Helpful how to tips on painting, drawing and creating!

Two Easy Ways to Develop the Focal Point of Your Painting

There are a number of different ways to develop the focal point of your painting. In this post, I am sharing two easy techniques for developing a focal point, plus a helpful list of other ideas. A focal point is a specific place of visual emphasis in your painting. It creates the center of attention. The focal point is the area that draws the eye of the viewer to the most important part of the painting.  Generally [...]

An Easy Art Studio Lighting System for Better Paintings

Proper art studio lighting is one of the most important factors to a successful painting. Over the years, I have used many types of art studio lighting from North Light (great, but NL is limited to working during daytime hours) to artificial lighting.  I have tried many alternatives that have been both expensive and disappointing. Lori replaced one track light on her studio ceiling with the ML-Direct lighting system. A while ago, I installed an overhead [...]

2017-10-01T23:25:00+00:00 October 1st, 2017|Fine Art Tips, General, How To Paint, Draw & More, Lori's Featured Articles|Comments Off on An Easy Art Studio Lighting System for Better Paintings

Using Japanese Notan Design Principles For Plein Air Painting

Recently, I've been reviewing the Japanese design term known as Notan. This ancient Japanese word literally means “light-dark balance.” The Notan is an ideal type of study for finding the shapes and patterns that serve as the foundation of every composition. In one of my favorite art books, Composition by Arthur Wesley Dow, Notan is covered in depth. In plein air, landscape painting, Notan is more than merely depicting light and shadow. Instead, the artist uses every line, light [...]

2017-05-04T21:11:52+00:00 May 2nd, 2017|Fine Art Tips, General, How To Paint, Draw & More, Lori's Featured Articles, Plein Air|Comments Off on Using Japanese Notan Design Principles For Plein Air Painting

Discover How To Turn Imagination into Art

We all have an imagination. But, it takes a special skill to hold an image in thought and turn that imagination into art. ©2016 Lori McNee, Summertime, 20x20, encaustic on cradled birch panel Art-making can be a natural gift, a learned skill, or a combination of both. Making art is difficult and it takes perseverance, imagination, and a lot of hard work. Throughout the ages, even the most talented artists have had to work for [...]

Ways to Protect Your Health in the Art Studio

After nearly 30 years of being a professional artist, I've discovered it is important to enjoy your creative side while taking steps to protect your health in the art studio. In an effort to be eco-friendly and to keep the air quality in my home-studio healthy, I have always painted with solvent-free, water-mixable oil paints (by Cobra) to create the majority of my artwork. I've also educated myself on the health standards of my art materials. Nevertheless over recent years, I [...]

2017-01-22T00:15:53+00:00 November 3rd, 2016|Fine Art Tips, General, How To Paint, Draw & More, Lori's Featured Articles|Comments Off on Ways to Protect Your Health in the Art Studio

Charcoal Drawing Using The Grid Method

Young artists always inspire me! I discovered wildlife artist, Taylor Nichezynski, on Facebook. I was impressed with her drawing skills and asked if she would share her helpful Grid Method tips to help my readers. Before we get started, here is a bit about The Grid Method: Since ancient Egyptian times, artists have been using The Grid Method as a drawing tool to improve accuracy. The Egyptians used this method by ‘snapping’ a string soaked in red dye against [...]

2016-04-13T12:25:47+00:00 April 13th, 2016|Fine Art Tips, General, Guest Articles, How To Paint, Draw & More, Lori's Featured Articles|Comments Off on Charcoal Drawing Using The Grid Method

Perfect Gift for the Naughty or Nice Artist

Santa has the perfect gift for the naughty or nice artist on your Christmas list! Whether you are a novice or an advanced painter in need of new inspiration, or you want to break some bad painting habits, Fine Art Tips with Lori McNee: Painting Techniques and Professional Advice  (available on Amazon or in the North Light Shop) is sure to help. Santa loves my popular art instructional book, and you will too! Fine Art Tips goes “behind the paintings” to [...]

How To Create An Impressionist Flower Painting

Flower painting, and the ability to capture the fleeting beauty of a floral arrangement has been popular since the 1500s. A traditional still life painting by ©Joe Anna Arnett During the 1600-1700s, the Dutch, Flemish, Italian, German and French artists further innovated the floral still-life. By the 1800s, the French impressionists favored painting vibrant landscapes, but they also enjoyed exploring the artistic potential of flower painting. Still today, many art genres ranging from realism to [...]

2015-12-13T16:47:37+00:00 November 30th, 2015|Fine Art Tips, General, Guest Articles, How To Paint, Draw & More, Lori's Featured Articles|Comments Off on How To Create An Impressionist Flower Painting

Easy Steps To Painting Big

Internationally renowned master wildlife artist, John Seerey-Lester is well known for the art of painting big, dramatic paintings that tell a story. Specializing in wildlife, sporting art, and historic themes, John has gained a reputation for producing images in either oil and acrylic with a narrative which are both mysterious and mystical. John is also a famed painting instructor. In fact, I first met John in Colorado nearly 30 years ago at one of his popular wildlife [...]

2015-11-09T09:05:54+00:00 November 9th, 2015|Fine Art Tips, General, Guest Articles, How To Paint, Draw & More, Lori's Featured Articles|Comments Off on Easy Steps To Painting Big

Dryangle: Handy Plein Air Painting Drying Rack

Each time I travel to plein air painting events, I find it difficult to safely dry my wet paintings, until now! Here's the interesting story of how one clever artist created a handy, beautifully designed invention for her fellow artist. On the go, or in the studio, the new Dryangle drying rack is the perfect solution for artists. Dryangle: Handy Plein Air Painting Drying Rack When I’m traveling on a painting trip, I need a place to store [...]