Creative Jumpstarts: Change the Light


Tape your paper into 4 rectangles or squares, whichever format makes you the most comfortable.  I find it easier to make a composition on a rectangular page than a square but the square is much more fun to deal with, especially if you are looking to create something a little out of the ordinary.  In each taped piece sketch a subject that you are comfortable drawing from memory.  It is important that you do this from memory and not use a photograph.  The sooner you begin to pull shapes out of your head and draw them without an image to copy, the sooner you will learn the startling fact that inside your brain are many images that you can draw with just a little bit of coaxing.  At first they may be clumsy and not too artistic but with time you will own them and they will be yours to play with for the rest of your life.  They will be your themes or motifs and, better yet, even if they are of a cliché or famous icon they will be your interpretation of the subject and not a copy that looks like a tourist calendar.

Once you have the image sketched into each rectangle, I want you to imagine the light filtering on to the shapes and paint it, then you change the light source and make it from several different directions.  Each painting should be different and feel different.  Each one should have a different color and value feel.  Thus resulting in pieces that are colorful and creative.  I am not telling you that this lesson will be easy all aspects of it will be hard but the rewards are so big that you will be astonished with your paintings down the road.  First you will learn to draw from memory and then you will begin to understand the affects of light on the subject matter.  Both of these will be worthy results and worth the time.  Do these lessons fast but do them with your brain totally engaged.  Do not paint on autopilot.  Make the lessons teach you something about yourself.

18 x 24 Watercolor on Paper

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