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Mini Dragon Group (ages 6-7)

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Learn from a Master: Harold Speed's Oil Painting Techniques and Materials

Learn from a Master: Harold Speed's Oil Painting Techniques and Materials

If you are interested in learning more about oil painting techniques and materials, you may want to check out Harold Speed's classic book Oil Painting Techniques and Materials, which was first published in 1924 and is still available as a reprint from Dover Publications. In this book, Speed, a renowned painter and teacher, shares his insights and expertise on various aspects of oil painting, such as form, tone, color, composition, brushwork, glazing, scumbling, and more. He also discusses the history and development of oil painting, the characteristics and qualities of different oil paints and mediums, and the best ways to train and practice as a painter. He illustrates his points with examples from master painters such as Velasquez, Rembrandt, Titian, Vermeer, and others.

Harold Speed Oil Painting Techniques Pdf 22

One of the most valuable features of Speed's book is his extensive and perceptive analysis of different painting styles and methods. He compares and contrasts the "solid" painting of the old masters with the "broken color" painting of the impressionists and modernists. He explains the advantages and disadvantages of each approach, and how to achieve them with different techniques and materials. He also offers practical advice on how to avoid common pitfalls and mistakes in oil painting, such as overworking, muddiness, monotony, lack of harmony, etc.

Speed's book is not only informative but also entertaining and inspiring. He writes in a clear, cogent, and personal style that engages the reader and reveals his passion and enthusiasm for oil painting. He also challenges the reader to think critically and creatively about their own work and goals as a painter. He encourages experimentation and exploration, but also emphasizes the importance of discipline and rigor. He writes: "The painter who is content to look at Nature with half an eye, trusting to some recipe he has learnt for producing the appearance of things with little trouble on his part; who is content to paint year after year without ever troubling about what he does not understand; who never attempts anything that will test his capacity to the utmost; such an one may be a very popular painter with the unthinking public who are satisfied with appearances that remind them pleasantly of familiar things; but he will never be an artist."

If you want to learn from a master who can teach you both the science and the art of oil painting, you may want to download Harold Speed's Oil Painting Techniques and Materials as a PDF file from this link[^1^]. You can also find other books by Speed on drawing[^2^] and watercolor painting[^3^] online.

In the following sections, we will explore some of the main topics that Speed covers in his book, and how they can help you improve your oil painting skills and knowledge. We will also provide some exercises and tips that you can try to apply Speed's teachings to your own work.

Form, Tone, and Color

One of the most fundamental aspects of oil painting is the representation of form, tone, and color. Form is the three-dimensional shape and structure of an object or a scene. Tone is the degree of lightness or darkness of a color. Color is the hue or quality of a color that distinguishes it from other colors.

Speed explains that form, tone, and color are interrelated and interdependent. He writes: "Form can only be expressed by means of tone and colour; tone can only be expressed by means of colour; and colour can only be expressed by means of tone."

Therefore, to paint effectively, you need to understand how to use tone and color to create the illusion of form and depth on a flat surface. You also need to be aware of the effects of light and atmosphere on tone and color, and how to create harmony and contrast with different colors.

Speed offers many practical guidelines and examples on how to achieve these effects with oil painting techniques and materials. For instance, he advises to use a limited palette of colors that are related in tone and temperature (warm or cool), and to mix them on the canvas rather than on the palette. He also suggests to use thin layers of transparent or semi-transparent colors (glazes) over a solid underpainting to create richness and luminosity. He also warns against using too much white or black in mixing colors, as they tend to dull and flatten them.

Some exercises that you can do to practice form, tone, and color are:

  • Paint a simple still life or landscape with a limited palette of three or four colors, plus white. Try to use different values (lightness or darkness) and temperatures (warmth or coolness) of each color to create form and depth.

  • Paint a monochrome study of a subject with one color, plus white. Try to use different values and intensities (brightness or dullness) of the color to create form and depth.

  • Paint a study of a subject with complementary colors (colors that are opposite on the color wheel), such as red and green, blue and orange, or yellow and purple. Try to use different values and temperatures of each color to create form and depth.



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