View Full Version : Johannes’ 13 Commandments of Painting

Dana Design
07-31-2012, 10:51 AM
Johannes’ 24 Commandments of Painting

Thou Shalt:- From Artnick
1.Not trust a photograph—they lie except for shapes and details.
2.Apply the rule of thirds (tic-tac-toe the composition and place the focal point at one of the intersections).
3.Establish dominance (Crop to emphasize Sky, Mountain, Terrain, or Water while considering Falls, Rocks, Trees, and Brush within larger contexts. [See 2, 6, 7, 10, 11, 12, & 15]
4.Create eye flow (create an armature to support the painting composition; S, C, O, L, T; with visual thrusts and brush strokes being from left to right for Western viewers).
5.Create eye stops so the eye does not exit the composition.
6.Simplify (mass [join] shapes, values, and colors)
7.Connect physically or visually shapes, values, and colors so that the eye does not play hopscotch over the painting.
8.Create abstract shapes (asymmetrical shapes; paint backwards [negatively] to help create them). [See 9, 11, 12, & 13]
9.Create graceful and melodic lines (no see-saw lines, picket fence lines, or begin and exit a line equidistant from the edge of the painting).
10.Create mood (use mist/fog, clouds, value, color)
11.Vary the edges (rough, smooth [hard], and soft [diffused]).
12.Create gradient planes (back water with a gradient to front water).
13.Variegate the colors (maintaining the same value structure).
14.Create depth (3-D) by linear and atmospheric perspective. [See 4, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12, & 24]
15.Create planes (think front to back like a chess game; overlapping pawns before knights before rooks, and so forth with bishops, King, and Queen). [See 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 15, 16, & 17]
16.Harmonize the painting (echo cool colors in the shadows and warm colors in the highlights; or make a color repeated in mixtures as in using a limited palette)
17.Create indentations and protrusions (shapes that go back [darker/cooler] or come forward [warmer / cooler)
18.Not clone (repeat shapes, colors, or intervals).
19.Not create snakes in skies.
20.Respect the no-fly zone (1-2 inches around the painting will have no high contrast, detail, rough or hard edges, or intense colors)
21.Not paint dark areas darker than value 8 on a 10 scale.
22.Have two different sides to the painting (A | B [side to side] or top to bottom).
23.Create interest in every 2 square inch section (divide the painting into a checker board and make sure that each square is a small abstract painting while assuring that no shapes are cloned and that each corner square is different from the opposing corner square—color, shape, value).
24.Look in your blind spot (space shapes) (look for – clones, symmetrical shapes, and shapes that moved to center or are kissing the edge of the painting).

07-31-2012, 01:17 PM
Thanks Dana, This time I saved it to a file so I don't lose it.

Dana Design
07-31-2012, 01:38 PM
Good girl/boy/??

Dana Design
08-01-2012, 08:27 AM
From Johannes ..................

I had reduced the commandments to about 13, It is easier to keep those in mind. The 24 can be merged into fewer categories.
Thou shalt create abstract shapes.
Thou shalt create eye flow.
Thou shalt create graceful and melodic lines.
Thou shalt variegate the colors.
Thou shalt create depth.
Thou shalt not clone.
Thou shalt simplify
Thou shalt create gradient planes.
Thou shalt respect the no fly zone.
Thou shalt vary edges.
Thou shalt not paint dark areas that are too dark.
Thou shalt have two different sides to the painting.
Thou shalt have interest in every 2 inches.

Of course within these commandments are sub indexes that need expansion to be explained in more detail. For example there are several techniques to create depth that were addressed in my Painting Stunning Landscapes from Photos. These simple "commandments" if you can put them on your studio wall and you will find yourself repeating them every time you feel you are trying to copy the photo. The "thou shalt" makes a catchy phrase to remember them.

This is not a commandment but the secret to successful painting

1. Create an abstract shape. When applicable the contour of that shape should be melodic and when compared the two sides of that shape should be visually different. Then variegate inside that abstract shape. Then create depth by protrusions and indentations in that shape. If applicable move the eye in the shape.