Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Vermont Workshop, Day 3 - Simplifying Foliage

For our last day, we had - rain! But the nice thing about rain is that it really makes the colorful foliage "pop." During a brief pause in the precipitation, we went out so I could demonstrate how I paint that foliage.

Before starting my 5x7 oil sketch, I mentally abstracted my scene into large shapes and determined the average value and color of each. As always, I stuck to four values. Next, I used my painting knife to mix up four mounds of paint. Each mound was a unique value (dark, mid-dark, mid-light and light) and color (three foliage colors plus the sky color.) Pre-mixing your values in this way helps you maintain a separation of values and thus the integrity of your design. Using my brush, I quickly dabbed in the darks where I saw them, followed by the mid-darks, mid-lights and finally the lights. As a final tweak, I added some pure Cadmium Yellow Deep where I thought the foliage was the most intense. This painting took about 10 minutes.

The next day, Trina and I were off to Montpelier, Vermont, where I was to give a demonstration for the annual meeting of the Vermont Pastel Society. Stay tuned!

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