Monday, November 7, 2011

The Mesa (and Volcanoes) class results

Class demo in progress, 9x12", Pans on Pastelmat
Our class last week was standing room only! It was fun to have that much energy going on in the classroom. I sneaked in a good long lecture on painting foregrounds, which is of course what these paintings of the grassy mesa often are comprised of, and did the above demonstration to get people thinking a little more. It's painted on a piece of 9" x 12" yellow Pastelmat, using mostly PanPastels and a few sticks.

Probably the most salient points about painting such a piece are:
  • The foreground must function to support the subject of the painting and not distract the viewer’s eye.
  • Allow your viewer to arrive at the focal area, providing a visual pathway of some sort.
  • Arrange various components to direct the eye, moving it quickly or slowing it momentarily, or perhaps allowing it to rest briefly in an area of quiet calm before moving on.
  • Because the greatest color, contrast and detail reside at your feet, it’s necessary to walk a fine line between enough and too much, if your center of interest does not reside there.
  • Use shapes to give movement to the work, making the foreground a vitally important and motivating part of the composition, an appealing and lively portion that does not distract. 
  • Oftentimes patterning is the key to solving foreground dilemmas simply because it creates an illusion or suggestion of detail without becoming disruptive. Look for the repeated overlapping colors and characteristic shapes found on the ground, such as low-growing grasses, small bushes, flowers, weeds and dirt.

Break up the foreground using:

• a fence line                                       • contrasting colors
• a vertical bush or tree                    • rocks
• overlapping grasses or bushes      • a change in plane
• shadows                                            • a reflection in a puddle
• a streak of light                                • patches of snow
• a road or pathway                            • a dry wash or sand patch

Keep going, gang!

No comments:

Post a Comment