How Richard McKinley Captures the Mood and Light of Nature in His Oil and Pastel Landscape Paintings
The Landscape Paintings of Richard McKinley: Selected Works in Oil and Pastel
If you are a fan of landscape painting, you have probably heard of Richard McKinley. He is one of the most respected and admired landscape artists in the West, known for his impressionistic views of the Pacific Northwest and beyond. He is also a master of pastels, a medium that he has elevated to new heights with his skillful use of color, light, and texture.
The Landscape Paintings of Richard McKinley: Selected Works in Oil and Pastel ebook rar
In his book The Landscape Paintings of Richard McKinley: Selected Works in Oil and Pastel, you can enjoy a stunning collection of 100 of his best paintings, accompanied by his personal anecdotes, techniques, and feelings behind each work. This book is not only a visual feast for the eyes, but also a valuable source of inspiration and instruction for anyone who loves landscape painting.
In this article, we will take a closer look at Richard McKinley's life, art, and philosophy, as well as some of his favorite subjects and locations. We will also learn from his tips and advice on how to create powerful pastel landscapes that speak to the viewer.
The Artist's Background and Influences
Richard McKinley was born in Shady Cove, Oregon, in 1954. He grew up in a rural environment surrounded by nature. His mother was an art hobbyist who encouraged his talent from an early age. He says, "From early on, I had exposure to art, and knew it was something special."
In high school, he took his first art class with Jim Snook, a trained illustrator and aspiring western painter. Snook introduced him to the works of contemporary masters such as Richard Schmid and Albert Handell. McKinley says, "They became our heroes. At this point art became a complete obsessionand I became a permanent fixture in the art department."
McKinley's talent was so apparent that by the time he graduated he was already displaying his artwork and teaching oil portraiture to adult students. He applied to college to study commercial art, but was rejected because they said he was already a fine artist. Since then, he has never done anything professionally except paint and teach art classes.
In 1975, he met artist Margaret Stahl Moyer at a local art association meeting. She saw his work and offered advice and critiques. She became an important mentor for him. She also suggested that he should try pastels. He says, "She said, 'What you do in oils you should be doing in pastels.' It was the beginning of an ongoing love affair with the medium."
Another significant artistic influence stepped into McKinley's life shortly thereafter: Renowned landscape painter Albert Handell contacted him to help set up a workshop, and the two became close. Handell taught him how to paint landscapes with oils and pastels, and how to express his own vision and style. McKinley says, "He gave me permission to be the artist I wanted to be. I gave up watercolors and focused on oils and pastels."
The Artist's Approach and Philosophy
Richard McKinley has developed a distinctive approach and philosophy to his landscape painting. He prefers to paint alla prima, which means painting all in one sitting. This allows him to capture the freshness and spontaneity of the scene, as well as to hone his skills of composition, color, and stroke. He says, "Painting alla prima is a great way to learn how to see and simplify."
He also likes to experiment with different techniques and materials to create texture and dimension in his paintings. He uses acrylic grit and pastel sticks to create a faux impasto effect, which adds richness and depth to his surfaces. He says, "Texture is a wonderful way to create interest and variety in your paintings."
Another important aspect of McKinley's approach is his attention to composition and design. He believes that a good painting should communicate more than just a pretty picture. It should convey the mood, meaning, and emotion that the artist felt when he saw the subject. He says, "Composition is the language of art. It is how we tell our story."
To achieve this, he follows some basic principles of composition, such as creating a center of interest, using value contrast, and establishing color harmony. He also uses his angle of vision, simple shapes, and gesture lines to organize his elements and create a sense of movement and direction. He says, "Design is the foundation of a successful painting. It is what makes the viewer want to look at your painting."
The Artist's Favorite Subjects and Locations
Richard McKinley has painted landscapes from various regions and seasons, but he has a special affinity for his local landscape of the Pacific Northwest. He says, "I love the diversity of the landscape here. There are mountains, rivers, forests, meadows, coastlines, and more. The light and atmosphere are always changing, creating different moods and effects."
Some of his favorite subjects include the Rogue River Valley in Oregon, where he lives; the Cascade Mountains in Washington; the Columbia River Gorge; and the Oregon Coast. He also enjoys painting other scenic locales, such as the California Coastline, the Southwest Desert, the Rocky Mountains, and Europe.
In his book The Landscape Paintings of Richard McKinley: Selected Works in Oil and Pastel, you can see some of his best paintings from these locations, along with his stories and insights behind each work. Here are some examples:
Saffron CrownsRogue River Valley, OregonA pastel painting of a fall scene with golden trees and a blue river. McKinley says, "The contrast between the warm colors of the foliage and the cool colors of the water was irresistible."
Misty MemoriesCascade Mountains, WashingtonAn oil painting of a misty mountain landscape with evergreens and snow. McKinley says, "This painting was inspired by a childhood memory of visiting my grandparents' cabin in the mountains."
Autumn's GloryColumbia River GorgeA pastel painting of a colorful autumn landscape with cliffs and waterfalls. McKinley says, "This is one of my favorite places to paint in the fall. The variety of shapes, colors, and textures is amazing."
Coastal RhythmsOregon CoastAn oil painting of a coastal scene with rocks, waves, and clouds. McKinley says, "I love painting the ocean. It is always moving and changing, creating different rhythms and patterns."
Desert TapestryTaos, New MexicoA pastel painting of a desert landscape with adobe buildings and mountains. McKinley says, "I was attracted by the contrast between the warm colors of the buildings and the cool colors of the sky."
Rocky Mountain HighRocky Mountains, ColoradoAn oil painting of a mountain landscape with snow-capped peaks and pine trees. McKinley says, "I love the drama and majesty of the Rockies. They are always a challenge and a delight to paint."
Venice ReflectionsVenice, ItalyA pastel painting of a Venetian canal with boats and buildings. McKinley says, "Venice is a magical place for a painter. The light, the water, and the architecture are mesmerizing."
The Artist's Legacy and Inspiration
Richard McKinley has achieved many honors and awards for his landscape paintings. In 2010, he was named the Pastel Society of America's Hall of Fame Honoree, a prestigious recognition for his contribution to the pastel medium. He has also been featured in many publications and exhibitions, such as Southwest Art Magazine, The Pastel Journal, and The Butler Institute of American Art.
Besides painting, McKinley is also passionate about teaching and mentoring other artists. He has conducted workshops and demonstrations across the country and abroad, sharing his knowledge and experience with thousands of students. He has also produced several instructional videos and books, such as Pastel Pointers: Top Secrets for Beautiful Paintings and Pastel Innovations: 60+ Creative Techniques and Exercises for Painting with Pastels.
McKinley's advice and encouragement for aspiring landscape painters are simple and profound. He says, "Paint what you love, not what you think others will love. Be true to yourself and your vision. Don't be afraid to experiment and make mistakes. Learn from them and grow as an artist. Enjoy the process and have fun."
In this article, we have explored Richard McKinley's life, art, and philosophy as a landscape painter and pastel master. We have seen some of his stunning paintings of different regions and seasons, and learned from his techniques and tips on how to create powerful pastel landscapes that speak to the viewer.
If you are interested in learning more about Richard McKinley and his landscape paintings, you should definitely check out his book The Landscape Paintings of Richard McKinley: Selected Works in Oil and Pastel. It is a beautiful collection of 100 of his best paintings, along with his personal stories and insights behind each work. You can also visit his website at www.mckinleystudio.com to see more of his paintings, videos, books, workshops, and blog posts.
Richard McKinley is an inspiration for anyone who loves landscape painting. He shows us how to capture the beauty and mood of nature with color, light, and texture. He also shows us how to express our own vision and style with passion and confidence. He says, "Landscape painting is a journey of discovery. It is a way of connecting with nature and ourselves."
What is pastel?
Pastel is a painting medium that consists of pure pigment powder mixed with a binder to form sticks or pencils. Pastels can produce vibrant colors, soft effects, and rich textures.
What is alla prima?
Alla prima is a painting method that means painting all in one sitting. It allows the painter to capture the freshness and spontaneity of the scene without overworking or blending.
What is acrylic grit?
Acrylic grit is a material that can be applied to a painting surface to create texture and dimension. It can be mixed with acrylic paint or primer, or sprinkled on top of wet paint.
What is composition?
Composition is the arrangement of elements in a painting to create balance, harmony, contrast, movement, focal point, and meaning.
What is impressionism?
Impressionism is an artistic movement that emerged in the late 19th century in France. It is characterized by loose brushwork, bright colors, and visible strokes that suggest the impression of light and atmosphere.