Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year!

This is the Catholic Church in Apalachicola, Florida.  But I love the old live oak in the foreground.
Again I've used the red-green contrast.  The red-orange tiled roof is warm with the rest of the painting fairly cool by contrast. 

Say hello to the New Year by getting out your paints and starting fresh.  Resolution?  Paint more in 2016! 

Happy New Year, everyone!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Achieving a Sense of Depth

If you want to achieve depth in your landscapes, I suggest overlapping planes and value differences.

In this painting of a canyon in Turkey Run State Park in Indiana, the darker foreground overlaps the lighter, steep rocky wall in the distance.  The overlap and the receding values emphasize the coolness of the canyon before it opens up into the light.

A third way to achieve a feeling of depth is to have the distant tones become more cool as they fade into the distance.  However, this painting gets warmer in the background which opens up the vista.

Think of values first and color second.  Overlapping is a great tool to accomplish the sense of distance.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Linking the Darks

Linking darks is one way to create more interesting shapes.  It can also help lead the eye around the painting as well as stop the eye.

In this painting of another Parke County bridge, the foreground shadow leads into the dark reflections in the water.  That takes you up to the reflection of the bridge and then to the dark shape of the bridge.  Linking the bridge to the dark trees prevents the shape from becoming a boring rectangle.  It also tends to stop the viewer's eye, sending it back to the bridge.

I've become more aware of the importance of darks in my compositions.  Students have a difficult time committing to darks or using enough paint to achieve a dark value.  In watercolor, the old ad that said, A little dab'll do ya  does not apply!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

The Bridges of Parke County

I've travelled to Parke County, Indiana several times.  There are more covered bridges in this county than any other in the United States.  In my series featuring bridges, I've shifted my attention from Acadia to Indiana's covered bridges.

Not only has the form changed, but the textures have, too.  Acadia's bridges are made of stone; covered bridges are made of wood.  The textures in the Acadian forests have been replaced by more simplified shapes in the landscape of Indiana.

The complementary colors still apply, though.  Pink has given way to barn red which is a nice foil to the different values of green.

I love bridges!