Thursday, September 21, 2017

Intermediate Watercolor Homework 9/21/17 Hard or soft (or both)?

While we're on the subject of edge quality, I have to ask if you think we all see hard and soft edges similarly. Every time we discuss edges I get the feeling some people see hard where others see soft. It may have something to do with whether we see form or content first. Content has a way of influencing what we think we see. I always see soft edges in the sky, for example, even when the majority disagrees. Is that because I think of clouds as ethereal elements of the landscape? Could be. However you look at it, it's a slippery subject.
One thing I'm sure of, we can all use some practice deciding what kind of edge is appropriate, and then more practice making that edge where we want it. Technique and awareness!

Regarding edges, how important is it to be accurate? Does this landscape depend on making the clouds soft and the branches hard for the feeling it displays? What if some of the clouds were hard-edged? What about that hard line at the crest of the hill between the tree in the middle of everything and the left side of the frame? If that were soft, would the tree need to be softened, too? How about the foreground? A lot of painters believe that the foreground needs to be in focus because it's close to us. What do you think?

This fine old homestead makes a beautiful box full of light. What if you let some of that light leak out around the edges of the windows? It might be an evocative addition to the emotional content. Or, it might just be a mess. Will someone give that a try and pin it up next week?

For homework, give some thought to how these images might be adjusted by changing the edge quality of some of the shapes. Keep track of what you were curious about, and be prepared to tell us what you changed and what you learned.

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