Thursday, May 25, 2017

Beginning and Intermediate Homework 5/25/17 Neutrals

There's certainly plenty of intense color in this scene from the Palouse; strong blue and yellow and green. But notice that the picture is also about half neutral. What color is the field in the foreground, or the entire hill? How would you begin to mix them? Grey? Brown? Orange? What would be best for the overall scene? Would it be good to mix some of the intense colors that are elsewhere in the image? Yellow and blue make green. What else would you need? Did you say red? There's a little bit of red in that yellow field.

Neutrals can be thought of as an opportunity. They serve to offset the more intense colors. They can also be used to pull the whole painting together. If you mix your neutrals from the same palette that creates the brighter colors they resonate with each other and contribute to a feeling of cohesiveness.

Except for the blue sky, this whole picture is made up of neutrals. You can see pink and blue green and orange, but none of them are very intense. To mix any of these subtle hues you would need to use all three primary colors and allow one or another to dominate. What is the dominant color in the rippled door? How about the wall just above that door? What would be the first color you'd reach for to paint the road?

Here are a few more images that rely on neutrals for their character. Pick one and think about how you might use a limited palette, say, one red, one yellow and one blue, to mix all the colors you see. Try letting the a little bit of the component colors of your neutrals remain visible in your mixtures.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Everyone's Homework 5/14 Subtle Values

Whoops! I went off to SoCal for my son's graduation and all thoughts of homework went out of my head. I hope you all found something that made you want to paint.
Here are a few images that rely on close value relationships for their appeal.
I recommend making a 5 value monochrome study as a first step for any of these.

Careful with this one. The barn is "white", but it's not the lightest thing in the picture. How can that be?

You might want to practice that hill in the far background. It looks like grading  it so that the left side is lighter than the right is important.

Maybe move the horizon so it's not in the middle of the page...?

Feel free to make any changes you want after studying the values. When you're ready, choose your palette and make a full color version.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Intermediate Watercolor 5/4/17 FAKE ART!

I'll describe a scene with just a few shapes;
There are two or three large birch trees standing in a clearing beside the dense woods. The woods form a backdrop like a tapestry of several different tones. Some sky is visible above and between the branches of the trees, and some short grass forms the foreground, where the birch trunks emerge from the ground.

Sound familiar?

Compose a scene using these components. Choose colors, values and edges that will create a distinct feeling or mood. What if the birches are darker than the woods? What if you used only two colors? How about texture? Do you want to leave it out altogether? Exaggerate the patterns of the bark? No hard edges? No soft edges?

Make up the relationships between the shapes according to the feeling you want to convey. Serene, spooky, romantic, overcast, bright, surprising.
Would a carnival of colors enhance the feeling of serenity? If I make the trunks orange and the birch leaves blue but I hold on to accuracy of value, will that create an element of surprise?"

Ask yourself, "What choice will support my purpose?"
You're in charge.