Thursday, March 12, 2015

3/11/2015 All Levels Homework Option Two: Letting Go of Texture

Pretty nice, huh? How much of that texture would you choose to put in your interpretation of this scene? How big a role does it play in making the scene beautiful?
Sometimes it's hard to say in advance whether it's appropriate to paint the forest, or if you have to paint the individual trees.

Whatever you decide, take care not to paint yourself into a corner. If you started in the far distance, for example, and gave the mountain way back there lots of edges and transitions (there are many visible), you might be setting up the expectation that each successively closer mountain would have greater definition and complexity.

Making an exact replica of the scene would involve an enormous time commitment, and at the end, it would still be difficult to know if all that work was necessary. Deliberately over-simplifying the scene is a good way to see where you would like greater complexity and where leaving out detail is just fine.

I recommend holding on to value while you let go of texture. Begin with a very simple drawing of the major shapes (big value changes can be considered separate shapes). I count ten or twelve shapes in this scene, at the most. Then, for each shape, assign a color and value that summarize all the changes you can see within it. The idea is to put aside the texture for now, replacing it with an emphasis on shape. The finished study might look like a collage made from cut out colored paper (unless, like most painters, you can't resist a little embellishment).

In this photo, the darks on either side display countless textural elements (I won't say the word). You might feel obliged to make lots of marks there, but if you squint hard those dark shapes become rectangles. Be merciless! The study is not meant to be a painting. It should only take 15 minutes.

More green! Where a shape is lacy to the point of transparency, like the round one on the right, try to summarize its appearance, disregarding the stripes that are visible from behind.

James Fitzgerald

Once you've assessed where and how much you want to add, make a juicy painting that makes use of the relationship of the SHAPES!

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