Wednesday, 15 March 2017

New Value Plan Painting

As some of you may know I have been benefiting from the wisdom, skill, and mentoring from the wonderful artist Bev Wells and she is pushing me to work hard with my value plans, offering me such valuable critique at every stage. She has guided me to completion on several paintings so far but this is the first she has actually had little to say about and the suggestion she offered was to simply try something to see it if worked......in the past there have been very definite ideas as to how to improve something and areas where I have been weak.... connecting shapes, leaving too much space have been problem areas and as soon as Bev has pointed something out, I have kicked myself and thought "Now why didn't I see that it is soooo obvious!" Anyway maybe I am beginning to get the hang of it!

So once again I started my value plan. The idea is to simply create a plan regardless of subject, then you paint your subject according to the lights, darks and midtones you have created in your simple plan.....easy hey? No not easy at all and I am finding it difficult to not consider my subject as I start my plan. I think the solution will be to simply play with the plans in my sketch book when I am not painting and create a library of value plans.Then, as I come to paint a subject I will look at my plans and see which one I feel will work best. As many of you know I often only use my reference as a clue and build up a composition from the starting point (especially with florals) so I'm not afraid to alter my reference almost to the point it is unrecognisable and that is how I need to work with the value plans. Take my reference as inspiration only and once I have drawn it or got an idea as to placement of subjects, simply refer then only to the plan. So I get the theory, now for more practice!

This was done from a value plan where I then placed my reference on top. I used a photo of a sunflower and then painting according to my plan. The point about painting like this is that because I have done some preparation I now have an idea as to where the darks are going to go before I start. I have created my plan with a view to a pattern of likes and darks throughout the painting which I feel works so it has taken the guesswork out of it. Now I'm not saying that all artists need to work this way but I have been wanting to improve my compositional skills for a while and this is the first method which has truly resonated with me.


Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Line and Wash

I have been practicing my line and wash exercises ready for the workshop I am running in a fortnight. I have done a few and need to decide which of the reference photos we will be doing... whether I can paint it isn't really the issue (though it certainly helps lol!!) but it has to be something which is achievable for the group too. I have posted a few paintings on fb to judge reaction and one lady who is attending the workshop felt one would take her much too long to complete.  That is a problem when running workshops.... I have to make sure the ones who take a bit longer have the time while still keeping the faster ones engaged. Maybe 2 images is the answer so I am considering that as well.

In the meantime these are a few I have done. The first 2 are from photos taken by my brother in law John Robinson                                                     











This is the one which may take a bit too long as lots of windows 
and foliage but I do like how it turned out and liked the colours. The house was hidden on the banks of the river Lune and we only happened to see it by chance as we looked back.











This is certainly an option as it isn't too difficult to draw and not too many fiddly details


Next, this one was painted from one of my own photos taken at Anglesey during our painting break last year. I think these are some derelict old toilets and there was an old bike parked at the front but thought that was pushing it a bit as they are most definitely not the easiest things to draw... but hey artistic license, leave it out!! This is another possibility and quite a fun one to do.





Another of my own photos of the church in Ingleton (North Yorks)... I do think this one lends itself to line and wash but there is a bit of tricky perspective on the church tower which might prove difficult



Finally I have painted this a couple of times both in Brusho and watercolour and is from a photo of a beautiful house in the centre of Rivington, a tiny village about 3 miles away from where we live... typical tiny little village with a few houses, used to have a post office, 2 churches, a tea room but not even a pub!!



The lovely thing about pen and wash is you don't have to worry about the paint....if you go over the lines it doesn't matter because that's what the pen is for... to define the drawing. A lot of artists use the line after the painting and that will often rescue a piece and can certainly improve a painting but this way is done with intent to make a line drawing then paint it and can really encourage a looser approach as you can paint where you like, let wet paint run and none of it matters!! Just how I like it....