Light is the most important thing for every artist. Light is always there, in the mountains, in the grass, in the water, out in the open, into the shadow and out of it. As a painter, you have to learn to play with light, to play with colors, and to feel its movement. That’s what makes a complete artist. To see the play of light, to take it inside you, and bring it home to fire on the canvas. — Bill Alexander
Without light there is nothing
“And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.” (Genesis 1 KJV)
The significance of “light”
The fact that the very first words in the Bible introduce the concept of light and dark tells us it’s essential in our lives.
As artists, we must understand light. What we paint are the reflections of objects created by light. Yes, I said, “created.” Without light, those objects don’t exist – at least not as we see or perceive them.
Stand in the middle of a pitch-black room and what happens?
Your mind shifts into overdrive. Remember when you were a kid alone in your dark bedroom at night? Remember the monster under your bed? Remember how your covers were your only protection, so you’d pull them up over your head?
Light is both a wave and a particle. What that means is that light does different things depending on how you look at it. There are different kinds of light, too. Some we can see and some we can’t — or can we?
What we see as an object not only has different properties depending on the light source. An object looks different in direct sunlight than it does under artificial light.
What light exposes is also affected by our perception of the object we see. That’s where mood comes in. That’s what sets your painting apart from the rest.
Then you have the whole issue of pigment and medium.
We live in a world of light, but pigment is not light. As an artist, you have to adjust your paint to match what light reflects. You can’t paint what you see.
A process, not a goal
Learning never stops, and we’ll never stop helping you in any way we can. If you want to learn to paint, everything you need is at Alexander Art.
We have the paint.
We have the training.
Our mission is to help you become the artist you’ve always wanted to be. Click here to learn more.
Mr. Alexander was definitely a bright light in my life. I had no talent whatsoever for drawing or definitely not painting! BUT……due to the wonderful TV broadcast at the time, He encouraged and motivated me (unknowingly) to just TRY and invision as he put it and “FIRE IT IN”! Well, since I had no artistic abilities, I could not, could not “INVISION” anything until HE put HIS visions on canvas…..Then (after recording the programs) I finally got my supplies together and Using His visions, I painted and painted……and LOVED the way even I could turn out some paintings I was proud of…..(Obviously, a real artist would probably laugh at my efforts, but I, MYSELF was overjoyed)! I will always remember Bill’s smiles and encouragements! He was he most optimistic artist I ever had the pleasure of watching (and copying)…….
I have been painting for only four years. I have had one teacher who allowed us to paint as we were inspired, and she guided us in our individual endeavor. Now, I have no teacher. There are those who teach classes where everyone leaves with the same painting, and those are good, but not my inspiration. I am my husband’s caregiver, so my time is precious and I can’t pay for tutorials that do not focus on my specific needs. Do you have any words of encouragement? Any artistic wisdom? Painting has become an avenue for me to express my beliefs, my view of beauty. It is therapy.