Wednesday, November 25, 2015

A Change of Seasons

In the continuing series of the Bridges of Acadia, I decided to change the season from summer to winter.  I put most of the scene in shadow to cast a spotlight on the bridge and the foreground trees.

Look at some of your old paintings to see if they could benefit from a change of seasons.

And Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 20, 2015


Verticals portray stability and formality.  Horizontals convey peace and harmony.  Obliques (some call them diagonals) create tension and interest. 

I try to incorporate obliques in some portion of most of my paintings.  Once in a while it helps to include a shape that zig-zags through the painting.  This not only creates tension; it can also be a pathway to various points of interest around the painting. 

The light shape in this painting leads the eye from the lower right to the little falls back to the figure and then up to the pink rock wall.  Several verticals stop the eye and return it to the zig-zag shape.

Compositional considerations are the components of good picture making.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Painting in a Series

There are advantages and disadvantages in painting in a series.  Advantages include not having to decide on a subject.  You can concentrate on composition.  Color becomes less of a problem because you can draw on choices you made in the previous works. In the series The Bridges of Acadia, I was able to explore the contrasts of the complementary colors red and green.  Using pink helped set off the dominant greens. 

Disadvantages also come with repeating those two colors and the subject.  As you become more comfortable with developing color choices and applying them to your subject, there also comes the risk of becoming rather formulaic.  So deciding when to end a series will keep you on your toes and lead you to new explorations of color as well as subject matter.

Still, I like to paint bridges.  Maybe next I'll attack the trite subject of covered bridges.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The Value of the Value Sketch

I continue to say it:  Plan your watercolors with a value sketch.  Know where your lights, midtones and darks will be so you can plan your painting strategy.  Here's another carriage road bridge in Acadia National Park.