Painting Ideas And Tips From A Master

If you want good painting ideas and tips, look no further than the work of Zhaoming Wu.

The drawings and paintings on his website ( provide a great online art class, if you stop and study them.

And this is quite fitting, becauseā€¦  

Though born and raised in China, he has been an instructor at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco for a long time.

I first saw his work in Communication Arts magazine quite a few years ago. The work in that article beautifully displayed his favorite subject -- women.

And they remain a favorite today, although he has expanded his repertoire.

I'll show you more about that in just a minute.

What is striking is that he continues to produce work that is simplified and sophisticated at the same time.

Now, because he paints with oils you might be tempted to think you can only learn oil painting tips from observing his work.


The painting ideas and tips in his art can be applied to any medium.

They are core art skills that every beginning artist needs to understand and develop.

For instance, just two easy to see examples.

Look how he has allowed the warm underpainting to show around the periphery of the painting. That contrast with the cool tones he uses over top of it creates visual interest.

And see how he maintains the most detail in and immediately around his star.

As you move away from the model, the painting of the drapery begins to break up. Only the model is precisely defined.

How would you like to learn to do these things?

But, don't think that these painting ideas and tips can only be done when painting people. 

I mentioned earlier that Zhaoming has expanded his subject matter since that magazine article.

Here is a landscape where he used many of the same painting ideas and tips he used with the woman.

Notice that here too everything is simplified.

He doesn't try to exactly define everything in his star or in the background.

Instead, he paints just enough to allow your imagination to fill in the blanks.

And notice also that his paint brush adds a bit of whimsy to the art. See the little circular dabs of tone he places in the tree foliage.

Just to add some whimsy and visual surprise.

He uses these same painting ideas and tips in his drawings.

That's the beauty of these ideas. They apply to drawing art lessons, as well as paintings.

And they apply to almost any subject you might choose.

Or any medium.

All that's required is to learn how to use these core art skills.

And watch your art blossom.

Best Wishes,
Gary Gumble
Founder of
Without art the crudeness of reality would make the world unbearable. (George Bernard Shaw)

P.S. Here is one more lesson I'd like you to take away from this blog post.

At every level of art there is always room for improvement. Even for Zhaoming Wu.

A number of years ago some of Zhaoming's work was on display at a gallery near me.

His paintings of women were gorgeous.

His landscape paintings were pretty dull in comparison. They displayed little of the energy and passion present in his figurative work.

But look at his landscapes now.

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