Begin the Journey

Painting from the Inside Out

Published on April 10, 2011 under All Posts
Painting from the Inside Out

“Old Stage Cabin” by Stefan Baumann

This is a painting of the Steward ranch, located in a beautiful meadow just outside of the town of Mount Shasta.  When painting outdoors it is important to capture the subject first by drawing it accurately with details.  Many students hurry this process, but I believe that this step is essential because a good drawing provides a foundation for the painting, and provides you with a preview of how the painting will fill the space on the canvas.

Begin by mixing your paints using an earth color and cobalt blue to make a dark neutral and begin drawing with your brush.  Include shapes and shadows, adding more blue for cool tones and more earth color for warm tones.  Place footnotes where the light is the brightest by wiping off paint with a paper towel where you see highlights.  By doing this, you create a reference of the original tones and values of the painting so when the light changes throughout the day, you can remember the scene as you first saw it.

Once the drawing is complete, begin painting the central focal point on the canvas.  This means painting from the inside out.  Since the central focal point is usually located in the middle third of the painting, painting proceeds from the middle of the painting outward to the edges.

Use a flat #6 brush to paint with opaque paint, choosing correct colors by paying attention to the temperature and value of your subject.  Work slowly and make sure that you place every stroke carefully, one by one, until the painting is complete.  Paint what you see, do not add anything but what is there and stroke by stroke you will see the painting come to life.


Plein air and Alla Prima artist Stefan Baumann, host of  the PBS painting series “The Grand View, America’s National Park through the eyes of an artist” and author of “Observations Of Art and Nature,” travels in his vintage travel trailer painting America’s western landscape. Baumann paints outdoors with oils and canvas capturing stunning vistas, wildlife, western landscapes, National Parks and still life, thrilling art collectors throughout the world.  He has many collectors acquiring his paintings as investment internationally. His painting style is called Romantic Realism with Lumunism and the extraordinary way he captures the effect of light is a truly an American Style used to paint the Western Landscape.  He can be seen painting in Yellowstone, Yosemite and in the Grand Canyon and Baumann’s “how to paint” DVDs filmed on location in the National Parks are the very best on the market.

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