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byroncallas
03-06-2011, 08:09 AM
Hello Gang.

I’ve received several PM’s the last couple of weeks asking how I build paintings. I did this painting to illustrate one way I commonly work. It’s a simple painting to illustrate a typical approach.

I approach this painting pretty much the same way I would for a “real” media painting, starting with a base layer and then continually building on top of it a layer at a time in a consecutive and methodical order. The illustration of 14 steps below for this painting are pretty typical for me and I think easy to follow.

Steps 1 through 9 (the first nine images): Working on an initial idea, I use the AR bump lighting paints (glitter, oil brush and tube paint) with the pallet knife and eraser to build a textured base layer. The layer is the support form for giving various types of dimension to what will become the final painting. The select tool is helpful here for creating isolated areas for manipulating paint when building forms and texture. I’ve used the ink pen to lay bold opaque areas of color over the bump paints which will provide a base for glazing tints in the next steps. The ink pen is good for this because it reacts with the textured paint as if it is dry. It conforms to the forms for beautiful effects in both the under- and over-painting.

Step 10 (Image 10) is the first step in building the final design which was the original idea for the painting. This painting has stuck pretty close to the original idea. The ink pen is used to lay transparent “glazes” to build a color scheme that (hopefully) contributes to visual depth and interest, and that will invite visual exploration. (In other paintings many different things can be done with all the other various AR tools.)

Step 11 I begin to lay the design pattern at the bottom of the painting on top of what is already developed. I use the ink pen to start blocking out this new visual component.

By Step 12, I am using a combination of opaque and transparent applications of the ink pen to lay in the narrow, vertical straight lines one line at a time, constantly changing the pen size, aspect ratio, ink color and transparency. It might look complicated but this goes pretty fast and is a simple technique.

In Step 13 I added a new textured visual element (the textured circle) to provide a focal point that is (hopefully) a jumping off point for exploring the other visual elements of the painting. It is built with glitter, tube paint, pallet knife and eraser, glazed with the ink pen. Meanwhile I continue to refine the graphic elements at the bottom of the painting using the ink pen.

Step 14 is refinement and clean up. I used the pallet knife to somewhat reshape some of the base texture primarily around the textured circle, and to get rid of errant pixels. I used the airbrush to provide some atmosphere, lighting subtlety, and highlights at various points. It’s the final painting.

Many of my paintings have considerably more complex “builds”, but this is a typical ordering. For those who were interested I hope it provides some useful pointers. Questions or feedback just give a yell. :) Comments and feedback are welcomed.

coops
03-06-2011, 08:16 AM
WOW Byron absolutely fantastic and brilliant and ohhhhh all those good words. I love it and it is so kind of you to do a tutorial. I must, I must give it a go. Thanks again Byron:)

Alexandra
03-07-2011, 02:46 AM
Fantastic Byron!

Suha
03-07-2011, 05:01 AM
Thank you,Very impressive ;)I like it..

Sketchism71
03-07-2011, 08:56 AM
Another fantastic mind blowing painting Byron! The detailed and intuitive recipe for this is just as mind blowing... at least to me. The artistic talent and design involved in making this goes beyond a step by step and requires a keen eye for balance, color, and harmony! Thank you for the brief tutorial but more for the brief glance at how the mind of an abstractionist conducts his symphony!

MacPix
03-07-2011, 01:19 PM
Thank you for such a detailed tutorial on how you create such masterpieces!:D

byroncallas
03-07-2011, 03:49 PM
Thanks everybody for weighing in with such enthusiasm. Kind of made my Sunday evening. That you each. :):):):):)

waheednasir
03-07-2011, 07:25 PM
thats a good one and very kind of you..:).

byroncallas
03-07-2011, 09:17 PM
Waheed - thanks a bunch - very much appreciated. :):)

Lima
03-08-2011, 01:29 PM
I knew you had a sophisticated technic. A tutorial well explained with a beautiful sequence of images. Congratulations Byron.

byroncallas
03-08-2011, 07:07 PM
Thanks Oriane for recognizing there IS a method (sometimes). I don't know if it's sophisticated, but I'll lay claim that it is methodical (usually). :):):)

Caesar
03-09-2011, 01:45 AM
You're a genius, dear Byron! A most stimulating tutorial.
A fantastic procedure made of simple, retainable and easy steps driven by a quite clear idea on what how You wish to drive the observer to enter and explore the image!

byroncallas
03-09-2011, 04:11 AM
Caesar, you're a prince of praise - and your words are much appreciated. Thanks dear friend.

Lima
03-09-2011, 04:35 AM
Some words, Pete's words:

" ‘Art for art’s sake’ is a phrase that we have heard, but what does it mean? Pure form, with or without color? It serves the purpose of allowing the artist to express what is in his heart, mind and soul without beautifying a space or connecting to other images and memories. Abstract art is beyond teaching a moral lesson; it simply exists. This is abstract painting explained.

The result of the abstract painting may or may not be pretty and it may or may not reach the viewer by suggesting connections to other times and places. It will, however, stand alone as the artist’s vision and is complete in itself. Nothing can be added or take away or the piece will collapse in view of its integrity. It would then be less than perfect. Abstract art satisfies the artist and by extension, ourselves, on a visceral level. It may appear to be random strokes on a canvas, but it is not. Each stroke adorns the painting in a progressively cohesive fashion, ending in the viewer’s statement of, “I like this piece!”

And what do you do when you like something? You want it for yourself. You desire to hang the painting in your home, your office, your summer residence. You want it for others, and you give it as a gift for that special occasion to a significant other, friend or colleague. But if you’re unfamiliar with the terms of abstract art, you want to brush up on your knowledge of the subject. More than in any other artform, abstract art is about subjective, nonverbal expression, and from this definition it follows that abstract art is very personal. How do we define something so subject to individual interpretation? Perhaps the simplest way to start is by stating what it is not.


Abstract art cannot be random; in other words, shapes and splatters that lack intention or mindlessly repeated patterns do not constitute art. Abstract art must convey intention in ways outside the conventional means of line and perspective. Painting like this is difficult, as any artist can tell you, but when he is successful in creating that perfect piece, a new language of color and form will have come into being. And likewise, as any artist can tell you, the viewer may sense this new language but not perfectly define it verbally. It takes practice to speak in the language of art!"

:eek:
The power of abstraction
There are other explanations of what abstract artists set out to do, indeed every artist may have a different explanation. This is from abstract painter Harley Hahn:
With the coming of abstraction, artists had, for the first time, a powerful tool that would allow them to bypass literal perception and reach into this otherwise impenetrable world of unconscious emotion. This was possible because, the more abstract a work of art, the less preconceptions it evokes in the mind of the beholder. Kandinsky's work is striking in its ability to bypass our consciousness and stir our inner feelings.
One of the purposes of art is to allow us indirect access to our inner psyche. Great art affords a way to get in touch with the unconscious part of our existence, even if we don't realize what we are doing. In this sense, the role of the artist is to create something that, when viewed by an observer, evokes unconscious feelings and emotions.
The reason abstract art has the potential to be so powerful is that it keeps the conscious distractions to a minimum. When you look at, say, the apples and pears of Cézanne, your mental energy mostly goes to processing the images: the fruit, the plate, the table, and the background. However, when you look at "Lavender Mist", you are not distracted by meaningful images, so virtually all of your brain power is devoted to feeling. You can open yourself, let in the energy and spirit of the painting, and allow it to dance with your psyche.

Byron, your art is fantastic.

byroncallas
03-09-2011, 10:21 AM
Oriane, these are powerful and beautiful statements that certainly evoke my perspectives when we dig into this rather complicated and sometimes controversial topic. I suppose it suffices that I chime in with an enthusiastic, "On the whole, I'm aligned." I won't elaborate not knowing how to say it any better than the writers you have quoted. Where did you find these quotes? I'd love to read the source material. :)

And thank you for your continuing support and ever kind words. You know I share the same thoughts and feelings about both you and your art. You are a dear friend, outstanding artist, and one heck of a fine human being. Thanks for always rising to the occasion, always constructive exchanges, and your enormous contributions to this forum - and to me. :)