How to Paint and make your paintings look real

Intermediate How to PaintBeing brave about capturing the turn of form in your paintings is one of the boldest things you can do to make your paintings look real and be noticed by everyone in a good way.

The turn of form is when the surface of an object turns away from the light. Where it turns it falls into shadow.

The more contrasty the light, the darker this shadow, as seen on these lemons from a student painting in the Blooms 1 and 2.

Where the surface of the object begins turning away from the light is the darkest area of the shadow.

Below that the reflected light bounces around and reflects back in and below the turn of form making that area of shadow actually lighter. View a successful student example below painted by a newbie painter who was willing to paint in the turn of form to crate these delicious looking lemons.

The turn of form presents issues for many students because they feel timid about painting very dark and very light tones on the same surface area of the object they are painting.







Intermediate How to Paint


Typically students will blend the dark with the light tones, lessening the impact and drama of the strong contrast and dark on light. They do this because they feel timid to put a dark tone where they think it ought to be light.

When the brain makes assumptions and controls your perceptions you end up with a very mild and weak shadow at the turn of form rather than a very dark shadow that is required to create an impactful painting where there is strong contrasty light.

Luckily we can change this when we become aware of what to look for

Intermediate Blooms Painting Workshops

If you’d like to make your paintings more realistic check out my Blooms Painting workshop dates for Sydney, Melbourne, Kapunda and Brisbane for 2014 at