Thursday, December 10, 2009

Things That I Remind Myself When Painting

It often seems so simple when an instructor shows me how to improve my work. They make it look so easy. What's worse is that I tell myself, "I know that, why didn't I do that?" I think that some of these things are not yet intuitive, or maybe they just are not yet ingrained in my memory. Perhaps after a few years, they will just pop to the surface.

I am starting, very, very slowly to see things that need improvement in my and other artists' painting. Still, I know that I don't always see things the way the experts see them.

Some items that I need to remind myself when painting:

  • When composing a painting, design a direction that will lead the eye into the painting and keep it there.
  • Soften edges to allow items to fade into the distance or to become less important.
  • Sharpen a few edges to pull the eye to the desired areas.
  • Use highlights sparingly.
  • Distribuite colors around the canvas rather than containing them to one area. This unifies the design.
  • Bring in background color for shadows and to help to add dimension to items.
  • Watch for curved items and remember to blend dark to light to establish three dimensions.
  • When painting leaves, use a large brush and add the color in one big swipe. Later go back and add details but keep it simple.
  • When painting reflections, especially in water, the reflected image is slightly lighter and less defined than the image being reflected.