Friday, October 28, 2011

Beginning Watercolor homework 10/28 refining a subject

You might characterize what we did in class this week as refining a subject down to its essential parts. At first a new subject is overloaded with information, and you may be drawn into rendering it with undifferentiated specificity. After a couple of versions, though, the most telling aspects of the subject a begin to reveal themselves. Compared to these features, the rest seems optional. you can include it if you like, but it is not essential to a description.
Look for an object that you can see as a series of layers. Set it up under a single, strong light source, so it casts a noticeable shadow. Paint a monochrome study first, then make a simple version in color. Try describing in words what you see as the most important aspects of your subject. See if you can identify the visual characteristics that correspond to these essential features. Go down the list: Value, color, wetness, composition. Save the important parts, lose the rest, and paint it again. And again. Keep painting new, refined versions until you can make one from memory. Keep it simpler.

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