauty of acrylic says this This will be dry and and no time. So I'll see you back here in five minutes. 4. Build Up: all right, Dr to the Touch. So just a quick recap composed or composition stage one Stage two is color again. Be beacon views whatever method works for you there. But for me, I have that those two down and then I'll kind of use the this color, these colors as I move forward. And, uh, and now the next stage is really the buildup, you know, adding some meat to the bone of and just what that is basically is in the first initial block in a zoo, you can see there's some adjusting that needs to go want. So maybe I need to lighten that sky up a little bit. Maybe I want to add some low yellow or some warmth there. Whatever, or just lighten up the overall value of it. The water is not too bad. I think about lightened that up. This will be OK, and I may want to shift this to a little bit darker color. So I think for my light source, eventually it will come in from this direction. So I think if I dark in that up and put this in light will be a nice little contrast there with what's going on, but and I just don't like that. It's all the same kind of khaki, brownish color, So may shift that a little bit. Teoh, Look at what I have. Maybe agreeing are green gray or something like that. I think that would be OK. Just go. I'm gonna go and start there So I'll go with my graze to some Mars gray with some meridian And to darken that up a touch of violet, maybe a little more a little more green in that and do a little test that looks pretty good and just dragging that in there of wrote nice and loose leaving a little bit of that. Uh, the original layer is fine and that's that's good enough for now. So that I think distinguishes these buildings a little bit. And now I can go to the next thing. I can look in the background. I think that's that's OK to, um, maybe I can push some, you know, low, a little bit of blue, a little bit darker, grey. And here you see something like that name may work good on. And now I want to put that sky end, and then I'll do the boats, and I think we should be okay. So blue. Maybe I'll try a little bit of that. A lot of that yellow to and just see if I want to introduced that. It's not bad to see how that works so you can see that warms the sky up quite a bit. Yeah, And now the key there is Teoh touch a little bit of that color, you know, into the water to, and I think that's fine. So adds a little bit of warmth to the sky. Just soften a few edges here and there. And that's good boats. I don't want to make a big deal about the boats. I'm going to use a lot of the greatest values I have already. Look at what I have. The boots start about writing here and back in this first, when the 1st 1 I think is very, very important is going to make the others believable. The next was kind of dark in the image, which I kind of like that. I think it adds some separation, which I think it needs. So I kind of go in here basically is moving around like this, something like that is good. And I see another one back there was going to switch brushes so they all look a little bit different here and next was a little bit lighter. See, this was kind of pushing to a read something you want. I'll push this one Mawr, Teoh Ah, blue Grey. And it starts roughly and here and goes down and so on something like that. Just tying that in a little bit. Yeah, I could go a heck of that light blue on my brush I could touch in and just some some other little colors here. Maybe there's a window on this one See through. And it's time that blue in a little bit here and that's good. And maybe there's Ah, you know, another boat. Um, something happening back here on. I could take a little orange, a little yellow and my graze just to mix it up. I'll put a little separation here. Maybe this one starts a little bit further back and and that's good. I'm just tying that color in a little bit. All I'm doing touching the here on good that just makes it harmonious keeps things flowing nice, and that's good. How many for me? That's all the build up I think I want for now. So basically adjusted the color of this. So I have a little bit of contrast between this building light in the sky up. I just didn't like all that blue on then gave a little bit stronger sense of light and moved to the painting. Adjusted some of the colors back here. Pushed those mawr to a grey violent, but left again some of those original layers well, and brought that color down the water. And as I added a few new colors, I just splashed him here and there to keep the painting. Keep the harmony there to keep things flowing nicely. Okay. And for buildup, that's all I need. Okay. So again we have composed we have color and then the buildup, working off those colors, adjusting that initial layer of color that we put down. And now we'll let this dry. I can start moving into the next stage 5. Light & Shadow: Welcome back. Next stage, ready for drum roll? Did it? Did it light and shadow. So the idea You know what? Whenever you introduce color than the buildup is, you don't have to get light and shadow on there too soon. Although I look at this, I mean, there's a little bit of magenta gray, more gray, violent violet grey, I guess because there's more violent than great putting down here for my boots and in different areas. I just smeared it up there. That building already has a sense of light and shadow. Now, I popped a few of these darker violence back here the last day that even has a sense of light and shadow in the background. And, you know, all of this is in shaved. Of course, this is in shade because my light source again is coming from over here in this boat too. I can work with this boat can capture some light, and I need to start thinking about how to make my subjects had that sense of light and shadow. So, um, looking at you know what I have Really? The image is important, so I can't look at my image, but because my images so graze. There's really no strong light and shadow on it. I did that purposely so you can see how I can take use my artistic license and creativity and infused light and shadow into the work. We're basically looking at what I have here on paper more than I am my image. How can I make this work? I can kind of pop that building a little bit so I can kind of come in here and it doesn't need to be too much. I don't want that to be, uh, to intense causes basically sitting in that middle ground. If I thought if I put too much, they're basically it'll, I think overpower, but And I think a little bit here is fine, though, so I can kind of you just dribble in a little bit of light their source and that that's good. I don't think it needs to be any more than that. Maybe this boat here is catching. I'm just going to mix that more to a yellow, catching a little bit of light there, And that's good. How maybe there's something happening here, you know, And maybe this boat here is catching some light, different things happening on that one. And then I've got my little rowboat or whatever this is here and now. And this one can be catching some light because it's coming from over here. It will be a little bit stronger, of course, shining down there, and that's fine. Um, and then maybe back in here, this is catching a little bit of light. That's fine. Now I can put a shadow over here on this side, but I want to be careful because I don't want this vote to be sold loud, so distracting that it becomes two prominent. The idea is to push your I and to the painting of Made This too dark to too much now feels like this is going to become too overpowering. So your eye ends up here versus coming in and just moving around the picture and appreciating the seen for what it is. This sort of pain doesn't have a strong focal point. It's just a scene, and that's fine. But you don't want you want the people you want the viewer to kind of rest and here versus getting here. They don't appreciate all of this anyway. So I'm gonna go with a little bit of violet, a little bit of Sienna, a little touch of my blue test, that it's not bad. And that's going to take the side of my brush and just drag it over the boat like so. And I think for adding shadow that that's pretty much all that need. I can kind of take that mom color, no use on this boat to and then run that down into the reflection. Maybe there's a shadow here, and that's good. Maybe there's a shadow with whatever is happening. These boats have a lot of things going on on top with the rigging and stuff, but that's pretty good. Maybe I want to 10 this building or just shaded just a smidge. Someone going to my variety in a little bit of this violent color. I have test it. I think that's pretty good. And although I don't want to leave, I don't want this to be too dark. I can kind of touched it, touch it here and there. I think that's fine. I can go ahead and start bringing that color down and to this reflection into the harbor, and that's pretty good. Maybe I could just touch a little bit of violet, a little bit of green Sienna and maybe a touch more. My green just did kind of gray it out a little bit. That's probably gonna still be too intense. Just going to throw a little gray into that tested. That's that's pretty good. And it's going drop a few of if you brush strokes in here and then that's good. I can kind of take that while I have it on my brush and, ah, just add something that could be going on over in here and again. Tying that into the darker reflections is good, and that's fine so that I think that gives it a better sense of light and shadow. It's pretty dry. I mean, they're really thin layers. I'm just going to give it a minute, and then when it's completely Dr will come back and add the final stage season 6. Details: All right, welcome back. Last stage is detail. I love saving this detail for last. I love adding that little finishing touches. And for this one, I'm dealing with boats and buildings. Appear so we can in terms of detail. What I can do is think, adding some pilots, maybe some sort of poles and different things happening here. Maybe a little buoy or little antenna, different instruments and things like that on top of the boats over here, too, add maybe. I think there is some, like some boats and things going on in the background. I can add that feeling, a couple of windows and, uh and really that that's what I'm thinking with this particular one. Now every subject is different. It has its own details. If you're dealing with a cityscape, maybe his telephone poles and different things on the car, whatever. But you'll have to decide what the details are for your subjects, and I think the more you work with this system of working in stages and saving details for last, you'll start to almost see your subjects differently. Go well. You know what I can say that that that's a detail to me. and may not be to somebody else again. We're all different, Okay? I'll expect everybody to paint the same on details really are. It's easy to overdo. Um, so it's so easy to put so much detail in a painting that it doesn't flow. Like for me. You can see I'm very choppy, very loose with my art. And so for me, if I add a tremendous amount of detail, would it make sense? Wouldn't it's not cohesive to my style. So therefore, I wouldn't want to add a tremendous found detail. So for me, detail is just simply adding a head of field indicating and where, Like if you're a very detailed tight painter, Um, we're very realistic. I should say representational, then near details will be much mawr, probably extensive than someone else. Okay, so again, think about that on your own looking your subjects break them down. Maybe in the beginning, when you're working with this idea of building your paintings and stages and write, write down the things and you kill or details and then save those for this stage. I think it will start to make sense for you. Okay, Now, I'd like to Leo again. Look at my image here for inspiration because I feel like I need something now. I need to pull from what's there, and I also need to pay attention to what I have now over and here. I don't think I need a tremendous amount of detail in this building. On a certain Weber detail, I put it, I don't want to be too prominent, but maybe I can add a feeling of some windows going on something like that. It's fine. And maybe I can drop some windows down here. Maybe there's a little trim or something. Maybe there's a roof line, some sort of pitch or something happening. There is good little something below the windows there, and that's good. You know, I think for this particular seen, I wouldn't want any more than that. There's a bill, porches and different things happening. But maybe I can kind of get that feeling off. No porch or whatever going on here. And that that's fine. So now I can look at this building. Okay, Well, look what's going on here. This isn't a very foreground. I really don't want this to be much at all. I've got some windows happen in there? Maybe I can feed off that a little bit of maybe put kind of these darks that are on the inside. Maybe there's something happening here. Something in that feeling of a sign and a little maybe something going on here in the building. And maybe I can take some of my graze now on, uh, indicate some window trim, and it is just something going on here, and that's fine. Uh, now I've got my peer area. So appears a really interesting and docks. So I'm taking my green and ah, little transparent or raw sienna and push that to a more brown and this note indicate a few pilots and, uh, can this this little sense of, ah of appear happening here and thinking about perspective to running these down So I don't get caught, um, losing that perspective and that's fine. And who knows? Maybe there something here, too. That's fine. And I can pull that down into the reflections, and that's good. Too much. And it's going to smooth out some of these highlands there. That's good. Now, looking at the boats, I mean, how much detail do I need to know in these boats? Not much. So, um, a little bit of warm to this grave first and maybe even a touch of orange. But I don't want it to be to saturated, but just a feeling the air and this moat has some interesting little kind of orange trim on it. There, something like that might might work good. Next Boat has is really interesting looking kind of a greenish color again, taking my meridian, toning that down a little bit with some of these grays and whites adding that time that color in. And maybe we were just kind of use for, ah, neutral color here. So just kind of mixing up a little purple, read little blue. And what kind of run? A little bit that here and good, I can look at that background area. It's kind of interesting. It's got some. There are some boots and different things going on back here, so I just touched a few white, a little bit of white there, um, and put it some darker ones, like so it's fine. You could put a little likes heavy lying there on. I don't know that I need a lot of detail here. Maybe I want to put a little buoy or I'm buoy. But they had these little I don't know what they're called orange balls that basically separate these boats from each other. That's just a little bit too strong. Or wipe that down. And that's good. Maybe maybe it was one on this boat to It's hinting at it, tying that orange in a little bit. And it was so little orange on this brush mixing in with the whites and it's catching a little bit better light on this boat, and that's good. Um, and now I can take that and the same thing here. Just just something's happening here on these boots and again, not not too much. And then last but not least, we have something happening here, and this greens purples. Ciena's just trying to get out kind of a grayish color here, and we have a nice tall one coming down on this boat last five, and I can take a few highlights here if I want, and, uh, and it's to a little bit of drawing, maybe to pop this boat. I don't want to be too loud, because in the foreground, there and that's fine. And now, last but not least, the last little detail, I think, is taking some of these greens darker colors reds, violet, purples, anchoring. Let me grab a little bit of green amount of green on my palette, living grabs for that. So I got a little bit of green now and just mixing it in with my reds and browns over in here. And I really just anchoring these boats down a little bit, but still have a lot of red on that brush, anchoring this side that's working good, kind of run graze off in there. And now the last thing, but not least, the last detail will be taking my white with these kind of bluish colors and certainly some yellow and just adding three sparkles and the water. And I want to take that feeling right into just the sky. Just a few wisps of Hey, this, um, bluish color. And it could be some clouds and different things happening here. I just adds a little bit of sparkle here to the painting, and I think that's good. But if you work and stages, you build your paintings from composition to color to adding some meat on the bone to, um, capturing a little bit of light and then adding details. I think it gives you a good system to build on. Okay. Gives you something to kind of sink your teeth into, Say, yeah, this is how I'm going to develop this piece of art. Okay, So I think attack was all the things that are important with a successful painting and does start with the composition. I mean, you just taken image and start paying that you're missing out on a lot of opportunity to make the painting your own. To make a unique and interesting Onda put your personality into it. They also to spot those problem areas and things like that. But if you start looking at all of your images to, you'll start to take even bad images. I have a ton of I have more bad images than good by far. But I can take those bad images now that I can infuse my own sense of light and shadow and things like that and I can make them work, okay. And just possibly looking at them and tweaking them to say, Hey, this is probably won't light source to be. This is how composition to work. This is this. This could be a very, very useful image for me. I'll stop right here. My name is Robert Joyner. I loved to paint Seascapes, lobster boats, harbor scenes. I love the paint loose. All right. Thanks for watching for you the next.