Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Workshop -- Day 3

This day found my class literally in a fog!  But by the time I finished my demo, the fog had lifted and they were off and running.

Painting out of your comfort zone is always nerve wracking.  But I wanted them to at least think that there are other possibilities to approach a jumble of subject matter. 

The real scene had so many elements in it that it could be overwhelming.  So I asked them to pick one or two elements to emphasize.  I gave them one big hint, too: Forget the trees in the background. At tree-top level, they formed a rectangular shape with a straight line at the top.  Design the scene as a whole piece without encapsulating it with dark tree shapes.  Then it becomes more like a vignette,  in which the jumble of stuff touches three of the four edges of the paper.

I began by sketching in the scene, but quickly put down a first wash that ignored those lines.  The second wash was the midtone that started to find the big shape of the wharf and church.  Finally I started picking out some darks and textures to draw your eye towards the boat and its surroundings.

The key step, though, was the bold color application in the first wash.

Here's the scene and my renditions, both a half sheet version, and then a full sheet that began without a pre-planned drawing.


  1. fantastic!! Is incredible how you change size, position and values from original scene to make an armonius and vibrant composition!! Thanks for this lesson.

    1. You're welcome, Hector! So many painters are slaves to the scene and forget that the painting has rights, too. Try identifying three shapes in the scene that you can use for emphasis and contrast. Thanks for following my posts!