Wednesday, April 1, 2015

It's been Awhile!

I have been teaching a lot this year.  Very grateful!  One thing for sure, students love demos.  I love a demo.  (A short one!)  I get really anxious to paint once I feel the gist of the goal.  And I know I love to somehow see what a painter is thinking.  The thought process is so important.  And those who have taken a workshop from me know I like to hand out "tools".  I avoid formulas and try to help students  find and use different segways into a painting.  Here's some of my thought process illustrated. After we choose what to paint we
 start with just a few exercises of first simply separating light from shadow.  Continually asking ourselves, "what's bathed in the light and what isn't"?  Now that's when you have a strong light source.  Gray days are a different animal.  That's another conversation.  The second and third examples are refining values and their relationships.  Then I interpret it in color.  All doing this "at once". So in a "nutshell",  I choose my subject and ask myself "what's my light"?  And at the same time I am asking myself "what's my darkest dark (value) and what's my lightest light (value)"?  Then I may see color first but I always apply the other qualities of color.  Like chroma, temperature, value, local color. 

We will also do the same exercise "separating light from shadow" when we have a figure model.  I do the same thing with a landscape.  Essentially I am trying to paint the light of the moment keeping the contrast between the shadows and the illuminated areas.  I try to avoid a lot of contrast within the shadow and within the form bathed in light.  Makes for solid reading paintings especially from a distance.