Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Venice from my Gondola: Shape Plan for a Painting

As the year begins, I reviewed recommendations about "Blogging".  Most authorities suggested that the interesting blogs contain content: best, if it is useful content. Therefore, I shall attempt to add content to my daily painting post.

One of my friends commented that she had been missing watercolors lately. That is because I have been working every day for weeks to create a watercolor painting worthy of submission to the very best watercolor associations. Perhaps because I want this so badly, I have many large, beautiful sheets of watercolor paper that have paint (not paintings) on the now "back" sides of my future paintings. So what would a "successful painting submission" look like? I have decided that I just need to paint and the deadline will come whether or not I have a worthy submission. However, what makes a "good" painting will be my first blog topic for this year.

1. A good painting has a good "shape" plan. The masses or shapes provide the structure of the painting composition. From far away, a viewer should first be interested in the large pattern of lights and dark.This pattern will be abstract but interesting enough to be drawn toward the painting to look more closely. Closer, the medium sized masses make the larger shapes more understandable. The  medium-sized masses vary in tone, value, color or precision. Lastly, the details or small masses must be observed from close-up and are achieved by further often maximal contrasts in value, color or definition. To have a good shape pattern, the darks in a painting will often be connected to darks, mid tones to mid tones and light values to light values. Isolated small shapes distract the viewer's eye.  

Here are color/value plans to illustrate this.

Value plan not well seen in pencil. There are three values: dark, medium and light: these areas connect (the dark coat runs into the bricks: the dog's white fur areas run into the sky, as does the light part of the hat: the tops of the knees will be lighter and also merge with the sky.)

Finally, today's challenge painting for the Thirty in Thirty Challenge:

Venice From my Gondola/ oil on board/ 5" x 7"/ SOLD

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