Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Placing Your Subject (with missing video link)

Mr Roosevelt's House - 12x24 Oil - AVAILABLE
This is the cottage made famous by "Sunrise on Campobello" and in which the
US President Franklin D. Roosevelt (and of course, Eleanor Roosevelt) spent much time.
By Michael Chesley Johnson.
Imagine painting this house on-location as I did, using the "envelope" method!

How many of us have been so smitten by our subject that we start painting ... and then realize too late that it doesn't quite fit on the canvas?  With a building, you can sometimes get away with part of it running off the edge; with a figure, you can't always do that.  Fixing the problem after the fact often becomes a headache.

Lately, I've been teaching what I call the "envelope" method, whereby you can guarantee that the whole building (or figure, or tree) will fit.  And what's more, the subject will also be correctly proportioned--and positioned exactly where you want it.

The below video shows you how.  Although the method is quite simple, it's difficult to describe and is better seen in action, in the field.  If the method isn't clear to you, I encourage you to take one of my plein air painting workshops, in which I will be happy to explain--and demonstrate--at length.  (Can't see the video below?  Here is the link: https://youtu.be/RQQ3J73UrCU)

By the way, at the top of this post I show a building in which I used the "envelope" approach.  It's not the same building as in the video, but you get the idea.

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