I recieve emails all the time and today was asked these questions from Joel. Thanks Joel from taking the time to write me.
1) How long does it take to create a painting?
Great question, I get asked this the most. What I have learned is when people ask this, what they really want to know is how much money do you make an hour? Each painting varies in time, some have taken as little as a hour in the afternoon to weeks. It all depends on detail and my mood. The average painting usually takes about 3 to 4 hours.
As far as how much money do I make an hour, I reply that each artist should know exactly how much it cost to create a painting from beginning to end. It is the only way an artist will learn how to charge properly for ones work. We have all seen canvas’ selling for obscenely low amounts of money, when you add up the canvas and the paint and the time, you often will see an artist who wont be pursuing their career very long. A business that does not know how much it cost to operates will soon be out of business and a business that knows it’s overhead can thrive.
2) What kinds of brushes and paints do you favor using and why?While I am not here to endorse a product I will say that you do get what you pay for. I have been painting for over 40 years and some of my brushes Ive had since I was in my twenties. Always chose quality in your paint and your brushes.
3) Do you paint straight from the scene or do you digitally manipulate photographs to get a desired effect first?
When you say straight from the scene I assume referring to Plein Air painting. In that regards no, I am a studio painter. I also paint with acrylic paint and to me it dries to fast to use outdoors in the climate I live in. I am an avid Photographer, and have been known to take hundreds of photos of my subject which I take to the studio and use for reference. I usually draw my scene first then color it in though at times I do paint ala prima. I make sketches too. I am self taught so I don’t much about manipulation but I have seen beautiful work produced by artist on the computer. I also believe that there is no wrong way to create art.
4) What main elements do you tend to look for in choosing a good building or composition to paint?
I am all about color and perspective, I go out in search of the perfect perspective in my scenes, then I interpret my color palette into the artwork. I also like interesting structures that tell a story. Part of the fun is being a story teller and catching the attention and evoke emotion in the viewer of the painting.5) Where do you take your main inspiration from in these paintings?
I’m inspired by beautiful sunny days in California and my gratitude for living in such a beautiful section of the world. I also am an architecture lover of great design and historic structures.
6) Which other artists have had a strong influence on you and your technique?
To many to name, but here are a few, David Hockney, Peter Max, Andy Warhol, Anna Hyatt Huntington, Ivy Bottini, Paul Cadmus, The Impressionist masters, the American Impressionist masters, John Singer Sargent, Edward Stiechen, Edward Weston, Richard Diebenkorn, Kieth Haring, Andrew Wyeth, Edward Hopper, and the list goes on.
7) One thing I really gain from your paintings is the importance you place on colour. Why do you place such importance on a vibrant and varied use of colours rather than darker tonal work?
Just like in life a sense of place is important and this translates into painting as well. People are drawn to color and the placement of it is important, placed incorrectly the painting can become kitchey and look more folksy or craft like. Bright colors are my personal taste and not for everyone. My palette is derived from the colors in the original rainbow flag. The colors represent many of lifes different facets. Bold color simply makes me feel alive when I use it, even if its just a speck of it.
8) One thing i find difficult with painting buildings is the restrictions placed by the rigidness of its design. perfect angles, sizes and straight lines have to be considered carefully or the building will not look correct. do you find this a restriction for you with such an expressive style of painting?
Yes, I understand, that is where learning perspective for important for me. I have even takin a drafting class to assist in that. Once you get perspective down you will see it everywhere you look. Then comes shading, and the light. This also plays into perspective when you paint it can deceive the eye into thinking it sees a straight line or just about anything.
9) If this is a challenge, how do you overcome it? Practice, practice, practice. Ask questions and read up on your favorite artists, and of course step up to the canvas and create. The only way to overcome any obsticle or challenge is action.Please note that I am a self taught artist, I do not follow any applied theory, but I have been painting since I was five years old, and have learned to think in a certain way as an artist and business person. What I can share is my experience as an artist. I am grateful you thought highly enough of my work to ask your important questions. I wish you much success in your art career. Asking questions is the best way to the top!
RD Riccoboni Artist