Hi All, just got this interesting question from Robin in Hawaii...

Hi, I just ordered your cd's and I am very excited. I have been painting for about 12 years and I am still trying to get that glow of light. Do you under paint your canvas? What color and do you leave an area white where you want the light? Thanks for your time.
Aloha, Robin www.robinmccoypaintings.com

Hi Robin, thanks for that. Your paintings certainly do have a sense of light about them and your color usage is great - I could learn a thing or two from you I think. The glow I get in my paintings is a function of value mostly, the color is secondary. It's just making sure that the painting gets gradually darker and cooler as it gets further from the light source - and vice versa - it gets lighter and warmer towards the light source. EVERYTHING in the painting does this. That's it. Then there's the infused light effect and the spotlight effect which are part of the free video lessons you can register for on the lessons site. Those effects help. Also, making sure that objects directly in the line of site of the light source have a much stronger reflection of that light source than the objects further afield. I'm going to cover these concepts in the final chapters of the mastering color course in the next few months.

Sometimes I do underpaint the canvas to unite the colors with a light yellow ochre + burnt sienna mix, or something similarly warm. I'll often wipe that back for an area I know will have a really bright spot in it, like the sun or a bright cloud. That way I know it's going to be as bright as it can possibly be. Another way to get a really bright light source is to paint it white and lightly glaze a yellow over that - that often seems to come up brighter than white alone. By using value relationships correctly though you could have quite a dull spot looking relatively bright if you darkened it's surroundings suitably - you only need to look at Rembrandt's work to see that clearly.

Hope that helps.
All the best of the season to you,

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Comment by terry clare on January 8, 2010 at 13:07
What a beautiful painting. I bet you were pleased with that one. I looked at it for a long time and thought I could just see a little sail or two entering the harbour from the sea. A touch of human existence. It's the kind of painting that excites my right brain. Lovely!
Comment by Robin McCoy on December 22, 2009 at 18:38
How cool or should I say " how warm". Thanks so much for answering my question, and for your kind words. I always feel I have so much to learn and that's one reason why I love painting ,there is always something new. I look forward to trying this on my next piece and I can't wait to get my cd's. Merry Christmas and a happy new year. Aloha, Robin


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