You Are The Brush Magician

You Are The Brush Magician - student project

Creating Light Effects With Your Brush Is A Magical Experience.

In the late 80's I began a study of light in painting. I went to the 'old master painters' first and found that Rembrandt was my favorite 'Brush Magician". His dark and light were very effective and we still call his 'light discovery', Rembrandt Lighting.

Here was his method or formula. Keep at least 70% of the painting surface in mid-tones and dark tones using thin semi-transparent paint. Use 20% of the remaining area for body paint ( opaque, just thick enough so that you can't see through it) and the remaining 10% for fat, juicy, thick impasto paint. Impasto means thick paint that is  usually applied with a palette knife or bristle brush

My next 'light guru' was and still is a color theorist called Faber Birren.  His explanation and demonstration of 'Light Effects' is an 'art changing' experience. 

There have been others but these two were the main influences for Light Effects in my paintings.

I liked doing this project because it allowed me to focus on this idea of creating mood through the manipulation of different thicknesses of paint and use of different techniques in the application of the paint layers.

Always keep in mind Rembrandt's success formula. Transparent paint, body paint, and thick paint.

Mediums for acrylics replicate all the special and secret formulas used by the 15th to 18th-century artists. They are easy to use and make great Light Effects in your painting.

Here is one of our featured paintings before the class started. After the class, it was filled with warmth and even more lighting effects. 

One of the great techniques used by Rembrandt was glazing. He would apply upwards to 100 glazes on one picture to get the effect he wanted.

Warm Glazes invite the viewer into your picture. This is another featured painting in the class and is ready for some sky work to create even more depth.

Two years later I finished this painting with a few bold changes and many scumbles and glazes.

Here was the original 'sketch' in watercolor that was featured in the 'California Style watercolor Class'

Warm Glazes on your winter pictures make your viewer stay and look instead of shivering. I always add the Light Effect to my landscapes. Nature is all about light.

Here is the last painting that was in our class. I have set up my studio with halogen lights as they are recommended by the experts for true color. It is the long seascape that measures 2 feet by 6 feet. I always like to have a ten-year project going. Something big that I can experiment on and not worry about completing. I usually abandon them at some point and move on to another big one. 

Big paintings are great to keep for your big exhibitions which are every 10 to 20 years. Big picture /Big Time / Big Price.

Ron Mulvey✏️

Artist / Art Teacher