Friday, March 11, 2011

spring ahead

If you are wondering what to paint, you might make something up, maybe break a few of your rules, if you have any. Let it be very easy. This picture was meant just to have a few irregular shapes and a contrasting background, with a variety of edges separating them. Two people made it at once, which must have broken some kind of rule.
With no photo, no objects, nothing to duplicate, the odds of getting it wrong go way down.
The less you correct, the better (Is that a rule?).
Have fun

Friday, March 4, 2011

Beginning Watercolor homework 3/4 /11

Remember the 9 variations on a thumbnail sketch from Skip Lawrence's book?  The idea is that you can change the value relationships between the major shapes, to adjust what gets primacy in the image.

 This picture is comprised of basically 3 shapes, foreground, background and sky. The sky grades from middle to light (with light clouds as secondary shapes). The background mountains are middle value superimposed on the light part of the sky. The foreground is dark and light against the middle value mountains.
Can you picture these values rearranged? What if the foreground were light, and the mountains were dark?
If the sky were dark, what would you have to do to get the other shapes to show up?

Choose one of these images, or find one of your own that has just a few major shapes. Look for clear value relationships between the shapes.
Working very small, and in monochrome, make a few variations, with an eye toward how the changes affect where the focus of the picture is.
Take notes.
If you like one variation best, make a bigger color version.
Have fun
Thanks, Skip!

intermediate Watercolor homework 3/4/11

....more warm and cool
I thought it would be a good idea to integrate the warm/cool concepts into the familiar layer approach to planning a painting. The goal is to make awareness of color temperature an instinctive part of your thinking.

When you are making a picture that involves definite warm and cool statements, you may have to commit to the color temperature right away.

Most of the major shapes in this image need to be warm or cool right from layer number one. This does not mean, however, that you would be obliged to duplicate these relationships exactly. You're in charge of all the decisions. Knowing where you would like to depart from accuracy applies to color temperature, too.

 Look at the three shapes in the central strip, for example. The middle shape could stand to be a bit more separate from the one on the right, so we could read the space more easily. Imagine the picture if that shape were a bit cooler than the right hand shape, while still warmer than the one on the left. 

Consider the value spread between the left and right shapes. Could you see darkening the central form a bit? Or lightening it?

How about that shadow on the right? What would you want to do with that, in terms of color and/or value?

At what stage of the painting would you make your changes? 

Look for an image (or use one of these) that invites a warm and cool treatment. Plan some changes that make the picture more to your liking. These could just be to make it easier, or they could be simply experimental. Write down where in the sequence of layers you plan to make the changes.

Have fun