The Distant Falcon by Dan Johnson
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The Distant Falcon

Click here to bid on this painting.

The “Distant Falcon”, is the same windmill – De Valk – as in my previous Leiden painting.

The reference photo for this painting was taken from the bridge that crosses the Rijnsburgersingel canal.

I’d love to buy a boat one day and cruise the canals of The Netherlands.

For now I’ll make do with looking at the painting!

Happy bidding 🙂

The Falcon by Dan Johnson

How to Find Painting Reference Photos Without Breaking the Law

I don’t know about you, but whenever I’m out and about, especially when travelling abroad or in the countryside, I’ve always got one eye on my surroundings, looking for potential scenes to photograph for use as painting reference.

I’ve got quite a backlog of image files just waiting to be painted.

But sometimes, the photos don’t inspire me, and I want to paint something that I don’t have a reference for.

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"Avo" by Dan Johnson

What it means to be a ‘self-taught’ artist

I consider myself a ‘self-taught’ artist.

What does this mean?

Essentially, it means I have had very little formal training in art/painting. I took art in high school, and very briefly in college, before switching to psychology for some reason, but since then, everything I’ve learnt has been through self-guided learning, using books, videos, informal online courses, and a large dose of trial-and-error (heavy on the error!)

So in a sense, I have been taught by the people who wrote those books and made those videos/courses, but not directly, and the ‘self-taught’ label applies more to the self-directed nature of the learning. I chose what to learn and when, and at what pace. I wasn’t following a curriculum, or being told exactly what to study.

As such, my learning has been sporadic, and I’ve been known to go for months at a time without picking up a brush/pencil (although I’m getting into a more regular routine these days).

How to be a self-taught artist

Here are some of the most beneficial resources I’ve used in my learning path so far. I hope you’ll find them equally useful.

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