Friday, February 18, 2022

Making Deliberate Decisions

When you take photos to use later for painting you may be falling back on a kind of automatic decision making, such as placing the horizon or a center of interest right in the middle of the page, like this;

Abstract painters are not immune to falling back on default compositions,  such as the ubiquitous offset cross (see below):

We are all influenced to some extent by the presence of the reference photo, as if its colors, values,  edges and complexity are the "real " ones. Even if they were accurate there is no obligation for you to duplicate the settings as you perceive them. The photo is just a jumping off place. 

Here are some images that display engaging features of the watercolor medium. Choose one. Your job is to interpret the color, value, composition, edge quality and complexity by asking whether these variables satisfy you. Every feature of your interpretation is adjustable. Keep a sheet of practice paper nearby. Invent, explore, decide. A painting is the result of asking "What if"? Make your decisions deliberate.

Sunday, February 13, 2022

Technical Practice with a Focus on Color Temperature

Time for some technical practice, with a focus on color temperature.

Let’s start with a copying exercise that involves very subtle color differences. Limit your palette to just one warm and one cool. You may make combinations, in fact you’ll need to.

It may help to begin by identifying the warmest part of the scene and the coolest.

Below is another very subtle scene

Notice the temperature of the downward-facing surfaces.


 Or try this one, it may be the easiest.



Have fun,



Thursday, February 3, 2022

Putting People in Your Paintings Part 2

It was thoroughly enjoyable copying figures last week . It should also be fun actually inserting invented figures into deserted scenes. Your firs job is to make a copy of a painting. I'll supply a few here, but you  can certainly use one of your own.

Tear a piece of paper that you can move around on the painting.
Remember it should get smaller as it moves farther away.When you like the location you  can cut a figure shape and glue or tape it to the painting, or paint right on the painting. Make as many people as you want?
Do you have options regarding the color and value of the figure?