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Using Movement in your Paintings

Blossoms at The Grand View Ranch

  By Stefan Baumann “Spring Blossoms at The Grand View Ranch”
Before we start I want to Announce!

 I have been invited to be a field instructor on location at The Plein Air convention in Monterey, California on April 10-14, 2013. Is that a big deal? YES! When I first started to create The Grand View, few if any artists knew about painting on location, and most artists painted in the studio from photos. The term Plein Air was not even used to talk about outdoor painting, let alone be part of a movement. Now PleinAir Magazine is sponsoring a second conference based on the success of last year’s conference in Las Vegas.  


If you are just beginning to paint on location or have been doing it for years, this is the place to be and be seen. I will be there in person and I want to meet all of you. What an opportunity to do so at the largest plein air event in the world! For more information, go to

Using Movement in your Paintings 


I thought since many of you are dealing with snow, I would show you one of my sketches from last spring to brighten your day. I painted this painting outdoors from my deck. When I composed this painting, I wanted to create a circular composition with the effect of light on the blossoms being the central focal point.


When composing a painting, we are concerned with the abstract shape as well as eye magnets. Eye magnets are subliminal lines that lead the viewer into the painting and to the focal point. In this painting, you can see that the abstract shape looks like a wreath with the larger flowers in front. As the viewer travels counter clock wise around the painting, the flowers get smaller, darker, with softer edges and less definition. Every brush stroke is placed to enhance this counter clock wise direction. This is done by using value and temperature as well as using hard and soft edges. Coming full circle, the viewer returns to the main focal point.


How you paint something is more important than what you paint. In this case, I had a wonderful subject. But if I had painted the blossoms as I saw them, the painting would have been not quite as interesting.


The next time you start a composition, remember to include both the abstract shape and eye magnets that lead the viewer through your painting.
For more information about the workshop, or to register, please go to my website The Grand View or call me anytime at 800-511-1337 for more information.

Get my free book 

Announcing: “The Grand View, Observations of Art and Living” eBook has recently been re-edited and is available to download. The revised book is reformatted and has over 40 new paintings and chapters for your enjoyment. You can download this new edition for free…… yes for free! To have your own copy, go to and click on free tips to find the offer for my free eBook.


I wish to express my heartfelt appreciation to Kris Baxter for her dedication and willingness to creatively edit and reformat this new edition of the Grand View eBook as well as gratefully thanking Gita Hazrati, Darla Freeman, and Hannah West for their generous help with formatting and uploading this project so that it is available for everyone to read.

Please tell a friend! 

I rely on you to spread the word about my blog, my artwork, and The Grand View by telling your artist friends about us, sending out the blog to others you think would be interested, and posting links to on any art forums or blogs you participate in.  Thanks!


I welcome your feedback.  [email protected] 

This Blogg is edited by Kris Baxter, I thank her for all the late hours she spends helping me look good…

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