Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Upside Down Painting

Many painters focus too much attention on painting an object in a painting as itself rather than as a shape. To help remind me of the importance of painting shapes, I sometimes turn both the photograph and canvas upside down. This practice forces your mind to see only shapes. For example, rather than seeing a tree while painting, you only see the shape of the tree because it is upside down.
Yesterday, I painted Picking A Bouquet in my studio. Throughout the entire time, my photo and canvas were upside down on my easel. It helped me focus on the large shapes, and light vs. dark (values) instead of thinking about painting a person, building or flowers. For you artists who read this post, I'd love to hear your experience with upside down painting.


  1. Your work caught my eye when I was looking at Greenhouse Gallery's website. I love your impressionist style!

  2. I haven't tried this, but will. Let's see, I think I'll set up an upside down still life in my studio, or ask my next model to hang upside down. Will that work? :-)