Thursday, February 27, 2020

Shape First, then Texture, if necessary

I'm sure I don't need to post an image here to show you what an overpainted picture looks like. The main feature is too many brushstrokes. If you are about to paint a tree and the fist thought you have is, "Trees are made of leaves", odds are you'll make many more strokes than we neto recognize it as it a tree. 
I think we actually see the shape of an object before we see the components. First the forest, then the trees. The wall before the individual bricks.

For watercolor painters deciding what comes first is as simple as you want it to be. It's easy to add more leaves if you have too few, but it's difficult to take them away if you have too many.

                                          George Post

Here's a Georege Post painting that demonstrates the approach of, "Shape first, then texture, if necessary". The pattern of symbolic leaves is sufficient to suggest that the trees are made of many   though very few are depicted.

Below are a couple of photos that are loaded with texture. Try making a quick painting with all the detail removed so you can then add a little at a time and stop while you still feel like more is needed.

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