Choosing the Perfect Oil Painting for Your Home or Office

Choosing the perfect oil painting for your home or office doesn’t have to be a daunting experience. Here’s what you need to know.

choosing the perfect oil painting
The Large White Dog by Teresa Bernard.

Are you looking for some oil paintings to adorn the walls in your home, workspace, or corporate office? Before heading out the door to find that fabulous canvas art to accent your décor, there are a few things you will need to consider first. Here are some tips on choosing the perfect oil painting for your home or office.

5 Tips on Choosing the Perfect Oil Painting

Tip #1: Size

The first thing that needs to be considered in choosing the perfect oil painting is the size of the space where your artwork will be displayed. This can be done by taking measurements of the wall space or area. If it is a large area, you will want a larger painting; a smaller area requires a smaller one. This is an important step that should not be neglected. If you purchase a painting and it doesn’t fit in the space, you will be unhappy with your selection. Too small, and the painting looks lost and out of place in all that empty wall space. Too large, and the painting will appear crowded in the space or won’t even fit the space at all. Therefore, it is a good idea to measure your wall space before shopping for wall art.

Tip #2: Color

The color scheme in your home or office needs to be considered as well. Your painting should complement the colors in the room, unless you are going for harsh contrasts. You might not be happy if the colors in your new painting clash with your sofa instead of complimenting it. Also, keep in mind that colors play an essential role in setting moods. Choose calming colors, such as light blues and greens, for bedrooms and areas where relaxation is essential. Bold colors work well in rooms and spaces where conversation and entertainment take place.

Tip #3: Style

The next thing to consider is the style of your décor. Is it contemporary, traditional, or a combination of both? Why not mix and match? Not everything in your home needs to match or be the same. Think about mixing up patterns, textures, and even eras. If your home is an older home with traditional décor, a piece of modern art might look great! And the same goes for a vintage-style painting in a contemporary setting. Remember to have fun; at the end of the day, all that matters is that you love it.

Tip #4: Subject

Next, think about what types of subject matter interest you in a painting. Still life, landscapes, seascapes, or wildlife? Paintings of faraway places or local hangouts? People perhaps. Art can be a great conversation starter between you and visitors. You can choose a painting that is different or makes a bold statement. It can be fun to see what type of reaction your family and visitors will have upon seeing the painting for the first time.

Tip #5: Purpose

Make sure you buy something you love. Take your time to decide what it is you like in a piece of art. What type of paintings are you naturally drawn to? Is it a particular style, artist, or period? Browsing through galleries, museums, art books, and websites will help you decide. This will be necessary if you are considering buying art as an investment. Keep in mind that paintings will take a long time to go up in value, so it is best to buy a painting because you love it rather than waiting for it to be worth a lot of money someday.

Once you have something in mind, you will be able to find just the right oil painting to suit your needs and bring you and your family years of enjoyment.

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FROM THE EDITORS: We hope you enjoyed this blog about choosing the perfect oil painting and found it’s information to be useful. We’re sure you’ll enjoy the fine art paintings below too. For more information and details, click or tap the thumbnail link.

contemporary still life
Still Life with Red and Yellow Onions (2021) 
18″ w x 18″ h
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Flamingo and Chick
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Three Rustic Jugs
(2021)
12″ w x 9″ h

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Additional Reading

Affordable Oil Paintings on Canvas

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Visual Art in Bible Scripture

Bible scripture and visual art

What can we learn about visual art from Bible Scripture?

Let’s examine what the Bible has to say on this subject. To gain a better understanding of what Scripture has to say, try reading the passages in various translations. A good online resource to read other versions of Scripture is BibleGateway.

The best way to read Bible Scripture is always in context. Reading the texts that come before and after the ones mentioned helps create context and give a deeper grasp of what the Bible says on the subject. With that in mind, it’s up to you to read the passages below in context from your Bible or follow the links to read them online.

From Scripture, we learn:

Artistic Ability is God-given

God’s love for beauty is evident in creation, and Bible Scripture reveals that He has gifted some individuals with artistic abilities.

  • Exodus 28:3 English Standard Version (ESV)

    You shall speak to all the skillful, whom I have filled with a spirit of skill, that they make Aaron’s garments to consecrate him for my priesthood.

  • Exodus 31:1-11 The Message (MSG)

    1-5God spoke to Moses: “See what I’ve done; I’ve personally chosen Bezalel, son of Uri, son of Hur of the tribe of Judah. I’ve filled him with the Spirit of God, giving him skill and know-how and expertise in every kind of craft to create designs and work in gold, silver, and bronze; to cut and set gemstones; to carve wood—he’s an all-around craftsman.

6-11“Not only that, but I’ve given him Oholiab, son of Ahisamach of the tribe of Dan, to work with him. And to all who have an aptitude for crafts, I’ve given the skills to make all the things I’ve commanded you: the Tent of Meeting, the Chest of The Testimony and its Atonement-Cover, all the implements for the Tent, the Table and its implements, the pure Lampstand and all its implements, the Altar of Incense, the Altar of Whole-Burnt-Offering and all its implements, the Washbasin and its base, the official vestments, the holy vestments for Aaron the priest and his sons in their priestly duties, the anointing oil, and the aromatic incense for the Holy Place—they’ll make everything just the way I’ve commanded you.”

  • Exodus 35:30-35 The Message (MSG)

    30-35Moses told the Israelites, “See, God has selected Bezalel, son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. He’s filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability, and know-how for making all sorts of things, to design and work in gold, silver, and bronze; to carve stones and set them; to carve wood, working in every kind of skilled craft. And he’s also made him a teacher, he and Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan. He’s gifted them with the know-how needed for carving, designing, weaving, and embroidering in blue, purple, and scarlet fabrics and in fine linen. They can make anything and design anything.”

  • Romans 11:29 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

    for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.

Art is a Skill

The Bible teaches that God has given each individual particular talents and abilities to employ for His glory. Therefore, it is up to each individual to develop and nurture these skills.

  • 1 Chronicles 22:15 English Standard Version (ESV)

    You have an abundance of workmen: stonecutters, masons, carpenters, and all kinds of craftsmen without number, skilled in working

  • 2 Chronicles 2:13-14 English Standard Version (ESV)

    13Now I have sent a skilled man, who has understanding, Huram-abi, 14the son of a woman of the daughters of Dan, and his father was a man of Tyre. He is trained to work in gold, silver, bronze, iron, stone, and wood, and in purple, blue, and crimson fabrics and fine linen, and to do all sorts of engraving and execute any design that may be assigned him, with your craftsmen, the craftsmen of my lord, David, your father.

  • 2 Chronicles 24:12 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

    The king and Jehoiada gave it to those who did the work of the service of the house of the Lord; and they hired masons and carpenters to restore the house of the Lord, and also workers in iron and bronze to repair the house of the Lord.

  • Proverbs 31:24 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

    She makes linen garments and sells them and supplies belts to the tradesmen.

  • Jeremiah 18:1-6 English Standard Version (ESV)

    1The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 2“Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will let you hear my words.” 3So I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was working at his wheel. 4And the vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter’s hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do. 5Then the word of the Lord came to me: 6“O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter has done? declares the Lord. Behold, like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel.”

Art is Beautiful

Artists often find inspiration to create beautiful artworks because as they seek to capture and reflect the image and likeness of God.

  • 1 Kings 6 — In this passage, it is evident that God provides detailed instructions for the construction of His temple. These verses make it clear that God desires a beautiful worship space for His people.
  • 1 Kings 7:13-51 — In addition to specific instructions regarding the temple construction, God also goes into detail about the design of the temple’s furnishings.
  • Ecclesiastes 3:11 English Standard Version (ESV)

    He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.

  • Song of Solomon 7:1 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

    How beautiful are your feet in sandals, O prince’s daughter! The curves of your hips are like jewels, the work of the hands of an artist.

  • Philippians 4:8 English Standard Version (ESV)

    Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Art Glorifies God

God appreciates the beauty of art, and He desires to be honored and glorified through diverse forms of artistic expression. Since art serves as a vehicle to honor and serve God, it ought to be a celebration of God and everything that He created and called good.

  • Psalm 50:2 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

    Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God has shone forth.

  • 1 Corinthians 10:31 English Standard Version (ESV)

    So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

  • Colossians 3:23 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

    Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men,

God is the Original Artist, the Supreme Master Craftsman

The Bible begins by revealing God as the original artist, who conceived the universe and created it with exceptional craftsmanship, including the heavens, earth, and everything within them.

  • Genesis 1:1, 27, 31 English Standard Version (ESV)

    1In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 27So God created man in his own image, in the image of God, he created him; male and female, he created them. 31And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.

  • Genesis 2:7 English Standard Version (ESV)

    then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.

  • Job 10:8-9 New International Version (NIV)

    8Your hands shaped me and made me. Will you now turn and destroy me? 9Remember that you molded me like clay. Will you now turn me to dust again?

  • Job 38:4 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

    “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me if you have understanding.”

  • Psalm 139:13-16 English Standard Version (ESV)

    13For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. 14I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. 15My frame was not hidden from you when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. 16Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them

  • Isaiah 29:16 English Standard Version (ESV)

    You turn things upside down! Shall the potter be regarded as the clay, that the thing made should say of its maker, “He did not make me”; or the thing formed say of him who formed it, “He has no understanding”?

  • Isaiah 45:9, 18 New International Version (NIV)

    9“Woe to those who quarrel with their Maker, those who are nothing but potsherds among the potsherds on the ground. Does the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you making?’ Does your work say, ‘The potter has no hands?’ 18For this is what the Lord says—he who created the heavens, he is God; he who fashioned and made the earth, he founded it; he did not create it to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited—he says: “I am the Lord, and there is no other.

  • Isaiah 64:8 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

    But now, O Lord, You are our Father; we are the clay, and You are our potter; and all of us are the work of Your hand.

  • Zachariah 12:1 New International Version (NIV)

    A prophecy: The word of the Lord concerning Israel. The Lord, who stretches out the heavens, who lays the foundation of the earth, and who forms the human spirit within a person, declares:

  • Romans 9:20-21 New International Version (NIV)

    20But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’” 21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?

  • Ephesians 2:10 English Standard Version (ESV)

    For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

  • Colossians 1:16 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

    For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him.

  • Hebrews 1:10 New International Version (NIV)

    He also says, “In the beginning, Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands.

  • Revelation 4:11 English Standard Version (ESV)

    “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.”

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FROM THE EDITORS: We hope you enjoyed this blog about visual art and Bible scripture and found it’s information to be useful. We’re sure you’ll enjoy the Bible-centered paintings below too. For more information and details, click or tap the thumbnail link.

van Gogh's Church
Van Gogh’s Church
(2011) 
20″ w x 24″ h
Calvary at Sunset
Calvary at Sunset
(2009)
20″ w x 16″
sea of Galilee at Capernaum
Sea of Galilee at Capernaum (2005)
20″ w x 16″

⇒ See More Christian Art Here

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Oil Painting Art Review: The Study

oil painting art review
Oil painting art review of The Study, a painting by Teresa Bernard.

An oil painting art review of the artistic work titled “The Study” written by Elowyn Sylvan.

Title: Reflections on “The Study”

As I view “The Study” by Teresa Bernard, I am drawn into a world of serene reflection. The sepia tones envelop me, evoking memories of a bygone era. The composition, meticulously arranged, invites my eyes to linger on each object.

The stack of hardcover books, their spines worn, whispers stories of knowledge and imagination. The feather quill pen hints at creativity and expression. Beside it, the tall candle holder stands sentinel. The spectacles, perhaps once perched on an erudite scholar’s nose, now rest silently. And there—the wine glass, filled with red wine, reflecting the bright light.

Teresa’s attention to detail astounds me. The delicate feathers of the quill pen, the grain of the wood, the strong reflections—all rendered with precision. I imagine the room’s occupant—an artist, a writer, or a philosopher—lost in introspection. The absence of figures amplifies the emotional resonance; it’s as if the objects themselves hold memories and secrets.

This painting, with its vintage charm, transcends time. It beckons us to appreciate the beauty in everyday artifacts, to honor the past, and to find solace in quiet moments.

In summary, “The Study” is more than pigment on canvas; it’s a portal to reflection, a glimpse into the soul of an era long past.

—Elowyn Sylvan

This Painting is For Sale
For more information about this painting or to purchase it, click or tap on the following link: "The Study."

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FROM THE EDITORS: We hope you found this oil painting art review on The Study enjoyable and its information useful. We’re confident you’ll also appreciate the fine art paintings featured below. For additional information and details, please click or tap the thumbnail link.

visit distant worlds
In a Faraway Galaxy (2021) 
6″ w x 6″ h
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Great-Grandma’s Fine China Teacup (2020)
6″ w x 6″ h

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Fine Art Review: Sea of Galilee at Capernaum

fine art review
Fine art review of Sea of Galilee at Capernaum, a painting by Teresa Bernard.

A fine art review of the artistic work “Sea of Galilee at Capernaum” written by Marcus Zephyr.

Let me share my thoughts on the oil painting titled “Sea of Galilee at Capernaum” by Teresa Bernard.

This one-of-a-kind oil painting beautifully captures the modern-day Sea of Galilee and its surroundings. The composition draws the viewer’s eye to the foreground, where the shore of Capernaum is depicted in a painterly style using brown, red, and green hues. The brushwork conveys a sense of movement and texture, evoking the natural landscape.

Contemplating this artwork, I’m reminded of the biblical significance of the Sea of Galilee. It’s the very place where Jesus performed miracles, including walking on water. The lake itself, nestled between the Golan Heights and the Galilee region, stretches approximately 13 miles in length and 8 miles in width. The Jordan River feeds its waters, and its shores have witnessed profound moments in Christian history.

The artist, Teresa Bernard, skillfully captures the essence of this sacred location. Her love for God’s word and Bible readings inspired her to create this painting. Although she hasn’t visited Israel personally, her connection to the Holy Land shines through her work. The reference photo she used, courtesy of the “Pictorial Library of Bible Lands,” allowed her to faithfully depict the Sea of Galilee and its significance.

In summary, “Sea of Galilee at Capernaum” invites viewers to contemplate the interplay of faith, nature, and history. It’s a testament to the enduring impact of this biblical site, where Jesus called His first disciples and began His ministry. As an art lover, I appreciate how Teresa Bernard’s brushstrokes convey both reverence and wonder.

—Marcus Zephyr

This Painting is For Sale
For more information about this painting or to purchase it, click or tap on the following link: "Sea of Galilee at Capernaum."

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FROM THE EDITORS: We hope you enjoyed this fine art review on Sea of Galilee at Capernaum and found it’s information to be useful. We’re sure you’ll enjoy the paintings below too. For more information and details, click or tap the thumbnail link.

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Asteroid Strike
(2022)
6″ w x 6″ h
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Space Art     |     Still Life     |     Wildlife

Additional Reading

How to Write a Constructive Art Critique

More information about this topic and many others can be found in My Artist Blog Index. Check it out!

Have a question?

If you have a question about this fine art review on the Sea of Galilee at Capernaum, please contact us, and we’ll be happy to answer your questions.

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Adventures in Africa Series

Africa paintingsThe Adventures in Africa Series started out as an inquiry about a possible commission and grew from there. Indeed, a good many of the paintings in this series were commissioned works.

Since the initial query, I have received numerous commissions for paintings of Africa and have also completed some non-commissioned Africa paintings as well.

Africa has always intrigued me, ever since I was a young girl. The idea of going on a safari and camping out in the jungle with exotic animals was a childhood fantasy of mine. In my dreams, there was no real danger, and any shooting that had to be done was with my camera. Of course, that’s not reality; African wildlife can be very dangerous, but not in a child’s imagination.

I’ve never been to Africa, but I’d sure love to go someday. All of these paintings depicting Africa have reignited my childhood desire to visit that continent.

My Adventures in Africa Series

Available paintings In This Series

Click on the thumbnail link for a larger image and more information.

Africa national flower
King Protea Flower (2020)
6″ w x 6″ h
Available
Trees of Africa
Camelthorn Trees of Africa (2011)
24″ w x 24″ h
Available
Africa wildlife
Eye of The Zebra 
(2021)
9″ w x 12″ h
Available
Sold Out Paintings
African wildlife art
Africa Wildlife — Giraffes (2019)
18″ w x 24″ h
SOLD
wild animal paintings
Africa Wildlife — Leopard (2019)
18″ w x 24″ h
SOLD
Africa national park mountain painting
Mount Kilimanjaro Rising (2018)
30″ w x 24″ h
SOLD
Victoria Falls waterfall
Victoria Falls, Africa (2018)
30″ w x 24″ h
SOLD
African elephant oil painting
African Elephant on The Serengeti (2018)
18″ w x 24″ h
SOLD
mountain painting
Scaling Mount Kilimanjaro (2011)
24″ w x 18″ h
SOLD
African elephant artwork
Raging African Elephant (2007)
18″ w x 24″ h
SOLD

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Flowers     |     Landscapes     |     Marine     |     People

Space Art     |     Still Life     |     Wildlife

Additional Reading

Life in Texas Series

More information about this topic and many others can be found in My Artist Blog Index. Check it out!

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Life in Texas Series

Made in TexasLife in Texas painting series

I was born and raised in west Texas. And until I graduated high school and went off to college in another state, I had never lived anywhere but the Lone Star State. My life was and still is in Texas.

After finishing college, I stayed in California for a while before moving to Oregon, then I moved cross-country to Florida, then to Virginia, and now I’ve come full circle back to Texas. (When you’re married to a military man, you get to move around a lot!)

Growing up Texan

So, what does “growing up Texan” mean? It’s an amazing journey of a lifetime! I’ve gotten to see and experience things common in Texas, such as the prickly pear cactus, bluebonnets, horny toads, armadillos, oil derricks and pump jacks, wide open plains, and that west Texas wind that never seems to stop blowing! Things like longhorn cattle, cowboys, and rodeos. Also, rattle snakes! Yikes!! The places I’ve visited, such as The Alamo, Senora Caverns, Lake Livingston, Palo Duro Canyon, Jersey Lily Saloon & Judge Roy Bean, Law West of the Pecos Museum, Fort Worth Stock Yards, and South Pedra Island, to name a few, are part of my list of adventures. The list is endless.

Texas in my DNA

You can take the girl out of Texas, but you can’t take Texas out of the girl. Texas is written in my DNA, and my roots are firmly planted here. It’s easy to see why I’d paint about the Texas way of life. This is an on-going series, and I hope you like it.

My Life in Texas Series

Available Paintings In This series

Click on a thumbnail link for larger image and more information.

cactus artwork
Prickly Pear Cactus
(2021)
9″ w x 12″ h
Available
Texas horny toad
The Texas Horned Lizard (2018)
6″ w x 6″ h
Available
Texas panhandle Palo Duro Canyon oils on canvas
Lighthouse, Palo Duro Canyon (2016)
16″ w x 12″ h
Available
barn painting
Texas Flag Barn
(2015)
20″ w x 16″ h
Available
longhorn painting
Texas Longhorn in The Meadow (2013)
20″ w x 16″ h
Available
Texas lifestyle
Life in Texas — Round Hay Bales (2013) 
16″ w x 20″ h
Available
east Texas moon
Full Moon Rising
(2013)
20″ w x 16″ h
Available
Texas western sunset
Cowboy Sunset
(2012)
24″ w x 18″ h
Available
Texas covered wagon
Covered Wagon on The Prairie (2010)
20″ w x 16″ h
Available
Sold out paintings
rose artwork
Yellow Rose of Texas (2008) 
18″ w x 18″ h
SOLD
Texas rose art
Tyler Red Rose
(2006)
16″ w x 12″ h
SOLD
Texas sunset painting
Sunset Over Texas (2001)
12″ w x 9″ h
SOLD

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Space Art     |     Still Life     |     Wildlife

Additional Reading

Adventures in Africa Series

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Art Review: Fall Pumpkins and a Wagon Wheel

fall pumpkins painting
Art Review of Fall Pumpkins and a Wagon Wheel, a painting by Teresa Bernard. © Copyright 2022 – Present

An art review of the realism painting “Fall Pumpkins and a Wagon Wheel” written by Aria Wildwood.

In the delightful autumn painting “Fall Pumpkins and a Wagon Wheel,” realist artist Teresa Bernard masterfully captures the season’s spirit with remarkable attention to detail. The composition centers around three pumpkins and an old, rusted wagon wheel, both of which sit in the foreground. These elements draw the viewer’s attention, inviting us to explore their textures and colors.

The rustic charm of the wagon wheel is evident—the patina of age and wear adds character to the scene. Its juxtaposition with the vibrant orange pumpkins creates a delightful contrast. The wheel leans casually against a tree, as if it has been there for generations, witnessing the changing seasons.

Background trees complete the tableau. Their leaves, once vibrant, now show signs of autumn’s inevitable transformation. The warm hues—reds, yellows, and browns—create a sense of coziness and nostalgia. The artist’s skillful brushwork captures the delicate balance between life and decay.

As I look upon and admire Fall Pumpkins and a Wagon Wheel, I can sense the crispness of the air, the scent of fallen leaves, and the subtle creak of branches swaying gently in the wind. It’s a painting that celebrates the simple pleasures of autumn—a time when nature’s palette transforms, and memories are made.

I’ve provided an art critique for Fall Pumpkins and a Wagon Wheel by Teresa Bernard, highlighting its key elements and evocative qualities. If you’d like further details or have any other requests, feel free to ask!

—Aria Wildwood

This Painting is For Sale
For more information about this painting or to purchase it, click or tap on the following link: "Fall Pumpkins and a Wagon Wheel."

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Fly Me to The Moon
(2020)
9″ w x 12″ h

Art Gallery Quick Links

Flowers     |     Landscapes     |     Marine     |     People

Space Art     |     Still Life     |     Wildlife

Additional Reading

How to Write a Constructive Art Critique

More information about this topic and many others can be found in My Artist Blog Index. Check it out!

Have a question?

If you have a question about this art review of “Fall Pumpkins and a Wagon Wheel,” please contact us, and we’ll be happy to answer your questions.

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Artwork Review: Song of The Trees

artwork review
Artwork review of “Song of The Trees,” a painting by Teresa Bernard.

An artwork review of the artistic composition “Song of The Trees” written by Helena Lysander.

Title: “Song of The Trees” — An Enchanting Forest Sonata

Song of The Trees artwork is a mesmerizing landscape painting that transports viewers into a serene forest. Created by the talented artist Teresa Bernard, this large-scale artwork captures the essence of nature, inviting contemplation and wonder. As I gaze upon this painting, I am immediately drawn into a world where nature’s symphony unfolds. Let me share my personal reflections on this captivating piece of art.

Artistic Interpretation

The painting depicts a dense forest with towering pine trees. A soft fog lingers in the background, creating an ethereal atmosphere. The blue sky peeks through the trees in the distance, adding depth and contrast. Song of The Trees invites me to step into a tranquil forest, where the rustling leaves and whispering branches compose a melodic ode to existence. Teresa’s skillful brushwork brings the trees to life, capturing their majestic presence.

Artwork Analysis

The composition is both balanced and dynamic. Tall pine trees anchor the scene, their vertical lines guiding my gaze upward. The misty background adds depth, blurring the boundary between reality and reverie. I feel as though I could step into this forest and lose myself in its serenity.

The artist’s choice of colors resonates with the quietude of dawn. Cool blues and soft greens dominate the canvas, evoking the freshness of dew-kissed leaves. Hints of warm ochre peek through, like sunbeams filtering through foliage.

Teresa’s mastery lies in her ability to convey texture. The bark of the trees feels rough and ancient, while the distant fog appears soft and elusive. Her brushstrokes are deliberate yet fluid, capturing the organic rhythm of growth and decay.

Artist’s Inspiration

Teresa’s love for trees shines through this art piece. Trees symbolize resilience, shelter, and the passage of time. Inspired by a poem, she beautifully conveys their significance:

“We are the Trees,
Who grow for man’s desire,
Heat in our faithful hearts, and fruits that please.
Dwelling beneath our tents, he lightly gains
The few sufficiencies his life attains—
Shelter, and food, and fire.”

Personal Connection

Song of The Trees whispers secrets to me—the passage of time, resilience, and interconnectedness. Each tree stands as a witness to centuries, their roots entwined in a silent conversation. I sense the weight of history and the promise of renewal. As an artist myself, I find inspiration in Teresa’s work. She invites me to listen—to the wind rustling leaves, to the heartbeat of the forest. I long to pick up my own brush and translate nature’s symphony onto canvas.

Conclusion

Song of The Trees transcends mere representation. It invites contemplation, urging me to slow down, breathe, and attune myself to the quiet music of existence. Teresa Bernard has gifted us a timeless composition—an invitation to find our own song within the rustling leaves.

—Helena Lysander

This Painting is For Sale

For more information about this painting or to purchase it, click or tap on the following link: Song of The Trees.”

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FROM THE EDITORS: We hope you found this artwork review of the Song of The Trees oil painting to be both informative and beneficial. We believe you will also appreciate the paintings featured below. For additional information and details, please click or tap the thumbnail link.

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Under the Shade Tree in Autumn (2023)
9″ w x 12″ h
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Additional Reading

How to Write a Constructive Art Critique

More information about this topic and many others can be found in My Artist Blog Index. Check it out!

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Making and Using a Viewfinder to Compose Better Paintings

What exactly is a viewfinder?

what is a viewfinder?
Use a viewfinder to crop out unwanted parts of an image to make a better composition.

A viewfinder is a useful tool that many photographers and painters use.

In photography, it is the apparatus on the camera that the photographer looks through to compose the photograph he/she wants to take.

In oil painting, a viewfinder is a tool that serves a similar purpose. Artists use these devices as an aid in organizing the scenery of their paintings. It can be moved around to isolate the most appealing aspects of the scenery. A viewfinder achieves this by cutting out the unnecessary elements, resulting in a significantly better composition.

How to Make an Artist’s Viewfinder

artist viewfinder
Window Viewfinder

Making a viewfinder requires little effort. There are two types: window and L-shape. Both types are simple to make, and which one you choose to use depends on the canvas you plan to paint on. They can easily be made from materials such as cardboard, matboard, or paper.

Making a Window Viewfinder

For standard-size canvases, you may want to choose the window viewfinder. Take a simple piece of paper, scrap matboard, or thin cardboard and cut a rectangular window in the center to look through. The window opening should be proportionate to the prepared canvas in height and width. For example, a 16″ x 20″ canvas would require the viewfinder window to be 2″ x 2.5″ or 4″ x 5″.

Other proportions that might be useful are:

Canvas Size
Window Cutout Size
16″ x 20″ or 24″ x 30″ 2″x 2.5″, 4″x 5″, or 8″x10″
16″ x 24″ or 24″ x 36″ 2″ x 3″ or 4″ x 6″
9″ x 12″, 12″ x 16″ or 18″ x 24″ 3″ x 4″ or 6″ x 8″

After carefully measuring and cutting out the window opening, move it slowly around on the surface of your snapshot until the image that interests you appears in the opening. Once you have decided on the composition, tape the viewfinder in position on your photograph to hold it in place.

Making an L-shaped Viewfinder

artist L shaped viewfinder
L-shaped Viewfinder

The L-shaped viewfinder is helpful in determining what size canvas is required if you do not plan on using a standard-size canvas. The two L’s work together much like the aperture of a camera. You move them out and away from each other to enlarge the opening, or you move them closer together to shrink the inside opening.

The L-shaped viewfinder can be made from two L-shaped pieces of cardboard, matboard, or paper. When placed together, they create a frame around your area of focus. You then look through this frame to determine the scene you wish to paint. To make one, you will need a ruler and pencil to draw two identical-sized L-shaped pieces. A good width is about two inches, so they can easily crop out the unwanted areas of the scenery. The length of the arms of each L can be any size; however, 6″ to 8″ works best if you are going to use it on photographs.

How to Use an Artist’s Viewfinder

using an artist viewfinderUsing the viewfinder is a simple technique that has been around and used by artists for centuries. What a viewfinder does is frame in and crop out unimportant areas of an image. The elements inside the frame will make up an attractive focal point that can be used to begin your painting.

How this is done is to take your image and slowly move the viewfinder around until you pinpoint a precise spot that makes an eye-catching center of interest. Once you have your composition picked out, attach the viewfinder to the picture using low-adhesive tape to hold it in place. This will permit you to make several drawings of the scene needed or sketch it directly onto the canvas, getting it ready for painting.

A viewfinder is also beneficial for training your eye to distinguish a good composition. This instrument will give the artist an idea of how an arrangement might work as a viable composition. Over time, your “mind’s eye” will become adept at ignoring extraneous elements, allowing you to visualize compositions without any assistance.

Lastly, both viewfinders can be used in either portrait (vertical) or landscape (horizontal) orientations. This allows the artist to use it as a drawing aid to determine which orientation works best for their painting. Positioning the viewfinder vertically accentuates the view’s top and bottom, while a horizontal hold highlights the composition’s width. This helps you focus on particular parts of the scene, enabling you to decide what will make the best composition, both in terms of emphasis and orientation.

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FROM THE EDITORS: We hope you enjoyed this blog about using a viewfinder and found it’s information to be useful. We’re sure you’ll enjoy the paintings below too. For more information and details, click or tap the thumbnail link.

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Additional Reading

The Importance of Varnishing Oil Paintings

Using a Grid to Enlarge and Transfer an Image to Canvas

You can find more details on this subject and many others in the My Artist Blog Index.

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Using a Grid to Enlarge and Transfer an Image to Canvas

The Grid Enlarging Technique

Grid enlarging is a simple technique used by artists every day to create sensational works of art. The best part is that it doesn’t require advanced drawing skills to obtain remarkable outcomes using this method. You’d be surprised to learn that many of the world’s greatest oil painters are not skilled in drawing. They compensate for this by using the grid enlarging technique to start their paintings. What grid enlarging does is to help the artist transfer a smaller image onto a larger canvas, capturing as much detail as desired. Ultimately their paintings become beautiful works of art

What exactly is grid enlarging?

grid enlarging techniqueA grid is a series of equally spaced horizontal and vertical lines that intersect to form a boxed pattern. It serves to divide the original image into smaller blocks to see what goes where more easily. Grid enlarging can be a valuable exercise in helping to improve your drawing and observational skills.

Grid enlarging is the process of using a grid to precisely copy and enlarge a smaller image onto a larger canvas. Artists use this technique regularly as part of preparing their canvases for painting. It entails drawing a grid on your reference image and then drawing another grid on your canvas of equal or greater proportion. Then, one square at a time, you draw the picture onto your canvas, concentrating on the contents of each square until the image is complete.

5 Easy Steps to Grid Enlarging

Step 1: Select your reference photograph and use a viewfinder to isolate the section you want to paint. Next, you will need to determine the proportions of your composition. It is important that the image and the canvas be in the same proportion. For example, a composition that measures 4″ x 5″ is the same proportion as a 16″ x 20″ or 24″ x 30″ canvas. If your canvas is 12″ x 16″ or 18″ x 24″, then you will need to crop your reference photo to 3″ x 4″ or 6″ x 8″.

Smart tip: For detailed information about what a viewfinder is and how to use one, see the article titled "Making and Using a Viewfinder to Compose Better Paintings."

Step 2: The most important thing to keep in mind when drawing your grid is it must be in a 1-to-1 ratio. The size of your reference photo must always be equal in proportion to the size of the canvas. Failing to follow this principle will result in a distorted drawing. Equally important is the lines must be evenly space both vertically and horizontally, intersecting to form perfect squares.

Smart tip: After you have drawn your grids on both your reference photo and canvas, count the number of squares in each row and column on your canvas. It should be the same amount as the ones in your picture.

using a grid for enlarging an imageStep 3: Use a pencil and ruler to carefully measure and mark along the outside edge of the photo. Put tick marks at every inch, half-inch, or quarter inch, depending on the size of your reference image and how much detail you need to transfer. Then carefully connect your marks by lightly drawing your grid directly onto the image.

Draw the grid lightly so that it can be easily erased once you’re finished. If you don’t want to draw on your photograph, you can tape a piece of clear acetate over your picture and then draw your grid on it using a very fine-point Sharpie marker.

Smart tip: Use a mechanical pencil to draw your grid. A mechanical pencil produces a very thin and precise line.

grid drawing methodStep 4: Begin your transfer by drawing everything you see in one block of the reference photograph into the corresponding block on your canvas. Concentrate on one square at a time until it is fully completed, then proceed to the next square.  Disregard squares you’re not working on until you come to them. The reason you should focus on only one square at a time is so that you will end up drawing what is actually there—what your eye sees—rather than what you think should be there.

Copy all the details you see in that one little block on the photo to its corresponding block on your canvas. Be sure to include the shadows and highlights too. Continue this process one block at a time until all the blocks have been drawn onto your canvas. When you have finished that last block, you will have a very close rendering of your reference photo.

grid drawingBegin your drawing with the top left square (A1) and proceed across and down the canvas, moving row by row and column by column, until your detailed drawing is complete. Pay careful attention to make sure you are in the correct square, or your drawing will be off, and you will have to erase some of the drawing and start over from the point where you went off-grid.

An excellent way to keep your blocks straight is to label them numerically and alphabetically along the edges of the photo and canvas. The first block on your canvas located in the top left corner would be block A1. The next one to the right on the same row would be block A2, and so forth. This technique will prevent you from losing your place, particularly in larger paintings.

Smart tip: Use a thin piece of sharpened charcoal instead of a pencil when transferring your drawing. The advantage of charcoal over pencil is that charcoal can be easily wiped off with your finger, kneaded eraser, paper towel, or rag, whereas pencil lead requires more effort to erase. Spray with a fixative to keep your charcoal drawing from rubbing off when you finish your drawing.

Step 5: Once you have transferred the entire image onto the canvas, carefully remove the grid lines and start painting.

A helpful online tool you can use to draw your grids is ArtTutor. Here is the link.

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FROM THE EDITORS: We hope you enjoyed this blog about grid enlarging and found it’s information to be useful. We’re sure you’ll enjoy the paintings below too. For more information and details, click or tap the thumbnail link.

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Art Gallery Quick Links

Flowers     |     Landscapes     |     Marine     |     People

Space Art     |     Still Life     |     Wildlife

Additional Reading

Making and Using a Viewfinder to Compose Better Paintings

The Importance of Varnishing Oil Paintings

You can find more details on this subject and many others in My Artist Blog Index. Check it out!

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Feel free to share this with your friends.