Saturday, December 8, 2012

Shapes Say It Best

When I first started to study watercolor seriously, I often heard instructors say, Make interesting shapes.  I thought that just meant the outline.  Now I'm starting to realize that the shape says it all, and details can often ruin the effect.  A silhouetted shape allows the painter to say what the object is without supplying every single window and brick, especially if it's a landscape and the objects are in the distance. 

In this painting of my hometown, the Lutheran church and the City Hall are described with their shapes, not with interior details or accurate colors.  Even the train station in the foreground is nearly free of details. The values and overlapping shapes are enough to convey the place and the mood.

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