STUDIO notes. — oil painting

Painting the Implied Story

Christopher Best

Tags oil painting, painting outdoors, plein air painting, Studio

It is said that the author C.S.Lewis began the writing of his famous Narnia Chronicles with the mental image of a faun standing in the snow near a lamppost. He then began to think of other images that he felt were compelling and created a story around them.  Setting the scene is an intuitive way to create a story. For the artist making a narrative painting, the scene is all we have to work with. Without the option of spelling it out we are left to imply the story. So what do I mean by "implying a story." Let's see...


Painting: Copying vs. Creating

Christopher Best

Tags creating, oil painting, painting outdoors, plein air painting

While out painting on location, I often have people approach me.  Fifty percent of the time they make a joke about me painting them into the picture. The rest of the time they often ask me the question, “what are you painting”? To which I often reply “a picture.”  It seems like a “duh” response. I understand that what they usually mean is, “ point me to the scene you are looking at so I can be amazed at how much it looks like what you are painting.” My reply “ a picture” instead implies that there is more to...


Why Paint Outdoors?

Christopher Best

Tags oil painting, painting outdoors, plein air painting

Why Paint outdoors? I get this question a fair amount. Artist, painters specifically have two means to draw inspiration from. Observation and imagination. The imagination is fed by observation. If I asked you to make up an animal from your imagination, you would take a few traits from different animals and smash them together to make a new animal. Everything imagined is a re-ordering of known forms. When I paint outside I go directly to the source. There is so much information to select from and restate as I choose. Photographs, while an art form in and of them selves, are...