Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Oct 13 - Demonstration Painting in Stages, First Pass, 10 minutes

The Corona Art Association welcomed me as their demonstrating artist last night, and I put the 16 x 20 acrylic panel (from yesterday's blog) up on my easel and began my talk.

I asked a member familiar with an iTouch to set my timer for ten minutes, and with much laughter, I started painting. At the end of the ten minutes, here was the result. The canvas is covered for the most part with dark tones and mixes of Cool Box Ultramarine blue, Burnt Umber and Thalo green. No white. All I did was paint over the underpainting using various strengths of this trio of colors using a one-inch filbert Ruby Satin, by Silver Brush.

In my talk to the group, I stressed the importance of getting that abstract structure with dark values before ANY of the details show up. As you can see, the identity of the painting is clear even at this murky point. Howard Pyle, the "father of American Illustration" used to teach his students that they had 30 minutes to get a value structure in place that would hold up to the viewer 90 feet away--"Thirty minutes, thirty yards!". He was a great teacher, and still influences artists today. Having strength of design before the objects that create that design overwhelm the viewer is a good practice. Objects by themselves do not create good paintings. Design is EVERYTHING to making good art!

If I make this painting tiny, as though it is away from you 90 feet, you can see in only ten minutes I've been able to create a value design that holds up with clarity. Whew.... OK, let's reset the timer for another ten minutes, and look at what happens to this painting... tomorrow!

The Riverside workshop in November is full. Sorry if you didn't make it into this last one for 2010. There are several offerings for next year, though, and I'll be announcing those in the weeks to come. Gift yourself the gift of knowledge!

The newest DVD on the Color System, Twilight and Misty Days, is HERE.
You can see my entire blog HERE.
My workshop schedule for 2010 is HERE.
Color System information can be found HERE.
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1 comment:

Karen Werner said...

Hi Elin,

Thanks for the reminder about 30 minutes, 30 yards. I had heard that, but didn't know the origin. I really like what you said so simply: "Objects by themselves do not make good paintings. Design is everything in making good art."
You are so right, and those of us who paint a lot of still life REALLY need to be reminded! Thanks for always sharing good stuff.