This week in our Online Mentoring Class we looked at how to approach painting without overdrawing. We have the need as artist's to over draw, trying to control the painting too much. It makes the painting look stiff and “filled in”, more photographic. Detail is what the camera is for, our work should look like paint not a photo, so brush work is more important then detail. The reference I used is an Eagle Dancer that I photographed at the Grand Canyon several years ago. I want to focus on the action or gesture of the figure not the detail or outline.
In the drawing stage I want to use less outline and more mass. There are no outlines in nature so I don't want to over use them. I can use outlines to adjust or refine the mass but the mass or shapes are more important than outline. It also makes it easier to draw and achieve accurate proportion when I use mass. I start with a violet and green background then I use a rag with paint thinner on it to wipe out the mass of the figure then use the negative shape of the background to refine the shape. No outline.
In this stage I'm blocking in the darks, trying to see them as definite shapes, and not be too picky.
I continue to block in dark and light shapes, being careful with the shapes but not looking at detail, if there is any detail it comes in the end.
In this stage I start looking for subtle variations of color in the large shapes. I'm careful not to loose the value of these shapes, its more of a color change not a value change.
Now i'm starting to break the large shapes into smaller shapes, looking for highlights and accents to give a sense of detail without over doing it.
Lastly I want to think about edges, looking for a variety of hard and soft edges to make the form come forward or recede or look more flat or rounded.
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