Saturday, October 24, 2015

Achieving Depth

Here's another in my series of  paintings of Acadia National Park.  One of the unique features in the park is the carriage roads built by John D. Rockefeller.  The stone bridges are a charming focal point of the roads.  This one is at the northern end of Bubble Pond.

Value, color and overlapping planes help achieve the feeling of depth in this painting.  The distant trees are light and cool, forming a shape with very little texture.  The  nearer trees are well defined and darker silhouettes.  The bridge is overlapped by the birch tree in the foreground.

The pinkish tones of the bridge and the road contrast with the cooler tones of the woods, pushing the structure forward. 

The shadows across the road keep your eyes on the area under and beyond the bridge.  And of course, looking past or through something always helps to  create a feeling of depth.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Leading the Viewer's Eye

In this depiction of shoreline flotsam and jetsam, the focal point is the driftwood and small tidal pool. I decided to use line, color and values to lead the eye to that area. 

Examine the lines first.  The small foreground rocks, the seaweed, and the shadows all lead to the driftwood.  The warm color in the seaweed, as well as its darker value, also draw attention to the log and the little pool of water.  The values in the distant rocks serve to emphasize the big flat light rock. The foreground shadow in the lower right hand corner helps direct the eye to the lighter area of the beach. 

Design with purpose!

Monday, October 12, 2015

The Power of the Oblique

In this painting of a lake in Acadia National Park, the fall colors are an obvious subject.  However the scene becomes a compositional challenge which I solved through the use of line, specifically the obliques. 

Study the lines that point and link areas.  The birch tree trunk acts as a stop sign (see previous entry).

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Stopping the Eye

Sometimes we inadvertently include lines that point off the painting surface.  Our eyes need a stop sign to keep them from wandering over to the edge of the page. 

In this painting of Otter Cliffs in Acadia National Park, I wanted the emphasis to be on the breaking surf and the flat rocks catching the light.  On the left the vertical rock formation stops the eye as does the foliage.  On the right the tree is the stop sign.  Also to keep them from forming a "goal post" look, I angled one of them inward toward the center of interest.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Value Studies

When I have time, I like to do value sketches.  That gives me a road map for what I need to paint first, second and third. Here are some value studies from my trip to Acadia National Park.