|MORNING ON THE FRIO 16X20 oil on canvas|
I had planned to get outside to paint today, but the weather isn't very promising. So, I pulled out some of my reference from my trip to the Frio, this past fall.
I'm attaching a couple of steps I used in approaching this subject, so you can see how it develops. Before I go to color, I have usually produced a thumbnail arrangement in black and white, so I know that I have a strong foundation to build upon. You can see for yourself what that would have looked like if you'll just squint your eyes way down until you can see the painting resolve into only two value shapes. The light and the shade. I don't really care much what the actual scene looked like as far as specific details. I am always after a poetic unity based upon the feeling and arrangement of the subject. In this case, there were small broken shapes of light here and there in the background, in the overhanging trees, and scattered in the foreground. To include them would have only lessened the impact of the overall design. I want simplicity to create with.
In the final stage, I begin to articulate the detail I want and the edge qualities (hard, broken, soft, lost) that allow me to tell the story I want about what prompted me to paint the particular scene. Hard edges draw the attention of the eye, so use
'em where you need 'em! I try to stop before I start getting into too much definition of things. For me, that doesn't add to what I'm after. That's it for today. Hope you like it. Keep it simple!