All shapes in nature are derived from basic geometric shapes (square, circle or triangle). By themselves they are not interesting. For instance a circle is a static shape. It would not make an interesting or accurate shape for a tree. However, if 5 or 6 circles are overlapped in various ways, the result is a more interesting shape.
In composing a painting, whether it is a landscape or still life overlapping your selected pictorial elements will often result in more interesting asymmetrical shapes.
So, how to create more interesting shapes:
. Have two different dimensions. This means one end taller than its width or longer than its height.
. An oblique placement. This means higher on one side and low on the opposite side. Visualize here a house on a sloping hill.
. Here's an important one. Interlocking edges or connecting the edges of your shapes. Without these connections, the shapes will look isolated. Think placing singular rocks in a line without connecting some.
. Gradation of values within the shapes and gradation of color too.
. Variations at the edges of the shape. Remember, Repetition with variation. Think rough to smooth, soft and hard, etc. This keeps the viewer interested.
WHAT'S IN YOUR TOOLBOX
For centuries, painters, sculptors, designers and architects have depended on varieties of textures and materials for their works of art. Whether it was created from stone and brick or paint and canvas, every work of art has a surface of some kind. Just like the stone in the main subject in the last Pen and Ink & Watercolor lesson, students had to create the "look of stone" (dry brush). Color and texture do more to create surface interest and aesthetic beauty than any other element of design. Texture, whether actual or simulated, can draw attention more quickly than line, color, form or value.
Focusing on texture is a good way to become more aware of the world around you in a more detailed way. In all my classes, I preach to students how "seeing" is so important in awareness of their surroundings. As a result, I commonly here from students, "I see so much more than I have ever noticed before".
Watercolor Basics: The concept of lights and darks is the key to Successful Painting.
Use patterns of lights and darks, minimizing the mid tones to make your paintings exciting.
Follow this plan:
Colorful First Wash
Try 3 colors on each object
Connect patterns of lights and darks
Maintain a variety of color
When painting the Dark areas, use the
same color only Darker to keep your
For yellows, use Burnt Sienna + orange
For Reds, use darker red with a bit of
HOW TO CREATE A FOCAL POINT USING LIGHT
Since I have two on going watercolor classes and class time flies by, I thought I'd send out a bit of pertinent info. This technique can be used for any subject.
. Place a generous wash of clean water on your working surface.
. Leave the implied "focal point" white, surround it with a touch of warm colors, allowing them to "mingle".
. Quickly, move to the edges of your paper, adding "touches" of cool colors for color balance and allow them to "mingle" as well. Remember, "timing" is everything. Don't "fiddle" around.
. After the paper is completely dry, now lightly sketch in your subject capturing the essence of the elements and not be concerned with details.
. Start adding color to areas, alternating between hard and soft edges.
. Add shadows sparingly. Consider using complementary colors for shadows adjusting the color temperature.