Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Your Job Continued......

"Up For Second Appeal" was painted with pretty much the full value spectrum (1-10, black to white).   The common thought is that the contrast and saturated colours gives the best light effect.

Up For Second Appeal

While saving this painting I moved to lessen the contrast, but I stopped here (above).  Had I continued to a high-key painting (alter the concept) with closer values compressed towards the top of the value scale, I might arrive at this....

Second Appeal

Less drama, less colour (light and colour are somewhat mutually exclusive), but more indicative of the effect of light on the subject.  This "feels" more like what I saw and experienced  (the photo showed a full value spectrum - wrong).  But, what does a viewer prefer?

Insight into painting the effect of light (not light itself) comes from studies such as the Henry Hensche Block studies and their derivatives.  A number of people teach this colour seeing approach.  It is not as easy as it appears, so a longer workshop is appropriate.  As you paint en plein air and learn to see, you also become sensitive to the effects of light.  The simple block studies however are more effective since they simplify the subject dramatically.  In this sense the landscape is the most complex motif and therefore overwhelms painters easily.  Try the block studies in sun light to see what I mean.

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