|6x18 pastel on somerset|
Reducing the landscape to just value makes you think only in terms of shape and design. What does it take to make a pleasing design of positive and negative shapes? One of my favorite ways to find out is to play with one pastel and two erasers. With these I work back and forth:I make shapes, then I gradually carve out my shapes. I repeat the process till satisfied.
Long ago, Pierre Bonnard was my absolute favorite painter. He is the ultimate colorist. I was fortunate in that the Phillips Gallery in DC has an abundance of his beautiful giant, color filled paintings. I would go see them each week. These important words from the master have stayed in my mind, "Color does not add a pleasant quality to design – it reinforces it." Below are two paintings by Bonnard in the Phillips Gallery.
Bonnard's words are the same as Richard McKinley's words, "Value does the work color gets the glory." So why do we so often by pass making notans and sketches? My lesson today, slow down and enjoy the process.