View Full Version : A Tutored Workshop
I went to a tutored workshop today organised by our Rangiora Art Society.
Colin Loose was our tutor.
First he gave us a talk on " The construction of a painting. "
He explained , point, line , shape, space, tone, texture, colour , movement , view points, zoom , and frotage.
One point he did emphasise was tonal value.
He stated that a common fault is that we do not use the full tonal range. Paintings only use the small variation tones either side of the mid tone. So only have a limited range of value.
Must have strong darks and whites.
Then using three objects we had to do 3 to 5 small sketches about 6 by 4 inches showing tone , shadows etc , with different compositions.
Then we chose our favorite and traced it onto our watercolour paper. Then paint using all the points raised regarding tone etc.
My painting took 1 1/2 hours to complete.
It was fun working fast all day.
07-20-2002, 06:21 PM
ok....can you explain each:
point, line , shape, space, tone, texture, colour , movement , view points, zoom , and frotage.
when he says:
" a common fault is that we do not use the full tonal range. Paintings only use the small variation tones either side of the mid tone. So only have a limited range of value"
can we see an example...because when I paint....I feeli like I use a TON of values.....
ok...so I'm trying to get a free workshop:D
But this sounds like really good stuff.....
ok Pam, stay tuned ,
I'll put some explanations together ,
I'll try to run through the points our tutor explored yesterday at the workshop.
Construction of a Painting
Through all of these points he emphasised variety
Point and Line
Paintings and sketches are made up with points and lines.
dabs and strokes of your brush.
Don't use the same fine lines, always vary the width, strength , angle , make jagged , etc.
Shape and Space
When composing your painting , vary the shapes and sizes also paying attention to the negative spaces, they are just as important.
Most important to use the full range of tonal values to make your subject pop. The tutor said a common fault was for artists to only use the values around the mid point. This results in a dull lifeless painting.
I have converted the colour image to greyscale so that the tonal values are easier to see.
I have increased the contrast using my image editor to show the difference when all vaues are used from dark to light.
Tone creates form , gradual shading of an object gives it form , shows its roundness .
Varied textures add interest, dry brush, stippling, splatter, sponge , etc. technique varies with medium used.
Careful choice of colours, shadows always contain colour, unite the colours by repeating them around the painting.
Put energy into your painting with your brush strokes.
Observe and sketch your still life objects from different angles, from the front, side, above, looking up. Sketch each one.
When you have finished your sketches, sometimes zooming in closer, ( cropping the image) will improve the painting.
To add texture to your sketching, place a rough surface under your paper before shading in.
It can be quite effective.
These are not hard and fast rules, but things to think of as we construct our painting.
1. Dry drawing, make several thumbnail sketches of your subject using a pencil, biro, marker . Draw in and shade all the tonal values. Place an arrow at the side of each sketch showing the light source and direction
2. Wet drawing , make a wet sketch using paint, or mixed media
Experiment with colours and strengths to get the correct tonal values.
3. Pick out your favorite composition .
Finished work, paint the full size picture using sketches as a guide.
Hope this helps, Main point is variety, make your paintings interesting and with strength so they are visually exciting,
07-21-2002, 08:39 AM
:) Thanks so much!! for taking the time to detail the info from the workshop. This is very helpful for beginners like me.
07-21-2002, 07:32 PM
Thank you so much , Rod....if ever I can repay this effort...you'll be sure to demand it!
This is great stuff...gonna print it out and spend some time with it on the table.
:angel: Thanks again...
07-22-2002, 09:19 AM
Mona reminds me of someone-it's amazing how DaVinci's work almost seems to move.
By the way the pitcher is really nicely painted, Rod
07-22-2002, 09:38 AM
Rod I think i'm going to make this a sticky, cause you basically said it all...great job on your still life too.
Thankyou Arlene :)
Some more advice our tutor gave us.
When painting your subject, work in all areas of the painting so they all parts progress at the same pace.
If you concentrate on one section at a time it can give you a fear.
You've finished that one piece to perfection so you worry if the rest will be up to the same standard, this can put you off finishing.
So get the whole painting done in equal stages of completion from start to finish,
07-25-2002, 11:02 AM
Arlene or Rod
this thread won't print either in PRINTER FORMAT or like it is
just gives gobblety gook:rolleyes:
Last week I told you about the tutored workshop I attended and the instruction we received from our tutor Colin Loose.
At the end of the first session the tutor set us some homework, thought I would share this with you.
We had to compose a still life using three objects with a background, not just white paper behind.
Make sketches in pencil and watercolour to check that we could also use the complete tonal value range from black to white.
So I made up a shadow box setup.
I placed a flat wooden board for the base, propped up a piece of matt board for the back wall.
I wanted the light shining through venetian blinds so I attached a sheet of cardboard with slots cut into it on the left side.
I moved my objects around until I liked the composition then turned off the light and shone my anglepoise lamp through the slotted cardboard.
I moved the light up and down until I was happy with the light patterns and took a photo with my digital camera.
I then printed out the image and drew in the venetians and light bands with a fine marker pen.
Also you will see the one third lines which is a simple way to show the golden section points.
Then I sketched with pencil and experimented with colour, just quick rough sketches to give some ideas and help me to brainstorm ready for todays workshop.
Next stage was to trace this final composition onto my watercolour paper ready to start painting at todays workshop. We limit our workshops to about 12 members. That way the tutor has time to advise all of us several times during the day. You can see my painting started next to my all important flask of coffee :)
The workshop started at 10am , we painted from 10.30 till 2.30 with a 30 minute break for lunch. I managed to finish my painting within that time , its 14 by 10 inches on Saunders 300gsm "Not" stretched paper.
Excellent watercolor Rod. So glad you shared your workshop and your homework with us. Thanks!
07-27-2002, 01:32 PM
Thank you so much Rod for sharing all that information.
07-30-2002, 04:35 PM
Rod, Thank you for sharing! Nice work!
08-07-2002, 08:25 PM
Thanks Rod. Great advice and clear explanations too.
I usually run into trouble with values. Don't quite use a full range. Haven't even gotten into to other elements.
Was going to request this be made a sticky the I read Arlene's post. I'm going to print it - if it works.
08-13-2002, 06:56 PM
I'm enjoying Rod's stimulating class notes. Thank you.
That said, I must disagree with your instructor in regards to finding fault in pictures that use a limited value range. I don't think this should be considered a hard rule to follow. Contrast can surely help balance and emphasize a picture, but I think it's also sometimes very challenging to compose it with values that are very close in tone. Contrast can also be more effective if used sparingly. Some mediums, like tempra, seem to force that issue as they don't allow you to get very dark. Also, abstract paintings tend to have more freedom from rules like this.
Another point was made about working on all areas of the painting to make it progress at the same pace. I remember hearing the same instructions when I was in school. Being naturally contrary, I decided to test it. I learned that if made a series of preliminary studies beforehand, I could easily work in any area of the picture I wanted to, finishing it in sections.
My advise would be to make your own experiments to test the rules you hear. You learn better that way.
08-14-2002, 02:45 AM
david you've obviously been painting a while so i'll agree that rules are meant to be broken, but...
when starting out it's best to learn the basics...
as for the working allover vs. finishing a small section at a time, i've seen very few who can pull off the working section at a time, without it becoming apparent...i know a few, but by and large it's easier in the long run to have everything at the same stage of completion
08-14-2002, 07:06 AM
Thanks Rod! Great painting/studies, by the way. I need to work on things like this. I read them and think about them, but don't actually plan out or do value studies.:(
08-14-2002, 07:07 AM
rod,,,you were successful in creating thumbnails of composition and shadow, but not tonal composition(which i assume is what your instructor meant). if you flip your image upside down you will see that some of your form gets lost. this is because you didn't rectify your tonal problems.
the easy sequence is,,,,,,,
2...choose your favorite
3...tonal composition(where do your dark, middle, and light values go)
4...establish your shadow within the framework of your assigned values.
i took your choice and laid out the sequence. the left image breaks down your tonal(value)composition. the image on the right lays in shadow within the value scale of each form. you get the idea. now your forms are solid. reality always needs some tweaking to eliminate confusion.
note,,,by seeing your values simply, you realize that the thin center shadow was too harsh in your final watercolor.
note, i misaligned your vase and apple. they were too much in line with the cast shadow of the drapes, and thus were flattening your picture. also, you can use the shadow of the window watchmacallits to show the folds in the tablecloth.....milt
08-14-2002, 11:37 AM
I certainly agree, Arlene, that it's good to know the basics, and though I have been an artist for a long time, I'm still studying the profession every day. I usually tend to rely too much on instinct.
However, I've also taught students, and I learned to be careful with declaring rules for them to follow. I tried to get them to understand the "why" and we usually end up learning new things together.
Nonetheless, Rod's class sounds like a lot of fun!
08-21-2002, 10:46 PM
Thanks Rod for sharing your class with us. This was most helpful to me. I am getting back to hands-on art after a "time-out," and this is a great lesson !
08-23-2002, 01:51 AM
Thank you Rod, I found your notes and examples very helpful
09-21-2002, 01:55 PM
Thanks so much Rod....this thread is so useful to me:clap: :clap:
09-22-2002, 12:09 PM
hi rod and everyone
thanks for the sharing and the lesson. this is my classroom and y'all are my classmates as far as i am concerned. so i am learning from everyone. i have been painting now for a month or so. so any and all info is greatly welcomed since i cannot afford lessons.
hence thank you for the lessons rod. i am delighted to be part of someone who goes into great detail to explain. and i loved your painting.
02-05-2004, 09:09 AM
Rod, thank you so much for this info.
02-19-2004, 11:54 AM
Thank you for this info, It is VERY inspiring :clap:
03-26-2004, 02:59 AM
Rod-thank you for taking the time to spell out steps with definitions. It really is a help to beginners like me. :D
06-21-2004, 04:49 PM
Early in my library/self-taught course in visual art, which has been going on for about 2 years now, I discovered a book which explained the basics of visual art to me, for the first time: Tony Couch, something like _The Keys to Successful Watercolor_.
Artist friends in NYC used to try to explain these things to me, but I just never understood a word until I read that book. First it defines the ELEMENTS of design (similar to the ones Rod enumerated -- value, shape, line, color (hue), etc.), then the PRINCIPLES of design (what to do with those elements -- repetition, balance, harmony, unity, etc.). Even a visual idiot like me can understand what he says.
I have very little natural talent for visual art... When I'm shown something where I'm supposed to be able 'naturally' or intuitively to see: "that's better than this," I get it wrong quite a bit. (Just a few minutes ago I read L. Seiler's thing on composition, and there's a point where apparently most readers know a portrait does or doesn't work, compositionally... well, I just couldn't tell if my eye was 'staying in the picture' or 'being led out of the picture.' :rolleyes: )
Nevertheless, I learned a huge amount from the Couch book. By now I've read dozens of books on visual art, but that book is the ONE I'd recommend to any beginner.
07-30-2005, 09:07 PM
Thank you for taking the time to do this....
the tip on tonal value was most helpful.
08-06-2005, 04:25 AM
This is fantastic - thank you for sharing! :clap: :clap:
10-21-2005, 12:13 AM
Thank you for sharing your tutored workshop, Rod. I am new to WC and can't believe I have missed out all these years. I am a watercolourist so I really appreciate your information.
08-01-2007, 02:32 PM
Thanks, Rod, for being kind enough to take the time and trouble to help out other artist and would be artists in here! I am looking to find a book by Edgar Payne about Composition, as I hear it's one of the best around, though expensive.
I have been blessed to have a teacher at the local senior center who is devoted to teaching art and is a volunteer. The classes are free and all we have to do is provide materials from the list she provides us. She also told me about WetCanvas.com and that's how I came to be HERE.
I took a couple of high priced classes from an artist and she really was NOT a teacher.. excellent artist with lots of knowledge and she shared. Two lessons were quite enough for me! And this web site is my classroom too!
Thanks again... Marge
12-08-2007, 06:51 PM
Thanks Rod. This is my first time in Wet Canvas... And since I never took painting lessons(you can imagine what a mess), I know almost nothing about the basics.
04-12-2008, 10:35 PM
Thanks for pinning and re-pinning this thread to the board, it's been stuck here since July 20, 2002. the best thing > it's timeless info. and Rod is so cool for doing this.
I'm a little bit late getting here at this late date in 2008, so thanks so much for waiting and you've kept the classroom open with lots of classmates and friends here too.
06-16-2008, 01:13 PM
Hi Rod, I am thoroughly enjoying your demos. They are brilliant, and so easy to follow. I am having to slow myself down because I want to do them all. Thank you.:)
08-04-2008, 01:50 AM
I enjoy workshops as well, very educational. I really like the fundamentals they teach there.
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