2/8/18

Roadmap for a Successful Painting.

Amidst the Lines (36x48" oil on gallery wrapped canvas)

Do you have paintings that have taken several different directions during it's creation? It can be frustrating and is a similar to getting lost in a new city without a map, or worse, getting a flat tire on a freeway.  Well, that is what happens when a plan is not in place before putting paint onto your canvas or paper.

What do I mean by a "plan"?

Roadmap:  Have a compositional sketch or two to see if the elements have a flow, or movement that keeps the viewer in and exploring your painting.  Try out a your plan with a vertical, horizontal or square shape for starts.

Horizontal composition

Vertical composition

 Square composition

City Limits:  Decode your scene with a three or four value structure to keep things general. There is no room for detail, so keep it simple. This is a basic necessity for any painting, much like a map has city limits or borders. use felt markers of 3 or 4 values to keep it simple.

Red Lights:  Where will your focal point be located? Use complimentary colors, detail, high contrast, letters and numbers, and faces or people to attract the eye to stop and take a closer look.

Notes on where the focal point will be with supporting detail to guide the viewers eyes around and throughout the piece.  The road and skyline areas offer light values with little detail, providing a large resting spot.

Rest Stops:  Use negative space to allow the viewer's eyes to rest through the painting. Sometimes pieces have too much detail all over the entire piece, creating a noisy, busy piece that can't stop honking.

Road Conditions:  Decide on a color theme. This creates a mood and gives life to a overcast day or light-filled landscape. Ask yourself "What color is today?" Is it overall a warm sunny day filled with Cad Yellow, or a cool wintry day filled with Ultramarine Blue? Asking these questions help you to zone into a color theme.

I sure hope you liked all my urban inspired descriptions to help you navigate the necessary points for a successful painting journey.

Carry on,
~B

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