Monday, November 7, 2011

November 10— Moving Water

Please RSVP. **Note this, even if you're a 'regular' student and think you're signed up! The  space is limited--there are four remaining spaces. If you physically wrote your name on the list at class last week, you have a space reserved. Otherwise, please send me a quick email saying you're coming. I just want to make sure we can organize the space. Thanks. 


The beauty and energy of rushing, tumbling water is the subject of this week's class. Find a photo that shows lots of splashing, moving, energetic water. Look for good color, interesting shapes and strong value contrasts. 

We'll examine how express the tumble (downhill) and direction of water, how it moves and swirls around and over rocks, places where you're likely to find slow or fast moving water, and the creative ways you can use color, line, edge, value, and different kinds of strokes. 

Any type or size paper, and any medium you want to use, is welcome. Think creatively! Does this painting want to be small, an exquisite gem of a little painting--or would a larger, much more close-up section delight you more? Bring your own photos, please!

As usual, the class is $25.00, payable at the door. Again, your RSVP is  appreciated.
See you Thursday!

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!