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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Simplify Your Reference Photos part 2

'Sedona Morning Walk'           8x10           pastel         ©Karen Margulis
painting available on Etsy $125
 I am always looking for ways to help me simplify things.  From organizing my supplies to simplifying my paintings. I find myself wanting to declutter!  So I really enjoyed Marla Baggetta's demo at the IAPS convention.  She shared ways that she uses to help her simplify a busy landscape. In yesterday's post I shared one approach (click here to read) Here is another with my twist.

We know that it helps to simplify a busy landscape and do thumbnails and value studies.  We know we should find the big simple shapes and block them in before we get too involved with details. I try to narrow it down to 4-5 big shapes rather than a bunch of small shapes.

 But how do we decide on what these big shapes should be?  Try this tip:


My outlines on glassine paper
Take you reference photo and squint at it. Look for the big dark shapes, the big light shapes and big middle value shapes. Try to combine or mass shapes that are close in value. Remember you want to narrow it down to 4-5 big shapes.   It is very easy to get too many little shapes of light and dark. Remember that you will block in the big shapes and then as your painting develops you will be able to model the shapes and add the details.

My Twist:  I decided to put a piece of glassine or tracing paper on top of my photo and draw my outlines on the paper. This way I don't mark up my photo and have more freedom to move things around. A bonus is the glassine blurs the photos making it easier to see the big shapes. The details are obscured!

Below is an illustration of how I used the outline to block in and start my painting.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Will definitely try this! Love your colors on the bottom painting.