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The End, Painting of an Elk

Painting wildlife from life can be difficult. Therefore many of my wildlife paintings are created from sketches and photos taken from my journeys into America’s National Parks. This piece portrays a 12-point elk from the business end of the animal.

"The End" Painting of an Elk, wildlife painting by Stefan Baumann
“The End” by Stefan Baumann

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Moose, Opus 1

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Last Cattle Drive of the Season, Glacier National Park

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Building New Muscles – Figure Drawing Class

For me, learning these days is all about “building new muscles”. Hi!  Let me explain what I mean.  You see, I have been taking a drawing class titled “Elements of Figuring Drawing, Anatomy for Artists” for the past few months.   It is an online class through The Art Students League of New York.  And, …

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California Watercolor Association’s 51st National Exhibition

Painting Selected For Exhibition. Greetings!  I am thrilled to say that my watercolor painting “Three Minute Egg #14 – Blue Espresso Cup” was juried into the California Watercolor Association’s (CWA) 51st National Exhibition. The Juror of Selection was Mr. Frank Webb.  There were 650 entries and the Juror selected 97 paintings for the show. Congrats! …

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“Moon Goddess” – Halloween & Pollinator Bat

Halloween and Bats Go Together. Greetings!  It is late October and that must mean it is “Moon Goddess” time.   Why October?  Well, bats are a traditional theme for Halloween and she is a bat.  Or rather, a colored pencil drawing inspired by the long nosed and long tongue bats of North America.  They are …

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Autumn In Lithia Park III: A Walk In The Park

Greetings and Happy Autumn! You see, here on the southwestern Washington coast, the leaves are starting to turn.  And, the breeze is just a bit cooler perhaps.  It feels like Fall. So, while contemplating the change of the seasons, some of my earlier autumn-themed paintings popped in my head. Feeling inspired, I thought I would …

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Natural Earth Paints October Newsletter and Discount

Autumn is Here! September 22nd is the first day of autumn this year, so we’re celebrating the season’s hues! Join the Natural Earth Paint family this fall in gratitude for what our beautiful planet has to offer. Natural Earth Paint on Paper
10% Off Individual Earth & Mineral Pigments Looking to add the colors of fall to your natural palette? Enjoy 10% off our individual Earth & Mineral Pigments with the code FinallyFall! Code expires October 15th.  Shop Now
Artist of the Month: Tasha Cathey We interviewed Tasha Cathey this month, one of our affiliates and earth pigment inspirations! Check out the full interview on our blog for insights into her earth pigment process and personal artistic journey into the world of natural paint. Read More
Painted Egg Carton Masks! Our friends Arrow and Jade at @chasing_arrow on Instagram created this nature-inspired mask tutorial using recycled materials, earth-friendly decorations, and Natural Earth Paint! Our Natural Earth Paint Kit was a perfect addition to their eco-friendly project. Check out their instructions at the link below! Get Crafty Want to get creative with your favorite Natural Earth Paint pigments?

Check out the Recipes section of our website for innovative uses of our products for fine artists and families! Have questions about our eco-friendly products? Visit our FAQ page or send us an email at [email protected] Interested in purchasing from Natural Earth Paint? Visit our Website for more details on our high-quality, non-toxic, and eco-friendly products.

Talent OR and Remembering On September 11th

Greetings! On this the 11th day of September, I am thinking about my family, friends and colleagues who live in Southern Oregon’s Rogue Valley.  The Rogue Valley is our former home. To explain, eleven months ago my husband and I left the Rogue Valley and moved to the Washington coast. I point that out because …

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Focal Point Vs. Center of Interest

Focal Point Vs. Center of Interest

Stefan Baumann at a demo in Mt Shasta The Grand View Artist Retreat

Stefan Baumann at a demo in Mt Shasta The Grand View Artist Retreat

July 11, 2020, Grand View Ranch

It’s amazing that it is July at The Grand View Ranch and Artist Retreat and half of a year has gone by in 2020 and now we are staring down the barrel in the last half of the year. Here at the ranch, we are finishing up the project that we started during the Corona lock-down. It is amazing how many things one starts when staying at home with some forced free time on 10 acres and a shovel. The GV Ranch has many interesting elevations and several major vistas that can be seen from every vantage point from the ranch. With so many possibilities of having painting workshops here at the ranch once we get out of this quagmire that is the Coronavirus, I have opened so many projects that need to be completed before my next workshop can take place this fall. Maybe we will see you there, Click here to find out more
Meanwhile at The Grand View Ranch
With some of the restrictions lifted my fellow artists are once again making their weekly pilgrimage to The Grand View Ranch for a bit of some social contact (with the proper social distance apart, of course) and as always there are great topics discussed on the creation of grand Paintings by the artist that is passionate about painting. This week one of my artist friends asked, “In all of your coaching and your videos on a painting you always reference focal points and having a great center of interest, is there a difference?”
Center of Interest
What I coach is not only improving your painting skills but how to use those skills to communicate to the viewer what is it that you want them to experience. We as humans have certain traits baked in because of evolution. Throughout our evolution, we have learned that certain visual cues allowed us to survive. For example, when a lion was at the cave opening you would read through eye contact whether it was interested in you for dinner. Likewise, a bear running was either a threat or not a threat by the direction that the bear was running. So, therefore, there are automatic centers of interest that are always going to trigger the viewer’s eye and will cause the viewer to react regardless of where they appear on the canvas. These things are eyes, movement, human figures, animals, letters, faces, valuables, numbers, symbols, etc. When we scan an image for the first time, our attention is naturally drawn to these items.
Focal Point “Martha, I see the light”
A focal point, on the other hand, acts as a kind of “eye magnet” regardless of the subject. Strong tonal value contrast (light vs. dark) is the most powerful visual magnet. The viewer’s eye is naturally drawn to areas where light and dark are in stark juxtaposition. Bright colors, fine detail, sharp edges, anomalies, patterns, and any arrow-like “pointers” also attract the eye. Any part of a picture that exhibits these features will make the viewer focus his gaze upon it. The best way to create a focal point is by creating effects, mainly lighting effects! The best secret weapon that an artist has in his toolbox is creating an effect by using light and shadow to attract the viewer and keep the viewer constantly captivated. Artists that master light commands the art world’s attention. That’s why it is also a focus of my coaching. It surprises me that few artists and art teachers have ever been taught how to create a focal point by the use of light and it is by far the greatest secret (if there was a secret) to mastering painting. It is the sole reason that my coaching students’ paintings win awards consistently.
Therein Lies a Potential Problem
For a picture to be successful, the center of interest should also be a focal point. In other words, there should be one area that attracts both the eye and mind. To have an area in a picture that attracts your mind and another that attracts your eye is confusing and distracting to the viewer. In a composition, the center of interest and the focal point should be in the middle third of the canvas. Both demand the viewer’s attention and should occupy the viewer’s line of sight. To create a great composition, the artist should include three focal points and employ a good understanding of how the viewer’s eye sees. But we will leave that for another blog.
Conclusion “Finally”
In conclusion, understanding the focal points and the center of interest is a life long journey that will take your painting to a whole new level. Mastering these tools will guarantee that your work will get better and will overpower your competition in a gallery or show; it will change everything about your painting and will change the way you look at other artists’ works. Many of my art students have experienced amazing reactions from collectors once they implemented these techniques. If you are interested in coaching and learning more about the focal point or center of interest just give me a call. 415-606-9074
That’s all I have to say about that!
Till our next artist “Campfire art Chat” always remember to do good work and paint with passion!
Stefan Baumann-
Currently artist in residence @ The Grand View Ranch
For reservations to be included in our campfire art chats please call 415 -606-9074
Space is limited
“Hey, Get Over Here and Give Me Some Advice!”
Information about coaching is located under the heading Coaching on my website
If you are interested in coaching, give me a call at 415-606-9074 (my personal cell number) and we can talk more about how coaching will enhance your knowledge, capabilities, and growth as an artist.
The eyes of the world are waiting to see what you have to say.”
I have coached many students over the years. My goal as a coach is to help students discover their own style by instructing them with a method that allows them to grow as they are. If you want to increase your knowledge and skill to bring your art to the next level, I invite you to watch my YouTube videos, consider phone coaching with me, or attend a workshop in Mt. Shasta where we discuss art, passion, and life with other artists around the campfire. All the information is on my website,

Stefan Baumann on his trusted steed

Stefan Baumann on his trusted steed

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