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Hello again, I'm Nancy Kaminsky and today we're going to paint a landscape. Just to a floral, a landscape is easiest for a beginning painter. You can move a tree or rock or what have you and it's not nearly so demanding. If you leave out something, no one's going to know the difference. Now we're going to start as usual with the drawing and staying in the canvas. That's always the first thing we do and you must do that each and every time. I still do it and I've been painting for 30 years. Wipe it off lightly. Don't rub it because it will leave a fuzz if you do. Be very careful about that.
Try not to get any lint on the canvas. And of course the most marvelous thing is tea paper. Don't use cloths because you'll find out that you will get a full of paint that will get all over you. You'll get paint on you in any case. Now let's go to the drawing. There again we use paint instead of charcoal or pencil. Section of the canvas in quarters first. Now we do this to place your subjects correctly like this. Kind of trying to draw the lines in, do this first, that does help quite a lot. Like that. Oh, of course you may think this is a drawing but this is only the beginning. I've seen things like this in the museums and I won't tell you exactly what I think about
them but that's another time. There we are. Now, in drawing a landscape or a seascape of what have you, the first thing we must do is find the horizon line. This is terribly important. In this case we're going to put it a little bit below the center line very little. Now actually you shouldn't have a horizon line right in the middle of the canvas. It cuts your canvas in half. Either you have a dominant sky or a dominant foreground but you don't have them of equal importance, not for good painting anyway. This is called composition. There we are. Now the next thing we do we're going to draw in the mountains. Now ordinarily a beginner would worry that the horizon line is at the top of the mountains. It isn't.
It's the ground first, the mountains come up out of the ground and so on like this. Now in painting mountains try to vary them like this. Do not have absolute even points or peaks. Now they're very large on the right and they disappear towards the left side of the canvas like that. I don't want this horizon line straight because I want to give the feeling of a range of mountains going this way. Incidentally this is called Bonnie Banks and it is Rockloman and it was one of the most beautiful spots in Scotland and I loved it. It's gorgeous. Now we're going to do this like this. You see automatically that gives us a feeling of depth by doing this and we can even vary that a little more like that.
That tells us that they're going back and back and back fine. Now let's put the foreground in. Again please do not have a straight line. It should be in an uneven line after all it's a terrain. It's not a paved highway and it goes like this. Try to vary your shapes as after all nature is not that organized by goodness like that fine. Now we have another spot here which is quite lovely. It's very dark and it's a dark green hill right here like this. It's almost in silhouette right there. Don't lose your water. Now remember we do very little drawing and we just shade it when we decide where the light's coming from so don't fuss with it too much. That's a terrible problem and it's a thing that we must all learn when we're trying to
paint. It's not to say everything in the drawing, not the color tell a story. We have trees but there again we do not draw the trees in exactly however I will draw the trunks. Now I will give you the reason why we don't. Obviously to paint trees and rather a sky and mountains between leaves is a problem. As a matter of fact it's practically impossible. So we leave it alone and just put in a suggestion of trees like this. We have some over here, it's a gorgeous painting and that it's the color is marvellous. We have a lovely warm tone and very cool tones which creates a wonderful contrast. Very exciting painting. Very exciting spot. I like that. Now actually that's it, that's all the drawing we do. The next most important thing is to decide where is the light coming from and we decide
that right away and we shade the drawing so that when you paint you don't lose your way and start putting the lights and mixing up your lights and shadows. So the next thing we're going to do is shade the painting or the drawing. Remember the light is coming from the left so we're going to shade the right side of the mountains like this. Please do not have your wash dripping because you will lose your drawing. It will start sliding like this and don't fuss because the color will tell a story. Remember. In the water of course it's a little darker again on the right hand side like that. You see I've lost a tree, don't fret. That's why oil painting is so marvellous for a beginner. You can change it, move it, take it off and you're not stuck with it.
That's a little fat but don't worry about that. Those little mistakes we can take care of later. I just want you to get this in. Well I think that's all. We have birds and all sorts of little things but that all goes in at the very last. Fine. Now we're ready to paint but before we do at this point I would like to make a comment about color because color in painting is more important than the drawing. I know that sounds strange and there again we're breaking another rule. Then we mix color. For example I'll take the sky. We will mix three tonal values of every area in the painting. The light tone where the light is, the middle tone with the transition color and the dark tone in the shadows and in the sky tones we mix first we mix the middle tone or the mother color first.
Then we make a light of it by adding white and Naples yellow. Never use white without yellow. Then we darken it by adding more blue and more aqua. I didn't mention that in the middle tone of the sky is composed of white, aqua and blue with a touch of orange. To make a light of it you add white and Naples yellow. To make a dark of it you add more blue and more aqua and a little more orange to cool it down or gray it. Now we're ready to paint. I just used the sky tone as an example but then we had the mountain tones and the tones of the trees. You can still see that each tone has three values. Now this is Greek to you at first but as you paint you will understand. Now let's start with the light tone around the tops of the mountains like this. Now don't worry about this. Go up into the sky, outline your mountains like this and go up into the sky. There again be free, don't be afraid because as I used to tell my students painting scared
shows. I give a little movement like that. Now let's go to the middle tone and we start like this. Before your strokes will work for you. Now I'm not going to say that all skies look like this, they don't. But for now while you're learning let's do it this way. You can get rainbows and storms and all sorts of things when you know what you're doing. Don't burden yourself with a lot of things that you don't know about for the moment. Learn to use your tools. Now let's put a little dark tone at the top like this. That gives a little interest but keep your light tone always at the horizon and that's
pretty true even on a stormy day you will discover that there is a light around the horizon. Like for example this case you're on the top of the mountains if you don't have mountains that are still along the horizon. There we are. Fine. Now let's do the mountains. We've done this sky. Leave it alone for the moment. Don't play with it like I've just done. I can't leave it alone. Now we're going to do the mountains. We're going to start with the dark tone on the right side. Now this again is a very special stroke. Let's go this way like this. Then we take a lighter tone and we go this way. Now this creates a feeling of depth. If not your mountains will look flat as though they were pasted on.
So come this way like this. Don't develop it too thoroughly. Leave it alone, go back to your dark tone and start the next range like that or the next mountain. Put the light tone like this. Now leave it alone. Keep it fresh. Let's start over here like that. Now you see how color and stroke work for you and you didn't need a lot of drawing. I tend to leave canvas showing and if it does I think it's very interesting. Of course that takes a little experience and that may be another thing that you're thinking.
Yes, but you've been thinking a long time. I promise you, using this system you'll have a result with your very first painting. Now what I'm going to do is very interesting. I'm going to take the sky tone with a clean knife and run it lightly through into the mountains so that you get a very hazy effect like this. This will probably scare you to death but don't worry about it. Keep cleaning your knife and do that like that. Then we go back and take our knife and just reaffirm our mountain line like this so we don't lose it. Let's put a little darker range right in front like this. This is very interesting and it tells us again that there's something else right in front. Now we've lost our line but don't let that worry you, we'll put it back in with the water. There we are. Now as we work down, remember we work from the inside out, the sky first, then the mountains,
now we're going to put in our little green hill on the left hand side. Don't try to do the foreground first and then work back, especially when you have objects like trees, you see, which should be the very last thing, I'm sure that's how God made the world. I think the trees and all those things were the trimmings you put in last. Anyway that's the way I like to think it is. Now let's put our little dark green hill here and mix it with a little purple. This little hill is rather in silhouette like this. This is an excellent accent color right here and it's very interesting because while we put in the water you'll be able to see how important that bit of dark town is right there and how exciting it is. Now leave it for just a moment, I think we're going to put a little lighter tone right here. That's it. Just a wee bit. Of course you won't see that in back of the trees.
Now remember when you're painting objects in front of other objects, develop all of them and then work on top of it. Don't ever leave part of it out and try to work the front objects on top of that because you will have a distortion. These things you will learn gradually and slowly. Now we're going to put in the water, there's a marvelous light down the middle of this canvas like this. Now there's a wonderful stroke that you use where you go over and down like that. There again the stroke is very important, everything in nature has a pattern and once you learn that it's so much easier for you and you have a better painting. Now it gets darker right on that side there like that. I'm going to add a little purple on this side like this. You work all the colors or the tones in together alternately but don't lose your tonal values
that's terribly important. And don't be afraid of a little green works down into that after all. There is a reflection from that hill into the water. So please don't worry about the color working down naturally it would be that way anyway. This is one of my favorite paintings as well as one of my favorite spots in Scotland. Now we're still going to work in some light tone like this incidentally for you women. This is a great painting for your husband. I find that men tend to like landscapes and seascapes better and women flowers. Now we get a little darker tone on the right like this and score it like that. It gives a feeling of water and reflections.
Now let's paint the foreground. There again we have a marvelous technique. It's almost the same. We have very long yellow grasses here and that's a very exciting play of warm tone with this lovely cool tone. Let's start with the dark tone which is yellow ochre in this case. I will try to tell you the colors as we go along. There again it's a stroke that's rather long and over like that. That creates a tall grass effect without actually painting it. We're using several tones. You see how exciting that is, this yellow with this lovely cool blue and purple. I think the most exciting thing in the world is painting and color and this is what the system is all about.
Let's add a little purple on the right because I want to give it a little interest and another good rule of thumb is to keep your foreground rather dark and keep the light in the center of the painting. I'll put a few light tones up here like this. There we are. It's catching the light on top like that. This painting is fairly easy in that it's in sections and should be a little easier for you as well as very satisfying when it's finished. I think I would like it a little bit lighter right here like this. Look back and look at your painting a little, don't paint right on top of it.
Fine, now we've done that. I'm going to go back here like this a little bit. I would like to darken with purple the edges of the mountains like this to reaffirm the coastline or the lake and let's drag it down a little bit like that like this. I get so involved with painting that I'm going to forget you out there. Keep it dark in the corners and the light right in the center of the painting, that's the
beauty of this painting. It's a little dark tone here like this. Fine. I'm going to put in the trees now. Let's start on the right-hand side. The trees on the right-hand side are taller because they are a little closer than the ones on the left-hand side. I'll put a little dark red there, I think that's kind of an exciting accent. You can just create a vision like there we are. When I use purple for goodness' sakes, don't think you have to have brown trees. You haven't had brown trees since you were a child, so let's paint purple trees like this. We have a beautiful tree on the side here and very lightly with the point of your knife do this. Please don't work too hard and don't have trees like telephone poles and the branches evolve out from the trunk, not stuck into the trunk like sticks.
Use the point of your knife with purple, like this, you'll think purple trees, but actually they are. If they aren't, it's much better for the painting, so don't fight it. Now, we're going to put the foliage on that. There again the dark tone on the right, because the light is coming from the left, like this. Across the trees, you should put your foliage across the branches because you see them as a mess. You don't see each leaf crawling up the branches, which of course they don't do. When we're children, we put leaves up and down the branches. As a matter of fact, the interesting thing in Europe, teaching people from all the countries of the world, was that they all did trees the same way.
It was very odd. I thought that was quite interesting, that we should see things as we do as children. It doesn't matter what country you come from, it's always the same. All right, we go to the left, now this one, the trees aren't quite as large. I'm going to put all the branches in, like this, and I have some tiny little ones, which are very interesting, very branchy, right here, like that. Now, in painting, if you should leave out something, for goodness' sake, don't worry about it. Nobody's going to argue with you. Now, I'm going to put the foliage on this. Now we have a problem here, and that this is against a very dark hill, so we make the leaves medium and light.
Now we can see the greenery, like this. Of course, you have to use your head a little bit, but these things won't come to you all at one time, and it will come to you as you paint. You will begin to understand, but not at first. Keep it very light on the left-hand side, which gives it a very exciting look. I'm going to say only God can make a tree, but I guess we're doing pretty well. We have some more right here. Not too much. Please don't choke your trees with foliage, because I'd like to see branches through it. It's much more exciting and much more natural. Oops, I got too much paint. Very few leaves in the center.
Don't have them all the same. Try to vary your painting just a little bit. Don't forget your shadows of your trees, like this. Now we have a lovely little tree right here. We also need a spot there, because they have very empty spots here. These are the things, as I said, you learn as you paint. To leave out what to add, it takes a little doing, but you'll get it there we are. Let's put a little shadow behind that, like this. I'm going to add a few more up here, because I rather think this should be a little taller. I don't know, little yellow. Now we have birds in this. Now for goodness' sake, no eagles or vultures, please. Very tiny little birds. I've done very simply this way. I think I did get an eagle there. Wow, there it is, I have it.
See the paint gets quite soft here, but you haven't had that problem, at least that's my excuse. I don't know what yours is going to be, like this. Just little V-shaped things, excuse me, like that. Now we don't have to have huge flocks of birds, just a few, because I think it gives a painting life, like that. I would like to add a few extra little tones right on the left side of yellow, because I think there isn't enough for excitement, so I want to put a few more light tones into the trees on the left side, where the light is hitting it, like that. I think we need some down here, and a few more here, like this. Well, that's all for now, and don't forget to sign your painting.
Goodbye for now. This program was made possible by a grant from Commercial Union Assurance Companies.
Thank you.
Paint Along With Nancy Kominsky
Episode Number
Bonny banks
Producing Organization
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 bonny banks.
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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
Identifier: cpb-aacip-ed9440b3d54 (Filename)
Format: 2 inch videotape
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Chicago: “Paint Along With Nancy Kominsky; 102; Bonny banks,” 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; 102; Bonny banks.” 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; 102; Bonny banks. Boston, MA: Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from