|GHOST YARD 11x14 oil on linen panel|
I'm reading my new book on the transplanted Russian painter, Sergei Bongart. Nice job of telling his story, but invaluable for capturing so many of his clear and concise pieces of painting wisdom. Here are two that have helped me recently:
Please, first paint dog, then the fleas!
Simple Masses and extreme contrasts are the key to strong design.
A jewel like that can be such a wonderful find! There are no immutable "rules" for design, however there are principles that will help us immeasurably in our exploration of making better art. I've mentioned NOTAN before in this blog. It's one method of synthesizing an arrangement of simplified masses for a balanced and interesting design. It's strength is in the way it forces us to think of the scene in two major masses, expressed in light and dark. Here's a notan version of my composition GHOST YARD. It is not a "value study", rather it is a plan for the way the major masses will interact expressed in "extreme contrast".
By mixing all of your color values to fall within their specific value group you'll gain wonderful control over the color relationships. With this in hand, you'll be far more capable of paying attention to other important things like brushwork, shapes and edges. Which brings to mind another favorite jewel:
Careful planning promotes spontaneity!
It may, at first, seem not to be so, but it will prove to be the case if you try it. The musician who is able to freely