I no longer post to my blog, but it contains several years worth of short articles I've written regarding various painting tips, thoughts, and inspiration for pastelists and oil painters. I began the blog in 2011 simply as a resource for students I taught at my studio at the time. I stopped posting in 2018, but even though I've grown in my artistic journey since then, much of what I've shared here is still relevant, and therefore I've kept it visible for anyone who cares to skim though it.
Friday, September 9, 2011
The Five Shape Landscape
Lakeside Tranquility, pastel, 11 x 14
This past week I had my classes focus on simplifying landscape subject matter into about five basic shapes in the thumbnail stage. We used grey markers in 3-4 values to sketch out the thumbnails. This forces you to make decisions about what value to categorize each section of the painting right from the start. For my demo above, once I had a value thumbnail (or notan) that I liked, I began my painting referencing my thumbnail, not the photo. I then further divided the shapes and adjusted the values within each shape, referencing the photo at that point as more details were added. I find this to be a good way to begin a painting that contains lots of busy tree foliage.