Friday, May 09, 2008

A Marvellous Instructional Piece In Splashing Paint

I have not seen a longer running instructional DVD than I had with John Lovett's Splashing Paint. And having gone through over 120 minutes of 'personal instruction' by Australia's leading artist, in 16 thoughtfully prepared, very detailed lessons, I am quite convinced that every beginner can benefit from it. established painters may also find some gems within.


Because Lovett takes you right from the basics to the many advanced techniques that he uses in his very striking watercolour pieces, loose and simple. For AUD77, I think it is quite a steal, and the good thing about this DVD (as with other DVD learning tools) is that you can go back to it at any time you wish, as many times you want, and get as many refresher courses as you like.

Simple Palm Tree - John Lovett

In the introductory chapters, Lovett covers the basics, talkling about materials and techniques, swiftly. Then he shows how watercolour can be painted simply and loosely - trademarks of his art works.

I love the jazzy background music that accompanies each instruction as i do the little notes that are presented as the artist show you the behind-the-scene work on each piece, takling subjects from simple skies to more complicated street scene and outdoor panorama.

Atmosperic Skies - John Lovett

Whether it is using a one-inch brush or types of paint colour, each session is presented clearly in ways you can quite easily understand - and put to practice. And you learn by simply following his work and, hopefully, come up with something you can be proud to hang on your wall.

I have always wondered how Lovett created the misty air around his pieces, the atmospheric effects that exudes mystery. I found it in this DVD - his secret: gesso and gouache and rubbed in with a hake brush! This was revealed in the chapter Taking Risks, in which Lovett transformed a finished painting into an even better one with loose introduction of gesso and gouache, and detailing the subject to bring it out to the viewer's attention.

Can anything can get more complicated than this? John Lovett's harbour scene.

Another section I find extremely useful is the one on how to simplify the subject. If taking on a full-coloured scenery is daunting, Lovett shows how, by grouping objects of similar values and colours, can help you approach complicated subjects more confidently.

The artist spent quite some time on water and reflections although there is already a specific chapter on reflections alone. If you are sharp, you will be able to see his secrets unveiled as he dabs the paints and splashes them to give impressions of reflections of subjects such as boats on water.

The DVD ends with Lovett teaching you how to set up your studio, from arranging the working table and tapping hte best of natural light to setting framing tables and using artificial light. All these are sensible applications which could easily be overlooked but because they are presented as one of the many tips in Splashing Paint, you would be reminded to give them some thought when you are rearranging your work space for optimum productivity and pleasant painting session.

Splashing Paint can be obtained at

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