Thursday, July 24, 2014

With the Sun

I have recently been painting and talking "contre jour".  Setting up looking into the sun with the palette in shade.  So here is a painting set up with the sun behind me.  Still with shade on the palette so I'm in the shade staying cool.  At this time of day I have max an hour to catch one lighting type without chasing and having several paintings in one.  The solution to that problem is to do several paintings in a row.  If you can paint "what you see" you will have a series of colour studies as the light changes - a la Monet.

Evans Wash Day, 8x10, Oil on Canvas on Board

This photo is a bit rich.


This is closer to what I saw and painted most of the time.  The top photo is more what it looked like as a thin cloud cover moved in at the end of our time.  

You will notice how there is more colour with lower light - top.  The bright light washes out some of the colour.  So, is the painting about colour or light?  

Contre jour would increase the colour and contrast considerably.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Poster for Planning the Painting.

Ted Seth Jacobs taught my friend artist Denis Hopkins.  One of the preparatory tools he taught was the POSTER.  Denis did a demonstration of it under pressure.  Here is the bare bones of it.  It is significantly different from info on the Google search.  Different even from Tony Ryder who was taught by Seth.

Take from this what you may.  It is an indirect painting tool.  However I can see it as a good teaching and training exercise.

The main ideas are;
- an abstract approach - no drawing
- simplification to the extreme
- values first concern
- colour value second concern
- start with the darkest dark, reserve the accent value
- make a simple mark with the dark chosen and mixed (start with the colour nearest the value and colour on your palette
- adjust for value and colour, compare, squint... as many times as required to be right
- take the shape next to the darkest dale, make a simple mark ( limit two vaues per shape)
- compare value and colour and adjust as needed before moving to the next shape
- leave no space between marks
- adjust the second mark, value and colour
- continue until all shapes are accounted for and have the correct compared value and colours
- add accents in the same manner
- add any hi lites

Here is how it looked;

Palette - variety to make the exercise easier

The Subject Setup (Pardon the accidental flash)

Lit From Two Sides - not required

Comparing Values and Colour - opera anyone?

Tea Pot Bottom and Top Marks

Background Marks

Foreground Marks

Fruit Marks

Hi Lites and Accents

Final Adjustments - no, not a painting

Since you are adjusting value and value colour on the fly you immediately see errors.  In the end you can make judgements about the painting to follow, or whether the basic concept has been fulfilled or not.  You can judge the colour scheme and design your palette.  You may choose to abandon the project or see several paintings.  It is not intended to be a painting but painting lessons are contained in it.  You will have to figure out how to use it in figurative work, landscape etc.

If you are more a direct painter this can help tune your eye.  All good.