Oil painting techniques and plein air tutorial with Richard Robinson I Colour In Your Life

Oil painting techniques and plein air tutorial with Richard Robinson I Colour In Your Life


G’day viewers, my name is 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, and lots of times there’s an artist deep down inside 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) We are in the beautiful North Island of New Zealand for this show to see an amazing artist, so come along and enjoy the incredible talent that New Zealand has to offer Good day guys and welcome back to color in your life, we’re in the beautiful north Island Of New Zealand, in a wonderful place called Waipu, and with an amazingly talented man MR. Richard Robinson, Hello mate how are you? Thanks Graeme, good. Richard is a fantastic, plein air artist, and actually paints a lot of the beauty of the North Island You guys, you go down the south a lot too don’t you? -I do yea, every year And to see Richard’s work here, he really is a master of plain area artist But you originaly came from, an advertising and design background didn’t you I did yea, i made the choice at highschool, really when you get to the end of high school, and i was doing art all through then,and i thought well, do i wanna go to fine arts or do i wanna go onto advertising and graphic design, and i thought, well, the decision is really, Do i wanna eat, or do i not wanna eat, and so -It’s a bit like that isn’t it? Yea, and so i chose to eat, which did me well, and you know trying in there for 4 years and then, worked in that industry for 3 years And all the time painting in my spare time, i made a choice, after i got married to go full time painting -Mhm -And have not backed since then Absolutely, and you’ve really build, this fantastic bussines, around your unbelievable talent and we’re going to be going through this as we’re going on today but you got some amazing teaching videos incredible other books as well, so i’d say let’s get a start on what you’re going to work on today, which is, this beautiful scene looking down through the bay area and onto the ocean, and then we’ll ask some more questions as we go along and you can enlighten the people on what’s happening Okay, Sounds good -Sounds fantastic Okay Richard, what’s the first thing that you will do, when you come down here to actually start this painting Welli think it all starts with treasure haunting you know, i’m driving along, and i just find a spot It might just zoom past it in your car,but you know you see the spot, that just captures you what i’m trying do is, get back to that spot, and find what it is about that, that i love,and that’s the thing i wanna paint that’s the thing i wanna get down on this canvas So with this scene here,i’ve painted it many times before, and it is a fantastic scene, i bring a lots of people from the states, to come over to paint with me so i’m just using wallnut oil, here, and water mixable oils I changed to water mixables, couple of years ago because i build up a sensitivity, to standard oils. What i’m really looking for is the big shapes in the scene How can i fill the canvas with those big shapes, in an interesting way Now a problem that a lot of beginners face, when they come out here is That it’s so overwhelming, that i think, they’re doing all they can just to pain what they’re seeing And it’s fine, you start of that way and then move through that, and you’re moving to a place where you can then orcherstrate the painting, yourself, instead of being under the power of the scene, you become the conductor of the scene so you can move things around, and you have that artistic liscence, which i have on me here somewhere, -You’ve got the, you’ve got the liscence have ya Yea, i got that liscence couple of years ago, -That’s good So now i’m allowed to move stuff around With Plein air painting it’s quite different to studio painting Cause you got, a lot to contain with, and that’s what makes it quite difficult painting outdoors to start with Until you get a hang of it, you get you set up just how u wanted Uhm, some things like un umbrella,to help you deal with some of the issues with painting outdoors Obviously, the light’s changing all the time,so the first thing is you have to paint quite quickly you’ve got about 3 hours, Monet said he could, tell the difference, in the change in the light in a scene within 8 minutes, and so he’d have a several different paintings set up, in his garde, and paint on different paintings as the light changed, you can see the sun’s come out here, so i’m just gonna grab my umbrella because it’s quite hard to paint on a canvas, where you’ve got lighten shade Cause it makes the color look different, an umbrella is the answer to that i’m gonna shade my canvas, i took this to Hawaii with me, when i was painting in Hawaii, but it’s so windy,you don’t get to use an ubrella like this cause it’d just, take it away So the main thing i want, that i’m feeliing my canvas with shapes is variaty so it’s just a very very thin mix of wallnut oil and paint not gonna see this in the finished thing, if i used to really potent color like phthalo blue or magenta and that would start to show through in the finnish painting so i make sure i’m using color like ultramarine blue or the red or yellow ocher that’s not so , not so potent Beautiful scene, -Birds in the background, it’s fantastic Yea, all of this often cow guys pass as well, but never min we’re still in the beautiful spot That’s right -So in your journey to where you are now,what’s been major influence for you I guess if you look at the start of my career, it’s my parents, who were so encouraging, and just gave me every opportunity to following my heart -That’s fantastic, Yeah I mean if you’ve got a Mom and dad like that, it’s the best thing in the world -Yea Absolutely Such a blessing, -Yea And So i’m, trying give that to mine kids now, you know -Yes, so this is really just maping out, you’ve just said before, that you’ve got a scene that’s fairly perfect, but you can really move things around as much as you want, -Yea, so obviously, i’m zooming in here, just taking a chunk out of scene of, moved the river here, so we do get a more of an “S” curve, going like that so in the scene like this i tend to start of by mixing my darkest dark, and putting that in and then mixing my lightest light putting that in, painting in my most vibrant color, most saturated color so i know that, nothing is gonna be darker than the darkest dark, nothing is gonna be lighter than the lightest light,and nothing is gonna be more vibrant than my most vibrant color while i’m working with that darkest dark there, i’ll just, bend the color a little bit,into the greens, and tap there that in there. Okay, change brushes for my lightest light, So the brushes that you’re using, really do give you a broad strokes to be out of lighter color down reasonibly quickly so is, that intention? -That’s right yea, big part of plaining the painting is doing it well as painting quickly you know And so obviously, the bigger the brush, the faster that color’s gonna get on the canvas -Sure Brush rule that i give to my students: Pick the biggest brush that you’d normally use,and then use the next biggest brush Thing i love about using big brushes’s it gives you that opportunity to really focus on doing efficient and eloquent brush work, where you trying say with one brush stroke, what you could use smaller brush to say in 30 brush strokes So i find that very exciting, when you get a big glob of paint on there, it’s been a time to look at what you’re trying paint and think about how you can convert that into single brush stroke, -Okay, then bud, you got a very very fancy, aluminum easel there now, what is, where does it come from? Yep, this is a Saltech easel from America, i travell around the world a lot painting and i found out that the standard wooden french boxes all tend to get broken a bit in transit and i red on the website that the guy, had this on the back of his pickup truck, it fell off the truck, the pickup truck behind him, ran over it, and it was fine a little plastic bit broke off but other than that it was fine and i read that and i thought, that is the easel for me -It’s very ragged So, i got this and it’s been great, -It’s Fantastic It’s a little bit lighter than your standard french box easel, And obviously, a lot stronger, and it’s fantastic design I really recomend these, -It looks like you’re really pushing that in, that painting, it gets really battery with that spatula after a while too -It does, you find that you spend most of your time, mixing colors so when ya, when ya say you’re going painting, you’re actually really going color mixing, you spend very little time actually putting paint on the canvas -Yep And i make these instructional videos, you find that ye you get to see yourself paint, most of the times as color mixing, -You’ve got 17 videos out now, haven’t ya,? Yea That’s right -And they’re just fantastic, i mean if anybody really wants to learn how to plein air paint with somebody that’s got an amazing ability like Richard’s, the DVDs are and absolutely the way to go, These are, fantastic instructinal videos, that you can get from Richard on his website and what is your website adress again, Richard? -livepaintinglessons.com Livepaintinglessons.com -Yea, that’s for my lessons,and my paintings website is nzpainter.com that’s fantastic,so i can tell you’re using a combination of wallnut oil, and some filly dried paint, is that just an effect that you’re trying to create through there or a bit of the wash effect -Well in these early stages, i’m just trying to cover the canvas and turning the paint down is the best way to do that, -Okay Something i tell to all my students is to use the fuzzy one eye, with fuzzy one eye pirate Okay, so what i do is close this eye, and i make this,the vision in this eye go fuzzy, by focusing in the foreground like this but looking at the background this is why i got all these wrinkles here, and not on the other side, so whenever i’m looking at my scene, closing one eye, what that helps is gives you, how that helps is give you monocular vision, so suddenly, you’re not, seeing two images of the same thing and it flattens the image out for you, making your eye fuzzy just loses all that detail, so that you’re just focusing on the big shapes, and that’s what i’m trying to paint,really is what i’m seeing when i got the fuzzy one eye going, a lot of teacher will suggest squinting instead of doing the fuzzy one eye, but that just ruins your face complitely, crinkles on both sides that’s why i do, is much better, and you can swap after a couple of years, move back to that eye and it’s gonna even you out,now really,i think what happens when you’re squinting is that because you’re seeing the scene through your dark eyelashes it actually lowers all the values, it darkens everything, so if you’re trying to see a color, it’s not particulary useful if you trynna see a form, it’s a good idea for the squinting, but not so much for the color Color fuzzy one eye, form squinting all of the colors are feeling neutral, it’s nothing that’s too light and too dark, you’re just building the base -Just building the base yeah, and once i’ve got this whole thing filled in, i can see how these colors are relating to each other, and at that point, i can wipe stuff off if i need to, or apply more paint, so i don’t keep it fearly thin in the beginning stages so that if i wanna make changes later,that’s much easier the looser you start of the looser the final painting is gonna be you can always tighten up but it’s harder to loosen up once you get into the painting that’s really detailed, if you get way down the track, and you got that all detailed in, you become precious about the detail you don’t wanna loosen it up actually i was painting here one day, with a lady side by side, pretty much at this exact same spot and we stepped back 20 ft, to check out paintings out, we were at the end of the blocking stage little bit into the detail, and it was a fearly calm day like this, and out of nowhere, this little tornado came just 20 ft behind and started working it’s way toward easels so we ran, but we just didn’t make it in time, but the little tornado, put down my painting right onto the sand, left her standing there, i don’t know why it chose mine but i’m kinda glad it did, because i picked it up, and it was absolutely cover with sand, like a sand castle, and i thought well,it’s probably, probably better, cause i wasn’t very happy with it at that stage, and so i got my water bottle, and i just tipped it over the painting, and it took off all the sand, and made, just blurred all the paints together, looked fantastic i spent another ten minutes, just putting couple of details back in, and that was one of my favorite paintings i’ve ever done, -That’s fantastic,a happy, a really happy acident, really happy accident, so after lunch, we went up on the hill over there, and we painted another scene, and i got to the same stage in the painting, where i was feeling eeh it’s a little bit taut so i took the painting off, put it on the grass, stood on it, and flipped it over, poured my water bottle on it again, stood on it again, put it back on the easel , picket the bits of grass off, and uhm yea again, another 10-20 minutes and it was finished, and i’m very very happy with it so if you get to that point where you’re just feeling like it’s too tight, uhm do whatever it takes to loosen it up, so being plein air obviously, we’ve started and the winds picked up, you really gotta balance it up from studio work to outside, you know if it’s gonna start to rain or something like that yea, it’s a bit like, in this sorta outdoor sport, really, It’s weather depended, just like surfing,if you know, the conditions aren’t right then you often don’t bother going out, -Yea But there are so many great things goin for plein air painting, wherever i go and do workshops i really feel like it and i’m best at it for plein air painting, -yea Because i’m introducing people to it And uhm just, i mean it is really hot and it’s really horrible sometimes, especially to start with especially on a day like this, where it starts out beautiful, there’s this whole world in front of you opens up, and then closes in -Yea But the great thing about plein air, is that you got all of this material, to work with and it’s just telling you, and it’s giving you these clues to beauty the whole time,see when you take a photo you,as soon as you click that shutter, you’ve lost all of that, all right? all you’ve got left, is what you’ve captured there so, out here i can pick and choose stuff from all around here, to put into this scene and it just makes the whole painting so much richer and the whole experiance so much richer plus you meet a lot of people, as soon as you set up an easel, it’s like an ivitation for the people to come along and chat to you, -Do you sell a lot of work by doing that too? Yea, yea, a lot of people, come along and buy of the easel, especially if you’re painting something that’s local or you know like i painted the scene with a guy’s yacht in it, and he was on it cleaning it, spotted me and he came around and at the end ended up buying a painting, it’s great, it’s great -Fantastic -Yea, how although the lights are changing all the time, which is making it really difficult to paint outdoors Uhm, it’s also a blessing because it changes the scene in fron of you, and it gives you different opportunities, you might get elements to the scene like people or boats that really finish the scene off, often you just wanna say ooh, can you just stand there, and ill, you know, it’ll only take me a second But they usually won’t, so you gotta take a photo, have your camera ready -yea And take that photo just be aware that stuff like that might happen,and it’s surprising how often it does happen, and it just finishes the scene off for you,it’s what i’m doing her with this blue it’s sort of preparing the way for the little sky holes, in this tree, and for the light that’s pushing around the edge of the tree here, i call that the infused light effect i’ve got a little free video on that on the website , so here, the light’s coming from over here i’m gonna need that strong, cast shadow from the Podocarpaceae tree. -Yea Now one thing that i keep telling my students, is that the more time you spend looking at that scene, rather than looking at your painting, the better your painting is gonna end up but it does come to a point, where you’ve got to just look at this painting and asking the painting “What do you need?”And it can look a little bit strange talking to your painting, so just watch out there’s nobody else around when you do that but if you take the time to do that, often that painting will talk back to you, i mean, not, i’m not hearing voices, but, it,you can really build a relationship with the painting,and it’ll tell you what it needs, for it to be finished alright Richard, i’m gonna let you work on this man cause you’re full stand ahead right now Great, thank you What about workshops with Richard Robinson, if people all around the world would like to get in touch, you do workshops with ’em Yea, uh, this year i did, a workshop in italy and canada, and in two days i’ll be heading over to Perth to take workshop there but that’s it for this year, next year Spain, Alaska, Canada too and California and Hawaii And New Zealand, what i tend to do is just let people organize them for me, like art group all around the world they’d just contact me and say: “Hey we have bunch of people, will you come over and teach us?” -Cool, so as an artist you’ve stepping back before, stepping up, putting your hand up, squniting your eyes IT’s all part and parcel of getting the composition right -Yea,it’s all part of it, so when i’m blocking things off, i’m just thinking well can the painting do without that, or could i change that, could i make that darker, can i simplify it, can i add something so at this point i’m really, not looking at the scene very much for the inspiration, now i’m really talking to the painting having that conversation i was talking about,asking it what it needs so these are many senses, of draft paintings, for larger paintings,aren’t they They are, yea, i mean they can stand by themselfs, as finish works, but often i’d take them back to the studio and do a larger painting from these And ye, can do with a bit more work, but it’s getting so cold out here, i’ll probably finish this back off in the studio -That’s a great idea pal Okay guys another fabulous day with a wonderfuly talented man, Richard, -thank you Thank you so much for having us, one of the great plein air artists of the world, and if you want to do some workshops with Richard and you’ve got a ton of DVDs, haven’t ya, Fantastic now, what are the details for the workshops All my lessons are on livepaintinglessons.com, and you can see all my paintings on nzpainter.com And it’s marvelous stuff, and also he has number of books out as well, This is just fantastic and amazingly, talented man, and literally one of the best, pleinairtators in New Zealand if not the world, just amazing stuff you can also come to colorinyourlife.com.au see a lot more stuff in there, __richard’s work as well, which will be fantastic And obviously on facebook as well at color in your life, so, until we meet again, and a bit of a cold day today, but a fantastic location down here in Waipu, but until we meet again guys, remember, put some color in your life, and we’ll se you next time Bye now! -See ya.

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