Thursday, January 27, 2011

January 2011 Demo 2 Part 1

This demo is an example of painting a cabin in a clearing.

I chose an image of a cabin that gives a nice angled view of the cabin. I made sure I placed the cabin slightly off centered on the canvas, keeping the sky and ground different sizes.

I blocked in the sky using blue and white keeping the upper part a deeper value than closer to the horizon. I mixed in streaks of white for the hint of clouds without getting fussy about them.

The grass also has a deeper value at the bottom and gets slightly lighter towards the house. This keeps the grass appearing flat and not looking like a green wall. I blended in a few streaks of red and yellow to keep the green looking natural.

I made the shadow of the cabin in the grass. I also put some shadows in the grass near the corners.

I put in the trees with vertical strokes keeping the ones by the sides slightly taller than those in the middle of the canvas. The helps keep the viewer's eyes in the painting and focusing on the cabin. Trees have darker values near the base and are slightly lighter in value near the tops where they get more light. The trees are indistinct since this is a painting of the cabin and not a landscape about trees. I want to keep the star of the painting the most tightly painted area rather than the background.

I will continue the demo next week.
Artist Jackie

January 2011 Demo Part 3

The demo is completed by finishing the trees on the right hand side. Same idea, make the trees in the distance a slightly lighter value than the ones closer to the viewer.

Use the same concept with the post for the fence. The ones in the distance are slighter lighter in value than the ones that are closer. Each post needs a shadow. Each post need a lighter value on one side and a darker value on the other, keeping the light source consist ant with the source for the trees. Each post needs a lighter value along the top.

The wire contenting each post needs to be just implied, our brains will fill in the rest.

If I were doing this at home I would take more time with the trees and fill in the branches more. I made sure the branches fill in the shape of the canvas.

All in all a good example of how to create perspective in a landscape painting.

Any questions or comments let me know.
Artist Jackie

Thursday, January 13, 2011

January 2011 Demo Part 2

Part 2 of Demo
The first step today was to place the tree trunks on the image. I used a pencil, which was OK since I was over painting with brown. You can use chalk or a colored pencil that will dissolve into the paint. The regular grafite pencils can bleed through paint if you are not careful plus they are hard to erase on a canvas.

Next I painted just the trunks. I made the distant trees a lighter value, the middle trees a mid tone value and the foreground trees the darkest value. These value changes do not have to be extreme, baby steps of difference is just fine, but by changing the values you add perspective into the painting and help create a sense of space. Photographs tend to flatten out the depth of field so when you paint, you need to add that back in. By changing the values you automatically add that depth back into the painting.

I paint the trunks in short downward strokes, it is easier to stay in line than a long stroke plus the roughness of the edges give life to the trees. I also exaggerated the change in height of the trees, making the ones in the distance shorter than they appear the in the photo. This too adds depth to the painting.

Next I used a small round brush and painted in the branches. The paint should be the consistency of heavy cream. Load the brush and twirl it to a point. Start at the trunk and work out. Keep the 'v' shape between the trunk and the branches closes to a Y shape rather than flat. Although branches have many shapes and sizes you need to refer to a photo or book on tree characteristics to keep you trees looking real (if that is what you are after).

Vary the colors and values of the branches as well. Have them appear to be coming from each of the trees. When dry, most bark is as much gray as it is brown. Add some blue into your brown to get that hue that looks best. Vary the mixture as you vary your branches.

Don't overwork your branches. You do not need to paint every single one. They do not even need to connect, our brains will fill in the connections.

Finish up with an old brush that splays or a fan brush. With even lighter valued mixture, dab on the fine branches and old leaves that stay in the trees. Keep the shape of the crown of the tree. Make sure some branches cross in front of the trunks. Don't overdo, just add some, evaluate and only add more if you really, really need it.

Since I changed the spacing of the trees on the left, I felt I needed to adjust the front of the lane and widened it and curved it out to the left as well.

I then added the shadows on the grass. To stick an object down to another you need to use a shadow. Under each tree trunk I made a shadow. Plus, since my light if coming from the left, I took the shadows out to the right of each tree. This makes the trees part of the landscape and not just stuck out there. The color of a shadow is a deeper value of the color that is already there. So the shadows on the grass are a deeper green and shadows on the lane are a deeper brown.

I will continue with the painting next class.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Class Demo Jan 2011 part 1

New demonstration painting for Thursday's class. A landscape that well illustrates the concept of perspective.

The sky is an early winter's sky, a soft gray mixed from titanium white, ultramarine blue and Van Dyke brown. It is a lighter value closer to the horizon which helps give the illusion of space. The distant mountains are painted with the same mix of colors, only with more blue. The top edge is a soft, slightly blended edge, again to illustrate the distance and the wispy clouds along the top.

The mist is also the same three colors mixed, but a slightly lighter value. It is blended with very soft edges to give the soft feel of the mist.

The distant trees have some sap green mixed in the same core mixture. Soft dabs of various shapes and sizes give just a hint of a tree line. The trees are softly blended into the mist to keep the look at a far distance. TIP - keep the trees at each side of the canvas slightly taller than those in the middle to keep the viewer's eye in the painting.

The grass has the same color mixture with the addition of a touch of yellow and some cad red in spots. The grass has at least 3 values, the far distance is a lighter value than the mid ground and the grasses closest to the viewer is the darker value. By using at least 3 values, the grass lies flat rather than appearing as a green wall. All lawns or fields of grass need some warm tones in it as well as the greens to help it appear natural, interesting and inviting.

The lane is painted with 3 values as well to help it appear flat and not floating in the air. It is painted with some of the original grey mixture with more brown added. A couple of streaks of white laid out as tracks then blended horizontally give the appearance of tire tracks in the dirt.

Next I will add in the trees and fence lining the lane.