Thursday, June 30, 2016

What if there are no shadows? Painting and Drawing Tips

NEW WORKS FROM THE STUDIO OF ART BY WENDY
PIPES - Shadow Dancing
 Whoa, you say, no shadows.  How does that work?  Well 'Pipes" is my little shadow dancer.  He will demonstrate that no shadows are possible.  In fact without shadows life can be good.  See Pipes below.  

 
PIPES - no shadows (sorry picture so light, I am limited to my iPhone right now. It looked better when I took it)

There is a sense of depth created with the layers of pipes.  A foreground, mid ground and background are there.  The winding and twisting of the pipes ensures there is lots of movement.  And my little men and plants keep the eye busy and inside the picture frame. An awesome little exercise.  It started with a doodle of lines and then just kept building.  


However, lots can be learned from a doodle.  

First set up your pipes.  When you draw don't worry able a uniform size, just wind and twist around the page.  Have some slip under and some slide over each other.  Then add your own little twist of creativity.  My men were inspired by a book I am reading by animator, Walt Stanchfield. (He drew many of the characters for Walt Disney and trained many artists to be animators. ) 

Now add your shadows.  

Seems easy enough but first, which way is your light source?  Now what happens at the turn?  Does it differ if the pipe curves left, right, up or down?  When your pipe is straight up and down, what is happening there?  Oh, and what about when 3 pipes intersect?  Suddenly you are looking at things in a different way.  I found myself really studying poles and fences in the sun trying to see what is really happening.  How big the highlight is and where is it was.  

Oh, and don't forget the hard and soft edge. You want those pipes to be round!

This little activity is guaranteed to get you seeing shadows in a new way.  Maybe it should have been the first post in the Shadow Series, not sure.  

Now you are ready to Shadow Dance, get your pipes a moving!

Special Note:



CROSSING THE LINE  is s Winner! - Art 2016 Juried Show,  Surrey Art Centre, Surrey, BC

Working with the shadows is part of my Shadow Series.  I know you hear all about the light in your pictures but dealing with the shadows is an important part of giving your subject form and mass.  This series starts here when you Meet the Terminator. 

If you missed my last post series on Drawing Tips for summer fun check them out.  It is a four part series starting here.  

Looking for a starting point in your drawing?  I will be happy to get you up and running.  Call me now and set up a few lessons to get you on the road to a summer of fun with your art.

Special Note: Have a fun outing at the Plein Air Painting Festival centered on an historic site? Right here in the Fraser Valley. August 26, 27, & 28. Prizes for everyone at all levels.  $15 - www.kilby.ca to register and get more information.  See you there.

For Commission Works see here
For Private Drawing Lessons see here
For Marketing Mentoring see here
For Marketing or Art Presentations Contact Wendy 

Be sure to like and share my posts. You won't miss a single one if you follow by email or Like my Facebook Page. Keep up with all the art events by joining my email list (see sidebar)
Have a great artful day, Wendy

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Can Black have a Shadow? - Painting and Drawing Tips

New Works from the Studio of Art by Wendy 

Crows
Killer Whales
 Horses

 They are black. How can you create form with them? Yes, the light side really starts the progress and if the subject is small it can do all the work for you. But sometimes you want more. . .

 
Max - Graphite - A Work in Progress.  (Anyone that has had a puppy will know he is a work in progress in more ways than one.)

Take for example my new puppy Max. ( Of course  you knew it wouldn't belong before I drew him.)  He is black, with brown markings on his chest, legs, feet and nose.  However in the sunlight he is really just black.  Doesn't even have eyes!   What can you do?  

First of all in photographing your subject, pick a day when the sun is not really bright.  That  harsh strong light creates really dark shadows in your reference material.  If your camera allows for changing the settings, you can experiment with aperture settings to get more depth. I know for many of you that is not an option.  So pick a day/place that has the softer lighting.  

Now your are ready to draw. (Or paint).  In your mind assign a value to different parts of the picture on a scale of 1 to 10.  For me 1 is white and 10 is my blackest black. 
 
Remember that Value Scale you learned about a long time ago?  Here is where you need it. 

My first job is to lay down a light layer of about a value 3/4.  (This is like blocking in your colour for a painter). Then I find my darks.  I mean my 10's.  After that I look for 9's.  Usually right beside my 10's as in the case of his curls, they are the gradation place for a value change.  If your photos has just large black holes, that are 10's break them down to sculpture the shape.  The side of a leg is not flat so it can't all be a 10.  When working with black subjects you really need to challenge yourself to see the different values.  If you think in terms of 10 values and make comparisons you will see that everything is not just an 8, 9 or 10.  You will start to see some 5, 6 and 7's.  That is when your form will start to shine through and you subject comes alive.  

Max is only partially complete but you can already see that darks around his front leg, which is shadowed have several values that sculpture the shape.  (He is a new puppy and I think all you dog people fully understand why his picture is only a work in progress.).  See the finished picture here.

Take a new look at your subject.  Study your reference and start to find the values in the shadows - it doesn't have to be big black hole in your work. 

Working with the shadows in Black Subjects is part of my Shadow Series.  I know you hear all about the light in your pictures but dealing with the shadows in an important part of giving your subject form and mass.  This series starts here when you Meet the Terminator. 

If you missed my last post series on Drawing Tips for summer fun check them out.  It is a four part series starting here.  

Looking for a starting point in your drawing?  I will be happy to get you up and running.  Call me now and set up a few lessons to get you on the road to a summer of fun with your art.

Special Note: Looking for a fun Plein Air Painting Festival centered on an historic site? Right here in the Fraser Valley. August 26, 27, & 28. Prizes for everyone at all levels.  $15 - www.kilby.ca to register and get more information.  See you there.

For Commission Works see here
For Private Drawing Lessons see here
For Marketing Mentoring see here
For Marketing or Art Presentations Contact Wendy 

Be sure to like and share my posts. You won't miss a single one if you follow by email or Like my Facebook Page. Keep up with all the art events by joining my email list (see sidebar)
Have a great artful day, Wendy

Thursday, June 16, 2016

HELP!! I am Flat, I've lost my Shape - Painting and Drawing Tips

NEW WORKS FROM THE STUDIO OF ART BY WENDY

You work your heart out, painting a lovely picture.  You step back and look.  Everything is flat. No sculptured form. You just can't feel the 'mass'.  What is wrong? Can you save it? I am here to tell you, yes, it can be saved.  But to do that you need to come with me . . . . to the Dark Side.

What about the lights you ask, yes we need light and there are lots of talks on light but here in the dark you learn about shadows.  They give you the depth.

Little Gems - 7 x 5 - Watercolour - $130 Unframed

For me it is all about the value, who is dark and who is light.  If you think of a value scale of 1 to 10 there is lots to work with.  So lets look at the values in the Shadows. ( I am working on a series of posts focusing on Shadows.  The first post begins here.)  Today I want you to take a look at the highlights within the shadow area of subject.  This is part of the Core Shadow.  My newest picture from my Chickadees in the Garden Series, Little Gems will help to illustrate my point.

To understand the shadow highlight values you need to first return to my "friendly apple".  The Full Light Spot (or Highlight in the light side) is the lightest value for the whole apple.  That is common knowledge.  But now move into the Dark Side.  You first cross over the Terminator, learn more about it here. Next to the Terminator is the area of Reflected Light.  This area is the lightest area in the shadows.  In the case of my apple which was sitting on a light coloured cloth, there is a lot of reflected light. So it is quite light.  (If you placed the apple on a darker material this area would be darker but still lighter than the Terminator.)

As you can see, the dark shadow area does have a highlighted value but no matter how light this value is, it can not be lighter than the highlight on the light side.

My Friendly Apples  - page from my sketchbook

Sounds easy but look at it in practice. See the little chickadee below.  He has a white chest and white area on his head.  The head is in partial light and the chest is in total shade.  There is also a little light on the far side his chest.  Those highlights in the light are my lightest spots.  Now look at the whites in the shade.  They are lightest around his beak and central chest area.  Certainly the lightest part of the shadow area.  However when you compare them on the black and white version you can see they are darker than the white in the sunlight. If you assigned values to them the white in the sunlight might be a 1 but the white in shadow would be a 2 and in some places a 3.

Little Gems - detail #1
This kind of attention to the values in the shadows creates the depth and sculptured shape you are looking for.  Go back to your painting and check the values, not colour, and see what you have.  Remember you have 10 different values on your value scale to create that sense of mass and volume.  Did you use them all??

If you missed my last post series on Drawing Tips for summer fun check them out.  It is a four part series starting here.  

Looking for a starting point in your drawing?  I will be happy to get you up and running.  Call me now and set up a few lessons to get you on the road to a summer of fun with your art.

Special Note: Looking for a fun Plein Air Painting Festival centered on an historic site? Right here in the Fraser Valley. August 26, 27, & 28. Prizes for everyone at all levels.  $15 - www.kilby.ca to register and get more information.  See you there.

For Commission Works see here
For Private Drawing Lessons see here
For Marketing Mentoring see here
For Marketing or Art Presentations Contact Wendy 
 Be sure to like and share my posts. You won't miss a single one if you follow by email or Like my Facebook Page. Keep up with all the art events by joining my email list (see sidebar)
Have a great artful day, Wendy

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Crossing Into the Dark Side - Painting and Drawing Tips

NEW WORKS FROM THE STUDIO OF ART BY WENDY

Talk to any artist and they will tell you they love to work with light: Capturing Light, The Essenses of Light, The Magic of Light in oil, acrylic, watercolour and more.  Everyone wants to work with the light.
But with light there is always a Dark Side!!

Come with me and visit the Dark Side.  It is the life of shadows, where secrets are hidden. Places where photographers can not go.  The place where magic can happen.  If you are ready.
Crossing the Line - Framed 11 x 14 - $300 C
Ink and Watercolour

When you draw, you work with values not colours.  This is a world I love to create in.  Through drawing you quickly feel the power of light but also the power of dark.  Shadows tell so much about the subject.  Looking at the Sandhill Crane in "Crossing The Line" there is much to learn.  He is facing into the light. The mass of his body is understood through the mix of light and shadow.  The dark shapes at the bottom tell you there are feathers hanging down and give a strong sense of depth to his body.  The placement of his right leg projects forward and behind his body again through the conversation of shadows.  He has a strong sense of presences in his environment. 

Now look at his marshland.  Not the usual bulrushes and grasses he is use too.  This is my world of Constructed Organics.  Where artificial feeders, nesting boxes and constructed migratory paths are the norms.  Here once again the shadows play with the shapes.  Shadowing the patterns gives them movement, mass and shapes.  Some bubble out, others sink in giving them a life of their own. The feeling of foreground, midground and background is quite clear.

Still not sure shadows tell their own story.

Look at the detail below from "Crossing the Line".  Without the shadow lines the patterns are flat.  Despite the arrangement of shapes they do not read as a forest of bushes.  The patterns although full of interesting shapes lack the fluid movement found in the piece.  The bits of colour I started to put in, add interest, catch the eye but create no depth.  Without Shadows there is no life to the piece.

Detail from Crossing the Line - patterns have interest but lack depth.  They are flat.

The shadows in this piece are simple lines, some sharp and some with graduated values.  The difference they make to these innate objects is striking.  Imagine what they could do for your work.
I am working on a series of posts that focus on shadows, the Dark Side of your work. My focus is based on my pencil drawing experiences and the transfer I see as I move into colour.  My first post in this series "Meet the Terminator" begins here.

Pay more attention to those shadows.  In your photographs they may be just a dark spot but they do have a story to tell. Dig deep to find that story.  Don't let them just be "that dark spot".

If you missed my last post series on Drawing Tips for summer fun check them out.  It is a four part series starting here.  

Looking for a starting point in your drawing?  I will be happy to get you up and running.  Call me now and set up a few lessons to get you on the road to a summer of fun with your art.

For Commission Works see here
For Private Drawing Lessons see here
For Marketing Mentoring see here
For Marketing or Art Presentations Contact Wendy 

Be sure to like and share my posts. You won't miss a single one if you follow by email or Like my Facebook Page.
 Keep up with all the art events by joining my email list (see sidebar)
Have a great artful day, Wendy