Sunday, January 31, 2010

Reflection: Massing the colors

Now that I've regained my "mojo" back and felt like painting again, I started on my newest painting. This painting is based on the drawing study: Tree on the Pond.

As taught by my instructor, the first task was to tone the canvas. For this canvas, I wanted a muted color background so that my greens were not too bright. So, I toned it with a moderate orange (You can see a bit of the toning on the land to the right).

The next step is to mass the basic colors. I mixed a number of different greens and varied them with levels of grey. The first thing that I did was to lay in the mid-tone color of the center tree. Portions of the tree with be brighter/darker, but I was mainly laying down the mid-tone values for each portion of the tree.

I knew that the background would be more muted, so, I added the sky color to the green of the background and reduced the detail. In addition, for the background, I added more white to the base of the sky and added more blue to it as it moved up the canvas. For the foreground, I needed more detail, so the brush-strokes are more distinct and the land contains more yellow (using the warm color to bring it forward).

So far, it's a good start and gives me a good feeling about where to take this painting. Now, where do the abstract shapes come in? In the water. The goal for this painting will be to create as realistic of a landscape as I can, but the water reflection will contain a muted abstract shape of the main tree.

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