Feb 26, 2015

Painting and Drawing Skills - Where do they meet?


Painting is working with shapes
No ruler, No erasure
Free Flowing lines and shapes blended on canvas.

Drawing means careful mark making,
Yes rulers, erasures and measuring are all possible,
But still there are lines and shapes . . . .

How do these skills overlap? Do they over lap?  I hear it said all the time " drawing improves your painting", but how?

My research took me to Gaye Adam's Alla Prima Workshop last week.  For 2 days I poured blood, sweat and tears into 2 - 8 x 10 canvas.  My first ever work with oil.  I was exhausted every night!!
My oil landscape - Pretty good eh??!!
But I learn things.  I learned a lot.  Drawing builds skills, the overlap is there.

1.  Yes, the most obvious thing is tonal values.  Not only recognising the values but understanding how they transition, gradiated or sharp.
2.  Relationships.  That is my descriptor. For me it describes the size and location of things. ie.  The shrub on the left is lower than the big tree mass, the tree mass on the right is just higher than the mountains in the background)
3.  Contour lines.  I know we all need to be aware of hard and soft edges but contour lines tell so much more.  They tell the texture of the object, the location (who is in front of whom) and helps create the mass.
4.  Negative space.  I really noticed with working in Alla  Prima that the darks went down first then lights added. Painting the negative space became so much of the task.
5.  Patterns or flow.  Again, my own descriptor.  Of course we can not draw every branch or flower on the tree but we need to search for the pattern or flow of the branches or leaves, seeing the shapes they make.  Partly working with the negative space but more.

Detail from picture: colours in the tree mass have a pattern and the sky holes are created through negative painting.  The edges of the grasses tell the texture and that the bridge is behind them.
6.  Gestures.  Of course you can not draw everything on the canvas.  Especially Alla Prima.  Get the shapes and placement quickly.  Capturing the gesture of things, gives size, sense of movement and more.  A very big part of painting and design.
7.  I am sure there are more but these are the big ones that stood out for me. As I work with my students, they will be things I will focus on.  My understanding has moved forward!!

We all learned a lot from Gaye
My experience was wonderful, the class was great.  I was very happy with my paintings.  A special thanks to Gaye for all her help and direction.  As I say, I learned a lot.
To see more of Gaye's work: www.gayeadams.com

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1 comment:

Brenda Hill CDM said...

Sounds like you had fun with all that hard work!