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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Wildwood Boardwalk Painting...Simplify with Shapes

'Season's End'            5x7         pastel              ©Karen Margulis
It's just a shape!  That was the advice Terry Ludwig gave at a workshop I attended a few years ago.  I had said that I couldn't paint buildings or people. He reminded us that everything is just a shape. It is advice that I try to remember when ever I am faced with a complicated subject.

Like this boardwalk scene. In the reference photo it was a jumble of buildings and colorful signs. Painting them realistically would have been a challenge. I would have to measure and get an accurate drawing. But I wanted an impression of the boardwalk....a feeling of quiet sunset at the end of the season when the tourists have gone home. I didn't need to spell out all of the details for that. So I chose a limited palette and simplified the jumble of stuff into shapes. I tried to use the most simple marks to represent  the signs and buildings.

Here is my Tip of the Day:
If you have trouble seeing the buildings as simple shapes try to blur your photo which takes away all of the smaller details. Any photo program will allow you to posterize or blur your photos. Block in the painting while looking at the blurred version and it will be easier to simplify!


Cindy Michaud said...

This came out perfectly, good advice for any media. Enjoyed it.
p.s. would post more often but i seem to fail the robot test so have given up on most blogs. (on my 2nd impossible to read one here)

Anonymous said...

Always love your posts and draw something very special from each and everyone of them! Thanks so much!!

Karen said...

Thank you Cindy! I do appreciate you trying to post! I tried to turn off the word verification but the spam was too much!!

Karen said...

Thank you Sherry! I appreciate you letting me know you enjoy my posts!!

Anonymous said...

That's a very good idea to blur the actual photo to see the shape!