Friday, November 9, 2012

Spare Me the Details

Many times I see students rushing to paint the details in a scene before they have gotten the big shapes
down.  Details will never save a poorly conceived composition.  Get the dress on before you add the jewelry and the perfume.

I am including a photo of this painting at the halfway mark.  You can see that all the really important information is already established.  Adding a few windows and railings spice things up, but the real composition is already there.

A word about windows.  Be judicious about which windows to  emphasize.  Windows facing the light will not register as black holes.  It's also a good idea not to darken windows in places that force the viewer to look at because of value contrasts.  The windows on the porch are necessarily darker because they are in shadow.  But they are also dark because it draws attention to the tower which is the focal point of the painting.

Think big before you think small!


  1. Love your use of colour, just my cup of tea.
    Going to follow your blog with interest. Looking forward to your next masterpiece.

  2. Thanks, Polly, for your comment! It always helps to get some feedback, especially of a positive nature. Please consider becoming a follower! BTW, how did you find my blog?

  3. Well my hubby was watching sport and I was bored, so went upstairs and browsed through pinterest at watercolours. I have started a blog and was looking for sites to add that would interest me (your style and colours) and that I could learn from too. Hence you. Also I love Frank Webb's art and you paint like him only better.