10 Painting Principles Every Painter Should Know Each painter

10 Painting Principles from Oil Painter Gregg Kreutz

1. The four stages of painting are placement, background, shadow and light.
2. To paint something convincingly, you have to determine local color, shadow color, turning color and highlight color.
3. Dynamics (high contrast, color, paint thickness, and so forth) bring passages forward (see Fish Market Dawn, below).

4. Paint relationships—not isolated things or people.
5. Everything is either light against dark, dark against light or same against same.
6. Paint passages in the light thickly (see Fall at the Farmer’s Market, below).

7. Light turns gently into shadow and emerges crisply from the shadow.
8. Every object needs a form shadow (see Up the Lane, below).



9. Shadows are dark versions of local color.
10. Highlights are never on the starting edge (see Golden Earring, below).

Which of these painting principles are your favorites? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to share with us any painting must-dos that were not listed above.