Thursday, August 23, 2012

CONTRE JOUR - A WORTHY CHALLENGE

GOOD TO BE OUT!   9X12    oil panel
Contre jour - painting against the light.  It's a beautiful and dramatic effect, but it doesn't last long and you've got to get with it fast or you're left with a view that doesn't even resemble your motive.  When that happens you may as well pack-up.

When the light is coming up from behind the subject, you get interesting rim lighting, illumination of semi-transparent elements and attractive shadows.  A lot to recommend it, right?  This is where your skills get tested.  There's no time to lose.  You have to keep the painting moving forward as soon as you begin, striving for the big important shapes and their value relationships.  The more you can readily access, on the fly,  the skills you have the better your odds of success.  Design, shape simplification, value relationships, edges, color recession, contrasts, dominance, gradation, repetition, etc. Accessibility and application of skills is why there's a need to be out regularly. Knowledge is a must to have, but without regular exercise it goes dormant.  It's Good to be out!

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