Oil painting techniques and tutorial with Janet Knight | Colour In Your Life

Oil painting techniques and tutorial with Janet Knight | Colour In Your Life


G’day viewers, my name is Graeme Stevenson and I’d like to invite you to come on
a journey of creativity and learning and adventure through the
series Colour In Your Life. There’s an artist in every
family throughout the world, and lots of times there’s an artist
deep down inside all of us as well. So grab your kids, your brothers, your sisters, your aunties,
uncles and mums and dads, and come and see how some of
the best artists in Australia do what they do. (GRAEME) Well hi guys and welcome
back to Colour In Your Life, well we’re back in Melbourne again
and with the delightful Janet Knight. – How are you darling?
– (JANET) I’m good, thank you very much. – (GRAEME) Good to see you again.
– (JANET) Good to be back. (GRAEME) It’s fantastic, absolutely. Janet’s been on the
show before and obviously with what happened with you on the show… Tell us a little bit about what happened to you and the response to the first show. (JANET) Pretty much my
website got a zillion hits. – (GRAEME) That’s great.
– (JANET) All of a sudden… – (GRAEME) Nothing wrong with that.
– (JANET) And my work picked up over night. (JANET) E-mails from all
over Australia were coming in and a couple from New Zealand as well.
It was just an amazing response really. – (GRAEME) That’s fantastic.
– (JANET) And work has picked up… like my classes are full. My workshops are always booked out. So yeah it’s been totally 100% positive. (GRAEME) You’ve gone on to win
a whole bunch of awards as well? (JANET) Yeah, yeah, I have, yeah. (GRAEME) It’s sort of like publicity
really helps in the end doesn’t it? (JANET) I’m selling. At every
exhibition I’m selling. So… (GRAEME) That’s fantastic. The beauty about doing the
show with you today is that, and part of the makeup of the way
Colour In Your Life is structured, is that you have something else to
say about your work at the moment. And this is a great way
to obviously communicate with every one out there right
across the world these days. And you’ve been focusing on nudes? – (JANET) Yeah.
– (GRAEME) As well? – (JANET) Yeah at the moment. I’m loving it.
– (GRAEME) Apart from your landscapes. (GRAEME) I’ve got to ask a
sort of a personal question. These are pictures of you? – (JANET) Yes. They’re self portraits, they are.
– (GRAEME) There you go. Her darling husband Russell
has been taking photos. Obviously they’re very
personal type photos of course. – It’s a closed session I can assure you.
– (JANET) Yes it’s a closed session. (GRAEME) But they’re part of
what we’re going to be doing today is just going through some
techniques. And then also seeing some of the
techniques Janet’s been using with her landscape paintings. She just
does fabulous pieces in the Australian landscape that are just a
beautiful reflection and light, which she is very, very good at doing. But let’s make a start on the nude. – (JANET) Yeah, sure.
– (GRAEME) And we’ll fire some questions as we go through and go from
there. But let’s go for it. – (JANET) Great.
– (GRAEME) Okay. (GRAEME) Well Janet,
these are wonderful pieces. They’re very subtlety
seductive and suggestive. And this is also something that you do in your classes
as well with life drawing and something that you wanted to extend a little bit further. You’ve obviously loved
doing the life drawing in the workshops, but now you’ve gone into
the painting side of things. Can you tell me a bit more about that? (JANET) For years life drawing has
like, just been amazing in my life. I really love to draw with pastels
and charcoals and things like that. It’s not until recently I’ve been so
inspired to paint more of the figure. I basically just wanted
to jump straight into it. Picked up a brush, put some paints out, got my husband to take photos of myself because I didn’t have a
model and then off I went. Like I just thoroughly enjoying it. (GRAEME) I’m just looking at the fact that
you’ve got a MacBook Pro in front of you. Tell me a little about why you’re using
the computer instead of a photograph. (JANET) The reason for that too Graeme, is I was always working from photographs
and decided to work from the computer because I had seen another few
artists working from the computer. And it sort of went against
the grain a little bit but as soon as I started using
it I haven’t looked back. You know it’s been amazing. The
colours there, the clarities there, it’s great to work from. (GRAEME) Yeah and I think the
fact you’ve got this back light it just enables you to see
the lights and the shadows. – (JANET) That’s right.
– (GRAEME) So much better than just a photograph sometimes. (JANET) I think too when you’re
an artist it’s totally important, totally important to get those
tones right, the colours right. You know the contrast, those
type of things, clarity. – Yeah, it’s very, very important.
– (GRAEME) Fantastic. (GRAEME) Using technology
with traditional positions. (JANET) It’s sort of
yeah, it’s strange really, you know because I’m a
very hands on sort of artist and to use technology
to get the job done is, was, a challenge at the start of it. I now really enjoy it now. (GRAEME) Excellent. Well you’ve got
a palette set out there right now. Let’s put some paint on the canvas. (JANET) Great. Yeah, well as you can
see I’ve got a few colours out here in warm tones in case I need to work a bit more on the hand,
in and around the material folds. The Tasman Blue, Ultramarine Blue, I’ve got my Titanium, my Raw Umber and a few warm colours as well. So I’ll just start putting
this together right now and – yeah, we’ll see what we can do.
– (GRAEME) Fantastic. (JANET) So you can see that I’ve got a little bit of Titanium
here, I’m just going to throw in a little bit of the Tasman Blue so
that I’ve got a soft sort of tone here, and I come up with a good shadow colour. I may have to sort of darken it or lighten it
at any particular stage. I’ll just enlarge my picture
so I can see what I’m doing. I’m working with a bit
of a larger brush as well. (GRAEME) What’s the type of paint
that… You’ve obviously got oils but what brand of oils are you using? (JANET) Most of the colours
that I’ve been working with lately are A S colours. – (GRAEME) Art Spectrum?
– (JANET) Yes. (GRAEME) And you prefer to paint
directly onto a white canvas – for these particular type of pieces?
– (JANET) For these yeah. For these particular images. If I was doing a life drawing
class I would pretty much like to work on a sheet
of colour-fix paper, which is nice and work in reverse. So building up the
highlights rather than shade. (GRAEME) So you’re just
still using that one brush. It looks like that brush has a bit of a slant on it. Is that correct? (JANET) Yes, it’s got a
little bit of a slant on it. And I prefer that because one end
of the brush there is a slight point, and if I ever need to go in and put a
little bit of a detail in a little area, – I’ve got my little point on the end.
– (GRAEME) Okay well there you go. (JANET) Yeah. I’m slowly sort of
building up the highlights around here. There’s also a reflective colour too. That’s important too when you’ve
got a light fabric like this too. (JANET) And its not until
you study the subject you actually find them and you see them. (GRAEME) And I think
the thing about teaching, which I did for a little while, is that because you’ve got to change your mind
set for every individual that’s there, you really have to form a pattern of
where they are going with their work so it does become very mentally
exhausting after a while. (JANET) Oh it does, it really does.
I teach on an individual level too. So the artists that I
have here in my studio, they’re all on their own little trail and on their own little journey
and I’m here to help them along. I don’t try to make these
people paint the way I paint. I want them to paint the
way they want to paint, or the way they can paint.
I’m just here as a guide. And I’ve had some very
successful students as well too. Winning awards, selling. – (GRAEME) That’s a great accolade to you as a teacher.
– (JANET) Thank you, Graeme. (JANET) A lot of people
say it’s very tricky to paint folds in material. That’s one of the things
I set for my students. I’ll set them homework. To throw a sheet on the floor and then to just draw it. It does teach you a lot. And I’ll come back later on and tidy up some of those skin tones in the hand. There’s a lot of things to
do to finish off a piece. (GRAEME) So in putting a
piece like this together, as far as your composition’s concerned, what are the factors that you try and put into play as far as the work is concerned? I mean what are you trying to
achieve with the poise and the positioning of the
poise within the picture? (JANET) Well I try to have,
especially this series, I try to have it look a bit cheeky, I want to keep them feminine, sensual. I like to work with a little bit
of drama going on in the painting. I don’t like to just paint a portrait as a portrait. I mean a figure is a figure is a figure isn’t it? I mean I like to create a bit of
interest in the painting as well. So the interest to me is
the light that’s coming in, the mood. But I’m having a
really nice response from women. There’s a lot of women out there all tucked away. You paint a
painting like this and they’re like ‘oh, I like that’. They’re liking it
because I’m not a male painting a woman. (GRAEME) Well you could do
a whole series of workshops on teaching women how to paint themselves. (JANET) This last workshop that
I had, the landscape workshop… – (GRAEME) Yeah.
– (JANET) The ladies in that workshop were waiting, asking me for a figure-painting workshop. I like to run workshops on this subject. – (GRAEME) Fantastic. It’s really fun.
– (JANET) And they can paint themselves. (GRAEME) Re-energize
themselves and their lives. (JANET) That’s right. I’m
telling you it’s been liberating. And I’m loving it and I don’t
care what the world thinks. We’re only on this little planet
for a certain period of time. Why should we bury the fact, you
know, that we want to do these things? That’s why women go out and they’ll
have the glamour photography. It’s the same thing. They just want to
be able to feel like a woman, you know? I’m just teaching women
to love themselves more. There’s a lot of women out there
that don’t love themselves enough. There’s always body images and
there’s the weight problems, there’s all sorts of things
that push a woman into this teeny weeny little space
that she doesn’t need to be in. And I just think it’s
unfair and I just think women should love themselves
more and that’s what I’m doing. This is why I’m painting this way, because I think it’s a great
outlet for me especially. (GRAEME) I think Janet, what
seems to make this picture work very well is the fact that you’ve
used a limited palette on it as well. It’s got warm colours all
around the outside and then this base of material is cool in the middle. (JANET) I really enjoy
working on a limited palette. I think it’s just a personal thing. Overall I end up with a better
result using less colours. It seems to create a
little bit of softness. (GRAEME) Plus, you’ve got that
control of continuity as well. (JANET) Yes. I tend not to
clean my brush very often either, so that you get a little bit of paint
transfer from one colour to the next, and you get that ambiance going on. It’s nice to have a little bit
of this colour in that colour. It sort of joins everything together. So I’m just going to build up a
little bit of this pattern here. – (GRAEME) Yeah.
– (JANET) Because all we’re going to see through this pattern is pretty much the chair and other
pieces of the lace in here. – (GRAEME) Yeah.
– (JANET) So I’m just trying to put in a few, like, different little tones in here to create a little bit of a pattern here. It doesn’t always have
to be exactly the same. – (GRAEME) It’s called artistic license.
– (JANET) As a reference, that’s right. You know, so long as it looks good at the end
of the day that’s all that matters. (GRAEME) The quality of the
work that you produce here, there must be women all
over Melbourne that would love to be part of an idea like this. For you to teach them, how
to paint themselves as well, – I think that would be cool.
– (JANET) Absolutely. And to feel good about themselves. At the end of the day it’s all
about how you feel about yourself. There’s not enough people out
there that love themselves. I mean loving yourself is one of the
main things you should be doing in life. (GRAEME) If they wanted to
find out about that workshop they can go to your website
which is janetknight.com.au? (JANET) That’s right. (GRAEME) I would suggest it highly
guys. That would be very cool. It may even throw the romance back
into your relationship as well. – (JANET) Oh, absolutely it will.
– (GRAEME) Yeah. (JANET) Shouldn’t life be about fun? (GRAEME) Absolutely. (JANET) Well as you can see I’m starting to give this
lace a little bit of shape. There’s a whole lot of
detail in here that I’m just going to just soften off. (GRAEME) So you just sort of
really thinned the paint out there, running a bit of a wash are you? (JANET) Yeah, just a bit of a white wash.
It’s got a little bit of white paint in it. (GRAEME) Yeah. I can see
all the subtlety in the curves of the material. (JANET) Still after that feminine look, and nothing says feminine
more than a piece of lace. And I think that’s why I like
some of those old time movies too, because the ladies are
always dressed in lace. (GRAEME) With their bustles. (JANET) They’re just so
feminine. They’re pretty and yeah, it’s really beautiful. I mean, not that I want to go out and buy a corset but they’re always so pretty
and feminine and satiny and… (GRAEME) Parasols and
gloves and with raffia bases. (JANET) They’re just ladies
being ladies, you know. (GRAEME) Well you’ve probably got
a mile of work to do on that lace. But we get the picture of where you
are going with this. It looks fantastic, but what we might do is
let you finish that off at some stage when we stumble out the door. But how about we move on to the water in the landscape
that you want to show us? (JANET) Good idea. Good idea, Graeme. (GRAEME) Okay. We go from there. (GRAEME) Okay Janet. Well you’ve put
up the landscape that we’re going to do. This is going to be the
other part of our show. And you want to focus mostly on
the water techniques in this one? (JANET) That’s right. That’s something
I hadn’t done before on the show so I just thought I’d put a
few little strokes in the water and a bit of turbulence and
show everyone how it’s done. (GRAEME) Sounds fantastic.
Well let’s have a go at it. (JANET) Okay I’m just putting
a little bit of my medium which is basically Gum Turpentine and a little bit of Linseed oil, together. (GRAEME) And obviously using a fairly… like a Rigger you’ve got there? (JANET) Yes. It’s a Rigger. It’s one of my favourite brushes really. So what I actually do
is I put a few lines on, and I’ll come along with
my larger Filbert here – and I’ll just soften it off.
– (GRAEME) Okay. (JANET) What happens when you soften
it off is that you start to get this nice combination of
both the underneath colours and the top colours.
Sort of coming together. (GRAEME) One of the best
parts about your career is that you get to spend
these really fantastic times out in the bush taking
photographs with Russell. Plein Air: just sitting there alone, just enjoying the sounds and the atmosphere of nature.
It’s a wonderful way to… – (JANET) Absolutely.
– (GRAEME) … to experience the world (JANET) Absolutely amazing.
Generally, I won’t work with oils when I’m Plein Air painting.
I’ll take my pastels along because I find that’s a medium
you can wash up easily. You don’t have to carry a great
deal of equipment around with you. (GRAEME) That’s one of the great parts
about living in Australia is that the cities, there’s so much country out there. You literally drive out twenty
minutes outside the cities and you’re in the wilderness again. (JANET) I know, it’s perfect isn’t it? This actual scene came from
Genoa Falls in Gippsland. (GRAEME) Yeah. One of the other
pieces you’ve done is called Crossing at the Rocks, a beautiful piece obviously
once again with the water. (JANET) That’s a Notway Rangers painting. (GRAEME) Yeah. And then
one called In the Moment, which is also a beautiful piece. I mean your style is
a very signature style. And you can straight away,
when you look at your work, you can see that’s one of
Janet Knight’s paintings. (JANET) It’s nice to have your
own style recognised as well. I don’t really want these paintings
to look like everyone else’s. And I don’t want them to
be photo realistic either. I just want them to be how I see the world. The little Rigger brush is good because it does give you line but a
little bit of unpredictability. So it sometimes will go
in its own little direction and when it does go in
its own little direction, it gives you a bit more of that looseness. You get more of a natural
look to what you’re doing. (GRAEME) Yeah. Do you find painting a scene like this landscape with water, that you tend to relive the
moment of when you were there? (JANET) Oh absolutely. This
is one of the spots that I did sit and do my Plein Air
work. Even now as I’m working on it and I look back there,
it was a beautiful day and not hearing anything else except the sounds of birds and I don’t even think I could even hear
the leaves that day it was so still. Just beautiful. (GRAEME) You’ve won quite a few awards with these
particular type of pieces but, over the years. – (JANET) I have.
– (GRAEME) Very well received by people. (JANET) I have just won another
award last week, which was lovely. – (GRAEME) It never ends.
– (JANET) Yeah, so it was nice, it was an
art show that I hadn’t entered before. – And they didn’t really know me.
– (GRAEME) That’s great. (JANET) I ended up collecting my art
work and they called me Mrs Werribee. – Which made me…
– (GRAEME) Mrs. Werribee. (JANET) That made me laugh. (GRAEME) Seeing you live
in the suburb of Werribee? (JANET) Yes, yes, Mrs.
Werribee. How about that? (GRAEME) You’re very much an
advocate of having no regrets in life. (JANET) No, absolutely.
I’m one of those people that is a positive thinker and I
go on gut instinct a little bit and I just believe that if something feels
right, it usually is right. I sort of base my life
on that sort of attitude and it’s a good way to be. (GRAEME) That you get one chance. (JANET) Yeah, you certainly do
get one chance and you go for it. When water falls off the edge like this, it turns into a little bit of a point so I’m just trying to
create that in my work here. And as I said before too, I will come
back and sort of refine these later on. But I’m just treading very lightly and when it comes to these little
trickles in the waterfalls here, this is a bit of a major one over here. But when it comes to
these I always make sure there’s a darker background – for them to fall on.
– (GRAEME) Yeah. (JANET) Whenever there’s a waterfall space I’ll always create these darker areas. – Then you get some beautiful contrast happening.
– (GRAEME) Okay. (JANET) And sometimes we can just
get our little Filbert in there and just soften the whole thing you know? And it looks a little
more like a dry brush. (GRAEME) It’s a very delicate technique. (JANET) It is. And I’m using the Filbert quite dry. (GRAEME) Yeah. (JANET) That just creates the softness. And the whole idea too about
a little waterfall like this, is the negative space is important to it. Because sometimes it’s not always
about the water that’s falling over, it’s about what’s left behind. (GRAEME) Alright Janet, you’ve shown
us some fantastic techniques today. Some of your beautiful work; obviously your waterfalls in your pieces
are very iconic for what you do. It’s just been wonderful. Because of the beauty of television, we can now see a finished
painting being screened, and that looks absolutely
fantastic as well. So very well achieved and a
fantastic day of great education. (JANET) Thank you very much Graeme. (GRAEME) Okay folks another fantastic
day with a very talented lady. Janet… – (JANET) Thank you very much Graeme.
– (GRAEME) It was amazing. Two times. – (JANET) Thank you for having me a second time too.
– (GRAEME) It was great. – (JANET) Thank you.
– (GRAEME) But today’s lesson really was about – different techniques…
– (JANET) Yeah. (GRAEME) … and the
direction you’re going in. And also very much so, about
the workshops that you’re doing. These self-empowerment workshops for women involving a lot of the portrait work that’s designed to take ladies in our society that
may feel a little un-empowered… – (JANET) That’s right.
– (GRAEME) … and through your workshops, say anything is possible
and this is who I am. – (JANET) That’s right.
– (GRAEME) I like myself as a woman. (JANET) That’s right. It’s
getting to know yourself again, getting to like yourself. There are so many people
out there that don’t really like themselves
as a person and this is finding yourself again.
Getting in touch with yourself. – Yeah.
– (GRAEME) That’s fantastic. (JANET) Learning to love yourself. (GRAEME) Come along absolutely because
Janet’s an amazingly talented woman. And her workshops are so popular
since you’ve been on the show they’ve just sort of gone
through the roof haven’t they? But it’s got a lot to do with
Janet as a woman for a start, just a fantastic girl and a
really, really creative human being. – (JANET) Thank you. Thanks so much.
– (GRAEME) I think that’s so important. Your website if people want
to get in touch with you? (JANET) janetknight.com.au. (GRAEME) That’s fantastic.
And also before we go I wanted to say one thing. Because of Colour In Your Life we had so many enquiries from
people all over Australia, we’ve actually started a
non-for-profit called Paint Your Life. It’s at paintyourlife.net.au. We are sending Colour In Your Life
artists and many, many other people, we’ve had volunteers from
everywhere, going out to help people from muscular dystrophy, to elderly people in nursing homes, helping them with workshops
and demonstrations, inmates in jails, and
many, many other people that are part of our society that
might live a bit out off society. So come along and have
a look with that as well. – It’s a fantastic thing that we’re doing.
– (JANET) It certainly is. (GRAEME) It’s really, really helping
a lot of people right across Australia. Also colourinyourlife.com.au. Amazingly talented people
like Janet in there as well. – You obviously enjoy what we’ve done, which is good.
– (JANET) Yeah, I love it. Yeah, I love it. (GRAEME) It’s been a lot of
fun. But as we always say, we’ve got to go again, remember guys, make sure you Put Some Colour In Your Life and we’ll see you next time. Bye now.

18 thoughts on “Oil painting techniques and tutorial with Janet Knight | Colour In Your Life”

  • Hello, Graeme, an art friend sent me your link. Sounds like a fantastic project!  We live in the Bay of Plenty NZ, so pop in for a cuppa today! Or come to our Taupo Art Connection meeting tonight for a wine! It's a group we've started up for artists to get together and connect. We just had our 3rd annual Art Trail long weekend, with over 30 artists. I will share your website etc with the group. Sue Graham www.wildwwoodgallery.co.nz

  • For photo references you're probably best getting a Mac Mini with a separate large screen rather than a MacBookPro laptop.   I've used both … and the Mac Mini set up is far better.  It's also less expensive.   The screen should be as large as possible and doesn't need to be an Apple product.

  • I love all the colour in your life videos esp the oil and acrylic ones. I have always wanted to know how do you paint transparent material over flesh. Would Janet be able to answer that question for me?

  • Janet is fast becoming my Aussie favorite artist…amazing skills, a positive attitude and a willingness to pass on her art knowledge…. a truly dedicated artist …..

  • This was advertised as How to Paint Nudes with Janet Knight, but it should have been Janet painting Fabric. Great painter, just deceptive title.

  • Wow! hats off to you Janet! very inspiring art and artist! love whatever you said about life and women. hope one day I'll meet you!

  • Art is subjective, but what I've noticed over the years is that most women have an approach to painting that displays a more imaginary image of reality that tends to jar with me. Although I don't like photo realism much either for that matter I got more from your life drawing sketches that contained more of an immediacy for me.

  • Greetings from south west Tennessee, USA. I am so glad I came across your YouTube channel this afternoon. I have spent a delightful 3 hours watching your videos.

    Graeme, I especially enjoyed this one, Janet's landscapes are outstanding!! I look forward to seeing more of her (pun intended 😳.)

    Best regards,

    Mick Bradford

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