Most of the visual information we perceive in a subject does not need to be included in a painting. A big part of the artist's job is to identify what is essential and what is optional. Which elements of your subject describe its fundamental nature?
Choose a simple object, like an apple or a persimmon, a milk jug, a glass of water - something that will not require fastidious drawing.
Set up the light source so that there is a clear and simple shadow pattern. Including a cast shadow is a good idea.
Paint a monochrome version first, emphasizing the darkest darks and the lightest lights. Leave out most of the subtle middle values to find out how important they really are.
Paint several versions in color, with an eye toward discovering which features do the real work of defining the subject. Let go of accuracy as you learn what matters.
When you feel that you have a good sense of which strokes and washes tell the story, put away the actual object and the studies, and paint one or two from memory. Now that you have answered the basic question, you are free to give all your attention to laying down some juicy paint!
Comments are welcome, by the way.
|Silver Cup Lars Lerin|