Category Archives: Painting How To

Composing Art Using Harmonic Symmetry

I often use a harmonic symmetry armature to check and refine my compositions and as a guide for drawing my composition onto a canvas. Here, I explain with text and video, what it is; and why and how I use harmonic symmetry.

Zorn Limited Palette

Andres Leonard Zorn (1860-1920) is known for using a limited palette. It is believed that Zorn reduced his palette to as few as three rather earthy colors – Yellow Ochre, Cadmium Red Medium, Ivory Black plus White. There seems to be some disagreement over the exact number of colors on his palette. Some lists add Vermillion, Viridian, and/or Cerulean Blue.

Step-by-step oil painting process for Gardenia

From concept to finished painting, in this oil painting demo, Michael Lynn Adams explains why and how he captures its soft, luminous texture and intoxicating aroma by placing it on hundred-year-old art books.

Step-by-step oil painting process for Meyer Lemons

We picked the lemons, put them on a wooden tray lit by the sun from our kitchen window. The plan was to make margaritas, but as often happens in my life, this fleeting moment inspired me to make art.

Crystal Gazing and a Limited Palette

Recently old photographs of my family have fascinated and inspired me to reinterpret them in paint. Its a special way to connect to some really wonderful people. Here, for example, is my aunt Lolo, and my father, Richard in 1927. They were Americans both born in Paris, France during the 1920s when my grandfather, Lewis Adams, was studying architecture at the École des Beaux Arts.

White Mums – Part 2

The mums are coming along just fine. After the initial block in and color lift I contoured the vase a bit and worked on the flower pedals. And bottom row the blossoms have become quite yellow. That is all part of the plan. That under painting, along with the in red in the shadows under […]