Carder work flow

Could someone please list a simplified Carder work flow, please? Such as:
1. Draw and mix
2. Cover canvas with paint
3. Fix values and colors
4. ?
5. ??



  • walkowalko -
    edited June 24
    Desertsky said:
    Could someone please list a simplified Carder work flow, please? Such as:
    1. Draw and mix
    2. Cover canvas with paint
    3. Fix values and colors
    4. ?
    5. ??

    1) You draw shapes
    2) You mix the paint on the palette to to correct values
    3) You then apply the paint to its place.

    As KingstonFineArt wrote you:  Draw > Mix > Paint.

  • Guys, thanks but that is not what I am looking for.

    I have watched many of Mr. Carder's lessons, and he refers to workflow several times.  It seems, from the context, that he was talking about several aspects in more detail than just DMP.  In one, he mentions the workflows of "cover canvas with paint, and use the color checker,"  and " fix values and colors." He mentions 4 distinct workflows.

    So, for you advocates of Mark Carder's methods, what are they?  It is more than just draw, mix, and  paint. 
  • It's not easy to give a simple list describing the DMP workflow. It’s certainly more than just  “draw, mix, paint”, which tells us virtually nothing about the workflow in each of these three activities.

     Even before we think about drawing there is a lot to consider. First Mark stretches canvas and he explains how to do that. Then there’s composition to consider which he also deals with. Eventually we get to drawing.  But there’s a lot involved in Marks instructions to the beginner about drawing: there’s his magic line, how to use proportional dividers and much, much more. And this is all before we’ve even made a mark with the pencil. And I could go on and on breaking down the “mix” and the “paint” stages. But to cover the entire workflow from conception and preparation to finished painting I’d need about 3 densely typed A4 pages. So whilst “Draw, Mix Paint” is a catchy sound bite it doesn’t really tell us much. If anyone can come up with a compact description of the workflow from conception to completion I'd love to read it. 
  • If anyone can give information on the for Carder workflows, I - any perhaps others - would be grateful. 

    As have most painters, I have routinized my work processes. A few years ago, I decided to improve my design and composition process, and spent about 1500 hours on it. An obvious-after-the-fact point was that the same criteria used to design something could be used to evaluate it later on. I was hoping to improve this with Mr. Carder's workflows.
  • @tassieguy and @heartofengland - thanks! Very helpful. I think I am going to have to watch all the videos again. (Fortunately, I really like Mr. Carder's presentation style: clear, no distraction sound or visual effects, well-modulated voice.)

    I suspect that what I am looking for is in steps 5 - 9 which heartofengland gave. Also, I was too anchored in Mr. Carder's comment about the four workflows; I now think that these are just subtasks in the grand scheme of things. 

    What I spent so much time on was partially addressed in steps 2, 4, 5, and 6. 
  • CBGCBG -
    edited June 25
    A few more to add after canvas is covered, you can figure out the order in a work flow:

    look for major differences to fix
    - adjust colors 
    - bump edges

    add smaller details and highlights

    check for minor differences to fix
    -look at all features, which is more subtle mine or reality, knock back anything which is artificially less subtle in the painting down to a level as subtle as in reality (really this should be done all throughout the painting process, to the extent it can be)
    -final minor adjustment of colors or forms


    I would add edge control and compositional adjustment (brightness and saturation), which are not really part of Mark's method, but Ian Roberts has much to say about those subjects.

  • *assuming you have already made a perfect drawing*
    Mix black.
    1.  Find 1 color group in the reference.  Mix the darkest color in that group.  Adjust the tone and keep the value the same.  (Takes checking).  Move up a "step" in lightness. Steps too big mean fewer values in your painting.  Steps too small means a headache and throwing brushes across the room. Adjust tone, keep value.  Keep going up a step, checking every time.  It helps to look at it through the greyscale setting of an iPhone camera.

    2.  You can either paint with the group you just mixed, or mix multiple color groups and then paint all at once.  Find what amount of groups you prefer to mix before painting.  You most likely will not want to mix every single group and then paint them all.

    3.  In painting out the first color group onto your canvas:  Start with the darkest of the group and color check the reference to find every spot-- in that same color group on the reference-- that the darkest color exists.  How wide and how deep does it go?  Paint it.  Continue with the next darkest, check where it goes, and so on.

    4.  Repeat for all your color groups.  

    5.  Once the canvas is covered, you can start painting.  Goes to where @CBG says about comparing painting with reference and finding the first difference (value, edge, etc) and fixing it.  Keep fixing the differences one at a time.  This will not generally be a quick touch-up session, more likely it should be quite a bit of work.  

    It is very important to step back from your work, go walk around, come back, etc. and see it with fresh eyes.  That will help you distinguish more easily the differences that need to be fixed, or if you applied the paint correctly in the first place.  

    I hope this helps you.  Personally, I do the application process (#3 in my list) a whole lot differently, and sometimes differently every painting.  Especially for objects such as complex fabric, the method Mark shared is very difficult to maintain quality.  If you're interested in other ways I've gone about it feel free to ask. 

    For all my words I can expound, I'm pretty bad at painting. :)

  • @allforChrist - very helpful. Thanks! Your sequence indicates to me that the painting workflow of Mr. Carder is based mainly on values within color groups. I thought this was the case but wasn't sure before you posted your detailed response. 

    I work out colors and color harmonies on a separate small piece of oil paper before I start putting paint on the actual painting. This means also the value and saturation aspects. If I mess this up on the actual painting, then it is a lot of work to correct. Sometimes i don't bother with correcting but just throw out the painting.

    The aspects of painting which I have wanted to improve the past few years have been design and composition of landscapes. Mr. Carder's main emphases, from the videos, have been on the actual mechanics of paint application and how to ensure that your painting matches the actual object - still life, photograph, landscape, etc. 

    So far, the Carder methods which have most helped me have been on studio and light management, and the color checker. 

    @CBG - thank you. I also have found Ian Roberts very helpful. I have created my own design and composition points checklist which I use to work out problems before starting the painting. It seems Mr. Carder does not use thumbnail sketches or color harmonies before painting. Or maybe they are in a video I haven't watched yet   :smile:  
  • I agree, @tassieguy.  Mark gave us everything we needed to train.
  • @tassieguy to confirm what you're saying, you're expressing that one needs to actually practice what Mark has laid out, many times, and then the 'workflow' is really not the point any more. Let me know if this is along the lines of what you're saying. :)
  • Yes, that's what I'm saying, @allforChrist.  You put it much more succinctly than me.  :)
  • @tassieguy - thanks for the additional observations. For my personal art making, and perhaps from that of my former art students, I would say that workflow does matter. For example, don't lay in saturated color before you have the value scheme thought out.

    Some workflows are better than others. Mr. Carder's is very good, but the gaps in it are in the composition and design areas. Once the strong and weak points of an (any) approach are identified, then adjustments can be made.

    I will watch at least some of Mr. Carder's videos again, now that I have the thoughtful observations of this thread to guide me. 

    THANKS everyone for the observations - very useful and some real surprises in them. :smile:
  • @Desertsky

    I would advise putting into practice the DMP method as soon as possible for several paintings.  

    Everything will fall into place.  Just start. :)
  • @Desertsky

    Mark's weak points are in presenting justification for drawing and composition decisions. His still life set ups are complete. He does not explain how he got there. He also gives short shrift to drawing skills. He can draw so he expects others can also. At least that's my assumption. But that was and is the attitude in art schools. I give him a pass on that. His approach to drawing and composition are all too common. 
    I give him a pass because I can draw I guess. And composition comes naturally to me. Because the Draw. Mix. Paint. Is not really a full course description I assumed that the students would get drawing and composition info on their own. His strength is in he painting technique.

    For me the discovery of Mark Carder was his discipline. The hard work. The defined path. The dedication. I hadn't painted in 5 years and was scrambling around starting oils. I was painting in limited palettes. Nice enough stuff but I was looking for color. The simple workflow or discipline he displayed helped me get back on track very quickly. I remembered what I had forgotten over my five year hiatus.

    I'm a foundation kind of artist. Old fashion composition, painting technique and especially simple color. Mark is the guy to get you started or unstuck. He has said that one you get confidence you can move on.

    Painting ones studio black seem a bit extreme. But most of his guidance is pretty good especially for those new to painting. To that point much of the inane detail and fuss about archival procedures and so on up here are distraction and possible excuse for procrastination for the less confident. 

    I disagree with some of Mark's details. But that's me. Though his simple message Draw. Mix. Paint. is powerful in it's simplicity.
  • @KingstonFineArt - what a great response. Thanks. I wasn't sure if I was missing something in Mr. Carder's workflow regarding drawing, design and composition. 
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