Fine art tips on How to Paint Landscapes in Oils with Janet Knight on Colour In Your Life

Fine art tips on How to Paint Landscapes in Oils with Janet Knight on Colour In Your Life

G’day viewers! My name’s Graeme Stevenson and
I’d like to invite you to come on a journey of creativity and learning and adventure
through the series Colour In Your Life. There’s an artist in every family
throughout  the world. Lots of times there’s an artist
deep down in side all of us as well. So grab your kids,
your brothers, your sisters, your aunties, uncles, and mums and dads and come and see how some of the
best artists in Australia do what they do. (Music Plays) (GRAEME) Well g’day viewers and
welcome back to Color In Your life. We’re down in Werribee today
near Melbourne – a little chilly – wintertime exploration.
– (JANET) Yes. (GRAEME) And I’m with a delightful
lady called Janet Knight. – Welcome to the show Janet.
– (JANET) Thank you very much. (GRAEME) Wonderful to be here.
Janet has an amazing set up. She’s also a professional art teacher, apart
from being a professional artist. And she has the most magnificent studio
down here attached to her home, where she actually does workshops with
obviously a lot of the artists in the area. – (JANET) Yes.
– (GRAEME) But Janet also paints some really beautiful
natural scenes I mean I love landscapes, she has waterfalls, the way she puts them together. She uses a number of different
types of techniques to do that. But you’ve got a background
you’ve did a diploma – in fine arts from Ballarat University
– (JANET) That’s right. – (GRAEME) In 1984.
– (JANET) That’s right. (GRAEME) And from there you’ve
really had an extensive experience as far as a teacher and an artist. Can you tell me a little
about that at all? (JANET) Well before Uni
I worked in advertising, that was for a few years. And then
after that children came along and… – as they do.
– (GRAEME) as they do. (JANET) And you have to sort
of squeeze things in. But teaching just sort
of followed from that. And then I enjoyed it so much
that I kept going and kept learning, and… my studio sort of expanded, and
classes expanded and it’s all just flowed on from there. So it’s
been very, very incredible so. (GRAEME) Yeah you’ve, she’s really made
a great success out of what you’ve done. It’s very hard to sort of balance that and
juxtapose the whole thing with artists being right brained and then being
left brained, but it sounds like you’re – right in the middle of that.
– (JANET) I just try to be organised that’s all. I wouldn’t say I was very mathematical, but I’m a very organised person so yeah I just try to keep the ball
rolling, keep everything running smoothly. And it works and
everyone has a great time here and you know, I love to paint.
Yeah so I’ve got a good life. (GRAEME) Yeah and she’s won numerous
awards as well. I mean there are a number if you look around the studio, and there’s even a little shop in there where
she sells stuff as well which is just great. But you can see all the awards Janet has actually
won over the years which is pretty amazing. But we’re going to do two
landscape pieces today. And then show you guys the techniques, and she does I mean wonderful reflection,
tremendous atmosphere in these pieces. It’s sort of like that nature
that you put into it. You make these up as well. They’re
sort of like a montage of ideas, but the fact is they’re just so pure in
the sense of what natures all about, and I think you’re going to help us – see into that today.
– (JANET) I hope so, Graeme. (GRAEME) That would be great.
Okay let’s go and have a look then… (GRAEME) Okay well I can see you’ve got
some glad wrap over your palette there, and you’ve actually had these in the freezer. – (JANET) I have.
– (GRAEME) And the reason the glad wrap is there? (JANET) Well it depends on how long you’re
working on the painting for Graeme. Because working on this style of painting,
I generally 2 or 3 weeks maybe on the
one particular painting on and off. – (GRAEME) Sure.
– (JANET) So what I would do is I would wrap it in cling wrap,
keeps all the oxygen out away from the paint. And then I
would pop it in the freezer, and the freezer just keeps it in a
bit off a suspended animation. – It doesn’t actually freeze
– (GRAEME) Sure. (JANET) the pigment;
it keeps it quite loose. And I can take it straight from
the freezer, take my cling wrap off, – and away I go.
– (GRAEME) Ready to go. Another great tip from
a brilliant artist. – Alright we’ll whip that one off then.
– (JANET) Yes. (GRAEME) And you’re going
to start to put some colors down. (JANET) I do put a lot of though into
the painting before I actually start. – Sometimes it drives me crazy
– (GRAEME) Yes. (JANET) because I’ll sit
here for an hour, just studying my photo, and I won’t
have actually have started yet. – (GRAEME) Which is a point but it really is.
– (JANET) Yeah, – but it’s all worth it in the end.
– (GRAEME) Sure. (JANET) It’s worth it in the end. If you’ve had a very stressful day sometimes
I can’t even start a painting, because I need that time,
I need that time to study my photograph before I actually leap into it. Because there’s
no use in rushing it because you want the results at the end. And if you do rush into a painting you’re
not going to get those exquisite, beautiful little colors coming through,
a beautiful result at the end. So it’s very important to take your time and think
about it a lot before you start. (GRAEME) Okay you’ve got a mixture
there, your medium which is? (JANET) Yes it’s just a lot of turpentine
and a little bit linseed. Yes. I like to keep the medium nice and fluid;
I don’t like the thicker mediums. Can you see that I’m picking up
both colors at once. – (GRAEME) And then sort if just letting it
– (JANET) And putting them on, – And putting them on,
– (GRAEME) Yeah, (JANET) I can throw in a bit
more of our red gold. This is Australian Red Gold
by the way everybody. (GRAEME) So one thing I’ve noticing when
you’re actually doing this – is you’re doing this. (JANET) It’s almost like
a cross hatching. (GRAEME) Yeah with your wrist. We’re as
most people would be going like that. – (JANET) No, no.
– (GRAEME) So what you’re doing is creating the atmosphere just simply
by cross hatching as well. (JANET) That’s right, that’s right, you’re creating a little bit
of blending in the painting, yeah. (GRAEME) There’s a beautiful
piece of the bridge in Giverny. (JANET) – Oh yes. Yes.
(GRAEME) – So you actually went to (GRAEME) – Monet’s place?
(JANET) – Yes, I did. (GRAEME) It’s a bit of a
pilgrimage to that one isn’t it? (JANET) Oh it was just an amazing,
it was an amazing day for me. To be standing in Monet’s garden
was just amazing. My daughter was commenting that
I was getting a little bit too excited because it was just a garden to her, and it wasn’t just a garden
to me cause you know: – it’s Monet. It’s Monet.
(GRAEME) – It’s so iconic. (JANET) – Just Amazing.
(GRAEME) – Even Monet said his best achievement was actually not his art but his garden. (JANET) – Well there you go.
(GRAEME) – He always made that statement (GRAEME) – he said no my best work is my garden.
(JANET) – And I can relate because I’m a gardner as well so yeah, I love my garden. (GRAEME) We just saw your
beautiful garden out the back; – a glorious home as well.
(JANET) – Thank you. (GRAEME) You’ve obviously spent
a lot of time and you’re – an avid gardner.
(JANET) – Yes, yes I really enjoy my garden. Yeah. (GRAEME) You sort of see
the juxtapose between Monet and night. It’s just fabulous. (GRAEME) – Works well.
(JANET) – Well I’m trying. (GRAEME) All great pieces of work
are going to have a source of light. (GRAEME) – Where is your source of light?
(JANET) – Light’s very important in this style of painting. The painting the light especially
in a photograph like this, where we’ve got a little track
coming through the bush here. There’s a lot of light coming
down because there’s – probably a few cleared trees here.
(GRAEME) – Sure. (JANET) A little bit more light
coming down in this area. But what I do for the painting is
I exaggerate the light. It needs to be interesting for the viewer,
interesting for the buyer. Especially them – I want them to look
at my paintings and go: wow. Look at that; look at that.
Look at the depth in there. And this is what I’m trying to achieve
every time I pick up a brush. And I’ve had dozens of comments from
people saying just how relaxing they look. (GRAEME) – Sure.
(JANET) – Yeah. (GRAEME) – That’s the idea of it, hanging paintings.
(JANET) – Well it is. It is you know, and that comes back
to me, and just what I was feeling at the time when I’m painting it yeah. (GRAEME) And I was also
noticing that you use the Lucas quick drying oils as well. But you’ve got
a combination you’ve got Art Spectrum and Lucas combined. I mean Lucas
doesn’t make this Australian… – Red Gold do they?
(JANET) – No, no there’s a lot of overseas companies that don’t make the Aussie colors
and sometimes you really need to look at purchasing colors that you know,
suit you’re surroundings you know. So I basically I don’t
stick to one brand. I like to try different brands out
just to get the results that I want. So as I’m heading towards
the side of my painting you can see that I’m using
a little bit more white. So as I slowly moreover to this.
(GRAEME) – Source of light. (JANET) That’s right, so our source of
light is going to be a little bit whiter than our Naples which is the yellow one. (GRAEME) This pattern that you’re
creating just by small strokes, is this wonderful ambiance in
the background starting to build. We’re as if you’re a beginner and
you just start to slap it down, it’s not going to work for you.
You just have to take your time doing it. (JANET) And when I’m finished this
as well, when I get to the other side, I actually come back with a softer brush
than this one, and I will actually brush the lightest, lightest stroke over the top of this and that is
to soften all those strokes. We don’t want it to be too apparent, but I will just soften them all
off so that we get that beautiful out of focus effect.
And that’s what we want. (GRAEME) In creating this type
of atmosphere in the back you’re really trying to bring
the viewer into the picture. (JANET) That’s right. I’m not forcing
the viewer to sort of look into the centre. But usually when you keep the darker
colors on the exterior of your painting, it draws your eye into the centre
so there’s a real focal point into the centre of the painting. I get some great remarks
from people just saying oh what have you done with that photo?
Like you’ve just made it so special. (GRAEME) And it’s really just
for a guide for you, isn’t it? (JANET) It’s a guide. It’s just
a little bit of reference that I can turn into
something special yeah. People just love it, so I’ll take
something that’s dull and boring – and make it exciting
(GRAEME) – Spruce it up. (JANET) to look at you know. Sometimes
I don’t even like to bring out the original photo because it looks nothing
like the painting. (GRAEME) And if you look at Monet’s work I think he’s probably one
of the better examples is that there’s no great light
and no great dark, these pictures sort of just hover
in the middle of the spectrum. (GRAEME) – Nothing goes the other way.
(JANET) – And I think Monet did suggest too that his paintings are
all made up of light; that was the main thing in his paintings. It was the light and
this is why he painted with early morning light,
and then he painted with afternoon light, or when
the sun was just toppling down. And a best friend of mine
she’ll get up at 3 in the morning and go to these exotic places – just to get
the sunrise, because the colors are different at sunrise. The colors are
different through the bush. And she just picks up all these
beautiful colors in her photographs, and then she comes home and paints them. (GRAEME) Yeah it’s really the sense as
the sun comes through the atmosphere, if it’s directly above
it doesn’t have as far to go. Obviously in the Australian bush
you have eucalyptus oil and dust and everything that’s there.
Hence the mountains are blue. (JANET) – That’s right.
(GRAEME) – Because of the eucalyptus oil in the air. (JANET) We’ve got some amazing colors in our landscape, just
some amazing colors. It’s just exciting and we just need
to nurture that, and paint that, and show the world how
beautiful our country is. (GRAEME) Okay, so for the next session
here, we’ve got all the colors down, we really need to soften if off more. And
you’re going to use another brush to do that. (JANET) That’s right. What we’re trying
to do is create an out of focus look, just very soft bush look. A little bit like your out of focus
photography – that sort of thing, is kinda what I’m trying to get at. Alright so what I’ll do is, I’ll put that
little brush down that I was just using, and I’ll pick up this one.
I’ll also pick up my nice little -(GRAEME To keep it clean.
(JANET) – keep it clean cloth. And all I do is I drag my brush nice and feather like over the top. It takes a little bit, it takes
a little while to do. You’ve got to be careful that you
don’t loose a few of your highlights just. (GRAEME) – So it’s really light
(JANET) – Very, very light. (GRAEME) You’re still really using that
cross hatch method but just so slightly. (JANET) Very, very soft. Very, very soft. (GRAEME) Alright well as
you can see Janet’s just using that really fine brush, very dry
tool, it’s a dry brush technique, just to finish this off. But you can
see the wonderful atmosphere that’s being created in
the background there. So obviously one of the techniques
we are doing today – but that looks sensational my dear.
(JANET) – Thank you very much Graeme. You can see that I’ve
left this area open because we do have a little track
that runs through the bush here. So I’ve left this area open so we can play with it later on.
We can put trees over the top, we can just create our wonderful little painting just how we want it too be. (GRAEME) Great atmosphere. Alright
we’re going to do some reflections now, so let’s move onto the next one… (GRAEME) Okay well as you can
see we’ve put the next piece up: a lovely long painting. And you’re going to be teaching us how
to do reflections on the water this time. (JANET) – That’s right.
(GRAEME) – Alright lets make a start on that. (JANET) Okay well before I start I actually
look at what’s going on in the painting. I have some light penetrating down here,
this is actually almost like a bit of a wall going on here, because we do
have a waterfall to put in. When I think of a reflection in water
I’m thinking of a mirror. I always think of a mirror first,
because what does a mirror do? It reflects all those other colors that
are around and that’s what we see. So I think I look at reflections as a mirror of all those
other colors that are happening. Okay I’ll just start by picking up
a few of the colors, and we’re coming up to
a few little rocks here. But we won’t necessarily
paint them in yet. I leave those for after; I try to create little areas
of color in the water. So when I do blend them together at the end, they work
really nicely together. (GRAEME) I suppose as you were
saying before, is that sometimes you’ve just go to sit and study your subject
matter before you even make a move sometimes. (JANET) – That’s right.That’s right.
(GRAEME) – Just watch the water. (JANET) And I’m still using
my two favourite colors: my Ultramarine and
my Australian Red Gold. (GRAEME) It’s amazing the variety
that you actually get with those, – just two colors.
(JANET) – Yeah. It’s a bit hard to see what’s
going on at the moment because all we have
is light areas of color. (GRAEME) You’re not referencing the photos
at the moment, so this is all coming from – the imagination area.
(JANET) – That’s right. (GRAEME) – Yeah.
(JANET) – Definitely. That’s why a lot of thought process has to
really go in to it before you actually start. Because in your head you know
how you want it to finish up. You know how you want it
to look when it’s finished. It’s just getting that on the canvas. (GRAEME) Watching Janet work
there’s a sense of patience that’s involved in doing this;
there’s a deliberate stroke. Okay well we’ve finished the
reflection, or that particular area. And you’re going to put some
of the logs and rocks in for us. (JANET) – That’s right. That’s right yep.
(GRAEME) – Okay. Excellent. (JANET) Let’s go. I’ve made a color
here; it’s a bit of a mix between browns and greens
and those type of colors to represent that piece of timber here. So what I’m going to to do is just
try and replicate that again in the water. So once I’ve finished putting
in a few little marks, I don’t have to put everything in,
just a few little marks in here. Once I’ve finished doing that, then we
do drag it with the brush again. So we soften the whole
thing at the end anyway. So it’s not a really strong image,
it’s just a very, very soft one. Sometimes I need to enhance
the moss a little bit in the water, just so it stands out against the dark. Some of the grasses are also in
the water, as we play around with little things touching the water. Well that’s probably going to explain
how our reflection are done so. (GRAEME) Excellent. Alright so
we’ve got another piece that’s almost finished, and this ones
really going to be about putting the final touches in to really snap the painting. So we’ll take this
one away and get on to the next one. (JANET) Wonderful. (GRAEME) Okay well as you can see
we’ve got our third piece up and Janet is going to take us through the
finer details of finishing off one of her pieces. So where do we go from here? (JANET) Okay well this one is
almost finished. It’s just got a few little tickles to do. So what I’ll do now is I’m working
with a little Rigger brush here. (GRAEME) You’ve still really got the same
palette there haven’t you? (JANET) Same palette, same colors,
on all 3 paintings today. (GRAEME) So you’re just putting
in the backbone of the planet? (JANET) Just putting in
the backbone, just the shape. (GRAEME) And the thing about them, even
going through with what Janet’s doing today, is that she is a really proficient
teacher in all of the mediums. It’s not just a matter
of oils, she teaches watercolors, pastels, acrylics. You actually work with nursing
homes as well don’t you? (JANET) I do. Yes I do art therapy.
Yeah art therapy. (GRAEME) Just teaching art therapy
which I think is just wonderful. It’s such a great way to bring
the better part of people out. (JANET) Oh absolutely. We just have a ball together. Talking about art therapy, I actually saw
one of your programs Graeme where, I think the lady’s name was Tracy. And I was a little bit inspired by
what she had done on her paintings, like her preliminary, her preliminary. Setting up the canvas, throwing
on a whole lot of colors, working with cling wrap,
or glad wrap and then producing these amazing little – color masterpieces.
(GRAEME) – Yeah. (JANET) And so I took that idea to the nursing home, and we did
that the following week and the residence were just in aware about what we were going to do,
and how we were going to do it. And as soon as they were ready, it was all hands on deck. And they played with the canvas and just
had the most amazing time. And I got my camera out
and took lots of photos and yeah, they were all, so many smiles and it was just a fantastic afternoon. So I want to thank you for you know, having
that on your program because it was, we just had a wonderful day together. (GRAEME) It’s funny you say that,
but Janet’s doing exactly the same and that’s inspiring people to get the best out of themselves. And
then to explore themselves, that’s what right brained creativity
can do. If you’re in a bit of a slump and you’re not sure how the world’s
working for you, this is a great way to (JANET) – Absolutely.
(GRAEME) – reach, – to reach inside and found out who you are.
(JANET) – Absolutely, and you know, the same with music as well.
Music and art – and art therapy, they all go together.
(GRAEME) – Yeah, yeah. (JANET) Be careful not to create too many
soldiers standing in a row with these bubbles, it all has to look very natural. And once the painting is finished,
or you think it’s almost finished, I generally will let it sit for a couple
of days. And then I will study it, even before I sign it. So I will just keep
looking at the painting, can I improve it? What else
can I add to it to create interest? (GRAEME) It talks to you in the
end anyway doesn’t it? (JANET) It does. It does, and I think
that it’s just that little bit of time and patience and energy
that you put into the last minute details is very important. (GRAEME) Alright, well another
fascinating day; thank you so much – for having us in your studio.
(JANET) – You’re very welcome. (GRAEME) One wonderful,
wonderful day and the Australian bush and Australian nature
is amazing and you portray it so well. And some of these scenes just literally
you can see yourself melting into nature. That’s a very special quality that you have
to be able to create things like that. So thank you so much for being on
the show and obviously showing all the people out there what you do.
Now remember, as I said before, is that Janet is a highly
skilled teacher. She’s been doing this for a long time. Has a lot of really successful students,
successful workshops, works with a whole bunch
of different groups as well, which changes other people’s
lives which is just wonderful. So if you would like to talk
to Janet about her originals, which I think are just fantastic
by under any circumstances, or her workshops, you can go to… (JANET) (GRAEME) And obviously
that’s a – k n i g h t, on the bottom of the screen
right now as you can see. But we’re going to head north again, it’s been
great been great being down in Melbourne. As I said, any of the
people down in Melbourne, come and see this lady. You’ll have
an unbelievably great time with her. We have great people coming
on board these days, lots of amazing artists, I mean the talent
is just incredible. And as you said, there’s so many things you’ve been
able to take out of this to pass on – as a legacy.
(JANET) – Yeah, absolutely. (GRAEME) – to other people.
(JANET) – Absolutely, yeah. It’s been really fun. (GRAEME) Yeah and we just
love doing it we really do. But yeah, Facebook page – go in and sign up on Facebook with us. We’ve got 1000’s of people
in there these days. And also our website, you can see
Janet’s work in there as well at To all our sponsors always,
thank you so much. But as always, until we meet again: make sure you
Put Some Color in your Life. I’ll see you next time guys. Bye now.


  • jazzmanzoot says:

    Loved it. I Love detail. And this Lady, knows her stuff. Thank you.

  • KweenBee37 says:

    This lady does know her stuff, I was a student of Janet's for a year. She is a wonderful artist and a lovely lady. Great to see her on Colour in your Life.

  • Patrick Dooley says:

    Thanks Graeme for all you do for us….I am a professional artist with over 40 years in the business and as you know no matter how long you've been an artist we are always students….I have learned a lot by watching your videos.

  • Therese Mackay says:

    Beautiful paintings, lovely lady and a good teacher

  • Inside The Jeremy Kyle Show says:

    And yet, only a couple of weeks ago, you called Jo Frederiks, his partner – a fool who didn't have the smarts to source her supplies from non-animal sources! You fool.

  • Keith Atkinson says:

    when i win the lottery i would love to get Janet to come to Dannevirke in N.Z to inspire our painters.

  • Russell Knight says:

    This is my Beautiful Beautiful wife I am so proud, Janet is a great artist and teacher but above all a she has a beautiful soul. Love her heaps. Thanks to all for the great comments they are much appreciated.  

  • Maysoon AlDooriaines says:

    Very creative and informative. Many thanks

  • Maysoon AlDooriaines says:

    Very distinct style of painting , I loved watching you. Many thanks.

  • Paula Decker Haynes says:

    I have watched this and the second time Janet did Put Some Color in your Life and have learned so much. I love her spirit and her works are gorgeous. Thanks Graeme and Janet.

  • Maysoon AlDooriaines says:

    Watched it again and found it illuminating and Inspiring. Many many thanks.

  • Jean Milhollin says:

    You are so graceful ,your beautiful painting reflect the love you have for your paintings God bless you

  • Tom Acosta says:

    Graeme, stop making her talk to you so much. I want to watch her paint, not talk!!! By the way, I love your show!!! Thanks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *