Thursday, April 13, 2017

Intermediate Watercolor Homework 4/13/17 Abstracting the landscape: Shape first, then NO texture

Really. No texture.

How important is the detail?
Working from the notion that the best way to find out if something needs to be in the picture is to leave it out, let's try letting go of the details altogether.

If a shape in your scene is full of texture, try summarizing it into an overall color and value.

Right in the upper middle of this photo there's a yellow-green shape that runs all the way off the top of the page. If you lean in close you can see that it is made of many, many tiny shapes. If you lean back, however, and squint a little, there is just one shape there. OK, I know you can still see variation within the shape, but I'm suggesting that you let go of the subtleties and think in general terms. If it pains you to ignore all that information, bear with me at least till you can see what the scene looks like with everything over-simplified. If you miss the detail then, you can make a note of that and devise a way to symbolize it. If you don't miss it, you don't need it. This is where it's useful to remember that you can apply the paint so its natural fluidity provides a degree of variability
As a simple shape, that patch of yellow-green still has qualities that you might want to keep. Notice its value, for example. Is it darker, lighter or the same as the blue? What kind of edges do you want the shape to have? Holding on to color or value makes it easier to let go of detail.

In this painting the shapes are very simple, but the  surface is lively. Allowing the separate shapes to interact a bit (or a lot!) lets the fluidity of the paint create non-specific complexity.

Shape first, then texture, if necessary. Here, not much seemed necessary.

Here are a few images that resolve easily into relatively few shapes. Start with a quick study that you think has too little information. Use the study to decide where you need more interest. Paint with most of your attention devoted to the richness of the paint. The subject matter will take care of itself!


1 comment:

  1. The pictures are beautifully captured. One must know the technique to capture the beauty of nature. The pictures look so real. Keep up the good work.