Friday, August 27, 2010

Increased Scale demo painting--WIP

The painting as it stood at the close of the class on Thursday, 8/26.
I hope you enjoyed seeing the short demonstration I did in class. I used a piece of yellow Pastelmat, 17" x 24", and taped off a section about 5" x 7". I used my soft pastels for this painting. The idea of this class is to encourage you to carry a small portion to a nice finish before removing the tape and finishing the rest of the painting. I chose that small scale painting area by placing my corners over my photo to find the area of greatest interest.

But first let's cut some paper.

How to measure paper proportional to the photo .
Remember one good way to measure paper is to turn your large sheet upside down and match the corners of the photo and paper. Then draw a line bisecting the diagonal of the photo and continue it up until it runs off the paper. You can then measure along this axis (say 17"), make a dot on the angled line, and add cut lines. This way you know your paper will be the same proportions as your photograph. (Bill observed that this is like using the slider on a digital photo to make it larger or smaller without changing its proportions.) This way your paper can be any size and the entire image will be included on the painting. 

Of course, my wonderful means of measuring paper may be helpful, but I fell apart on the next step! I just eyeballed where the cropped section would go on the page, and taped it off. You might grid your photo and paper next time, so that you know the size of the cropped area is proportional to the painting. *Note-- this area is not the same size as the cropped photo, unless the paper you're using is the same size as the photo. It will be bigger, but in the same location. (Approximately--if you're like me.)

Above is the paper with the small scale box taped off, and below is a close up of the first stage, showing the completed painting inside the cropped box. It took me about an hour to do this, as I wanted to resolve the color, light, and a certain amount of the detail.

Inside the box.
Next I removed the tape and did a sketch, matching elements in my photo to the small scale image. (Many thanks to the photographer, Phil, who posted this picture of southwestern Montana for people to use in the Landscape Forum at WetCanvas. Beautiful photo, Phil!) This is always a fun and interesting part for me.

Adding the drawing for the enlarged scale painting.
You can see that I have started on the sky and mountains, not stressing too much to match anything yet. Look at the first image at the top of this blog post to see how far I got while teaching and painting at our three-hour class. I'll continue it, of course. I probably would have struggled to get the trees in the proper scale, and fought having the grasses cover quite so much of the piece, had I not done the smaller scale part first. I purposely chose a rich photograph with lots of interest.

I enjoyed seeing all your creative minds at work. My challenge was and is to be creative with this idea. Make it your own. Do you want to vignette the piece? Will the outside box be a different season, a different color scheme, or somehow texturally different? Will you use differing media inside and out? Play with could be inspirational. But don't miss the lesson intended. Be sure that you see the ways you think and move differently when you increase the scale. Scale changes strokes from fingers and wrist to elbow and arm. The scale of your stroke might not increase if you're using pastels (unless you use a larger stick), but you can increase the sizes of your brushes. The question is, how does this change the way you think about the painting?

Have fun!

Keep going, gang,

And thanks to Malinda for letting me shoot these photos with her camera 'cause I can't remember my brain, let alone to bring my camera! She went to a lot of trouble...