Monday, May 13, 2013

Separating Light and Shadow

In sun conditions there are obvious shadows.  If your concept is to show them, then you need to show separation (light and shadow painting).  Every brush stroke must be in the light or in the shadow.  No in betweens.

Without a monotone value underpainting many people lose the separation as they struggle to tell the value of colour passages.

Upstream, In Process, Finishing to Follow

In order to emphasize the separation I sometimes resort to more than just painting the lights in a hi value and the shadows in a low value.

I might;

Paint lights in one base pigment and the shadows in another pigment of the same family.  (Here I used Naples Yellow Deep in the light and Yellow Orange in the shadow)

Paint the lights in semi neutral and the shadows in high chroma.  Or reverse this.

Paint the lights warm and the shadows cool.  Or reverse this.

Paint the lights opaque and the shadows transparent.  Or reverse this.

Paint hard edges in the light and soft in the shadows for a more vague look.

Paint lights with cool reflected light and shadows with hot reflect light.  Or reverse this.

Paint the lights with texture and the shadows without texture.  Or reverse this.

Paint gradations in the light and not in the shadow.  Or reverse this.

The most important thing is to be able to answer the question "Is this stroke in the light or in the shadow", and then "Is the value right?"

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Algonquin Trip III

With the passage from snow to mud and stick and all the way past the delicate greens Algonquin is fading from memory.  But one last instalment.   On one morning we actually did paint inside the park.  After paying tribute to Tom Thomson at the Canoe lake put in we decided to move on.  That lead us quickly to Smoke lake.  Here the ice was rotting aroung the perimeter of the lake.

Smoke Lake - Distorted Water Colour.....

The sun actually appeared and tempted me to chase it from my setup.

Start Under Gray Sky

But no, it didn't last long.  I stayed with my double complements of Viridian + Alizarin and Yellow and Violet.  Beautiful Grays.  Then the problem is how to make the image interesting.  

Smoke Lake Breakup

Here she waits for an energized eye and some final paint, and a composition change.

All the paintings from the trip have been in the studio receiving attention and getting closer to finished.  Happens this way on a trip filled with painting.  The exception is the quick 8x10s.  They are immediate.  Can't take that from them.  The most difficult painting is based on the falls on Hollow River.  There is a lot of drawing involved and ditto for simplification.  I thought I was further along in the painting.  Now the memory is fading.