Monday, May 31, 2010

Painting Workshop: Day 1: Atmosphere

For the afternoon exercise, we went out near a farm to paint a nice field, etc. This was an absolutely gorgeous site and had lots of potential.

For this painting, I chose a scene where I had a major tree as the focal point and all of the land segments pointed to it. This was extremely difficult for me. I was totally lost about how to approach the problem.

So, Karen and Jack went back to some of the basics that I forgot to focus on. 1) The darkest parts of the scene get darker as they come forward. The mountains are not darker than the treeline. The tree line is not darker than the tree in front. Any darks in front of the tree are darker than the tree.

2) Mix a large batch of the atmospheric paint. Use more of it as you go farther towards the mountain. The scene should be less intense/less green as you recede in the distance.

3) Don't outline/draw the tree. Draw the dark mass of the tree and place some highlights. Don't draw the individual trees in the treeline. Just mass the dark area of the tree and the light tops of the tree.

4) Add some darks to the front of the scene to help establish perspective. This will help the front portion to not be flat. Gives the entire painting more depth.

By the time that Karen had shown me how to make the adjustments, I was still floundering. However, at least, I was able to get the perspective distances worked out. The reason for taking a workshop is to improve. If you are not floundering, then your not improving. The point is not to create sellable paintings, but to see how to create ones, in the future.

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