Just a painting I made...

shobhushobhu -
edited November 2012 in Post Your Paintings
Hello all,

This is a painting (yes its not a sketch) I made a while ago, using ivory black oil paint on water color paper. I didn't use Mark's way of painting but just used whatever method came naturally to me... that is I painted without thinking much. I didn't knew about Mark's method... which seems to be really much better as it is very logical and technically precise.

Umm... I'm a computer science graduate student. So thats my profession. But I love art as much as I love science... I'm 25... so hopefully there's still a lot of time and I really want to give myself a genuine chance to become the best artist I can be. I'm self taught and a beginner and never had any teacher :(... so was wondering if you all can please just take a look and give me some honest feedback... you don't have to be nice to me... just real feedback... I could really use it. I'll be really grateful... thank you so much :)


  • The eyes in all your paintings I've noticed are so captivating! I think this is a wonderful value study. It shows you have a lot of control of your brush as well. I really like your composition. I think you are a natural painter. You did things here in the values that a lot of people miss. I think it's an excellent study. :-c
  • tjs thanks for the comment... it really means a lot to me that you took some time out to look at it :) But what do you mean by "all your paintings"? I've posted only one!
    And you really made a surprising comment... I actually think I've a problem with my brush work... some people can get such smooth brush strokes... I don't know how... in fact I wanted to ask Mark if he could do a video and explain to us how to even hold a brush properly!
  • Sorry Shobhu I was comparing this painting to the one you had on video. I've only had a couple hours sleep! Sorry for the typo.

    The smooth brush strokes? What I personally see in your painting here is how you were trying to achieve a degree of shading to follow the form. It's hard at first. And without the right instruction can be almost impossible. And you did a great job here. Alot of that has to do with how you handle the brush.

    Smooth brush work is hard. If you use Mark's medium you will get that. It has a leveling effect to it and makes it easier to blend. Plus it really brings out the values and depth more than without it. It really does a lot of the work for you.

    It's like magic! I really concentrated the last several years on his method and am just starting to make it my own. Smooth is great. But it's also a matter of preference. And what I'm finding is with Mark's method including the medium? I can go from realistic or more painterly even impressionistic.

    To me that is amazing. An all in one method for any style of painter!!!!!

    (I give Mark 10 gold stars :)>-)
  • Very well done Shobhu! I agree with the remarks of TJ, your off to a strong start!
  • Okay... so Delq medium is used to achieve smooth strokes as well... nice :) you almost make it sound as if a medium is a tool and thus its important to understand what it does and how it works... so we can use it to our advantage. I never thought like that!

    Also, it makes sense that you said that "smooth" is a matter of preference... I've seen impasto paintings... and they have such thick paint and really textured surface. So I guess it depends on what we like. I like smooth... maybe because it looks very professional.

    I totally agree Mark's method is really very cool. Its more like an algorithm to paint... once its in your blood... you can almost be certain that you'll avoid a lot of mistakes. I've yet to try his method... but it looks very promising. I'm honestly quite scared to mix colors... I can never get them right.
  • Gary... thanks for your comment. But even if I'm off to a good start... I really have no clue where to go next! I was hoping if you guys can help me out.
  • Not sure what you mean Shobhu about having no clue where to go next. Follow Mark's instructions in the videos and you'll do great. You might have to wait a bit until all the videos get posted but Mark will give you everything you need to do to paint and in the order in which you need to do them. I noticed you said above that 'I'm honestly quite scared to mix colors...I can never get them right." Let me suggest that might be a place to start until all the videos are posted. You can setup a little still life like Marks shows in his video, make your color checker and practice mixing paints just he does in the video...you'll know a color is correct when the paint on the color checker matches the color on the object in the still life. It only takes a little practice and you'll get there quicker than you think. Watch the videos on how to make your shadow box for the still life, the video on setting up a still life, the video on making the color checker and the video on mixing paint.....actually you should watch all of the videos many times until you know them by heart. Take the videos I mentioned, do what Mark says to do exactly and start mixing paint. It's just paint on a surface! Take the pressure off yourself by not doing a painting at first, just practice mixing and matching paint on your little still life. You'll amaze yourself at how good you'll become by doing exactly what Mark tell us on the videos. I've been in your shoes, did what I just asked you to do and can tell you it absolutely works!! Now go for it!! There are lots of great folks on the site who have learned from Mark, use his methods and are more than willing to help answer questions and give you lots of support and encouragement! :)
  • Shobhu, I've had two art teachers - Mark and an art professor when I was in college years ago.

    They both told me the same thing. Painting is a craft. It's like refinishing furniture. You need the right tools to complete the project right. Taking this as an analogy, you are sort of 'trying to refinish a piece of fine furniture' without the right tools or knowledge on how to go about it.

    Everything about painting is a tool from the brushes, the canvas, the paints, how you mix them, the medium and even your subject matter. It's all just a tool. You have to get the right tools first - like Gary suggested. Then you have to learn to use them.

    Didn't get into my head when my art professor told that to me. But when Mark said it? Finally made sense. And they are right :)

    Do as Gary suggested and it will all fall into place.
  • I also like your painting. If you can do this kind of work now your new work, following Mark's method, will be fantastic. I find that if you use sable brushes you will get that smooth look you want. You've gotten some good advice from the others.
  • If you could do this painting which is very good because you struggled to capture the
    expression until you got right.That means that you have the patience an passion which is extremely good point so, you have it you . Just follow Mark's method by the letter and you will get better and better.Good luck .
  • Thanks for all the encouraging comments you guys... and I'm sorry for the late response.

    Gary, thank you for telling me about this wonderful idea... At first, I thought that it would waste a lot of paint (which is quite expensive)... but I guess its not a waste if I learn and if I learn quickly. It makes sense to relieve myself off the pressure of painting and just to concentrate on the color mixing. One (smart)step at a time. Though, I live in a university dorm room at present... so there isn't much space for me to have a studio and a shadow box :( But I think I can make a small box out of cardboard and use the existing fluorescent white light in the room for starters. At least I should learn to first mix the color I see! I'll give it a go after my end semester examinations in November.

    TJ, I'll do as Gary said and hopefully I learn something... you all seem very confident... so it must be a good approach :) Though one thing... you said subject matter is also a tool... How? I can understand if canvas is a tool... which seems a little strange but I can still relate to it that drawing surface, texture, etc. are essentially a tool on some level... but how is subject matter?

    Ronna, thanks for telling me about sable brushes... I didn't knew that. But as I understand it, sable brushes are natural hair brushes and its illegal in India to sell them... though I guess its not illegal to posses them! So I wonder how I'll get hold of them :(

    Valentin, thanks mate... I'll follow Mark's method. Though it requires a lot of initial preparation and some investment but I'm really impressed by its preciseness & logical nature. Though I never had a teacher... but I've learned a lot from online free resources. And there's a lot of good material out there but its very hard to find a teacher who can make art look easy, but Mark does a fabulous job! :)

  • Shobhu - your painting shows so much expression, excellent job. Follow the instructions in the videos on mixing color. You can't go wrong. I was always afraid to mix color, always making "mud". Thanks to Mark those days are gone. Donna
  • Thanks Donna. Also, you mentioned the right word... mud! thats what I end up with :D
  • Shobhu,
    I think mostly everyone expressed how fantastic this painting really is. Excellent rendering. The eyes just speech volumes. Gray tones, at its best!
  • Shobhu

    Can I answer "where do I go next'? Make yourself a colour wheel with the colours you have and make room for one tint and one tone (value). You will find the wheel to be an important guide to mixing.

  • Shobhu

    I think your portrait is wonderful - I would tone down the eye whites a bit.

    Have you seen the pencil work of Darryl Tank at fivepencilmethod.com ?

  • Thanks Cynthia, you're really sweet :)
  • Denis,

    Thanks for helping me out :) I agree that making a color wheel would be a good investment. I was wondering of making a color wheel like the one shown in this video

    But what kind of color wheel would make more sense? I mean should it me a CMY color wheel (it is supposedly more correct... check out: ) or RYB color wheel.

    And yes I've seen fivepencilmethod.com. Personally I think that Darryl Tank is really good and he has a particular style of teaching. Though I thought they market to sell their dvds and a lot of the content is not open. Also, their approach seemed quite different from mine... so I was a bit hesitant. The thing is I've taught myself sketching in a manner in which I don't treat different parts separately... e.g. when I draw I don't like to think of a nose and eyes... I just like to focus on light and dark areas and values. Its a much simpler approach for me to see this way.

  • Shobhu, I found that CMY video so interesting! He seems to have a valid point.

    Nonetheless, for our painting purposes using Mark's method, we have to follow Mark's colour wheel.

    Paint Basket's colour wheel is handy to know because it helps one understand the rules about, and the results of, mixing transparent paints, mixing opaque paints, and combining transparent & opaque paints (which can become muddy). I have seen most of PB's free webinars and have also attended &/or bought most of their weekly webinars, although I have yet to watch a lot of them, as I've been so busy with other activities.

    I also bought Darrel Tank's videos and have all the materials required, but I had to stop doing the exercises as it's a very slow process and one has to have a lot of time to perfect his style. I will go back to doing it one day. Currently I'm doing the Ani Art Academies' Language of Drawing Program with Anthony Waichulis, after I've seen the results of their graduates, ie a lot of them are, or are becoming, renowned artists in their own rights. It's very much like Mark's in a way, that is, having seen what the Carderites have successfully accomplished even as newbies, I feel inspired to drop everything else and get on with Mark's method. That's why for now, I'll just concentrate on Mark's painting method and AAA's drawing program. I'll resume with the others later on.

    All the best with your painting endeavours!
    Vangie Tyrrell
  • Vangie,

    Thanks for all the useful info. I can really use this. I just checked out Ani Art Academies website. It looks really interesting. Maybe I'll give it a go as well. And I'm going to follow Mark's videos for sure. He's definitely my top pick. Thanks again... you're awesome :)

  • Shobhu

    I was unable to view the videos you supplied. When I clicked on them they just disappeared. Anyway, you should choose the wheel that you think will be the most help for you. Something like this is sufficient: Using the three primaries Mark suggests and mix the secondaries and tertiary colours. Mixing with white for the tints and with Mark's chromatic black for the shades.

  • Denis,
    Links work for me and they did for Vangie... might be some bug. Anyways, here are the links to the videos watch?v=0Npfm37K7Fk & watch?v=jQqxN8LpGzw if you still wanna watch them. Just add http://www.youtube.com/ before them.
    Thanks for the color wheel. I see it is RYB as Mark usually use. I wonder what would he have to say about CMY color system :-?
  • Mark_CarderMark_Carder admin
    edited October 2012
    I recommend using only the color wheel attached. The paint blobs give you an instant "what have I got to mix with" visual, which I think really helps with understanding paint and color mixing. This is all you need, with just the basic rules, everything else is observation. The best way to learn about what natural color is is by copying the colors as you see them before you.

    If you complicate the color wheel too much you got distracted from the beautiful simplicity of it all. Color mixing really is easy :-)
  • Oh, by the way shobhu, I love the black and white face!!! :-) Really nice!!!
  • Mark,

    I do like the idea to keep things simple. I think I was committing a beginner's mistake of over-thinking by looking at too much info at the beginning rather than just getting started easy and simple at first. Its really easy to lose motivation and energy for me if I get caught up in complexities at an early stage. Then it would take me a lot of time to get back to the same level of motivation as before... which I eventually will because I want to do this... but it would cost me a lot of time and energy. Its much better to have a simple but solid understanding first. Thanks a lot... you really helped :)

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