To make your painting a success you need 3 things: you need to know why you want to paint it, you need a grasp of what you see, and you need the skill to do it
(Richard Schmid)


Light is the melody. It moves, it rises and falls in intensity
(Linda Cateura/David Leffel)


If I get it right every time, there would be little sense of accomplishment
(Richard Schmid)


Don’t wish for “secrets” of the Masters either. There are none worth fooling with. They had no special mediums or paints, nor special brushes that made their work great
(Richard Schmid)

Sophie Ploeg oil painting Giselle

Too much blending overworks the colours on the surface and creates the proverbial “ mud”
(Mitchell Albala)


The strength and clarity of the picture you envision at the start will tell you when you are done. You have finished when you have said what you wish to say, when nothing added can make it better
(Richard Schmid)


Looseness should describe how a painting looks, not how it was done
(Richard Schmid)


Work the whole picture at once
(Linda Cateura/David Leffel)


You can create harmony or unity by using  a limited palette throughout the painting


Stay alert and sharp when you work. Serious painting is not recreation of therapy or hell raising. It is intense creative work, even though it may have all of those other benefits
(Richard Schmid)


Focus on one topic to practice: colour, shapes, values, composition etc, so as not to get overwhelmed in the learning process


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About the author

Sophie is an artist, art historian, tutor, author and blogger. She writes on oil and pastel painting, art history and the life of an artist. She paints portraits and still life and specialises in painting drapery and lace.

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