Follow Friday: Lena Rivo

22 November 2019

I came across her in one of the Gouache facebook group comments and fell in love with her work immediately. I love the way she captures light. Indeed, one of her primary goals in art is to convey the illusion of light.

I also fell in love with the idea of an artist who paints plein air in her beautiful flowy white dress, and with her white umbrella and gorgeous pochade box (want!).

She paints in gouache, acrylics, and oil; opaque mediums with vibrant colours. She sells her art work and also teaches online classes.

She shares several time lapse videos of her painting process on her Youtube channel as well as a couple of tutorials. On her website, you can download free guide books, which I found quite helpful.

I would love to take her classes, especially her Color Mastery class, but they are way out of my budget. So I'll just make do with her free guides, and also learn by closely studying her art work and time lapse videos, which is how I learn most things anyway.

By painting from life you explore the true colors and value relationships of nature...

Lena Rivo - 8 Ways To Improve Your Art

What I learnt from Lena Rivo

Here's a summary of what tips I learnt from her tutorials and from studying her work:

  • Draw subjects in high contrast lighting, that will always capture the audience, eg. sun light shining, reflecting.
  • Don't be afraid to put warm and cool colours next to each other. In real life, you can often find a mixture of cool and warm colours (eg. cool and warm greens in the foliage) side by side.
  • Don't draw everything in detail, a mixture of obscurity and details brings more depth to the painting.
  • Celebrate contrast: warm and cool; details and obscurity; hard and soft edges; light and shadow.
  • Subjects in bright light don't have to be pale and washed out, as an artist, you can "ignore the destructive effects of light and make the color rich in the light as well as in the shadow".
  • You can paint plein air with gouache. Not just watercolours!
  • I should paint plein air more often!