Tiny painting from a photo take by my friend, Sue McKelvy. 5″ x 7″
I attempted to paint again, about 10 weeks after my shoulder surgery. The first painting (See Post Surgery Painting, April 6, 2016) I did turned out well so I thought I’d give it another go. This time I used an image my friend, Sue McKelvy, had taken on a trip she and her husband took to Monument Valley. They rode their horses around (with a guide) for over a week and took lots of great images home. I liked the juniper tree and the angle of the slope it is growing on.
I used a very tiny canvas, 5″ x 7″, as I didn’t want to go too big and tire out my shoulder and arm. I did feel a bit constrained by the small size but it was a good exercise. I practiced remembering composition, value and color techniques. I was afraid the things that had become second nature to me were lost in the fuzzy recesses of my brain. But those artistic skills are still there, whew!
After I did this painting, my arm was so tired and my shoulder was aching. I had to do nothing for the next day and recuperate. But I’m glad I did it and won’t stop now!!!
Are drawing and painting related? What does drawing have to do with painting? After all one is in color and one is not, right? And painting is using a brush and not something pointy, right?
My answers are: Yes, Everything, wrong and wrong.
Drawing has everything to do with painting. It helps artists work out the shapes, sizes and values of the color of paint we daub on canvas, paper or where ever we paint. Using black and white helps define and commit to the values of our composition as well as lay it out in a pleasing manner. Artists can use lines the same way we use brush strokes.
I recently got some gray markers for sketching in values in a drawing before I started painting. I took them to the life drawing sessions that meet weekly at the local art center and planned to try them out. They are great! I really enjoyed working with them.
Next I used them to do a value drawing of a little study I wanted to do.
Here is the photo I used:
I think it really helped me to see the shapes of the horse, trees and ground and the values I wanted to use. I also used it to set up my composition.
Here is the little 6″ x 6″ oil painting so far:
Its part of a few I plan to do as studies for a larger composition. I like it so far and think its working well for me.
Drawing and painting are related the same way as toast and jam or cornbread and beans! One without the other is just plain lonely.
I am still engaging in a well thought out process for starting out my paintings. I really enjoy laying out my canvas with both the Golden Ratio and the Rule of Thirds. I also use other composition methods to enhance my painting and keep the viewer’s eye engaged.
Sketch of painting showing the layout lines.
After the sketch, then I make a monochromatic value painting with acrylic paints. After its dry, I then use the “notations” to add my color with the corresponding value.
Monochromatic Value Painting
I think its been making a huge difference in the quality of my paintings.