Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

You can send an email to [email protected] if you have questions about how to use this forum.

WIP School

edited July 2017 in Post Your Paintings
Hi everyone,
this will be my first DMP painting! I know it is not going to look like reality because half of it's sepia, but I'd like to make the painting look as close to the image as possible. I have viewed all of Mark's videos. I'd have preferred to practice on a still life first, but do not have time and this needs to be done! It is a "now and then" picture: the image of the old school has been photoshopped into the "now" landscape. I have stained the 39x58 centimetre canvas and penciled in most of the image. I am wondering how to paint the building? If you zoom up close onto the building you notice that there are these tiny fuzzy bumps on the building, probably because of the poor image quality and/or the texture of the building. It is not just one colour as it would seem. See image below:

Are there any suggestions on how to paint/ mix colour for that kind of texture using Mark's method? 



  • Hi, @BenMitchell.

    I think this could work even though your source material is not perfect. You could just ignore the texture on the walls of the buiilding. That would be what I'd do in this case. If there's any roughness left on your prepared canvas this might be enough to give a hint of texture. There are details in this photo that I would leave out - for example, he light coloured concrete patch on which the boy on the left is walking detracts from the focus of interest which is the boys and the school.

    I look forward to seeing this develop.
  • One way would be to paint the dominant 'matrix' colour, and then add the small 'bumps' on top. To do that I'd practice with whatever brushes you have, trying their tips, edges etc. until you get the effect you like. If you look closely you'll see the bumps are slightly lighter and are also casting their own shadows, so to make it look convincing you'll need to replicate that pattern. There is also a fair amount of camera noise, so you'll have to decide where you want some texture and where you want to ignore it (e.g. the window frame). Go slow, match your colours and values and you'll be fine.
  • edited May 2017
    This might be helpful to you for painting the building :) :

  • Thanks for your suggestions, everyone!
  • The building is far enough in the background that you probably don't even need to worry about the texture.

  • Ben

    Welcome to the Forum

    I agree this subtle texture could be scumbled on with a slightly darker value with a large dry brush technique.

    Try using a smooth wad of facial tissue on wet paint - practice first.

    Here is a gal using a rag roller on a wall to create texture. Demonstrates general principles. Scale down for a canvas.

    Take a look at this video on YouTube:


  • I use a stipple brush or an old fat brush with splayed bristles to get that effect, depending on how much area i want to cover.  I just load the very end of the brush with paint and dab it on.  Works like a charm.
  • @MikeDerby beat me to it. Stipple is easy. I agree with @JeffAllen  about the distance. Unless you are painting a canvas bigger than a square meter you don't have to worry about the texture. @tassieguy is right about the distraction created by the concrete patch. I would lose that diagonal pipe at the lower left side of the building too. The expression on the boys' faces are great. Good luck and have fun.
  • Ben,
    Nice picture. Here's how I think..If I'm doing it, I'm thinkin, maybe lose the drain grate, the thin cable and camera on the building, shorten the next taller empty flag pole, put the man in orange in the middle of the other lane and turn the road to the right as to not lead my eye out of the painting. And, fix the perspective a bit. And am I asking myself, what is that under the left boys feet? does my eye go there and wonder? 
       I say this, not to criticize, but to cause you to think about the composition for a good while. Ask yourself, why do I like this picture?  What does it look like cropped??? Paint a loose sketch on paper. Or, paint it like it is, and say, who cares? Never to late to fiddle with it. you're in charge. You have the artist license to drive this car. I agree 100%, great expression on the boys. The wall texture will take care of itself. Just paint what color you see. And, relax...:) lol it will be a nice painting, I'm sure.
  • Thanks for your great ideas, @some. Much appreciated! 
  • This is already looking fantastic :)
  • Looking great so far!
  • Great start! However, I don't know for certain if it is just the photo, but your perspective looks off just to the right on the building. That one line, front corner of building, where shadow meets light, from the middle to the bottom, it appears off in this photo. Looking forward to see this completed.
  • Looking really good, love the sky. I agree that right top of building needs to slope down a little more. If you have glass palette, wipe wet off with paper towel and use razor for dry.
  • PaulBPaulB mod

    I'm a bit hesitant to post anything on the forum because everyone here is so skilled! It goes without saying that critiques and feedback is very welcome.
    @BenMitchell please don't hesitate to post.  By posting work in progress and asking questions, we get to leverage that expertise and learn from it.  I'm certainly learning a lot that way.
  • edited June 2017
    It's looking good, @BenMitchell. My advice at this stage would be not to get too uptight about details you can hardly see. You can always add detail later. The most important thing is to get the basic forms and values right and it looks as though you are doing that. So keep at it. You'll get there. And don't be afraid to post your work. Getting feedback is very valuable and will speed your progress.  :)
  • SummerSummer -
    edited June 2017

    And other random problems:
    - how to clean a palette with dry and wet paint all over it?! Something to do with rubbing alcohol? But what is rubbing alcohol exactly and how do you use it to clean the palette?

    Welcome to the forum @BenMitchell.  There might be a residue of very thin paint left on the glass after you have removed most of the paint.  This is where the alcohol comes in handy.  I purchased mine from a drug store in the 16-oz size.  The 99% antiseptic isopropyl solution works best for me and that one plastic bottle will probably last you a lifetime.  I purchased several bags of cotton balls at the same time to prevent scratching the glass from other types of cleaning products.  I have found that the alcohol works better than turpentine or OMS solutions for this cleanup chore.  Usual protective wear and disposal are important.  Hope this helps.  Summer
  • Wow @BenMitchell you're doing a fantastic job with a very difficult building. The values are very good. It looks like the source photo is a little skewed and you are trying to get your verticals parallel to the right edge of your canvas. That's what has your perspective askew. But don't worry about that it's not so noticeable. If anyone points it out just tell them the building suffered an earthquake. Please don't hesitate to post your work. We are all learners here it's just that some of them are better "students" then others. I think you're on your way to the head of the class.
  • PaulBPaulB mod
    Summer said:

    There will be difficult dried paint on your glass palettes after you have removed the wet paint.  
    Hi @Summer, I just wanted to add that I've had luck scraping dried paint off a glass and ceramic palette with a palette knife, no solvents needed.  This is paint that is maybe two weeks old, so not completely dry.
  • SummerSummer -
    edited June 2017
    Thanks, @PaulB, I will alter my post.  After all, we're here to iron out the small stuff and get it right.  Sometime I use the palette knife and other types of scrapers--even razor blades.   :)
  • @Forgiveness, @DawnTup thanks. Yes, I need to fix the perspective. The problem is a lot of the painting is already dry. I might just wait until I've covered all of the canvas and then decide if I need to change the perspective. 
    @PaulB, thanks for comment and for solution to cleaning palette
    @Summer, thanks for taking the time to tell me this. Much appreciated!
    @BOB73@tassieguy thank you very much and good advice. Yes, I've been mostly focusing on getting the value correct. 
  • SummerSummer -
    edited June 2017
    I am wondering how to paint the building? If you zoom up close onto the building you notice that there are these tiny fuzzy bumps on the building, probably because of the poor image quality and/or the texture of the building. It is not just one colour as it would seem. See image below:

    Are there any suggestions on how to paint/ mix colour for that kind of texture using Mark's method? 

    While blocking adjacent areas with a cardboard and not touching the wet paint, I would use a selected trim roller with the right nap to get that effect.  For an area this small, I'd take the material off of the roller and use it like a paint brush--mostly dabbing rather than swiping.  Still Mark's method?  Yes, if applied using one color/value for each area.  It takes a little practice though.   :)   Summer

  • SummerSummer -
    edited June 2017
    The other thing that I would suggest is just to ignore those fine details that you have observed and just aim for the right colors and values for those areas because in the end, it won't matter when you stand back and look at the painting.  The colors and values will be correct and that is all that you need for the painting to read right.  It's understandable to want to somehow get those details in, but they won't be necessary in this situation imho and I see after I wrote this post that @tassieguy, Rob, holds the same view.  Summer
  • @Summer that sounds like a good technique thanks but I've also come to the realisation that I should ignore them.
  • Hi guys
    Here's another update. I am about to start working on the bush on the right. Seems quite tricky. Does anyone have any tips? especially @tassieguy, who seems to be the master at foliage! Thanks,

  • edited July 2017
    It depends on how much detail you want to get into, @BenMitchell. And how much detail is available in the source photo. If it is about reproducing as much as possible what is present in the photo then I would approach it a couple of square centimeters at a time. This would be an exercise in concentration and patience and require good drawing skills with the brush. Alternatively, instead of trying to reproduce every little patch of light and dark green and all the little highlights exactly as they appear in the photo you could use abstraction. By that I mean that you paint lots of little stipples of the various values/colours you see but not exactly as they appear in the photo. This will give the general effect of foliage but it can also look contrived or amateurish if you're not really good at it. For this method, have a look at Michael J Smith's videos. He's a master at it.  Finally, you might just want to suggest the foliage, in which case you could approach it much more loosely using broad brushstrokes of a few values/colours to give the impression of foliage.

    You said you wanted to make it look as close to the source image as possible. If that were my goal I'd go with the first method I mentioned.

    Hope this is helpful.


  • @tassieguy thanks so much, that is very useful. I appreciate it. I'll try the first method. 
Sign In or Register to comment.