BALANCE: Every painting must have this.
BALANCE in value range: Don’t paint what you see. Paint what you know. Push the effect. Gear your painting to a ‘lighter’ value painting with your mid values going higher or lower value painting, with your mid values going darker. YOU decide to your art eye what fits. Control the value pattern, using five values. Three for the light, two for the shadow..
BALANCE in color: Use your color wheel. LEARN IT. It is easy. Choose to paint with three primaries for a long while, plus black and white. Especially on art trips! Handcuffs are on. Select compliments. Red with green, yellow with purple, orange with blue.
BALANCE in temperature, Cool versus warm and vice versa. Remember, your ‘grayed’ color is the stage to show off the raw, vibrant color. Like a good, rich French sauce over a bland piece of steak. It will sing. Your viewer will want desert. It has taken me a while to learn this.
BALANCE in brushwork application: rough next to smooth. A bore says it all with too much of either. Quiet is needed. Excitement is needed. Just like in life. Too much of either makes one dull.
BALANCE in paint application: thick impasto areas of the canvas thick as cream, thin areas transparent as a silk stocking. Keeping things transparent is hard. How many times have I lost transparent stockings from over-working or drawing errors?
BALANCE IN COMPOSITION: a thread of dark in a sea of light, as thread of light in a sea of dark. Painting without these contrasts fall as flat as pancakes. Think Notan. Get the app!
BALANCE IN EDGES; hard soft, lost found,
BALANCE IN YOUR ART VOICE; allow yourself to some days paint angry like Van Gogh, some days paint quiet like Vermeer. Don’t question this. I often do and it is a mistake. TRUST THE ART SPIRIT.
MOST OF ALL, BALANCE IN SELF-BELIEF. Know some days you will find it hard. Some days it will flow. Some days you will get into competitions,, most days, you won’t.
THE POINT OF THE JOURNEY IS THE JOURNEY. IT IS A MISTAKE TO THINK ONE WILL GET ‘THERE’. BALANCE ALONG THE WAY IS ESSENTIAL.
Windsor Newton brand oil paints
Cadmium Yellow Light
Cadmium Yellow Deep
Bristle filberts, sizes 2 thru 10. Silver Brush brand recommended.
Drawing brush: Number 4 Rosemary Brush sable blend series 402 recommended but anything you are comfortable doing detail with.
Fredrix panels or canvas equivalent, 12″x16″ or 16″x20” suggested
Johanna Spinks is a British-born, Los Angeles-based portrait artist whose work hangs in museums, galleries, and private collections all over the world. Mentored by the late Everett Raymond Kinstler, who painted eight presidential portraits, Johanna’s style can be best described as classical oil portraiture with a contemporary palette knife twist.
Over her 25-year portrait career, her work has received recognition from the United States Congress, The California State Senate, and multiple Oil Painters of America National shows as well as been featured in the New York Times, American Artist Magazine, International Artist Magazine, Where Women Create and many others. She has painted notable sitters from Kip Forbes to Kevin Costner and has five portraits in the permanent collection of The Players’ Club of New York including Norman Rockwell, Rex Harrison and actress Angela Lansbury. The Portrait Society of America awarded Johanna a “Certificate of Recognition” for her dedicated volunteer work as its’ California State Ambassador, a three-year term. In 2008, Spinks was awarded The Daler-Rowney “Excellence in Painting” Award at OPA National.
In addition to her vast portfolio of commissioned work, Johanna has worked on two widely-celebrated public portrait projects in the cities of Ventura and Malibu, each time working with a different local newspaper, with each sitter being interviewed alongside a painted life sketch. The 58 paintings that made up the “Face of Ventura” now sits in the permanent collection of the Museum of Ventura County and earned Spinks a Mayor’s Art Award for “Artist in the Community” 2012.
The “Face of Malibu” and the subsequent “Face of Malibu Rebuilds” portrait series (capturing people who their lost homes in the Woolsey Fire) resulted in Johanna receiving a Dolphin “Citizen of the Year” Award 2019 for her artwork contribution to the community.
The Rebuild series of 17 watercolor portraits and interviews, conducted by Johanna and printed in The Malibu Times, was accepted into The Boone Special Collections and Archives at Pepperdine University in March 2021. The Face of Malibu’s 61 oil life sketches was accepted into the same archival collection in August 2021.
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