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tmwilliams
03-13-2018, 12:49 PM
One of the things I've been wrestling with (in my 15 months of experience) is whether to paint the background first and than sketch out my objects, or to sketch out the object so I have the whole image properly framed and paint the background around it.

Here I decided upon the latter and ruined two days or work by covering up too much of the object.

But if I do a thin enough wash than I don't get the right background colors and coverage...

Here I had a bit of aviation art that's now in the trash (Yes, I'll pull it out later and re-gesso the canvas).

I sketched the airframe first, and blocked it in with grey to preserve the lines.

Then - not see here because it's in the trash - I tried to add the blue sky. Disaster.

Should I have blocked in the sky and sea, and than tried to sketch/block in the airframe on top of the blue?

What's the best practice?

Thomas

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/13-Mar-2018/2022851-SDB.JPG

Charlie's Mum
03-13-2018, 01:03 PM
I never draw my entire composition - maybe a few lines to place things.

For your type of work above, I'd recommend the drawing on paper to the correct size and placement - then you could safely paint your background on the canvas and, when dry, trace your drawing over it. You're not then wasting time and energy.
I know others who do the complete drawing and tone work and then paint over in glazes. Glazes, being transparent, won't obliterate the work beneath, (See dcam's work - he has a couple of demo threads in the Information Kiosk).
With some subjects - like a large floral perhaps, you can draw the shapes with accuracy and then paint individual parts - b/g and subject being almost one (flowers and foliage).
With a Still Life, maybe a few lines to place the objects, paint the b/g overlapping the objects edges to avoid any 'halo' effect and then paint the objects which will overlap the b/g paint.

tmwilliams
03-13-2018, 01:22 PM
Thanks. I guess I was too impatient with the sky and layered it on too thickly. I'll review Dcam's lessons!

cliff.kachinske
03-13-2018, 02:36 PM
Thomas, in my experience, it takes some time to develop the brush control that allows painting right up to a line without obliterating it. There are so many factors.

John Ruskin, in his elements of drawing, recommends starting with a pen because it follows the movements of your hand better than the tip of a floppy sloppy brush. You might want to get your hands on that book and invest some time doing the exercises. Just use a ballpoint or whatever you have.

Dcam
03-13-2018, 03:23 PM
Thomas: Hi, you might find a method that Richard Schmid uses on occasion and so do I; interesting. It is the "selective start method". You need to have some rendering skills to make it work:
Good luck, click on the link below:
Derek

http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1431363

tmwilliams
03-13-2018, 04:44 PM
Thanks, Cliff and Derek. Much to think about and practice.

I think part of my problem was going back to the standard paints. I have used Golden Opens for the past few paintings and got spoiled with how well they blend. I may have to use them exclusively for backgrounds.

theBongolian
03-13-2018, 06:17 PM
Thomas: Hi, you might find a method that Richard Schmid uses on occasion and so do I; interesting.
I hope someone watches this demo- I saw it years ago, just took me an hour searching youtube videos to find it. This is similar to the Schmid method. She starts with a black bg and begins painting in the upper left-hand corner and proceeds across the canvas - she completes the painting in 10minutes, watch on 1.5 speed and see it in 6.5 minutes - pure magic.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mt_E6RjH0CY

maryinasia
03-13-2018, 10:13 PM
Sometimes I paint the background first then draw..

One teacher suggested if drawing first, paint the background a little into the drawing to avoid white.

Sometimes i cut out a printout of the object to use as a stencil so i can get a more wild with the backgound.

fedetony
03-14-2018, 05:35 AM
I do the background first as general rule to avoid the halos. Normally also I'll surely paint first all the black and and very dark parts to block the figures, positions and proportions.
Depending on the technique I'm planning to use I develop the drawing:
Glazing colors: I would normally draw until the last detail before starting to paint, add shadows and lights and then paint over.
Opaque painting brush: I would only draw outlines only to guide and fill the areas with the end tones. Then Detail over. This is more loose and apart from the reference.
Airbrush: I would do background first always and paint in order of depth masking all the rest in every step. I make normally an elaborate drawing under. With AB and masking loosely or hard you can control how strong your edges are. Here a WIP (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1437735).

Ellis Ammons
03-14-2018, 06:03 AM
I always paint background 1st. You'll find that the chroma and values of your subject look much different once the background is in. Colors are relative.

Some artist use transfer paper. Which you basically do your drawing on the transfer paper and then you can just trace it back onto your canvas whenever you paint over your subject. It's probably the most professional way. But more labor intensive.

I usually draw out my subject first and then paint the background into the edges of the subject. Trying to keep a smooth brush stroke through the subjects edge. If you stop your brush or stroke "around" the subject you will have a noticeable ring around your subject. and then paint the subject back over the background.

talisman
03-14-2018, 10:54 AM
I'm in the do the background first camp.

old_hobbyist
03-14-2018, 10:59 AM
I first decide how significant the background is to the painting.

If I'm plein air painting a marina or a complex landscape I will usually blast the sky in in about 30 seconds with some touch-up near the end of the ptg.

If I'm doing a Florida cloud scene (where more than half the canvas is sky), I kinda sketch in the foreground and spend the majority of my time fiddling with the clouds. I clean up the foreground at the end.

Because I don't use slow-drying acrylics, I always have the option to paint over the early stuff.

In general, tho, I restrict my sketches to a very few thin wash outline strokes and some thin wash broad brush shadow areas. I ignore runs and drips because they will be dry in a minute or so. Total time for sketching? Maybe 15 seconds or less.

MaryThompson
03-14-2018, 11:12 AM
I almost always do the distant background objects first and work my way forward in the picture plane (not to be confused with airplanes ;-) ). Especially on anything bigger than 8x10.

I use transfer paper to trace on any shapes I need, whether for background or foreground objects.

When working on paper as opposed to a panel, I have used transfer paper to trace on the entire drawing, then covered that with with matte medium or clear gesso. Once that dries, the drawing won't move and the paper is sealed. I have used that technique quite a bit for smaller studies (like, 6x8 or 8x10).

Mary.

tmwilliams
03-14-2018, 01:07 PM
Thank you all for some great insights. Tiago and Ellis note "halos" and "rings" around the subject - this has often been my experience.

This is all part of my steep learning curve, and quite frustrating.

Colorado_Ed
03-15-2018, 12:52 PM
Thank you all for some great insights. Tiago and Ellis note "halos" and "rings" around the subject - this has often been my experience.

This is all part of my steep learning curve, and quite frustrating.

Stuff like this has always been hard for me too, as I am like 99% self-taught.

(It didn't help that the few teachers I had always adamantly refused to, you know, teach me stuff when I asked specific questions)

Good luck!

Attalus
03-15-2018, 01:36 PM
I do sketch in the "object" first, and then do the background. though in my experience "haloes" can be overcome more easily with paint than colored pencil. All it takes is patience and a fine brush. But, yeah, it is less labor-intensive to do the background first. Though I HATE IT!. I want to work on what inspired me first. But, especially with figures, I end up regretting it. :envy:

tmwilliams
03-15-2018, 02:08 PM
Stuff like this has always been hard for me too, as I am like 99% self-taught.

(It didn't help that the few teachers I had always adamantly refused to, you know, teach me stuff when I asked specific questions)

Good luck!


Colorado Ed - your comment resonates! I too am self-taught (teaching). I have found the only arts community thatís ever been helpful is here in the WC forums. The local artists I sought out were quite dismissive. Thank goodness for WC and YouTube!

tmwilliams
03-15-2018, 02:17 PM
"All it takes is patience and a fine brush."

Fine brush I have. The other is the reason I stopped drawing as a young man and didn't touch a pencil again until last year when I was 52.

Attalus
03-15-2018, 04:34 PM
"All it takes is patience and a fine brush."

Fine brush I have. The other is the reason I stopped drawing as a young man and didn't touch a pencil again until last year when I was 52."How do you get to Carnegie Hall?"
"Practice, practice, practice." :angel:

MaryThompson
03-17-2018, 06:30 AM
I've only taken informal art lessons with a few local artist/teachers, so I'm mostly self-taught too. I also watch a lot of YouTube art teachers, which I can list if you're interested. Watch as many as possible and take from each what you feel you can use.

M.