Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Class Exercise

This is an exercise from my Tuesday painting class. It's taken from Kevin Macpherson's "Landscape Painting-Inside & Out" and is a study in color value.

Step 1 is to find a picture you wish to paint. I chose this picture from our trip to Lagos, Portugal (the most southwestern tip of Portugal.)







Step 2: Blow the picture up to 8 x 10. Using a marker, outline all the different color value shapes; this requires lots of squinting. It's a little hard to see all of my marker lines..sorry. Macpherson says: "Choose your shapes...Nature may suggest shapes, but you must select the best shapes for your painting."





Step 3: Cut out the value shapes and trace them onto a canvas. This step explains Macpherson's philosophy of simplifying shapes for a good start. "Seeing the world as a mosaic of interlocking shapes helps you build your paintings simply and strongly from the start. Learn to simplify."



Step 4: Paint each shape matching the value of the cut out pieces--no details. Again, squinting lots. I started by pre-mixing all the blues, to me they were the first color note. Then I mixed the greens; and, lastly the warms. I really like this study. This color value study is an example of the ones Macpherson said to do "100 starts".




12 x 16 oil on stretched canvas
contact me if interested

Step 5: Using the same color values, paint a finished picture. This is a really good color value lesson. It's a good example of Macpherson's emphasis on color studies and doing lots of practice starts. Too often we just jump right in and start painting.





6 comments:

r garriott said...

Hi Pam,
Thanks for showing this demonstration of a way to begin a painting. Very interesting! Nice outcome.

Nancy B. Hartley said...

Pam, Great painting. I liked your description of how this was painted, very informative. I also liked the fact that in a lot of your paintings you are using your photos from vacations to to other countries.

Cathyann said...

Hi Pam, Thanks for visiting my site!
This was informative, thank you! the wwater is especially good. the foreground feels deep.

Natalie Italiano said...

I think he is onto a good approach. The first 3 steps make a lot of sense to me. Seeing simple shapes of color, Step 3 looks similar to the approach we use to block in a color study at Studio Incamminati. Our approach is a little different and is a variation of this based on Hensche. We don't pre mix batches of color, instead, we try to apply each color directly to the canvas (I guess that's why they call it "direct "painting),just mixing enough for the statement of the color. Once each initial statement is made, they are adjusted in relation to each other by adding color directly to the painting. Everybody ends up premixing some color, but its interesting that not having a batch forces you to adjust and make change to the color, because you can't just dip back into your original batch. Of course, there is more than one way to do everything. This is also based on how Nelson teaches color study.

Pam Holnback said...

Thanks all for your comments. I learn so much from great artist's books and blogs.

Dale Sherman Blodget said...

A great exercise. Thanks for sharing. Love the process. When I squint, I see darker values under the boats than what you brought into the painting. Maybe it's my monitor.