A Painting In The Making

This blog post discusses my painting process—how I transform an empty canvas into a finished piece.

W.I.P. (Work in Progress)

gallery-wrapped canvas
Gallery-wrapped Canvas

All of my artwork is composed and painted on stretched canvases that have been commercially primed. I prefer gallery-wrapped canvas. It is the type of canvas that wraps around the stretcher bar support. This allows me to carry the painting around the edges of the canvas, giving it a more modern look. It also means the painting will not require a frame for display unless the customer wants it framed.

Gesso Primed Stretched Canvas

canvas with gesso layer
Gesso primed canvas.

Even though the canvas I use has already been pre-primed by the manufacturer, it’s not sufficient. Additional layers of primer are needed to provide proper support for the pigment. Before I start painting, the canvas has to be prepared and made ready to accept the oil paint. I apply two layers of gesso to the canvas and allow each layer to dry thoroughly between coats. After that, the canvas is gently sanded to remove any rough edges. I try to prime as many canvases as possible at a time. That way, I always have a ready supply of canvases on hand for whenever inspiration strikes, and I want to start a new painting.

For step-by-step instructions on how to prime a canvas using gesso, check out this article on WikiHow: “How to Prime a Canvas.”

Sketching The Image

sketch image on the canvas using a grid
Sketching the image on the canvas.

After the canvas has been properly prepared, it’s time to start sketching the image onto the surface of the canvas. Every painting begins as a simple grid drawn on the canvas. This grid serves to aid in the placement of the focal point and other elements where they will best complement the overall composition. Using a pencil or stick of charcoal, I begin sketching the image that will eventually become the finished painting. I try to make the sketch as detailed as I can, making sure to include the shadow areas too.

BTW, I normally don’t make my grid lines this dark. It’s best to keep them light. I only made them dark so they would show up better for the example. I will remove them before the layer of under paint goes on.

The Underpainting

underpainting
The underpainting.

An underpainting is the first layer of paint applied to the canvas and serves as a foundation for the subsequent layers of paint that will be applied as the painting progresses. It’s an important layer that’s largely made up of pigment and medium (a mixture of mineral spirits and linseed oil). I use this underpainting layer to get rid of the stark white canvas surface and begin blocking in color, which also helps define the image’s basic outline. I keep this layer thin, making sure not to cover up my sketch lines. That will happen later as I develop the painting by adding more layers of pigment. Once the underpainting layer has dried, I begin laying in oil paint layer upon layer and adding more and more detail as I go until the painting is finished.

Painting in Layers

layers
Layering on the oil paint.

I paint in layers, allowing each layer to dry before adding the next. It takes longer to finish a painting this way, but this technique will enable me to achieve the effect I’m working toward. Depending on the amount of detail that needs to be included in the composition, some paintings will have more layers than others. Allowing each layer to dry reduces the overall drying time required before applying the final layer, which is varnish.

Applying Varnish

After the painting is finished and has had time to thoroughly dry, I will apply a coat of artist-grade clear varnish to protect it and bring out the colors.

For more information on varnishing, see The Importance of Varnishing Oil Paintings.

The Finished Painting

white dog pet portrait
The finished painting.

The Large White Dog
Domestic Pet Painting by Teresa Bernard
16″ w x 20″ h
Oils on gallery wrap stretched canvas

Read more about this painting here.

 

 

Additional Reading

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

Thanks for reading this!

Feel free to share this with your friends.


 

My Oil Paintings Index

A Visual Reference of Oil Paintings by Teresa Bernard

Oil Paintings IndexThis is a visual resource index and reference of my oil paintings. If you don’t see the artwork you’re looking for here, chances are very likely that it’s not one of mine. Of course, this is not an exhaustive list. I’ve been painting since my pre-teens, long before the Internet and the creation of this website. Regrettably, I don’t have any photos of my early works to include in the oil paintings index.

This index is updated frequently. As more paintings are completed, they are added to this painting index.

All paintings are available for purchase unless indicated otherwise.

Flower Art Index

Click on the image for more information about that particular painting.

flower art index
Red and White Cosmos (2023)
6″ w x 8″ h
Available
index of flower paintings
Red Poinsettia
(2023)
12″ w x 9″ h
Available
paintings reference directory
White Calla Lilies on Blue (2023)
6″ w x 8″ h
Available
oil paintings reference
Poppy Pods
(2022)
8″ w x 6″ h
Available
flower art still life
White Poppies in a Vase (2022)
6″ w x 8″ h
Available
desert artwork index
Prickly Pear Cactus
(2021)
9″ w x 12″ h
Available
oil paintings list
Dill Flowers Close-up (2021)
6″ w x 6″ h
Available
catalog of Teresa Bernard art
King Protea Flower (2020)
6″ w x 6″ h
Available
paintings resource
Yellow Rose
(2018)
6″ w x 6″ h
Available
visual index of canvas art
Sunflower From Behind (2016)
20″ w x 16″ h
Available
rose artwork
Yellow Rose of Texas (2008) 
18″ w x 18″ h
SOLD
Index of fine art
Magnolia Blossom (2007) 
18″ w x 18″ h
SOLD
floral art directory
Tyler Red Rose
(2006)
16″ w x 12″ h
SOLD
oil paintings on canvas
Tiger Lily Close-up (2021)
6″ w x 6″ h
SOLD
visual artist index of canvas art

Landscape Oil Paintings Index

Click on the image for more information about that particular painting.

landscape paintings index
Under The Shade Tree
(2023)
12″ w x 9″ h
Available
autumn shade tree painting
Under the Shade Tree in Autumn (2023)
9″ w x 12″ h
Available
stormy weather painting
Lightning Strikes
(2023)
12″ w x 9″ h
Available
pine trees forest painting
Song of The Trees
(2023)
24″ w x 36″ h
Available
landscape paintings reference
Hilltops
(2023)
9″ w x 12″ h
Available
landscape art directory
Fall Pumpkins and a Wagon Wheel (2022)
6″ w x 8″ h
Available
silhouette trees painting
Trees at Dusk
(2022)
12″ w x 9″ h
Available
resource directory of landscapes
Blue Shutters
 (2022)
12″ w x 9″ h
Available
 hot air balloon
Up, Up and Away!
(2022)
30″ w x 24″ h 
Available
landscape oil paintings index
The Broadside of a Barn (2022)
12″ w x 9″ h 
Available
paintings visual listings
Up the Steps
(2021)
9″ w x 12″ h
Available
farmhouse wall canvas art
Raggedy Ol’ Farmhouse (2021)
12″ w x 9″ h
Available
directory of oil paintings
Log Cabin in The Autumn Woods (2021)
9″ w x 12″ h
Available
art reference
Fence Post in The Meadow (2020)
9″ w x 12″ h
Available
paintings artwork index
The Garden Cottage (2020)
6″ w x 6″ h
Available
National Monument art
Devils Tower
(2019)
6″ w x 6″ h
Available
paintings Index
Mount Kilimanjaro Rising (2018)
30″ w x 24″ h
SOLD
inventory of canvas art paintings
Lighthouse, Palo Duro Canyon (2016)
16″ w x 12″ h
Available
resource listings of oil paintings
Tractor Tire
(2016)
12″ w x 16″ h
Available
landscape oil paintings
Texas Flag Barn
(2015)
20″ w x 16″ h
Available
visual landscape painting reference
Life in Texas — Round Hay Bales (2013) 
16″ w x 20″ h
Available
artwork index
Cowboy Sunset
(2012)
24″ w x 18″ h
Available
oil paintings list
Forgotten Roads of Bygone Days (2012)
24″ w x 18″ h
Available
list of landscape paintings
Camelthorn Trees of Africa (2011)
24″ w x 24″ h
Available
directory of oil paintings
Van Gogh’s Church
(2011) 
20″ w x 24″ h
Available
Teresa Bernard Oil Paintings Index
Scaling Mount Kilimanjaro (2011)
24″ w x 18″ h
SOLD
catalog of landscape art
Covered Wagon on The Prairie (2010)
20″ w x 16″ h
Available
resource list of oil paintings
Monument Valley
(2009)
16″ w x 12″ h
Available
inventory listing landscape paintings
Calvary at Sunset
(2009)
20″ w x 16″ h
Available
fine art Oil Paintings Index
The Garden Tomb (2004)
9″ w x 12″ h
NOT FOR SALE
reference visual for artwork
The Garden Tomb at Sunset (2004)
12″ w x 9″ h
SOLD
visual index of Oil Paintings
The Grand Teton Mountains (2003)
18″ w x 14″ h
SOLD
Index visual list fine art
Sunset Over Texas (2001)
12″ w x 9″ h
SOLD
Oil Paintings inventory of fine art
Fence Post in The Snow (2001)
9″ w x 12″ h
SOLD
visual list of wall art
The Giants of Sequoia (1998)
12″ w x 16″ h
SOLD
visual record of Teresa Bernard art
Covered Bridge of Lane County (1997)
12″ w x 9″ h
SOLD
Teresa Bernard art table of contents

Marine and Seascape Paintings Index

Click on the image for more information about that particular painting.

beach art index
Kokomo Beach
(2022)
6″ w x 6″ h 
Available
oils on canvas
Rubjerg Knude Lighthouse (2022)
6″ w x 8″ h 
Available
record of marine artwork
Rowboat at The Pier
(2021)
12″ w x 12″ h 
Available
resource directory
Bow of The Boat
(2021)
18″ w x 18″ h
Available
oil paintings by Teresa Bernard
Yaquina Head Lighthouse (2021)
9″ w x 12″ h
SOLD
list of artworks
Seagull Beach
(2021)
6″ w x 6″ h
SOLD
oil paintings index
Sunset in The Tropics (2020)
6″ w x 6″ h
Available
paintings visual recourse
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe (2018)
30″ w x 24″ h
SOLD
catalog of fine art paintings
Return to Peggy’s Cove (2009)
20″ w x 18″ h
SOLD
resource list of paintings
Currituck Beach Lighthouse (2008)
11″ w x 14″ h
Available
visual index of canvas art
Peggy’s Cove Revisited (2008)
20″ w x 16″ h
SOLD
record of artwork
Sea of Galilee at Capernaum (2005)
20″ w x 16″ h
Available
visual reference of wall paintings
Peggy’s Cove
(2005)
20″ w x 16″ h
SOLD
directory of wall art
Boat Fenders
(2003)
9″ w x 12″ h
Available
oil paintings index
The Fisherman in a Red Boat (2003)
9″ w x 12″ h
SOLD
artwork listings index
Along The Intracoastal Waterway (2001)
12″ w x 9″ h
Available
index of artworks
Irish Fishing Village, Bunratty IRL (2001)
12″ w x 9″ h
SOLD
canvas Index visual list
Heceta Head Lighthouse (2000)
16″ w x 12″ h
SOLD
Teresa Bernard art records
Oregon Coast
(1997)
9″ w x 12″ h
SOLD
Oil Paintings Index

People & Portrait Oil Paintings Index

Click on the image for more information about that particular painting.

People Paintings Index
Fishing with Dad
(2023)
24″ w x 18″
SOLD
ballet dancer fine art
Ballerina Feet En Pointe (2022)
6″ w x 8″ h
Available
surfer girl
Gone Surfing
(2022)
12″ w x 16″ h
Available
people paintings directory
Sisters in Lavender
(2021)
24″ w x 18″ h
Available
people in art resource
A Boy and His Dog (2020)
24″ w x 18″ h
Available
artwork index
Girl in The Red Dress
(2020)
24″ w x 18″ h
Available
directory of Teresa Bernard art
The Ballerina
(2013)
24″ w x 18″ h
Available
inventory of artwork paintings
Portrait of Tera
(2005)
16″ w x 20″ h
NOT FOR SALE
visual list of artwork Index
Portrait of Robert
(2003)
12″ w x 16″ h
NOT FOR SALE
artwork index

Space Art Index

Click on the image for more information about that particular painting.

index of space art
Asteroid Collision Course (2023)
9″ w x 12″ h
Available
space art painting of comet
Path of The Comet
(2023)
9″ w x 12″ h
Available
astrounaut wall art
Spacewalker
(2022)
30″ w x 24″ h
Available
list of spart art paintings
Reaching for The Stars (2022)
12″ w x 16″ h
Available
visual index of canvas art
Galaxy of The Spanish Dancer (2022)
24″ w x 18″ h
Available
visual painting reference
Little Star Gazer
(2022)
9″ w x 12″ h
Available
space art paintings index
Asteroid Strike
(2022)
6″ w x 6″ h
Available
space art catalog
The Beautiful Infinite (2021)
12″ w x 12″ h
SOLD
inventory of oil paintings
Starship Enterprise — To Boldly Go (2021)
24″ w x 18″ h
SOLD
resource directory of oil paintings
A View of The Full Moon and Earth (2021)
6″ w x 6″ h
Available
visual list of canvas paintings
Starry Night with Lone Scraggly Tree (2021)
6″ w x 6″ h
SOLD
record of artwork by Teresa Bernard
In a Faraway Galaxy (2021) 
6″ w x 6″ h
Available
oil paintings by Teresa Bernard
Fly Me to The Moon
(2020)
9″ w x 12″ h
Available
outer space artwork listings
Space…The Next Frontier (2017)
24″ w x 18″ h
Available
index of oil paintings
Night Sky Over Delicate Arch (2017)
6″ w x 6″ h
SOLD
visual reference of wall paintings
Full Moon Rising
(2013)
20″ w x 16″ h
Available
oil paintings reference directory
First Footprint on The Moon (2012)
18″ w x 24″ h
SOLD
reference visual space art
First Man on The Moon (2012) 
24″ w x 18″ h
SOLD
resource list of paintings
Land Rover Tracks of Mars (2012)
18″ w x 24″ h
SOLD
visual list of paintings

Index of Still Life Oil Paintings

Click on the image for more information about that particular painting.

index of still life oil paintings
Still Life with Black Jars (2022)
12″ w x 9″ h
Available
visual list of still life paintings
Three Rustic Jugs
(2021)
12″ w x 9″ h
Available
artwork index
Still Life with Red and Yellow Onions (2021) 
18″ w x 18″ h
Available
record of Teresa Bernard still life art
Great-Grandma’s Sewing Thread #1 (2021) 6″ w x 6″ h
Available
inventory of still life paintings
Great-Grandma’s Sewing Thread #2 (2021) 6″ w x 6″ h
Available
list of table setting artworks
Great-Grandma’s Teacup (2020)
6″ w x 6″ h
Available
oil paintings by Teresa Bernard
Still Life with Clay Pottery (2006)
14″ w x 11″ h
Available
oil paintings index
Still Life with Coral and Lantern (2004)
14″ w x 11″ h
Available
resource directory of oil paintings
Still Life with Fruit and Candle (2004)
14″ w x 11″ h
Available
record of artwork by Teresa Bernard
The Communion Table (2004)
14″ w x 11″ h
SOLD
Teresa Bernard art visual reference
The Study
(2004)
14″ w x 11″ h
Available
directory of Teresa Bernard Oil Paintings
Barn Door with Horse Tack (2003)
12″ w x 9″ h
SOLD
database of Teresa Bernard art

Wildlife Oil Paintings Index

Click on the image for more information about that particular painting.

animal and wildlife paintings index
Flamingo and Chick  
(2023)
12″ w x 12″ h
Available
sharks wildlife painting
Swimming with Sharks
(2023)
12″ w x 16″ h
Available
insect artwork directory
Swallowtail Butterfly Caterpillar (2022)
6″ w x 8″ h
Available
visual painting reference
Snail #1: Last Leaf
(2021)
6″ w x 6″ h
Available
artwork index
Snail #2: Left Hanging (2021)
6″ w x 6″ h
Available
visual index of canvas art
Snail #3: Out on a Limb (2021)
6″ w x 6″ h
Available
listings of Teresa Bernard wildlife art
Snail #4: Turning Over a New Leaf (2021)
6″ w x 6″ h
Available
visual list of animal canvas artwork
Eye of The Zebra 
(2021)
9″ w x 12″ h
Available
visual reference of mammal wall paintings
The American Bison 
(2020)
24″ w x 18″ h
Available
list of insect artworks
The Monarch Butterfly (2019)
6″ w x 6″ h
Available
paintings Index resource of wildlife art
Africa Wildlife — Giraffes (2019)
18″ w x 24″ h
SOLD
inventory of wild animal paintings
Africa Wildlife — Leopard (2019)
18″ w x 24″ h
SOLD
oil paintings by Teresa Bernard
African Elephant on The Serengeti (2018)
18″ w x 24″ h
SOLD
oil paintings index
The Texas Horned Lizard (2018)
6″ w x 6″ h
Available
visual index of canvas art
Ladybug #1 – Hanging on Tight (2016)
6″ w x 6″ h
Available
inventory list of insect art
Ladybug #2 – Almost Perfect Camouflage (2016) 6″ w x 6″ h
Available
resource directory of pet paintings
The Large White Dog (2016)
16″ w x 20″ h
Available
visual list of canvas paintings
Texas Longhorn in The Meadow (2013)
20″ w x 16″ h
Available
visual painting reference
Pet Portrait of Frank (2010)
12″ w x 16″ h
SOLD
record of artwork by Teresa Bernard
Raging African Elephant (2007)
18″ w x 24″ h
SOLD
visual list of canvas paintings
Clownfish
(1998)
9″ w x 12″ h
SOLD
inventory of oil paintings

Have a question?

If you have a question about any of these paintings, please contact us, and we’ll be happy to answer your questions.

Thanks for looking!

Feel free to share this page with your friends.


 

My Artist Blog Index

Artist Blog IndexI don’t write that many blog posts because I’m busy painting or sharing my art everywhere. So, I try to make every post that I write count.

Here is the index to my artist blog posts:

New Blog Posts

Adventures in Africa Series

Life in Texas Series

Editor’s Choice

Artist Statement by Teresa Bernard

Small Paintings for Small Spaces

Visual Art in Bible Scripture

Most Popular

Using a Grid to Enlarge and Transfer an Image to Canvas

Making and Using a Viewfinder to Compose Better Paintings

Artist Blog Index

A Painting in The Making — A post about my oil painting process from beginning to end.

Adventures in Africa SeriesNew blog post!

Artist Interview

Artist Statement by Teresa Bernard — I’m told every professional artist needs an artist statement; this one is mine.

Choosing the Perfect Oil Painting for Your Home or Office — Things to consider before making that purchase.

Developing An Artistic Style of Your Own

DIY Storage for Fine Art Paintings — I designed a simple “do-it-yourself” solution for storing fine my art creations.

Life in Texas SeriesNew blog post!

Making and Using a Viewfinder to Compose Better Paintings

My Oil Paintings Index — This is a visual reference to just about every oil painting I’ve ever created.

Small Paintings for Small Spaces

Southwest Paintings NOT By Teresa Bernard

Sunset Paintings, Why I Love Them

The Importance of Varnishing Oil Paintings

Using a Grid to Enlarge and Transfer an Image to Canvas

Visual Art in Bible Scripture

What is Art Appreciation?

What is Fine Art?

Feedback From You

I receive feedback from fans all around the world, and I thought you might enjoy reading their comments. The remarks I receive come from admirers of my art, gallery owners, art teachers, students of the arts, and those who aspire to be artists one day. Take a look at what they have to say by clicking the links below.

Feedback from:

Satisfied Customers

Art Teachers and Art Students

Fellow Artists and Art Galleries

Fans Around the World

Friends Across America

It’s always exciting to hear from fans and admirers of my oil paintings. I’d love to hear from you too! Feel free to send me your feedback. Thanks!

Art Dictionary

A glossary of common art terms and definitions.

A     |     B     |     C     |     D     |     E     |     F     |     G

H     |     I       |     J     |     K     |     L     |     M     |     N

O     |     P     |     Q     |     R     |     S     |     T     |     U

V     |     W     |     X     |     Y     |     Z

Have a question?

If you have a question about this blog, please contact us, and we’ll be happy to answer any of your questions.

Thanks for reading this!

Feel free to share this with your friends.


 

Small Paintings for Small Spaces

Featuring a Line of Small Oil Paintings 

small-scaled art for saleI am pleased to bring your attention to a line of small gallery-quality oil paintings. These little paintings are available in a wide variety of themes and are small enough to fit in tight spaces. You can proudly display them wherever space is cramped, like hallways, stairways, bookshelves, or ledges. Dress up confined areas such as dorm rooms, offices, and work cubicles. Or even on the walls of your tiny house, RV, or houseboat. These small 6×6-inch or 6×8-inch works of art on gallery-wrap stretched canvas will fit anywhere there is a limited amount of wall space you want to decorate or spruce up.

Small Oil Paintings on Canvas

Click on the thumbnail for more information and to purchase.

Flowers
small paintings
Red and White Cosmos (2023)
6″ w x 8″ h
small calla lily painting
White Calla Lilies on Blue (2023)
6″ w x 8″ h
small poppy pods painting
Poppy Pods
(2022)
8″ w x 6″ h
small flowers paintings
White Poppies in a Vase (2022)
6″ w x 8″ h
small canvas artwork
Dill Flowers Close-up (2021)
6″ w x 6″ h
small-scale fine art
King Protea Flower (2020)
6″ w x 6″ h
little-sized creative works
Yellow Rose Blossom (2018)
6″ w x 6″ h
Landscapes
small paintings of autumn
Fall Pumpkins and a Wagon Wheel (2022)
6″ w x 8″ h
small canvas art
The Garden Cottage (2020)
6″ w x 6″ h
scaled-down artwork
Devils Tower
(2019)
6″ w x 6″ h
Marine
small marine paintings
Kokomo Beach
(2022)
6″ w x 6″ h
lighthouse canvas art
Rubjerg Knude Lighthouse (2022)
6″ w x 8″ h
smaller painted compositions
Sunset in The Tropics (2020)
6″ w x 6″ h
People
small paintings for sale
Ballerina Feet En Pointe (2022)
6″ w x 8″ h
Space Art
small space art paintings
Asteroid Strike
(2021)
6″ w x 6″ h
small-scale stretched canvas art
A View of The Full Moon and Earth (2021)
6″ w x 6″ h
small paintings of space for sale
In a Faraway Galaxy (2021) 
6″ w x 6″ h
Still Life
canvas art for tight spaces
Great-Grandma’s Sewing Thread #1 (2021) 6″ w x 6″ h
artwork for small spaces
Great-Grandma’s Sewing Thread #2 (2021) 6″ w x 6″ h
small art for limited spaces
Great-Grandma’s Teacup (2020)
6″ w x 6″ h
Wildlife
small paintings of insect art
Swallowtail Butterfly Caterpillar (2022)
6″ w x 8″ h
small insect art oil paintings
The Monarch Butterfly (2019)
6″ w x 6″ h
small-scale horny toad painting
Texas Horned Lizard (2018)
6″ w x 6″ h
little painted pictures
Snail #1: Last Leaf
(2021)
6″ w x 6″ h
smaller-sized works of art
Snail #2: Left Hanging (2021)
6″ w x 6″ h
small-scale stretched canvas art
Snail #3: Out on a Limb (2021)
6″ w x 6″ h
shop for small art paintings
Snail #4: Turning Over a New Leaf (2021)
6″ w x 6″ h
small artwork paintings
Ladybug #1 – Hanging on Tight (2016)
6″ w x 6″ h
little canvas art
Ladybug #2 – Almost Perfect Camouflage (2016) 6″ w x 6″ h

Additional Reading

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

Thanks for reading this!

Feel free to share this with your friends.


 

The Importance of Varnishing Oil Paintings

varnishing oil paintings

Why is varnishing your oil paintings so important? Let’s find out.

Now that you have acquired that beautiful oil painting, you will want to take measures to ensure that it stays that way. One important thing to do is make sure it has received several coats of artist-grade, non-yellowing varnish. Varnishing their oil paintings is something every artist should do before their artworks leave the studio.

Varnish is a final, transparent protective layer applied to a painting after it is finished and completely dry. It is an important first step in preserving the work of art so it lasts for generations to come.

Why varnish an oil painting?

1. Varnish saturates the colors, making them pop. It brings out the vibrancy of the colors and gives them that just-painted look and shine. In addition, varnish helps to keep those beautiful colors from fading as the years go by.

2. Varnish creates an even sheen over the entire surface of the painting. Oil paint colors dry very differently because of the different pigments that make up each color. When completely dry, some colors appear matte, some satin, and some glossy. A layer or two of varnish will even out the final appearance of the painting, giving it a consistent overall look.

3. Varnish protects the painted surface from atmospheric elements and makes the surface easier to clean. All paintings will require cleaning as time goes by; however, the varnish will reduce the frequency of those cleanings and reduce the risk of any possible damage to the painting. If the painting isn’t varnished, over time, dust, grime, dirt, grease, moisture, and pollution in the environment will change the look of the painting. These can dull the colors, causing them to crack and chip off as the years go by.

When should paintings be varnished?

An oil painting should be allowed to dry for a minimum of 6 months before applying varnish. Depending on how thick the paint is applied, it might even need as much as 12 months of drying time. It’s crucial that the oil painting is thoroughly dry before the varnish is applied; otherwise, the varnish may crack. The reason for this is that varnish dries before oil paint does. As oil paint dries, it moves slightly, and since the varnish is already dry, it begins to crack.

If your painting has never been varnished, you will need to wait at least a year and then take it to a reputable frame shop. They may be able to varnish the painting for you; however, it will probably be for a fee. Or, if you know of an artist in your area who is an oil painter, they can varnish the painting for you as well.

One final solution is varnishing oil paintings yourself. However, I wouldn’t recommend this if your painting is a valuable piece of art. If you do varnish the painting yourself, be sure to use varnish designed for fine art oil paintings. And make sure to follow all the instructions on the label. It is not recommended that you use varnish obtained from a hardware store, as this kind is too harsh for the painting and could wind up damaging it.

Additional information on how to preserve the beauty of your oil paintings can be found here.

Additional Reading

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

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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 Painting
The painting featured in this photo is titled “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.

Art Gallery Quick Links

Flowers     |     Landscapes     |     Marine     |     People

Space Art     |     Still Life     |     Wildlife

Additional Reading

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

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Visual Art in Bible Scripture

Bible scriptures 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. That being said, 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

People are inspired to produce beautiful works of art because they are made in the image and likeness of God.

  • 1 Kings 6 — As you read through this particular passage, you should note that God goes into great detail on how He wants His temple to be constructed.  From reading these verses, it is clear that God wants a beautiful place of worship for His people.
  • 1 Kings 7:13-51 — In addition to specific instructions regarding the temple construction, God also goes into detail about how He wants the furnishings for the temple to be constructed.
  • 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 desires to be served and glorified through various expressive forms. Since art is a means of honoring and serving God, it ought to be a celebration of God and everything that He created and determined to be 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.”

Christian Paintings You May Like

directory of oil paintings
Van Gogh’s Church
(2011) 
20″ w x 24″ h
inventory listing landscape paintings
Calvary at Sunset
(2009)
20″ w x 16″
record of artwork
Sea of Galilee at Capernaum (2005)
20″ w x 16″

⇒ See More Christian Art Here

Additional Reading

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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 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, Zimbabwe (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

Additional Reading

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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 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

Additional Reading

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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 the world of oil painting, a viewfinder is a tool used to perform a similar function. 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 be made from 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 beneficial in helping to determine what size canvas is required for a particular scene 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 is made from two L-shaped pieces of cardboard, matboard, or paper that, when placed together, 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 and crop out unimportant areas of an image. The elements that are left make up an attractive focal point that can be used to begin creating 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 artist viewfinders can be used in either portrait (vertical) or landscape (horizontal) positions. This allows the artist to use it as a drawing aid to determine which orientation works best for their painting. By holding the viewfinder in a vertical position, the top and bottom of the view will be emphasized. If you hold it horizontally, the composition’s width will be emphasized. 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.

Additional Reading

Using a Grid to Enlarge and Transfer an Image to Canvas

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