Monday, October 15, 2007

Shawnee Valley demonstration, Step 6

Painting the Sky and Background


As I continue with this painting, I am still drawing and tweaking the shapes to make sure that they are not only correct but also pleasing. My paintings are NOT like paint-by-number paintings where the color is filled in on a finished drawing. My paintings are always a work in progress, developing the shapes, colors, and values as I go along. I use a mirror to check my work and I squint at it a lot.

After making some drawing changes, I painted the foliage on the tall left-hand tree since it overlaps the sky, having refined the shapes from the initial block-in. The top branch points into the painting, leading the viewer’s eye in that direction.

I refined the cloud shapes and eliminated the slightly gray cloud at the top of the painting. Since I want the two top corners of this painting different, I now have blue sky in the upper left corner a cloud in the upper right corner. The cloud serves as an exit path from the painting, an effective compositional device.

The mountains and hills in the distance are the hardest to paint, since the atmosphere affects the colors to such a large degree. To get just the right degree of warmth and coolness, I adjust and adjust and adjust some more until it looks right to me.

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