Value study 5 (3-A-Week Challenge)

This values study is based on a photo I took at a local nature preserve over the summer. It’s a place that I’d love to go back to and paint on location, now that the weather is cooling off. When I was there scouting the preserve as a potential plein air spot, the evening rain storm was clearing off and the sunlight was coming back out. The clouds were this great purple-grey color and where the sun struck the edges it was yellow. And the trees had this interesting acidic-green quality that happens in some post-rain lighting situations that I…

Value study 4 (3-A-Week Challenge)

For this study I chose a photo from our Grand Teton National Park trip that had strong value contrast between the trees/reflection and ground/distant mountain. While value was my main focus of the painting, I did spend more time planning out how I want the eye to travel around it than I have in the past. So as I was working on the notan and value shapes, I looked for ways to increase contrast in the primary spots that would be on that path. One example of how this played out was where there’s a snow patch behind the two…

Value study 3 (3-A-Week Challenge)

I’m continuing to focus on values with my 3-A-Week Challenge, as a part of my online study with Matt Smith. I like the way he breaks his course down into four main fundamentals of drawing, value, design, and color. I chose a photo from our Zion National Park trip a few years ago because it has a clear, simple, limited value scheme. The notan plan helped get me prepared for identifying the major shapes and values. I knew the in-shadow portion of the painting would have more going on than the sunlit areas. So in that large white area on…

Value study 2 (3-A-Week Challenge)

My focus with this painting was value, and I chose this reference photo from a set that Matt Smith provided with his online mentorship program. I thought it was a good example of strong contrast, with the dark trees sandwiched between the light foreground and background. I like the way the dark shapes dance across the canvas from one side to the other. I planned out the painting a couple of days ago by doing a series of notans and a value sketch, and used that plan as a place to start. One of the things Matt reinforces in his…

A new painting challenge: 3-A-Week

When a series of commissions and design projects came up toward the end of summer (including a Basset Hound portrait), I took a little sabbatical from landscape painting. I found that these projects left me mentally and creatively drained, and trying to cram in painting would have felt like a chore. Even though I missed painting, it was kind of cool because it gave me a little perspective on what I want to do for my next art challenge. My primary painting guidance is coming from the Matt Smith mentorship program from Tucson Art Academy Online. It’s a 1-year program…