Ocean Painting

Paintings and Murals of Fish, Corals and Anemones


Technique Talk: Creating Proportional Fish and Corals

Proportional Divider

Proportional Divider

A few weeks ago I came across an instructional painting website called The Carder Method. Here is the skinny:

“The Carder Method DVD takes a unique and fresh approach to teaching the fundamentals of oil painting. Even people with no natural ability can learn to draw and paint beautifully.”

Thinking that it was a gimmick, I watched the intro video and actually found it interesting. I liked that the method looked at realism painting as not so much an artistic pursuit, but rather a calculated technique. I feel like I have the whole creative, artistic thing covered, what I need is some good old grounded, logical technique. I really don’t have much technique other than keep painting until it looks right. That isn’t the most effective way to paint, so I’m always keeping an eye out for certain ways to approach oil painting. I am interested in it all, from realism to abstract methods.

One of the tools the method calls for is a proportional divider, which helps the artist proportionally and accurately transfer a subject onto the canvas. Alot of problems in paintings come from odd proportions and this is something I am looking to improve upon in my work. I just got mine in the mail today and can’t wait to try it out. Yes it cost me $30 for 2 chopsticks with holes in them, but I live in New York, I can’t really make something like that. Main thing is to see if it improves any of my proportions. I’m looking a bit more into the method, and how it might help me out with color techniques as well. Here’s a cool video on the method and how to use the proportional divider:


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