Friday, October 24, 2014


I love giving demos to art groups!  Last night I gave a demonstration based on the sketch of the farm in the last post.  As you can see, from photo to completed painting, I made several changes along the way.

I decided first that a slight tilt in the terrain might improve the dynamics of direction by providing an oblique for more energy.  I also decided that overlapping the line of trees behind the barn with the mountains would help set off the light orange fall foliage.  I also made one of the birch trees in the foreground bigger so as to give it more weight.  It serves the purpose of stopping the eye from going off the picture plane as well.

A very obvious change was made in the barn.  I changed its color from red to white.  I was concerned that the darker value of a red barn wouldn't draw your eye in to the focal area and wouldn't "read" as well.  I then added a different shaped shed on the right side of the scene for balance.  Texture was created on the stone wall on the right with fence posts hinted at.  And finally the stone wall in the foreground was made a bit darker to sandwich the farm scene with darker values.

Good composition doesn't just magically happen.  Think about what you are trying to say and devise ways to say it using design principles and elements.

Thanks to the Greater St. Louis Art Association for their invitation to talk with everyone about my favorite subject:  painting watercolors!

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