Painting Advice about Your Paintings

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Free Advice on Your Painting

Free Painting Advice

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Painting Advice here

Get free personal painting advice.
Here you may ask questions or post an image of your work
If you are teaching yourself to paint and need an assessment of how you are going then post an image of your work in the comments section below with a brief note saying the size of the painting, the medium used and the type of canvas.
A very large image is not required and you may use a ‘nick name’.
By seeing the altered image and comments below you can see how the information is conveyed about the possible improvements for you to consider.
The changes to the image are rough but are there as a reference only.
Your paintings will be checked for colors, tones of colors, arrangement, perspective and techniques. Suggestions may also be able the type of material and paint used in the painting and the type of brush or knife used to paint the picture.
So to have this free assessment of your painting you need to take a photograph straight on of the painting and place the image with your comment at the bottom of this page, the image can be any size and a common format but do try not to post huge images as they will greatly slow the loading of the webpage Cheers


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  1. Len this is the second post and it is of the sunlight through the trees, had to shine a spotlight on it to take a photo as the severe storms we have just recently had didn’t allow pics with natural light

    1. Great work – well done and no need for me to comment further – do think about the horizon line which is your eye level and try not to have your eye level too far up the trunks of big trees – cheers and thanks for showing

  2. Well Len I am giving everything a go I have attached two tries unfortunately in two separate posts. One is off your sunrays in the forest and the other is a rendition of your ‘Pretty River’. This one I have done a couple of times starting from small and enlarging as I go along. I found that the paints were drying way too fast even with a spray from the bottle, the temps here have been high humidity and in the 30’s also I have tried a better middle of the range paints and find that they do seem to dry a lot darker. I know I will have to keep experimenting and the enjoyment I am getting from this new hobby is amazing. Thank you for all your help and advice and mentoring

    1. Di you are doing super well – better to keep the horizon low or the painting looks like a view from well above the ground – mountain needs more white.
      Also the grass needs to be very big when at your feet. Great work

  3. Len here is my attempt of the Windmill

    1. Hi Di – you have done very well here and the windmill is better than my effort – I can see the canvas through the sky and many brush marks, you might try using more paint in that area and blending the colors will be easier – great progress

  4. Sorry Len, but so excited about these lessons and had to try the aborigine one, it is a bit more of an effort mixing paints when they are cheap and have an their consistency isn’t the same but when I have mastered the techniques I will spend the money. The major benefit of your DVD’s is that you can play them over and over again and don’t need the net to get the lessons. I am only up to #5 and have attempted your Windmill painting which I have attached in the next posting. Sorry to be so annoying but as I said it seems to be a driving force to get painting so late in life.

    1. Wow you are learning fast – with the cheap paints you need to make sure that the knife or brush are clean before loading and then you will get the darker tones into the rocks etc.
      No need to lean the trees into the picture quite so much.
      Maybe use a small house painting brush and some experimenting for a more realistic looking tree foliage.
      The low horizon, sky and the perspective is great.

  5. Hi Len …first of many water mono colour practices. What is the difference in the colour ‘white’ and ‘titanium white’ I know that you separate the two between acrylic painting and oil painting in the lessons. Does it matter as I have found that there are more acrylic paints out there at varying prices that are ‘titanium white’ Also there is zinc white, china white but very few just plain everyday white, will it matter at the end of the day.

    1. Hi Di – in oil paints there is a lot of difference in the white paints – titanium, flake and zinc. The titanium is more opaque.
      In acrylic, all white paint seems to be the same as titanium – I use any white that is not too runny.
      I haven’t looked at your last painting yet. Need to go shopping – do you want me to adjust it for you?

      1. Yes please when you have time, I am determined to master these techniques and your advice is invaluable

  6. Well Len I have started using my DVD’s and keep replaying one lesson at a time over and over and here is my first exercise from lesson 09. Even though I have watched your free lessons on the net I am finding that the DVD is giving me more info. I am currently only using the Mont Marte canvas pad and find it adequate for practicing but have noticed that with the excess paint on the canvas paper it does tend to curl making it a tad difficult when trying to do the grass as the fan brush tends to grab and lift the canvas. I have spent quite some time raiding hubby’s shed and cutting down boards that I have practiced other forms of painting on and now have used up that resource so it looks like a trip to Bunnings to buy some board that I can cut down. Once again thank you for the DVD’s I am really looking forward to reaching a good standard by lesson 70 meanwhile I am just enjoying the whole experience.

    1. Add the eye catcher to your painting
      Excellent progress Di and thanks for showing.
      You are becoming confident with the brush, great, don’t be afraid to experiment and one day develop your own unique style.
      With this painting I see you could improve by exaggerating the lights and darks, this can be useful for all paintings, a white center and dark corners becomes an eye catcher.
      When a dead tree leaves the canvas it is good to have some branches to attract the eye back into the painting – see the altered image of your painting – great work.

      1. Thanks Len every bit of advice is taken and placed in the memory banks for the next practice run. Cheers Di

  7. Sorry Len meant to post my first attempt with your mono colour you tube lesson. So much fun…do it while the husband watches hi rugby on the old idiot box lol

    1. Di, you are doing well.
      In time to you will refine your techniques so do keep painting fast and for fun.
      This one could have a white horizontal line under the background trees in the middle to attract the eye
      thanks for showing

  8. hi Len, found your website by accident and so glad I did. Have ordered your DVD’s and while waiting am trying your techniques and have success sort of one minute and not so successful the next. I guess it is being in the zone but whether it turns out or not I am just enjoying myself so much now that finally reaching the twilight of my years that I now have the time (actually now create the time) to try my hand at a dream I have always had.

    1. Hi Di
      I did a full comment on this somewhere else — let me know if you can’t find it – I’ll repost the image where I made suggested alterations – cheers

    2. Hi Len, can’t find your comments but I can see from the suggested markings what to do to improve above….it really irked me knowing something wasn’t right but now I can see what to do to correct it….so easy with acrylics.
      Thank you

  9. Hi Len,
    This is my latest attempt on loose canvas.:D

    1. Hi Adam.
      Looking good – keep going as you are with the brush skills, I can see some good foliage, grass and mountain techniques evolving.

      With the foliage you should try for a flat bottom on all of the bunches – I’ll add an image.
      You can see in this image where I changed the bottom of the bunches, dulled the dark spots in the background and brightened the foreground.
      I also made the background trees smaller and not so prominent so that look further back.

      1. Thank you so much Len I’ll take these adjustments to heart.
        It feels great to hear that I’m on the right track.
        Cheers to you and your!

  10. Hi Len!

    I just commented on your recent YouTube video the other day and I thought it might be fun to share this photo. I took what I learned about tones and horizons and did a VERY rough repaint of a piece I attempted about a year ago. The one on the left is a new one. There’s 100 things wrong with it, of course. I didn’t spend much effort on the foliage or the clouds, but just by reversing my tones and dropping the horizon line (not quite enough, I think), it added miles to the depth and width of the scene. (Softer shades of green probably helped a bit also.) I’m going to repaint it again when I have some extra time, because I’m really excited to see what a well done finished product would look like! Thanks again for your resources. They are invaluable!

    1. Well done Nicole – one on left, background excellent, foreground foliage could be more vibrant, horizon line should come down more.

  11. I’ve practiced the “dab dab” stroke a bit and did this little monochrome painting. It’s in acrylic and I am waiting for my canvas to come in so it is on the inside of a cardboard cereal box. This is the first painting I’ve done with your style at the front of my mind. It brings me such joy, I cannot thank you enough Len.

    1. That uploaded a bit blurry, sorry. Here is a less blurry one. Sorry for the double post as well.

      1. You are doing well Adam – at this stage your paintings are correct, nothing fancy but correct as far as arrangements go and you seem to have the right tones of color in the right places – dark corners, glow from the middle and everything from pale in the distance to vibrant when near – well done.
        Don’t keep painting foliage when your brush has run out of paint, wipe the brush and reload so your foliage in the foreground is all the same – dark and light.

        1. I will practice my “dab dab” stroke a lot more, still having trouble with the right amount of paint on my round brush. Thank you for the kind words! I wish you all the best!

          1. Round brush should not be pointy – if it’s pointy best to snip the point off

  12. This is my third painting it is wet on wet in oils. It is on prestretched canvas that was double primed and is about 12in by 16in. I painted this one with only a vague image in my mind. P.S. I have only been painting for 1 month and found your videos just 2 days ago and I love every minute of them.

    1. Hi Adam – looking good – you need to establish an eye level and place things above or below the eye level – you should not have the water running uphill. This takes a little thinking about – see
      You are doing extremely well for someone just starting

      1. Thank you for the quick response. I’ll be more conscious about the lower level from now on. I used a fan brush on the pine trees on the left side, what could I do to make those better?

        1. Adam – your pine trees – use more contrast, the dark in the foliage should be darker.

  13. Hi Len,

    As always, I am blown away by your information and suggestions. I have decided to paint my two wooden garages with a mural of a lake scene to practice being more lose with my painting style. That sounded like fun when you mentioned it in your tips.

    I used your lesson on painting mountains for the painting I am attaching and would like your honest critique of the painting. I did this painting in 2014 and have to admit, I did not do much in the way of practice painting before I jumped into this one. I was so excited to try the painting, I could not wait to get the paint on the brush.

    I thank you sincerely for all you do to help those who love art and painting. We are a dying group now with so much electronic picture taking and less creativity encouraged. You are a light in the dark for the art world and I am proud to be one of your many students.

    I look forward to your critique.


    1. The picture did not attach so I am replying to my own post to see if I can get it to attach.

      1. Hi Linda – very well done and you should be proud.
        Everything here is okay but you have given a view as if looking down at the water which can be ok but I prefer a lower horizon line in all paintings – Below is your painting with the lower horizon line. You can see more about horizon line here.
        Thanks for showing.

        1. Thank you so much Len. That was very helpful advice and I certainly will remember it for future painting!


  14. Hi Len,
    Thank you so much for your helpful tutorials and advice. I’ve been working on this large painting based off of a reference image, but have struggled to capture the mountains/houses and overall brightness of the picture. I love how you use use brushstrokes and colors in your paintings– would you be able to offer some advice and feedback on how I can improve?
    Thanks and Happy New Year!

    Version 2

    1. Hi Alice – I think you are doing fine.
      In your rocks and nearer background you have a base color which is the dark – this color should be mixed from the same colors so then the darks in your painting show the color of that day – it is always a grey and is tinted with blue in the background and usually has a little more red in it in the foreground and it is pale in the background and dark in the foreground. (in brief, mix 8 cool blue plus 3 crimson plus 1 raw sienna and use it as the dark in everything in the painting – everything)- your buildings have no darks.
      Don’t let any of the background be very dark (that dark blue is too dark for that distance).
      In the bottom left corner you have great rocks but they are attracting the eye away from the middle of the painting – better to have these few rocks in the corner dull and not so attractive.
      Briefly – pale down the dark blue in the background – add more contrast with shadows in the buildings – take the bright glow off the big white rock and the one in the very corner. Cheers

  15. Hi Len,

    This is my first attempt at the first painting from your speed painting dvd no.1. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
    Painted with dodgey old black and white student acrylic paint on 300mm x 400mm Aquademic drawing pad paper with medium surface and heavy weight.

    Thank you.


    PS. I borrowed your DVD from Katoomba library and loved it so much I’ve just bought the set online. Can’t wait for them to arrive !


    1. hi Sue – you have painted the picture according to the instructions on the video, excellent.
      Now you should paint lots of small pictures, about 6×9 or 9×12 inches, and become very good at the brush techniques while experimenting with different arrangements.
      Don’t worry to much about mistakes at this stage, mistakes are useful for learning what not to do. Don’t keep fixing mistakes, it is not worth the time, just paint another little picture.
      Your painting is very good.
      I’ll list the things that you should try for. Keep the whitest bit of sky in the middle behind the mountains – try painting mountains with just a few long deliberate brushstrokes, too many brushstrokes brings the mountains forward (I know that your old paint might not flow well).
      Try for a little different shape in the mountains rather than round.
      The background trees should not have too many very dark spots.
      Arrangement, not good to put a tree so close to the center of the painting, better to open up the middle more by having the trees closer to the edge.
      Try for a flat white line under the background trees and concentrate on the white in the middle of the painting to attract the eye to the middle.
      The comments I have made are not mistakes in your work they are things to aim for while you are learning.
      I’ll make some changes to the image and post it here.
      Keep showing your work here and asking questions if you wish.
      Your dvds are packaged and I’ll email you when the parcel is in the post later today.
      Thanks Sue


      1. Thank you so much for your comments Len. It’s was great to here from you so quickly and am stoked the DVDs will be on there way so soon. I had to return the library copy because I had it out so long! And will buy some new paint because you’re right, the old stuff has certainly lost its flow. Had to mix it with a bit of water to stop it drying out so quickly.

        Tried posting another picture for feedback but it didn’t come up. Will try again another time.

        Thanks again…you ‘re so onto it!

  16. Hi Len

    I have been practicing the monochrome but decided to finish this oil. It’s on canvass 90 x 60cm. I know it’s very busy and not good composition but was concentrating on practicing brush work with some palette knife. I know I need to tone down the top right hand corner. I haven’t used black it’s a mixture of burnt sienna ultramarine and a touch of al Crimson . I’m having problems with the water, the fall in particular plus the rocks and willow tree. Any advice would be appreciated. Be as blunt as you like I appreciate you critique.


    1. Hi Karyn, thanks for the message.
      I find it hard to comment because you are painting in abstract and I teach how to paint as you see things in nature.
      If I were to comment on your painting as a painting of a natural landscape then I would have to say the sky is never like you have. The perspective is wrong and the arrangement is wrong and the tones of colors is wrong.
      But it’s not a painting of a natural landscape and for all I know it might be a copy of a famous old master.
      It is interesting and catches the eye. The colors are well separated and not muddy. The arrangement is set out so the eye is not attracted away from the painting.
      I’m sorry that I am unable to advise you further.
      If you wish to paint more traditional style and similar to what I teach, I’m sure I could be of more help.

      1. Hi Len

        Thanks for your reply.
        Yes it is an interpretation of an old master 🙂 he is not hard to pick.
        I’ll do so more work and paint some in a more traditional style.
        More rain here, ground is sodden.
        I checked out your daughter’s website and enjoyed her paintings. Very creative.
        Hope all is well with you and your wife. I’ve been to Thailand it’s a beautiful country.

  17. Kayrn’s paintings


  18. Hi Len
    I’ve had a few goes at the first lesson. I had to practice quite a bit and experiment with the consistency of paint so that I could get the fan brush to produce the grass. Also trying to get the size of brush to hold enough paint to do the trees. I ended up using acrylic for this painting as oils are more expensive.
    Kind regards

    1. Hi Karyn – you need to use more paint in the skys – or don’t thin the paint – put lots of paint at the bottom and make grass with a dry fan brush, small grass in the distance and big grass at your feet.
      Don’t try for perfect branches, later you will learn to cover the bad bits with foliage and then the branch looks perfect.
      Paint all branches with just the dark color for now and learn the techniques don’t try for good paintings – you have the right ideas about dark to light and arrangements and perspective so paint lots of little pictures without worrying about how good they are but do worry about how good your brush skills are becoming. After learning the brush skills you can paint anything your mind can see and then you will concentrate on arrangements and tones of colors and perspective – well done – cheers

      1. Hi Len
        Thankyou once again for advice and encouragement.
        Your online streams are not only good teaching but entertaining, particularly when the mobile rings or you get visitors. Lol
        I’ll be practicing with the brushes heaps tomorrow – Sunday.
        Snowing next week in the central west nsw where I’m from, send some of the warmth back to Aussie plz.❄️❄️❄️❄️
        Kind regards

        1. My family are from Dunedoo – my daughter lives at Dubbo –

  19. Hi Len
    I have just discovered your website and I’m so enjoying all the help you have provided. I’m a beginner and learning from the web and books. I would value your feedback. This is a painting done with palette knife and oils on a canvas board, A3 size.
    Kind regards


    1. Hi Karyn – you have done extremely well to have all your colors separated and not muddy – as you seem to realize it is most important to wipe the painting knife every time before picking up paint or adjusting the painting.
      With most paintings it is not good to have the horizon line across the middle of the painting and about 1/3 up often gives a lot more depth to a painting.
      Because of all the knife strokes showing as they do, your painting is quite busy which makes it less relaxing to look at but if hung in the right place it will provide warmth and energy.
      You have keep the corners dark and uninteresting and the center catches the eye, good, the simplicity of the arrangement is effective.
      Be careful if you use black in your paintings, it can take the life out of the scene.
      Thanks Karyn

      1. Hi Len
        Appreciate your prompt and constructive feedback.
        I’m going to start on your lessons tonight. I’ve got the painting bug badly. Wish I had started years ago.
        I like the palette knife but will use brushes as per your lessons.
        Looking forward to beginning
        Kind regards

  20. Hi,

    I’m just a beginner and I still have a lot to learn but could you please give us some advice on how to paint faces? I dont mean to paint realistic portraits but I think I really need to try painting faces before I do it in my own style.

    Thanks a lot!


    1. Mary I am not good at painting faces but if I was wanting to paint them I would learn to paint a normal face with the exact same shapes ever time and when I could do that then I would look at all other faces as a variation of my perfect example. This way you have a formula to work with – best of luck

      1. Thanks a lot for your prompt response!!


  21. Hi Toni – you have done very well with this rather advanced painting – your arrangement, brushstrokes and perspective are in order – reflections of trees are missing.
    There is a couple of things that you should do – study tones of colors plus this video
    When painting foreground foliage on the trees you need to use a grey which is mixed from the colors on the palette and is shown how in most of my colored video lessons.
    I will roughly change the image and show how the tones can create depth, step back and compare the difference
    By having a lower horizon on your paintings they will have more depth.
    Some red in the foreground brings it forward
    Well done and thanks for showing.


  22. Dear Len,
    I am very new to this “daubing stuff on paper/canvas” business and have included my very first landscape attempt, I think made possible as you are such a great teacher.
    I do realise there are many errors in my work (the more I look at it the more I see) but am still thrilled that it does have some semblance of our Aussie bush.
    I just want to thank you for making it possible and inspiring me to continue “daubing”!


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