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Monday, February 19, 2018

Two Ways to Successfully Lead the Viewer

'Walk with Me'         16x20           pastel          ©Karen Margulis
available $250

I knew this. But for some reason it gave me an AHA Moment when I was thinking about it this morning. It is something I do on purpose for every painting and having to verbalize it made it clear! I love when that happens. I'd like to share my moment with you! It has to do with the composition or design of our paintings. This is the topic we are exploring over on my Patreon page. 

One of the important goals of a painting is to give the viewer and interesting visual journey. We need to give them a way to enter the painting, show them around, show them what is important and have them leave satisfied.  How do we accomplish all of this?

We need to PLAN for it and think about leading our viewer both in the underpainting....what we put underneath, AND what we put on top, or those final layers and marks.

Painting with a Plan.....Value Thumbnail and Notan

  • Today's painting was one of my Florida demos. I began the painting with a plan. I did a value thumbnail and a Notan. I thought about what I needed to do to hold the shapes together and guide the eye from the foreground up to and behind the tree. What would I put UNDERNEATH? I added a dark value pathway that would be under the grass but would subtly pull the eye back. I added theses dark shapes in the underpainting.
  • As the painting developed I added AREAS OF CONTRAST to attract and pull the eye around the painting. I used hard edges against soft, bright colors surrounded by duller colors, dark shapes of tree trunks against the light of the sky. The flowers also became little stepping stones into the painting.
Armed with this information makes it harder to get lost in the progress of a painting. I am much more likely to have a successful result.

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