Explore and Discover

by Kathleen Huebener in Painting Tips

The small world of Flat Flat Flat had been my world for the last three years. I had been totally blind in one eye and the sight in the other was fleeting fast. After my surgery, (I now can see and praise God for this blessing every moment!) I have discovered that I need to teach myself all over again to see depth and to understand depth in order to paint depth.


Seeing and appreciating depth is one thing; painting depth is another. I have been doing depth studies to regain what I had lost. If it is hard for you to understand why this need for depth studies, try keeping one eye closed while doing ordinary things. It is not easy – even to pour a glass of water! What is most interesting is seeing with no depth for any period of time trains the brain to see this way as normal, even after the eyesight is corrected by surgery.
For example, here is one fourth of the series works I am painting.
Flat flat flat.
Without realizing it, I painted it flat, with no depth.
I do have dark, medium, and light values, but depth is missing.
This is how I have been seeing for the last three years.

“When you control the values in your painting, you control the viewer’s eye.”

Don Andrews

For more control, I turned to my trusty Atelier Interactive Paints:
Carbon Black, Yellow Ochre, Transparent Perinone Orange,
Arylamide Yellow Deep and Titanium White.
First I added a watery line of carbon black, followed by Transparent Perinone Orange.
I added a watery line of Yellow Ochre after the orange.
After blending these three, I added Arylamide Yellow Deep,
with touches of Titanium White. It is starting to take shape.

The amazing characteristic of these paints (and for your information, I do not own stock in the company, but I should!) is that even over dark paints, one can still add color washes.

Below I added a wash of Arylamide Yellow Deep to enhance the form
over the upper dark crevice.
I proceeded to form the rest of the painting; here is the result.
Remember the painting is not finished yet. This is still at the development stage.
Nevertheless, what a change has occurred in the original flat piece.

Fellow Artists, I am loving every moment! I see depth! I paint depth!

Reminds me of a quote by Irving Shapiro:

“Success is not to be thought of as some shapeless goal;
it should instead encompass the entire process
of our development, and accompanying attitudes.
In fact, what I think we ought to celebrate is
our capacity to explore and discover. “
Have fun exploring and discovering!