Creative Jumpstart: Looking Down

Looking Down

Today I want you to imagine you are looking down on an imaginary landscape.  For mine I am looking down on a piece of farmland as it borders a body of water.  I take the back of a failed painting and yes I have a bunch of them and if you don’t you are probably either never painting or you have a problem coming to grips with what’s good and what’s bad.  I learned along time ago to let the bad ones go and to do it quickly, paintings are not like a good vintage wine that improves with age.  No amount of time will improve a bad painting.

15 x 22 arches watercolor paper

On the paper I take a 6B pencil and sketch out a pattern that broadly represents the landscape I am imagining.  I keep the details to a minimum and try to create a nicely placed center of interest, somewhere an unequal measure from all edges of the paper, and I make sure that all of the forms and lines lead me too that spot.  Using a large wash brush, I loosely apply the colors again keeping the details to a minimum.  This is a warm up exercise not an attempt to put in all of the apple trees, and Angus cattle.  Give yourself about 30 minutes and do several.  Two things will happen: you will find yourself making interesting shapes without a camera and you will learn a little about composition.

Give it a try.

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  • PatJuly 18, 2011 - 4:27 pm

    Cool-this goes on the “try it” list that keeps getting longer!ReplyCancel