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Figure painting can be very complex, but there’s a way to make it simpler.
The trouble most novice artists struggle with is not knowing how to SEE shapes in the subject or photo reference.
The shape is, ultimately, the core of all visual imagery.
This means the “secret” to making even the most daunting of subjects 10x easier to paint is quite simple:
Find the “hidden” shapes
When you can take something as complex as a photo reference and break it down into basic shapes … painting essentially becomes almost as easy as painting by numbers.
It all comes down to mastering the ability to identify shapes.
What you’ll discover here is how to recognize shapes in figure and portrait compositions in a way you’ve probably never been taught before.
You’ll soon be able to see the “hidden” shapes behind any subject you wish to paint — a powerful skill that will last for life.
You’re going to have a firm foundation you can build upon, which only leads you to creating more powerful paintings viewers will love.
Beginner artists tend to “copy the image,” but what you’ll find here will get you closer to painting mastery.
You’re going to see the inner workings of exactly how award-winning artists make their mark in the art community…
…and all you have to do is follow simple steps.
Meet Lon Brauer
Lon Brauer is an American artist from Granite City, IL, who’s known for his work in figures and plein air landscapes, working primarily in oil.
Lon has an aesthetic that leans toward early 20th Century Realism, Abstract Impressionism, and the Golden Age of Illustration. The result is a mashup of the traditional and the avant-garde — consider it a salad of Eakins, Henri, Wyeth, DeKooning, English, and Fuchs.
His subjects range from the conceptual to the concrete. In his work, he develops a strong foundational composition on which to hang the paint. He feels that painting should be primarily about the paint itself as it describes the subject.
If you want to know what art juries think … read this…
Getting into the Outdoor Painters Society’s Plein Air Southwest Salon is tough.
To get into the prestigious salon, you have to enter an online competition (sponsored by the OPS and called the Associates Show) and win the top prize.
Only then will you get into the salon.
Now, there are hundreds — if not thousands — of entries, and there are a lot of talented people out there.
It's not easy for a judge to pick a winner!
Judge Bev Boren struggled before deciding that Lon was the winner. Here’s what she said:
“When I jury an art competition, I look for paintings that first attract my attention with excellence in composition, technique, and confident brushwork. When more than two or three paintings grab my attention, I ask myself, Which one has the ‘wow’ factor? Is it unique, fresh, and unusual?
“There were several paintings that spoke to me, but in the end, Lon’s painting kept demanding that I return to it. There were several paintings that were skillfully made and deserving of an award as well, but in the end the simplicity and uniqueness of Lon’s piece was a winner for me.”
Without a doubt, Lon Brauer's brilliant painting skills have that “wow” factor…
In this video, Lon will demonstrate a figure painting from start to finish with an emphasis on seeing the big shapes in a photo reference.
You’ll see how he goes from taking photographs … to breaking the subject into shapes … transferring the information onto your canvas/panel … all the way to completing your abstract figure painting in great step-by-step detail.
He’s going to share his personal painting gear and some highly unusual tools (like a tuna can and serrated steak knives!)…
…plus a ton of information straight from his highly creative brain. Prepare to take a lot of notes.
The fastest way for you to improve is to know Lon’s thinking process.
You’re going to get career-making insights on what new things you can try to make your painting even stronger.
This video is perfect for artists who usually “work small” and wish to uplevel the quality of their paintings while continuing to grow and feel comfortable and confident with larger pieces.
As you work larger, you’ll want to know even more from Lon since you’ll be using more paint, bigger brushes, and you’ll follow his lead in putting your whole body into it.
Lon Brauer’s Philosophy and “The 3 Principles”
Being able to paint is one thing. Being able to think like a painter is a whole different ball game.
In this video, Lon will share his philosophy to make sure you’re approaching your painting in a way that serves the outcome you want.
He’s also sharing the key “3 Principles” to set the stage right. Get them down pat, and you can almost guarantee your paintings will turn out successful.
He’s also going to emphasize the value of knowing your tools and materials, because knowing what they can do can have a tremendous impact.
For novice painters, you’ll appreciate that Lon will also go through some very basic skills like color mixing … palette knife work … making lines with brushes of various sizes … and so much more.
A Complete Walkthrough, From Block-In to Refining … and More
Lon will guide you all the way from the compositional block-in … to reestablishing the drawing … to developing and refining your painting … to the final stages.
He’ll also show you how to establish a grid with a straightedge … how to do a quick preliminary drawing to build composition and structure … and how to correctly use the grid to transfer the photo image to your surface.
The most important lesson here is having the courage to show a figure differently than you’re accustomed to.
You’re going to learn how to do something new and different — a key ingredient to your success!
Secrets to “Dazzle” the Viewer — The Finishing Touches
Lon is going to introduce you to highly unusual tools that will allow you to create interesting effects.
You’ll see how he uses a tuna can to add weight, or what he calls “Razzle Dazzle.”
His method of adding sparkles for interest — in the same way watercolorists use thinned, splattered paint — is a must-see.
He’s also going to share various accent techniques to emphasize line and shape … how “bubblegum” colors can be accents … and why he likes the “Sandpaper Technique” so much!
Here’s more of what’s inside Abstract Figure Painting:
Tools & Materials
Painting Is a Craft
Using a Photo Reference
steps in the creative process.
The Compositional Block-In
First Layer of Color
Reestablish the Drawing
Build Head & Hands
Break It Down
Assess & Rebuild
Develop & Refine
Razzle Dazzle & Finishing