Paintings That Tell A Story

Everyone loves a good story. Are your paintings communicating clearly and purposefully with a unique voice that speaks to your viewer? As visual artists, we are storytellers. We have a desire to express ourselves through our work. We do this by communicating with pictures to engage the viewer's imagination. This video will give you four tips to telling a compelling story through your art.

Traveling with Pastels

It's travel season here, with a number of art workshops in different areas throughout the country and abroad. Many of you have asked me what to bring and how to pack for a travel art workshop, especially when going abroad. In this video, I'll show you how to pack your carry-on luggage with all the pastel painting supplies needed for an efficient, portable painting setup. 

Simply click here for the Travel Supply List with a lot of products that I recommend.

Would you like to join me in an upcoming workshop? Are there obstacles to your creative growth that you'd love to overcome in an inspiring and encouraging environment? There are some amazing opportunities just around the corner. We even have a couple of spots left next week in my Capturing Light: California workshop! Check out my workshop schedule, and find a workshop near you. I'd love to encourage your creative development.

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5 Tips To Better Color - Part Two

As promised, the followup video to last week's lesson, "5 Tips To Better Color" is here! I did my color exercise, and I hope you tried one as well. In this video, you'll see the results of my color study and the painting that emerged from this unique color approach. Enjoy! 

So...did you take a crack at a color exercise? Please leave me a comment and let me know. I'd love to find out how you did, and whether you got a color breakthrough!

Want to learn more in an inspiring and encouraging environment? There are some amazing opportunities just around the corner to join me in a workshop, all the way from California to Croatia! Check out my workshop schedule, and find a workshop near you.

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5 Tips To Better Color

Are you wondering how to get better color in your work?

I have been asked by many of you for help with color. I certainly want my paintings to sparkle with fresh color, and I bet you do as well! This new video shares five tips that you can use right now to improve the color in your work!  I'm confident that if you do these five simple things, the brilliance of your paintings will shine through with newfound freshness.  

Once you finish watching this short video, clear a pathway to your easel and start practicing these five tips to better color! Then, look out for part two of this video, as I share the results of my own color exercise with you.

In addition to the video, we've created a worksheet that you can print out and tack up next to your easel. This way you can put these five tips to work for you right away! Click the link below to download the worksheet.

Looking for even more inspiration and creative support? Check out my workshop schedule to find a workshop near you! Now have some fun with color.

 

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Sow a Habit, Reap a Harvest

 A small sketchbook study done from life during the planning and inspiration stages for a painting called, "The Bride."

 A small sketchbook study done from life during the planning and inspiration stages for a painting called, "The Bride."

Drawing is the foundation of all painting, thus great care should be taken to sow the seeds of good working habits. Doing so is a tremendous investment in your artistic development; you'll reap rewards for the remainder of your artistic journey. I've certainly found this to be true in my own creative development, and I want to encourage you to establish deliberate working habits in your day-to-day and week-to-week drawing routine that foster artistic growth.

In my new book, Beginning Drawing, and the corresponding series of "Learning to Draw with Alain Picard" videos produced with ArtistsNetworkTV, I reveal and expound on the visual, drawing and routine habits that are necessary to communicate effectively with the language of drawing. Visual habits have to do with learning to "see" as artists, while drawing habits deal with how we transcribe what we see through a variety of mark-making techniques. Finally, routine habits embed these repeatable practices into your drawing approach and develop the discipline of regular working habits. The outcome of this disciplined approach is artistic confidence and repeatable success.

While it's important to establish a consistent drawing routine, it's equally important to develop what I call "routine habits" that will serve to encourage your working routine. I want to share some ideas with you from my book, "Beginning Drawing," that will help you develop your own working routine. I believe that if you implement them into your regular work rhythms, then your drawing ability is sure to grow in leaps and bounds, and your creative voice will begin to speak volumes in no time!

For My Love charcoal and white chalk on buff paper I created this life study of my wife, Mirjam, during a weekly portrait group I attended. On our anniversary in 2005, Mirjam sat for the group that night so we could be together.

For My Love charcoal and white chalk on buff paper I created this life study of my wife, Mirjam, during a weekly portrait group I attended. On our anniversary in 2005, Mirjam sat for the group that night so we could be together.

4 Drawing Habits to Develop

1. Practice, practice, practice! You've got to prioritize the goal of learning to draw. Get out your calendar and schedule regular time to draw. Make it a priority, and build it into your routine, just like exercise or daily meals. Skill develops through consistent practice! Carve out the time to draw regularly every week. Start early rather than late, and try doing one sketch a day--every day--for a month.

2. Draw from life regularly. Drawing from direct observation of nature is one of the very best ways to improve. Carry a sketchbook and a pencil pouch with you so you can sketch anywhere you go.

3. Get feedback & encouragement. Why not connect with other artists in your area? Consider joining a local weekly life-drawing sketch group to develop a consistent habit of working from life. Your connection with other working artists will provide accountability and encouragement in the development of your work.

After Drolling graphite on Strathmore paper. I created this copy study years ago after the self-portrait done in 1804 by French artist Michel Martin Drolling.

After Drolling graphite on Strathmore paper. I created this copy study years ago after the self-portrait done in 1804 by French artist Michel Martin Drolling.

4. Copy the masters. One of the best ways to learn technique is to study the great drawings and paintings of art history. Choose a drawing that you absolutely love and try to copy it, stroke for stroke, tone for tone. This process of imitation will impart volumes of drawing wisdom to you as you seek to understand how the artist accomplished such a beautiful study.

I hope these four habits will encourage you in your artistic development. For more insight and instruction, pick up my book, "Beginning Drawing." I know it'll help you grow in your drawing ability.

Be inspired ~Alain

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2nd Biennial International Pastel Exhibition

I am so honored to be one of several prominent artists associated with the International Association of Pastel Societies (IAPS) who has been invited to the 2nd Biennial International Pastel Exhibition in Suzhou, China as a special guest and workshop instructor. I am really looking forward to this exciting cultural exchange and pastel celebration.

I hope to share more of my experiences in Suzhou with you in the coming weeks!

Kids Art Camp

We just wrapped up our historic first kids art camp at Picard Studio, which culminated in an "Emerging Artists Art Reception" complete with Awards Ceremony. Children from 1st to 6th Grade created some outstanding works of art! Here are some pictures of the masterpieces. Teaching these kids was such a fulfilling experience for my wife and I. Look out art world, here they come!

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Pratique Des Arts

I’m thrilled to be featured on the cover of the French art magazine, “Pratique Des Arts.” They were very kind to ship me a magazine all the way from France. You can view the full page spreads of the lovely article below.