What Advice Would You Give Rama?

Hey Darrell, How are you? hope everything is fine. i made one painting yesterday. i would like to ask few questions.

As this is my first landscape after learning from you…i think my painting is good because of you only..but problems in making look of fog and clouds…when i draw my brushes bristles are look on canvas.. where is the fault? as i live in canada could not come to you…but i really need some sincere advise from you..should i send the brush pictures to you. i am not a good painter i know and feel upset after making this painting. you are so far from here.and i cant come to you. How i make myself as good painter.
Thanks, Rama

To make yourself a good painter, lighten up. The difference between a good painter and a student is practice.

Fill free to post your comments and give Rama your advice on his painting.

Practice, practice, practice.

You have learned a tremendous amount in just one lesson. Should you continue to practice, I’ll soon be learning from you.

Let me tell you what you have done correctly.

* Your clouds look like clouds
* Your mountains look like mountains
* Your cliffs look like clifffs
* Your trees look like trees
* Your hills look like hills
* Your tiver looks like a river
* Your rocks look like rocks.

Do you know how hard this is to accomplish with a first painting?

I don’t even show my original paintings anymore, but I suppose I should.

Here are three things you can do that greatly improve your painting.

1. Highlighting of Mountains.
When highlighting the right side of the mountain pull the paint to the right. You did this pretty well, but you’re not leaving much paint on the highlight side which makes me think perhaps when you’re holding the knife, you may be putting a finger on the knife blade. Hold the palette knife only on the metal ferrule with your thumb and forefinger. Put no pressure on the knife as you glide down the right side of each mountain. You also tend to keep the tips of the mountains dark. They should be the brightest since they’re the highest in the painting. On the left side of the mountains, especially the large center of the mountain, you’re using too much pressure and you’re pulling the knife straight down. You need to pull it to the life. Never highlight the mountain with strokes straight down. The only time I highlight straight down is when I’m doing sheer cliffs.

2. Evergreen Trees.
On the surface they look good. but when I look closely, I would suggest you use the side of your #3 Fan brush rather than the full width of the brush. Rewatch my video on this particular segment and closely observe how I’m holding my brush and touching the canvas. Play the video on slow motion to see exactly what I’m doing.

3. Hills.
Technically you did darn good when considering its your first ever painting. But when you step back and look at this photo, you can see the problem. The top of the hills are lower than the bottom of the hills. Start at the edge of the canvas and tap going grdually downward as far as you want the land to jut into the river. Do this for each finger of land. Right now there’s a strange curve where the land starts low, goes up and ends high. Study the photo of my painting against mine and see if you can also see what I’m referencing.

You did good and because you asked I’m critiquing.

You address these issues and you’ll have an even better painting.

Now a word of encouragement, don’t give up.

Practice, practice, practice.

I did a dozen paintings a week for a long, long time, just to get the fundamentals down cold. And in six months people were begging me to teach them. I wasn’t any good in my opinion, but it was their opinion that mattered.

Go back, repaint this painting and send me another photo.

I generally repainted most of my paintings 4-5 times. That really helped me to improve.