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. . . . . . . . . Hello, I'm Nancy Kaminsky.
As you can see, I'm an artist and I teach painting. Today, in a little while, you're going to see or us, I'm going to prove to you that anyone can paint. This system I've invented for you, the absolute beginner. We have a lot of misconceptions in painting. I think a lot of them are pretty funny. Somehow, I think people have a romantic wild notion that you get an inspiration, you're rushed to the canvas, and you execute a masterpiece. Forget it, it just isn't sad. Of course, the other one, which is very funny, is that all artists have orgies. Forget that too. I've never seen an artist with a lot of orgies paint a very good picture. While he can, but it's very rare. In any case, I'm going to show you that using this system will get you started painting, and that's the whole idea to get you started. Because there's nothing more frightening than a pure white canvas and squeezing out a lot of paint and not knowing what to do with it. So the first thing we're going to do in this system
is to stain the canvas like this. Of course, this isn't the painting. Like that. Now, don't have it too dripping. What we really do, we take a little burnt umber, you will find out very quickly what that is. With some kerosene, I use kerosene, because turpentine can be very, um, have a great deal of odor, and it can be very difficult for you. Especially if you're allergic to it. There we are now. Actually do that. We wipe it off. Please don't get it too dry and don't have it too dripping. Like that. Now, we do this in order to have a damp canvas because we are also going to draw with paint. There again, I've broken another rule. Most artists, or when we're learning, were taught to use charcoal or pencil. Or for one, it dare use a canvas.
And secondly, if you make a mistake, it's very difficult to remove. Now, we're going to section the canvas. This is very important to put grids on the canvas. This helps to place your object correctly. And I think it's a very discouraging thing for a beginner not to be able to place their subject correctly. So the time you get its place correctly, you've gotten out of the mood. Divide your canvas in quarters like this first. I don't think I've mentioned it, but we are painting an enemies. It's best to start with a floor first because if you start with carnations and you end up with battunias, nobody's going to argue with you. Like that. There we are. And for goodness' sakes, don't use a ruler. After all, we are artists. Like that. I have to get a fairly straight. Actually, it's not, don't worry about getting them straight but don't have them going off on an angle. The purpose of the grids is to place your subject correctly
right from the beginning. Now, a rule of thumb, I mean this will change when you learn all of these rules are made for you at the beginning to help you get started. But once you've learned the rules, you can break them. Now, we're going to put in our bowl first. I think the best thing is to put a square and let's do that first. That way you can get the sides even without getting hysterical. Like that. It's usually, usually, halfway down the curve or a little less than half, like that. Fine. Let's put our bowl in like this. Now, I want to make a point here. There we go. You see how much easier it is when you have a square to balance the sides. Now, you're half, well, not halfway home but you've got a good start. In painting the flowers, we're going to paint circles. We do not delineate the character of the subject we're painting in the drawing.
Very little drawing. We're breaking another rule because I think too much drawing inhibits painting. Now, the shape of the circles will determine the perspective of the flower. But let's start from the center this way. But one in the center, that way, always. Well, actually, little offset, not quite in the center. The little dot in the middle, where the stamens will go, it helps to guide us so we don't have petals going in all directions, like that. Fine. Now, we have one going this way. Be sure that your circle is angled in such a way that the stem, which you should actually do, will go into the bowl. That can be very serious when you start painting your flower and you find out that the stem's actually going outside the bowl, and not in the water. All right. Now, let's have another one here this way. Now, this little line I put in front tells us that petals are turning down. We're seeing the side of it also. And we have one going this way, like this.
Try not to get your flowers or you bouquet too tight. Loosen it up. I have a tendency to get it too tight, like that. So, play it loosely. That's it. Like that. And then we have another one this way. Now, remember, even in the drawing, you're not stuck with it. As you paint and you find little holes and things, that's where your buds and leaves come in handy. They fill up the holes. So, don't worry about it too much. The whole object of the system is not to worry to enjoy. There we are. Now, we have another one over here, like this. There again, be very careful. I think it's getting a little square. We have to watch that. Now, we'll fill in with the little one like this. This is very, in an enemies, or even poppies, both flowers, which are very soft petals. They have a tendency to droop very quickly, like that.
We have a small one down here. Oh, these buds are marvelous. They fill up, or flowers going to fill up little holes. Very good. Then we have another one here, like this. We have a small one coming out, like that. Don't worry about it. I'll get all your little dots in, please. Because then you'll get lost. The idea is to help you get started, and to have a place to hang your color. But remember, in a painting, it's color that's important, not the drawing. And that's where I had such a problem when I was learning. They stressed drawing. When I started to paint, I was trying to preserve the drawing, and I got a very bad painting. Now, the next thing we had to decide is where is the light coming from? This is very important. And you must stick to it to the last stroke of the painting, because you'll end up with a very bad and distorted painting. The first thing we're going to do is shade the drawing. Now, the light is coming from the left in this painting.
Now, when you're learning, you will find it difficult to find out where the light is coming from. Always look where the shadow is. Wherever you see the shadow, you know that the light is coming in the opposite direction, like this. Let's shade the bowl very lightly, like this. Don't have it dripping, or you lose your drawing. Be very careful. All these things you will learn to do automatically, so don't worry about it. Now, since the light is coming from the right, we're going to shade the top of the enemies, like this. That tells us that the light is hitting the underneath side of the flowers, like that. Now, as we get towards the right, the light changes, and we shade it underneath, like this, so you can see the bones of your painting, like that. Remember that the excellence of drawing and what have is not nearly as important
as preserving your tonal values and good color. And that's what this system is all about. That's it. Let's put a few here, like that. There we are. Now, you can see the bones of the painting, even in sepia, it's quite attractive. Of course, this isn't the painting. This is the drawing finished. Now, we're going to apply the color. In painting, we paint very much like nature, and if you think of it logically this way, you will find that you'll have very few problems. We're going to do the background first, which is an essence, the wall. The foreground, which is actually the table or what have you. We put the vase on the table, and we put the flowers in the vase. That makes sense, doesn't it? That's a housewife's view of painting. I'm sure that the powers of your screening at that. But nonetheless, that's the way you think about it. Now, let's get started. Start with the dark tone, and let's start on the left of the painting, like this. Now, the knife will be awkward at first, of course.
There's nothing natural about painting with a knife, as a matter of fact, it's really nothing natural about painting. Without that, anyone's tell you that the old masters simply got up one morning and painted a masterpiece. It isn't so. They were apprenticed to other masters, and they did it when they were 14 years old, and they all painted on the same painting. The master just came in and did the face and the hands and so on, so I'm giving you all these little tips and don't let anybody intimidate you. There we are. Now, don't be afraid, my goodness. The whole idea is a freedom of this thing. And remember, even though it will be distorted, you will find that if the color is good, you'll have a very charming and lovely painting. And you'll have it on your very first attempt, and that's the whole secret.
If you produce right away, one is encouraged to keep painting. Now, let's go to the middle tone, which is in the middle, right? Like this. Like that. There's a lot of uses. Well, of course, I think the women that cook have an advantage, especially if they've been icing cakes, because this gives you a great deal of experience. You shouldn't have any trouble with the knife. There we are. Now, don't be afraid to go right down to the bottom. The middle goes right down to the very bottom underneath here. Be sure to hold on to your form now, talking about the bowl it is. There we are. Let's use the light tone. This is the most exciting part, of course, the painting. That's why I get impatient with too much drawings undelighted that we've eliminated quite a lot of the drawing. I know this looks terrible.
You think, Christ, that a mess? You're seeing it. Oh, that's a terrible mess. You never get that one together. Well, I think you're going to be surprised. There we are. And while you're painting, please don't show your paintings to your assorted friends and family. Until it's finished, because I'll tell you, they'll discourage you. The children can be very discouraging at times, because they're so honest, God forbid. I can remember my children. Mother, you mean purple boats? Really, you know. Let's bring the tones, for example. Let's bring some dark tone into the light tone and some light tone into the dark, so you don't have three flavors. Remember, it's a painting. We've got the background in. Leave it alone for the moment. Be sure that you go back and reaffirm the shape of your flood. I simply scratching.
There we are, like this. Scratch those in. Let's put the shadows underneath. I do not, as a rule, like to paint cloth folds, because it's a very difficult thing. It takes a great deal of experience. And we want an immediate result, of course. And I don't recommend it at all. And it doesn't add anything to the painting as far as I can see anyway. I never thought it was highly overrated. We're going to add a little purple in between. And the reason being, there is no light between the flowers, because they're a dense, thick mess. I'm telling you all these little things, so that you'll remember. And you won't remember everything I tell you at first. So don't try. I will repeat, and repeat, and repeat. As a teacher, I'm used to it. And the important thing is, I want you to learn, and I want you to produce a painting. There we are. This is the most marvelous, exciting thing you'll do.
Now, we'll leave that for just a moment. Let's put a few more shadows underneath the bow, like this. And then score it this way, which creates a reflection. Put a little purple in the background, like this, on the dark side, to have a little interest and repeat the color of the base. Like that. There we are. Now, we're ready to start the bow. Right? Just a moment. There it is. I almost lost it. We'll start with the dark tone, as usual. Always work from dark to light. So we'll start with the dark tone, like this. And I've mixed an extra dark tone, because, as you have noticed, the background and the bow are the same tones. So I've mixed an extra dark tone to bring it out from the background, like that. And we go to the middle tone, like this. It's a very pretty bowl.
These bowls are quite lovely. I tried to keep it uncomplicated for you, because I don't want you burdened with a lot of fancy bowls and pots and what have you. And for goodness' sakes, as a beginner, keep away from brass and copper that will do you in and you will get discouraged. While you're learning, keep everything simple. And once you've learned the rules and you don't have to think about them, then you can be artistic. There we are. Now, we have a round object. This is, again, very important. It's difficult to do it at first, but you will do it. Try to have a round stroke. For example, we have a round object here, so we have round strokes. And as we get into painting and to paint different things, you will also understand that the stroke is terribly, terribly important. There we are. Leave it for the moment. Don't play with it. The whole idea is to leave it alone and go to something else, because you'll find that first impression was the right one,
and it's quite beautiful. I'll leave it for just a moment. Let's go to the flowers. We're going to start at the very top, and we'll start with the red flowers. Now, the important thing, the stroke, again. We're going to do three strokes, the shape of the thin, towards the center, like this. And we'll start with the dark tone. And then we use the medium tone in front. And that's how we build the back and front of the flower, like that. You see? It's very interesting and very exciting technique, and you don't have to draw every little petal laboriously. You just give an impression. That's what painting is. It's not a photograph you know. We keep wanting to make photographic reproduction. Now, let's add a little bit of what I've forgotten that enemies have a little white. The stamens will be later. Don't fuss with it. Now, let's go to our purple.
There again, we start with the dark tone, like this. And medium and light tone. This is where the light's hitting it, like that. I'm going to add a little white to that, because it's a little bit too much like the background. There we are. There again, we're going to add a little white in there. Because that's the character of an enemy. It's very important that you must stay the character of the flower that you're painting. Now, let's go to the center. Now, the light is hitting the opposite side of this flower, because it's slightly cut. You see, we've been working too hard, haven't we? This is marvelous. This is such freedom. There we are, like that. Let's put a few dark tones, like this. This is interesting, there's pain in that. We've used the same tones in three areas in the painting. Go back and take your knife and work on your petals. There.
Don't worry if it doesn't look like it, but when we get everything in it, then you can see what's happening, but at the moment you won't. We go to the other way. Now, there again, we have the light changing. So, we start with the light tone, like that, three petals. It's usually three strokes, like this, and then we use the middle tone, like that, in front, which creates a flower in an actual circle. You see, it's color that tells a story, not lines. In painting, it's planes of color in drawing its lines. Unfortunately, as beginners, we tried to draw with paint. Right tone. Now, we go to the right side here. Now, there again, we're starting with this tone, the light tone on this side, like this,
and the dark tone underneath. And you can see those petals grow right before your eyes. And don't try to get them even because they are not even. Like that. Start again. And this is red. There again, we reverse the light, like this. And the dark tone underneath. Now, they end up looking like poppies for goodness' sake. Don't apologize and don't worry about it. If someone says you have gorgeous poppies, thank them and forget it. After all, art is strictly a personal thing. If you're really pressed and they don't know what the flowers are, you tell them that they grow in the dark side of the indies or something, they'll never argue with you.
Fine. Now, then, let's paint this one here. It's underneath of that. Painting is the most fat-satisfying and exciting thing. And when it's finished, you'll never know the thrill of creating something of your very, very own. Now, let's put the one at the top, like this. Now, we do the others. We have a red one here, which I think would help it a lot. Dark on the left side, because it's in the deep shade, and then a light tone. Rather, it was the shade in the left side, and the light tone on the right side. For a little highlight, like that, of orange. I'm going to add a little orange right here, like this. This gives a little excitement. Very dark tone, actually purple underneath. Does not get any light, remember?
Let's see. Fine. Now, we have another one here, another red one. Also, the painting is planned color-wise, so that it's interesting, and you have contrast. But while you're learning, work with me, because I will plan that for you for now until you learn. You will be conditioned, then, finally, to be able to plan your own compositions. You will. I know you don't think so, but you will. It's amazing. You really do learn. And I want to help you. There we are. I think we have another, we have two red ones there. I love the red ones. That's very satisfying color for children, especially. An art with children. A daughter ate it one day while I was painting. Very quickly, she put her finger on the palate and ate it. Now, we're going to put in the stamens. There's a lovely green shade there like that.
And we use purple all around this way. They're just little dots. This, again, is a different stroke. It's a stippling stroke. And that's the way we do little things like stamens by simply stippling it, like that. Now, let's put in our leaves. We start with the dark tone, like this. And for goodness' sake, don't choke your painting with leaves, or spinach, as I call it. It's not, you don't need to. It's not important. Also, unless it's a very distinctive leaf, like a cower lily, you don't delineate the leaf exactly. Simply an impression of leaves. And it's wonderful because it saves you a lot of headaches. Now, we're going to put feeling of leaves inside like this.
And the light tone on the light side. This is the most marvelous part of all. You see, we've actually been working too hard with painters. There we are. I'm going to dark this just a wee bit. And more leaves up here. Let's put the dark side in the dark side. The leaves should be a little darker here. It's a rather lacy leaf, in any case. Don't put huge, heavy leaves, which will absolutely ruin your painting. And take over the whole composition. So be very, very careful. Let's put one here like that. Let's draw this down this way. I think we can outline this just a little bit more like this. I just want to make it a little bit darker like that.
So you can see that pot of that bowl. I think a few more leaves. And then I'm going to put a few leaves or a few little petals down here, which also has a very practical purpose to bring the color down the bottom of your canvas. This is a little gimmick again. And I will tell you many, many more to give your painting a very professional look. We need shadow under our little droppings. Don't forget, everything has a shadow and that makes it authentic. I'm going to add a little more red over here. Now, this can do you into be very, very careful. I believe we need a few buds. Let's put a few buds in. I've forgotten the buds. And they're marvelous little thing. It's peculiar bud, so we'll put a few of those in. Like that. That way.
Now, you see how free this painting is, and that's the whole idea. That's what makes it a painting. We want to be free and interesting. And the fact that it doesn't look like a photograph is part of the charm. I think I'll put a few more buds. And that's not overdo it. There. And don't forget little stems. That's the only place I actually would recommend stems. Also, you can scratch in a few like that to give an impression of stems going down. Please do not paint stems unless it's a, it's a, um, a, um, cowlily or a tulip, which has a very heavy stem, then, of course, you do have to have to put the stems in other than that. Don't bother. And don't fret. And for goodness' sakes, once you put it on, leave it alone. Well, that's it for today.
Now, don't forget to sign your painting. It's very important. There we are. Because when they discover your painting in the attic about 50 years from now, let's say, by golly, that's an original smith. And SK. Why? There we are. Goodbye for now. See you next time. Music Music Music
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Paint Along With Nancy Kominsky
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Connecticut Public Television
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Library of Congress (Washington, District of Columbia)
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Episode Description
Nancy Kominsky teaches viewers how to paint anemones.
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Fine Arts
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Moving Image
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Host: Kominsky, Nancy
Producing Organization: Connecticut Public Television
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Library of Congress
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Chicago: “Paint Along With Nancy Kominsky; 101; Anemones,” 1976, Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed April 25, 2024,
MLA: “Paint Along With Nancy Kominsky; 101; Anemones.” 1976. Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. April 25, 2024. <>.
APA: Paint Along With Nancy Kominsky; 101; Anemones. Boston, MA: Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from