Saturday, July 31, 2010

the tools of the painter

9x18 pastel and watercolor on Uart
When you think about it you really only have 3 tools at your disposal: color (chroma included), value and edge. Wait I am getting a little ahead of myself. Let me back up.
Your first decision is always, Why are you painting this painting? Then, what is the diva? (the focal point) When you know, then you have to make a design the places the diva in a sweet spot. I use the rule of thirds, an off shoot from the golden mean. Therefore when I make my notan I usually mark the paper in thirds. With my design decided, I am ready for the watercolor.
I try to set up the value structure in watercolor since it is imperative to have that rock solid. But not until I use pastel do I really start manipulating color and edge.  I have been concentrating on keeping my edges and color most strong in my focal point, losing attention and focus as the eye wanders out. Also I am trying hard to keep my lightest light value 9 and my darkest value at about 5. Remember Sanford Gifford. And also remember dark is absence of light...and I want light.
I do realize that this painting is not a true success. But it was my first attempt at painting a real Olympic Peninsula subject. This is the place you find the sea stacks, thick fog and tidal pools at low tide. Fog is thicker here. Most days it never really burns off completely at the beach. This fog has a special name even. It's  called "the marine."

Oh, by the way if anything I said doesn't make sense, feel free to ask me to explain more.

Here is just a little snippet  of the treasures in the tidal pools.

Thank you to everyone for all the lovely comments and emails I have been receiving while I have been on my trip.  I will try to get back to everyone as soon as possible....but since I do not always have internet access I may be slow...but I am not ignoring you;-)


Donna T said...

What a gorgeous location to paint! I like the soft, cool fogginess of your painting, Loriann. Would you explain a little more about why we should use the narrower value range? I know Richard has written about it before but I really didn't understand his reasoning. Thanks for the photo of the starfish! Looks like the one on the right thinks he's John Travolta (stayin'alive, stayin' alive)

Casey Klahn said...

You got it just right. The color scheme, the mood and the actual light of the beach (wilderness beach).

I don't know what you don't like, 'cuz I think it is just right. The composition! Wow!!!

Personally, I have found that following the narrower value range makes for more successful images. I resisted that rule, but experimenting has proven its worth.

loriann said...

Hi Donna, It has a soft feeling to everything down here-due to the constant presence of fog.
As for a narrow value range:
The light key is really higher in real sunlight.... only small accents of real dark exist. That is of course if your goal is to create a feeling light. And remember we choose in order to create the feeling we want.
Does that help?

Thanks Casey. It was all new- that light, that landscape.

Donna T said...

Thanks Loriann, I think I'm starting to get it. I need to be aware of how much light really bounces around and influences everything outside.

loriann said...

Hi Donna! You have it now!!!!!!!