Saturday, December 31, 2011

Complementary Colors

Much of this painting is blue-green.  Therefore, it made sense to use a pinkish (red) color for the trunk colors and the mud beach.  The color choice for the boat was made to complement the surrounding reddish hue.   Complementary colors contrast and attract attention.  Careful placement of them around the focal point is a good idea.  Make sure one dominates, and then use the complement to emphasize the primary subject.

Happy New Year,  everyone!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Using Shadows as Frames

In "Oysterman's Rest", I decided to use shadows in the foreground to help frame the oyster boat.  The shadows are also reflected in the water, which extends the frame, providing a dark shape to look over.

The scene is of Indian Creek, which borders the property here at Sportsmans Lodge.  I wouldn't even have to leave the Lodge grounds and still have plenty of subject matter to paint!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Framing II

In my last post, I talked about using "framers" to peer around to get to your main subject.  Here's a really old painting that does just that.

Now that I'm in warmer weather, I hope to get out and paint very soon.  Meanwhile,  Merry Christmas, Everyone!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Framing the Subject

I learned about framing as a kid when I was first exploring photography.  Placing the subject so that you have to peer around something in the foreground creates a sense of depth as well as a sense of mystery.
Looking over, past, or around something also gives special attention to a second subject, kind of a two-for-one painting.

Here's a painting I did in Naples, Florida several years ago that illustrates this approach.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Dry Spells

For a variety of reasons, most artists go through periods when their productivity drops off dramatically.
It could be illness, depression, confusion about direction, lack of motivation, or time restraints.
There might be the thought that you've "lost it", that you've run out of ideas, that you'll never be able to paint anything good again.

I've experienced this phenomenon several times.  The upside of this, unfortunately not known at the time you're experiencing the dry spell, is that it sometimes signals a breakthrough is on the horizon.  It is often my observation that while the hand is not busy, the brain is still thinking through problems and their possible solutions.

When this happens, I find myself going back to the basics:  values, design, color dominance....
I also tend to go back to very small paintings in the hope that if it isn't a serious attempt, if I'm only playing around, I have nothing to lose.  It frees up the hand and the brain.

Now....if I can only take my own advice!