March 2014

The following painting tips are from a DVD by well-known artist Richard Schmid. The title is, “Richard Schmid Paints the Landscape – June.” 
Brushes and Brush Work:

  • To manipulate paint, a brush with very stiff bristles is harder to control than a slightly softer brush.A brush that is too soft can’t control the paint either because it doesn’t have the strength to hold paint and make it go where you want it to go.
  • Use less brush-work, but apply the strokes deliberately, using as few strokes as possible. Overworking takes the life out of a painting.
  • Schmid targets for a styling that is loose but not sloppy.John Singer Sargent achieved looseness, but very carefully to be in complete control.
  • Schmid keeps a ragged, old worn out Langnickle with splayed bristles that he uses to get touches of colors on trees.


  • When working in the studio, color will look deeper and richer than it will outdoors because of the brightness of the sun outdoors on  the paint. So inside, he mixes tones slightly darker and more saturated.
  • For small areas of color highlights in finish-work, such as on leaves, don’t mix the paint too thoroughly; leave it in a variegated state. Broken color is pure impressionism.
  • The bottom of an object, such as a door, foundation, flower pot, tree, post, etc., picks up color reflected from the ground (i.e., grass, gravel, etc.). Place that color into the object.
  • Schmid tends to use more lemon yellow and cadmium yellow outdoors than he would indoors under north light. He sees yellow-green outdoors. Viridian and two blues (cobalt and ultra) and a variety of yellows can make any greens he wants.
  • In this DVD, he showed his color charts and how important they can be to determining the colors being looked at in the scene to be painted. They also help confirm the color harmonies to be set in the painting. He emphasized how important it is to be able to see colors in nature.