Oil painting techniques and tutorial with Bryan Mark Taylor I Colour In Your Life

Oil painting techniques and tutorial with Bryan Mark Taylor I 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 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 do what they do. (Music Plays) (Graeme) Okay, folks well we are in Utah, for this particular filming in a little place called Alpine, in Utah, and with one of America’s finest plein air artists, Mister Bryan Mark Taylor. Welcome to the show, bud. How are you? (Byran) Thank you. (Graeme) Bryan is one of the leading plein air artists in the country. He’s also an inventor, a lecturer, an entrepreneur. He’s done some quite amazing things. World traveler without a doubt – goes to Quebec, China, Italy, Sylvania, I mean you’ve just been just about everywhere haven’t you? (Byran) Yeah, absolutely. (Graeme) And literally, I mean just a fantastic lifestyle, he’s a father of four beautiful kids, a lovely wife Hayle. I mean you guys literally jet around the world doing this don’t you? (Byran) Yeah, we had a lot of fun. (Graeme) So how did it, how did it all come about? I mean you sort of, you’re forty years of age now, and you’ve been painting for twenty, so you must have just done this as you left college or something? (Byran) Well yeah, I’ve been lucky to like right from the let go, being able to start making a living doing it. Although when I finished grad school I did do some teaching at the Academy of At University, (Graeme) Yeah. (Byran) and in San Fransisco, which is a great school. And I made a lot of nice connections there. And also, I love California and the outdoor, the outdoors are so great there, that’s a place where I could go and learn plein air painting. And that’s something that I do to this day, is I go outdoors and capture scenes on location, capturing the light, and the colour that I see wherever I go. (Graeme) Great lifestyle and you’ve got a Bachelor of Arts Degree and also, a Masters Degree in Fine Arts. (Byran) I do, yeah. (Graeme) You’re just showing off. That’s fantastic. But today we’re going to be painting one of the scenes that you look of last time you were in China. (Byran) That’s right. (Graeme) Where about was this? (Byran) So I, we actually took the whole family to Beijing, and it was just a really neat experience to take the kids there, but also for me, I like to travel around the world and go to places that are really changing. I call them… what I’m looking for is what I call vanishing landscapes. And that’s what I like to capture those places that won’t be around much longer. Definitely not when my kids are my age. (Graeme) Yeah, you’re going to have a fantastic day today. This young man is a brilliant workshop teacher as well, been around the world and done some amazing things. So I’m going to get out of shot and I want you to take over. (Byran) Lets do it, (Graeme) Okay, (Byran) lets do it. (Graeme) okay. (Graeme) Okay, Byran, before we start part of the situation of you being an inventor, is the fact that in conjunction with Strada, you actually invented the plein air easel that you’ve got right there now. (Byran) That’s right. (Graeme) Tell us about that? (Byran) So I’ve been plein air painting for a very long time, and I have since I was about seventeen I’ve been out plein air painting. And so I’m forty now, so it’s been quite a few years. About fifteen years ago I went to Italy, and I had you know, a wood easel which is kind of the traditional thing to have these wood easels that have been around since you know, the time of Monet, the original impressionist. And the thing is that technology hasn’t changed a whole lot but our lifestyle has, we like to jump on, hop on and off aeroplanes and things like that. And so the wood easels I had kind of broke apart while I was in Europe, and I’m like what am I going to do about this cause I was you know, I went to kind of a small little town, and basically I wanted to make something that was indestructible. Something that I could time in, in and out, I could just go to the place and not worry about my equipment. And so that’s kind of how the Strada easel was born. And we have, there’s two different models, we have the, this is the Mark Two, and then we have a series of the original Strada’s, there’s four different sizes for, depending on what you like to do. You know, if you’re going backpacking out in the wilderness, you want a small or a lighter even, you know, something compact and light. But if you want to go just painting out of your car, you’re going to do something a lot bigger. And it’s easy to see how this whole thing has grown. I originally I just designed it for myself, but now it’s been used world world wide. And you know, it’s fun to see pictures of people in places like the North Pole, and all the way to Easter Island, Australia, China, everywhere, and it’s just fun to see that. (Graeme) That’s pretty cool. Well done, congratulations on that. But we’re going to paint a scene today of one of your trips to China. (Byran) Correct. (Graeme) And you’ve already got a mock up that you’ve started already, and using your computer as well. I mean you sort of use science plus the tradition methods also. And what’s the type of board that you’re using there? (Byran) So I’m using a very smooth gessoed panel. (Graeme) Aha. (Byran) And I really like a really smooth surface, cause as you will see it will, it will allow all kinds of different textures and things to accrue. So I’m using Gamblin Paint here. I really like their company in Portland, Oregon. So let me just go over the palette. What I have today is a Cad Lemon, Indian Yellow, I have Vermilion, and a Cad Red Light, Alizarin Crimson, Burnt Sennia, Dioxazine Violet, Radiant Violet, Ultramarine Blue, Phthalo Blue, Viridian, Van Dyke Brown and Portland Grey. So some of these colours I consider essential like the primaries, the warm and cool of each of the primaries. That’s I think those are essential. But the other key colours I would call convince colours, and what these are, are colours that allow me to get mixes quicker, so that I’m not spending all that time mixing those paints. So that’s why I have those on there. I can definitely mix you know, a grey or a Van Dyke Brown, but you know, it’s just faster that way. It’s really important to have lots of paper towels, and that’s one thing that’s really important to me, is to have a clean brush. So I’ll be cleaning frequently, I’ll probably, maybe use the whole towel roll by the time we’re done here. Okay, also, I just as far as the brushes go I use – I’m using Rosemary Brushes. I have a series of Mongoose hair and some synthetics. Also, a watercolour brush, and I’m going to actually start with a watercolour brush. And I’m using Gamsol, which is a very highly refined mineral spirits, and that’s what I’m going to use to thin the paint. I like to kind of, even though I’m working with oil, you’ll see some of the techniques I use are actually watercolour style techniques. So that’s why you know, I like to start the painting with a watercolour brush. I like to start with my darks, and for me it’s all about the shadows at first. Now when I’m out on location painting, I’m trying to capture the light as much as anything. And so one of the things to do is you have to avoid detail or seeing too much detail – especially in a busy scene like this, like in Beijing. And there’s a lot of these hutongs, these alleyways, are really quite complex. So what you need to do, is you need to be able to squint down and just see the most important feature, because that’s going to be my focal point. I don’t like to tone my canvas; the colours will be much richer, more vibrant if do it this way. What I’m doing currently is working on a series of the, capturing these hutongs, and that’s what I tend to do is I think artists really like to have a series, because they’re kind of exploring and doing a deep dive into a certain subject in order to understand it better. (Graeme) Yeah, one of my favourite pieces when I first saw your work was Datang Boats. Just that yellow sunset I suppose in China these days they’ve got a little bit of pollution sort of that tends to (Byran) That’s right. (Graeme) make it a little thicker. (Byran) That’s right. And that’s one thing you know, traveling around the world there’s just different atmosphere you know, in different locations, and some areas are cleaner than others. And you know, you’re not going to see blue sky a lot, although they tell me it’s gotten a lot better in Beijing. But it’s still, you know, some of the days quite frankly I was wearing a mask. (Graeme) It was that bad? (Byran) It was that bad, yeah. And one of the tools that I like to use is this kind of rubber scraper, and I just scrape out. So it’s not always an additive process, there’s also a subtractive element to it. (Graeme) Was it a dry brush, or a raw rubber brush or? (Byran) It’s a brush made out of silicon. (Graeme) Okay. (Graeme) You just pull the paint back out again. (Byran) Okay, what I’m going to do is start with a wash here. This is kind of the side wall. So I’m definitely balanced between traditional techniques, but then you know, I fully embrace any modern stuff. Some people are purists were they will like not use the computer, it all has to be from life and stuff like that. (Graeme) Aha. (Byran) I don’t have any of that, I don’t feel any need to be a quote-on-quote ‘purist’ in that sense, because in the past you know, people were always using scientific advances to you know, in their artwork. (Graeme) Now you were also recognised by the, you won the Gold Medal at the California Art Club recently as well. (Byran) Yeah, that’s a neat honour to receive. Jean Stern of the Irvine Museum, (Graeme) Yes. (Byran) he’s a kind of world, world’s authority on California Impressionism. And so here in America, he’s the guy in terms of kind of traditional landscape painting, and so it was really neat too, an honour to receive that award. (Graeme) Apart of us being here today, you’ve also got a number of DVD’s that are available for people to follow through on what you do, and the various wonderful locations you go through. (Byran) Yeah, I do have a couple instructional DVD’s. One’s you know, San Francisco, so when I did my Masters Degree I taught at the Academy of Art University for seven years in the grad program and really enjoyed that. But you get busy and you can’t teach as much as you would like you know, and exhibition schedules is pretty heavy over the course of a given year. So DVD’s is a nice way to reach out to people and kind of share. I do love teaching and love lecturing, but there’s only so much of me that can go around, right. One of the DVD’s I did which is called the Masters Mind, is quite innovative, one of the top selling DVD’s made by Plein Air Magazine, Streamline. And the reason why it’s been so well received it’s based on the Neuroscience of learning, and so I talk about how to accelerate your learning process through techniques of mastery. It’s very different as far as the DVD goes. It breaks things down into six key components, key lessons to, in order to achieve mastery in plein air painting. So it’s something I’m very happy about and it’s great to see peoples lives change because of it. (Graeme) Yeah, absolutely. And one of the many places that you’ve visited over the year as well is Cuba, I mean since they opened up the gates again and American’s can go in. (Byran) Right. (Graeme) Some classics, you were basically saying that it really hasn’t changes since the fifties. It’s very much the same, and you’ve got pictures like the Havana Classic. It looks like a blue, it looks like a Dodge or something is it? (Byran) Yeah, that’s why I wanted to go as soon as it opened up, because when that opens up, money starts coming in. It’s going to change a lot, and so I wanted to get there before that happened. Just so I didn’t paint pristine things, or things that were restored; I wanted to see it as it was. So a big part of my philosophy in terms of colour is you know, the fewer colours you have, the more easily you can control the harmony. So it’s not, it’s not colour specifics that I’m after: it’s colour harmonies. When I make these mixtures, there’s a little bit of the other paint that’s in there since it’s all wet on wet, and goes in there and kind of creates this kind of envelope of colour that becomes very unifying. (Graeme) But you’ve got pieces like Farmers Fields, which is painted in Utah; that’s just a beautiful piece. (Byran) That’s kind of my growing up in places like that, that’s something that kind of hits close to home. These farmlands are disappearing, and my generation isn’t interested in farming unless they’re using GPS satellite and they’re sitting in an office (Graeme) Yeah. (Byran) while the drone or the remote control tractors is going through and watering, or planting, or harvesting, or that sort of thing. It’s just a different vibe, but unfortunately it’s not as, not as pretty, you know, in terms of the field when you’ve got that kind of situation. (Graeme) You work with Pixar, as well, doing science fiction paintings and that’s the best way to describe it. And you’ve got one called Canyon Dwellers, which is pretty amazing. Another one called Industrial Reef. I mean how did that come about, and what was your part that you played in with those guys? (Byran) I decided I wanted to kind of exercise the imagination, and even as kid I loved you know, kind of my initial interest in art was all based on the imagination. I think a lot of kids are that way. And so I’ve kind of come back to it, but I come back to it now with a lot of knowledge of how light works, how atmosphere works and stuff like that. So I’m kind of endowing these pieces of maybe a future that’s even a little, just a little further ahead of how things might look. Kind of a future past in a way, because they’re things that aren’t shiny and clean. They’re you know, for me personally I like science fiction with a little dirt in it. I like it kind of rustic and… (Graeme) Blade Runner. (Byran) Yeah, Blade Runner, yeah. Exactly. Okay, what I’m doing here is as things, before things start to fully evaporate, I want to now that I’ve got some initial information I want to kind of cover the canvas with some of these bigger broader strokes. (Graeme) The Gamblin Paints lend themselves really well to the techniques that you’re using also. (Byran) Correct, yeah. They give this kind of nice watercolour sort of effect. But then I can, because they’re thick, and that’s because they have a high pigment load. If you have a paint like a student grade paint, or something that’s of lesser quality, you thin it out this much it just won’t have that same level of vibrancy that you get when you’re using a you know, higher quality paint. And so that’s another reason why it’s worth paying a little extra for a nicer pigment. (Graeme) You get what you pay for. (Byran) That’s right. (Graeme) Yeah. (Byran) Absolutely. (Graeme) I think with the progress you’re making it looks fantastic, but I’m going to let you work for a little while, and we’ll come back shortly once you’ve done a bit more. (Byran) Sounds great. (Byran) Now as I’ve kind of got some good information here in the focal point, (Graeme) Yeah. (Byran) what I have to do is make everything relate to the main idea in the picture which is here. And so these are all supporting elements, like this is the bride and groom right here, and this are all the bridesmaids with the dress, that’s not as nice as the bride right, cause you want make sure that your eye is going where you want it, want it to go. So one of the ways to that is with edges. So up here, I’m going to just deepen the value slightly, just cause I want your eye to have more contrast here, less on the edge there, and then same thing on this side, I’ve got this really bright area right there, and I’m just going to kind of take it down a notch. So one thing you can see with the Strada easel is that it’s a very kind of, it’s very simple tool. It’s very fast to set up. You know, it takes about thirty seconds to well, a minute. I had a couple of videos that I show on YouTube, where if you go to Strada easel on our website, or on YouTube, if you go onto YouTube, you can just see how quickly you can set this thing up. And that allows you to stop fussing around about your equipment, and just getting out there and painting. And I’ve always said you know, plein air painting is a sport, (Graeme) Yeah. (Byran) right. And you know, having the right equipment and stuff like that, because you can get into some situations were you know, blizzard, or you know. I’ve, I’ve seen it all, swirling clouds of mosquitoes, wind gusts, you know, rain coming through, and that’s also the thrill of it, that you get to experience some of those things. The easels are sold online at Strada easel dot come. They ship worldwide; they hand inspect every single one of them, to make sure they’re precision lazier cut, so you get a real high quality product. One other thing that Strada does that’s pretty cool is and this is because of my belief in, that anybody can learn and improve. Is Strada sponsors a thirty day challenge, and it’s on Facebook, so anybody in the world can enter. And it’s basically painting thirty days straight, and we do it two different months, in September and January, and basically you have to paint every single day of the month, and post it on Facebook, to prove that you’ve done it. And the people that paint every single day for thirty days are entered to win an easel, and Strada gives away five easels and it’s just a great motivator. And we have people people all over the world doing it. It grows every time we do it, and people have had some amazing experiences. And there’s one lady that was diagnosed with cancer, she said it got her through her cancer. (Graeme) Great stuff. (Byran) And she had major breakthrough with her art, she got an article in Plein Air Magazine because of it. It’s just really neat and exciting to see that so that’s you know, just the belief in not, you’re not just buying an easel. But there’s support, there’s videos, there’s stuff to help artists you know, have a community, a world wide community really. Alright, for the most part you know, what I’ll do is I’ll come back and with a fresh eye, in another day or two, to kind of see what it is I need to change. Right now it has a lot of nice energy in it, and I like to leave them at this stage, so that I don’t overwork them. To me you know, if I overwork a surface that’s the death of a painting. Sure, somebody might like it, but to my satisfaction I would prefer to have an under-baked painting than an over-baked one. (Graeme) Sure. (Byran) And maybe that’s just my you know, training from plein air, but that’s what I really think that you know, when you if you’re able to take a painting to this stage, I think you’re able your saying everything that needs to be said, and everything else is maybe it could be a little bit of an over explanation. Now if I were to work on this a little bit further you know, off camera, it would just be a little touch here or two. But you’ve really seen the bulk of the painting process all here on camera. So I hope you enjoyed the demo, and I appreciate you taking the time to check it out. (Graeme) Thank you so much, Byran. That was an absolutely great day, it really was. (Graeme) Well, I can’t thank you enough, mate. That was amazing. (Byran) It was a lot of fun. (Graeme) It was incredible. This is one of the world’s leading plein air artists; the man’s just amazing. Plus – inventor, lecturer, anything you can thing of, he can do it. We want to thank Stradar, as well of course, because you’re very much tied up with them, and you obviously you know, developed the easel with them as well, which is a fantastic easel. So if you wanted to go in, it’s Strader easel (Byran) Yeah, Strader easel dot com, (Graeme) Cool. (Byran) S,T, R, A, D,E,R,E,A,S,L.E. dot com. (Graeme) And also, the DVD’s that Byran does as well. I mean he has DVD’s that help you physiologically to learn how to paint, not just the physics of it, (Byran) That’s right. (Graeme) but also the mental aspects. So I really strongly recommend that you go into Bryan’s website. Your website? (Byran) Bryan Mark Taylor dot com. Byran with a Y. (Graeme) Yeah. Yeah, okay. Go in there and have a look, because what he’s teaching is essential in many senses for you guys to be able to learn how to paint, and not sort of struggle through the whole process. You can come and see us at colour in your life dot com, of course, and our Facebook page and YouTube. We’ve had an absolutely marvellous day with you; it’s been just amazing. He’s a very talented man. But we’re going to head off again as we normally do. But remember – before we go: make sure you put some colour in your life. See you next time. Bye now, guys. See you. (Byran) Bye.

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