Ever had a painting that you know there is something not quite right with it? I have been posting my WIP of a landscape and talking about the progress that I am making, albeit really slowly. ( it's on FaceBook Karol Oakley Artist and Instagram @KarolOakleyArtist)
Today I had a another look and there is the niggling little something that says its okay but…..
So how do we deal with this sort of thing?
Most of the time we are on our own when painting. We want an answer now.
Deal with it now by going back to basics. Question your way through the basics until you find the problem. This sort of conversation with myself goes something like this…….
The basics of painting read like this for me. Composition is conception, Drawing is the bones of a painting, Tone is the muscle, Colour is the skin and Edges are the age lines, while Temperature is the mood. This is how I think of a painting and the parts that make it work. If one of these is not doing its job then it flows on to the other parts and lets down the whole.
My WIP has a problem and through this line of questioning the basics, I got as far as tone. I stood back and checked my reference, but more importantly checked my information on the thumbnail I did on site.
I found my problem. The tone was just not quite dark enough in the foreground. Do you do thumbnail sketches on site to get the composition and the tones sorted?
Most times it is something subtle the will niggle at you. Go through the question and answer scenario, use this analogy to help find your answer, then make the adjustment.
Learning about tone is so important to a painter. Imagine if Leonardo didn’t know about tone when he painted the Mona Lisa she’d be flat faced cartoon. Make tone work for you, use it to show form, to show distance, understand how it works with the other parts like colour.
The solution in my WIP was to go back and darken the tone in the foreground colours. It worked, and now that niggly feeling has gone. It may still need some more fine tuning and I will continue to question my way through all the basics, find the answer and try it out, see what happens if.
I sincerely hope that helps you in your painting adventure.
If and when you would like to do a detailed course on Tone in Art I have written one with interactive and a step by step guides. You will find it at www.onlinepastellearning.com
Making Pastel Happen -
a blog about everything pastel and painting.
It's my aim to share techniques, tips, tricks, adventures, products, paintings, educate, inspire and foster the appreciation of painting.
I welcome your feedback and questions and don't promise to post regularly, but to let you know when I do post .
I'l give it my best shot to answer your questions and if I can't I'll let you know. Gee I may even be able to give you the name of someone who can answer.
Either way this blog is about making pastel happen and making painting enjoyable. I sincerely wish you to join me on this adventure. best wishes, Karol