Friday, April 1, 2011


Just a short post this time, I'm afraid.  I've been painting for the past seventy-two hours straight, and I'm possibly just a little hyped up on inspiration and caffeine to say much that's coherent, except that I've finally discovered a way to brighten the lights in my paintings to a level I never knew existed.  You know, as a landscape painter, I'm always trying to show the effects of the sun in the most realistic way possible.  Usually that is done by subduing the value scheme to make the high-lights seem brighter.  But that really is less than a true representation of the way light really works, and can I honestly say I've captured Nature, when all I've really done is trick up the shadows?

As some of you may know, I'm a self taught kind of guy, and I've spent thirty years studying and struggling to make a decent painting.  The struggle is the easy part.  The studying is what takes forever.  How do you study what you don't know you might need too learn?  But recently I picked up an art how-to book in a little bookshop in King, Maine that dealt exclusively with light.  All I really needed to do was follow the instructions on reverse-spectrum color composition. 

Since I started the method  (which is simply applying the principles of wave-length variations vs oscillation principles), I've actually had to wear sunglasses as I paint!  Its that bright.  Of course, I've had to change the lighting in the studio, because of the light shining out from the canvas, but that's a minor thing.  Twice, I've had birds swoop down and actually try to fly into the picture!  Geez, that was funny.  I brought the picture into my house, but I don't think I can keep it in here because it lights up the entire room and distracts my beautiful partner Ellen as she tries to watch that show about flash mobs.  And besides, she doesn't like my paintings anyway.

I guess it wouldn't be fair for me to keep this kind of painting tip to myself, and not share it with others.  I'll try to keep it simple:  As we all know, all the colors in the spectrum combine to make white light.  The very same light that shines every day from the sun.  But not at night somehow.  Anyway, simply combine all the colors you have in your studio, and then reverse the process by taking them away one at a time.  What is left is a bright color of such intensity, it makes all the other colors look dull and dreary.  I caution you to use this color of light sparingly where it is needed most in your painting.  Overuse can lead to overexposure.  It's that simple.  So take my word for it, it's the greatest tip I've ever learned about painting!

You don't think I'd fool you about this, do you? 



Virginia Floyd said...

Darn it, Kevin! You had me eagerly reading to get to the secret!

Susan Roux said...

Poisson d'avril!

You caught me when you said Ellen didn't like your art. Or maybe when I found myself standing in such a pile of BS... Are you painting snow today?

Stephanie Berry said...

Wow--you're a genius! You'll have your own tv show before you know it!