Monday, February 14, 2011

Class 5— Feb. 17 – Evergreen Trees

Evergreens constitute a lot of the trees you see in the western landscape, so for this class we'll take a closer look at how to approach painting them. We'll visit the rules and at class I'll discuss with you the challenge I have for you regarding painting them.

I've posted several photographs here so you can play with them. You have my full permission to use these for paintings with no reservations or copyrights. Make some drawings, recompose on the computer, or do notan/ thumbnails to get your mind ready to paint. Combine several photos or transplant your tree in the composition, or into another place altogether. We will paint these in class after seeing a demonstration showing you some of the key elements you might want to consider. The idea is to use the “rules” but customize things, enhancing the painting in your own way. 

Here are a few elements to consider:
  • What is the overall outside shape of this tree, reduced to basic geometry? Is it an oval, triangle, rectangle or another shape? Where will you locate it on the page?
  • Analyze the largest openings in the tree to see where an how the shape is pierced. How does that contribute to the balance of this tree?
  • Examine the contours of the outside of the tree, noticing the edges etched against the background. Is the tree symmetrical? How might you use this to your advantage in the composition?
  • Look at the setting the tree is in. What indicates to you that it is growing out of the ground? Are there other trees in proximity? (Or will you add them?) If so, what is their relationship to the star of the show?
  • Can you characterize your tree in some way, as male or female, happy or sad, or in other ways emotively expressive? How could you enhance this impression in your finished painting?
There's a lot more to demonstrate and discuss. Come prepared to paint a portrait of a tree. You may use any paper (I still have Wallis available), any size or color. Bring your ideas sketched out using the photos here. Combine them in any way that pleases you, or add other elements found in your own photographs, or put them in another location entirely, but utilize one or more of these photos in your composition. Please don't paint it ahead of time. We'll paint together in class on Thursday! 

See you then!