The Psychology of a Still Life

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In this classic still life, David exemplifies the importance of moving slowly, assessing every brushstroke as it occurs. David paints the abstract shapes that comprise solid painting, as he delves into the psychology involved in sustaining one’s own painting to completion.



  • Description


At a demonstration done in Scottsdale in front of his class, David suggests that one’s own psychology is the only thing standing between you and really learning to paint.

If you give a setup more space on the left side, it will give the viewer room to enter the painting. As always, David thinks of painting the finish from the start, as he does not believe that careless brushstrokes have any place in a good painting.

He gives the objects room to breathe by miniaturizing them so that they have more space as an environment. This is a great lesson in size and placement as well as the lesson that color stems not only from the use of chroma, it also comes from the crispness of brushstrokes.

David takes time developing the painting so that he can absorb the beauty of the idea he set up. As he works, he always makes beautiful paint so that he staves off boredom resulting from a dull painting. This is the most compelling reason to go to the finish right away—and not wait to put on the highlights, the brilliant accent, or the thick brushstroke. David reminds his students that you can never paint an orange; you can only paint abstract pieces of paint.

After watching this stunning painting evolve, if one can truly absorb these words of clarity, and be willing to change, you too can learn to paint.

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