Wednesday, May 24, 2017

5 Things Top Realist Painters Do Really Well

Sometimes lessons are hard to learn For whatever reason things just don't click the first time. Sometimes the teacher just doesn't say it in a way that makes sense. Sometimes it's the attitude of the student or the teacher that's fighting against the lesson. Whatever the cause may be I urge any realist painter to watch this video and if it doesn't click the first time watch it again later. 
Steve Mitchell is mainly a watercolour painter but these lessons , he calls them suggestions and tips, work in any medium. One of the great things about this is he gives examples of what he's talking about and presents it well. I was recently telling someone how I don't understand why so many artists and teachers urge others to read Harold Speed's books. I read one and sure some of the information was helpful but the book was so disorganised, jumping around from topic to topic, and on top of that he had a wrank attitude and inserted his opinion at every opportunity. Sure, it's his book so he can put whatever he wants in it, but guess what, we don't have to read it. Point is, sometimes it just takes the right person to say something in order for us to learn.  Steve Mitchell gives his five tips in a way that I'd like to hear all 5,000, or however many he has.


  1. He hits all the big points - every comment is valuable. My only concern is that the artist he uses to illustrate those points is dangerously close to violating the advice he gives. Some novices might be dazzled by all the detail and miss the fact that he DOES have pretty good value structure beneath all those brush marks, sound drawing, and so on. Would like to hear the same points made with examples by someone like Marc Hanson or Marc Dalessio.
    I agree about Speed. Reading him is a bit like eating a pomegranate. Parts of it are really good but it's a hell of a lot of messy work getting to them.

    1. He even mentions how the first example is almost photo-realistic but it illustrated his point pretty well. It would be interesting to have a compare and contrast with a painting that nails his points exactly. As in one that shows an over-rendered painting and one that has just the right amount of detail to make it effective.
      I love your pomegranate analogy, it explains exactly how I felt while reading Speed's books.

  2. I watched this last night and really enjoyed it. I thought his examples were helpful, but all extremely, extremely detailed. So agreed, it would be interested to see different styles that illustrated his points that perhaps had more lost edges and suggestion of detail. I like that idea. The suggestion of detail. My teacher at Drake was wanting me to push toward more detail in my acrylics, so studying the artist he referenced may be helpful to me. (I think she is of the opinion I leave too much to interpretation?! ) Good video, I will likely watch it several times.