Gallery: Art Connections Gallery 123 N. Main Street on the Square in La Grange, Texas.
979-206-2222 http://artconnectionsgallerybastrop.com/

See additional work on my website

Friday, April 17, 2015

Landscapes from Photos Class Review and Sketches for Hunt 401 and Raffle

Pastel class on the second Tuesday of the month at the Bastrop Fine Arts Guild Gallery went well.  We had a lot of fun and practiced some techniques for using photos to paint.

These are the notes I used

Use your own photos and ask yourself what you liked about the scene and do some thumbnail sketches.

Think about:

  • Photos are just reference
  • You are painting not copying or just remaking the photo
  • Simplify
  • Crop
  • Make a few large shapes, group trees into one shape for example
  • If you use more than one photo, make sure your light is from the same direction.
  • Use sketching and color notes

Also keep in mind your composition with a lead in and a center of interest
Aerial perspective

For practice you can use a photo, black and white if you like for values.  Then add your own colors, time of day, season, etc.  Paint several practice scenes from the same photo with different colors and centers of interest.  Paint these small and quickly. 
Karen Margulis does this all the time and is very helpful with pastel painting tips.  Her blog is full of information.  She puts up a hint almost daily.  She teaches, makes videos and more.  Great ideas for painting in pastels for traveling, etc.  http://kemstudios.blogspot.com/

You can crop and do the changes on the computer, which is what I sometimes do.  Then have my reference on my iPad so I can zoom in and see color in shadows and more detail.  If not I suggest you fold the photo or crop with tape.  You can make thumbnail (small) sketches for value and major shapes before you start, too.  Paintings are usually more successful with a plan.

For this painting, Walk in the Park, pastel, 9 x 12 inches, I worked from several photos.  I have painted down on the Riverwalk here in Bastrop a few times so have good memories to help me.

The finished painting is at Art Connections Gallery in Bastrop.  http://www.artconnectionsgallerybastrop.com/

These two photos are from a day in the park with my painting buddy, Sue Modrak.  You can get an idea of how I cropped them and left out some of the items.  I thought of putting in the bench, but it was too much and took away from the feeling I had in mind.  The bench is good for resting or sketching but not walking.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  

I sketched on the porch this morning.  I put my feet up on my stool and relaxed with coffee and my rice cake snack.  Nice.  We have had about 3 inches of rain this week so the view is nice.

There are still bluebonnets!

My sketching chair.

The view toward the easterly lake.
We let the flowers grow and seed, then they will mow.  In the meantime I like the way it looks.  The yellow flowers outside the fence are fading, but a new bunch will bloom soon, maybe different kinds.

I sketched for Scavenger Hunt 401 in the large sketchbook with a Micron 01 pen.  Quick and sketchy.

Number 8, something wrapped around your finger, not a ring - Gene's finger with bandage.  He cut it pretty badly yesterday and we spent a couple of hours at the emergency room for stitches.  Maybe he did it on purpose for me to have a bandaged finger to sketch??  I had mentioned I was going to put a bandaid on my finger to sketch it.  Ha.
Number 9, well used - rocking chair
Number 10, elbow - Gene's
Number 11, big toe - again, Gene's

The raffle for my painting is on Sunday.  If you are far away and would like to buy a raffle ticket, I can fill it out here and send you a Paypal invoice or you could mail me a check. :) Raffle info here on the link below:


Jennifer Rose Phillip said...

hope Gene's finger heals fast!

wrap around porch?? my dream house would have one :)

very nice painting :) always like the way you do lighting :)

Bag Blog said...

Your thoughts on painting from a photo were good - incentive. And I bookmarked the link.

Poor Gene. It must have been pretty serious for stitches.

Jo Castillo said...

Hi Jennifer, Gene is better and already has the bandage off. I love our porch, we have three. Off the dining, off the bedroom and at the front door. We only have the one screened in and we use it sooooo much.

Thanks on the painting, I do like to emphasize the light.

Bag Blog, Gene only had 3 stitches, out in about a week more. Doing fine.

It is good to write down the process sometimes. Makes me think of what I do without thinking, now that I have practiced so much. Never enough practice though!

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About Me

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Bastrop, Texas, United States
I Grew up in a small town , Magdalena, New Mexico. I enjoy art and the pleasure other people get from my work. I always donate some of my sales and art to charities, especially for children. That started in Bolivia with Para los Niños. (Link on sidebar) "I cannot pretend to feel impartial about colors. I rejoice with the brilliant ones and am genuinely sorry for the poor browns." -- Winston Churchill


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