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Old 06-12-2012, 04:09 PM
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TamaraB TamaraB is offline
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Something new...and I need help...

My next OP will be based on the following reference pic:

http://www.cyburbia.org/gallery/data...dential_10.jpg

I'm going all out here! Definitely out of my comfort zone. I used to sketch pics such as these when I was younger. This is a pic of the area that I grew up in. However, I have never applied color to my landscapes. I am going to apply watercolor as the underpainting and then add OP. This may not be the best reference pic, but it is EXACTLY how I remember my childhood home (OH) when we went for walks in the evening in the fall.

My question: how do I paint the shadows? Are shadows darker hues or values - or would I add grey or black to my present color to darken it?
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Last edited by TamaraB : 06-12-2012 at 04:15 PM.
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Old 06-13-2012, 08:54 AM
halthepainter halthepainter is offline
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Re: Something new...and I need help...

Hi Tamara, that is a beautiful scene.

A watercolor underpainting is a good way to go. With an underpainting you won't get the annoying white sparkles if you don't get a solid covering with your oil pastels.

Next (at least in my opinion) you can have a colorful reference photo that you try to copy religiously and it just doesn't seem to wow anyone. It's usually because there is so much color that nothing really stands out.

I would create my image with a dominate bright area around one of the normal focal points and make it pop and rest of the painting could be colorful but subdued and darker around the bottom corners.

I would lay in my darks and paint my lights over the darks.

William Alexander the old PBS painter, before Bob Ross, used to say: "You have to have your darks to show the lights." In other words, if the whole painting is light and bright, nothing really stands out. Add a few deep darks and the lights pop.

Also I paint top down, back to front as a painting strategy. (See my sequence of work, I just added to this month's oil pastel challenge)

These are just my ways and each artist finds his or her own way.

I look forward to seeing what you do with that beautiful reference.

As to shadows, if you have a very large set of oil pastels you will find darker versions of the same hue. I often use my deepest darkest blue, and indigo, or an almost blackish green for my darkest shadows and then blend in other colors to adjust the values. Black can be a dead color and if I use it, I will often try to mix in some other hue in with it to liven it.

Getting the values correct are more important than matching hues. The values have to be right to get the painting to read well.

Last edited by halthepainter : 06-13-2012 at 09:01 AM.
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Old 06-13-2012, 10:47 AM
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Re: Something new...and I need help...

Thanks Hal!!

I get what you're saying about the darks and lights. That makes sense. I will try to apply that to my portraits as well...I always get nervous about applying dark colors though. Don't ask me why...I guess because once they are down - it is hard to cover or remove them if I change my mind about them.

I wanted the focal point to be the trees. I know, that's a pretty big focal point, but I want to subdue the road and the homes and make the trees sing.

Thanks again Hal. Your advice was perfect. I'm going to take my time on this...but I will post some progress pics as I go.
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Old 06-14-2012, 07:58 AM
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Pat Isaac Pat Isaac is offline
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Re: Something new...and I need help...

A watercolor underpainting is a good starting point. Because it is an outdoor scene in the sunlight, I would definitely add some blues and purples to the shadows on the road to create atmosphere.

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Old 06-15-2012, 09:57 AM
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Flycatcher10 Flycatcher10 is offline
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Re: Something new...and I need help...

Hi Tam: You may want to consider investing in Maggie Price book, Painting Sunlight and Shadows with Pastels. Based on landscapes and even though it's geared for soft pastels, the concepts of colors she discusses (lots of examples) can be applied to Oil Pastels.

It's been a tremendous help to me.
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Old 07-13-2012, 05:08 PM
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Re: Something new...and I need help...

Hi Pat and Mary - just saw your comments...

Mary, thanks! I'll pick that one up. I have one book that you mentioned and it was really helpful - John Elliot's book.
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Old 07-16-2012, 07:09 PM
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Re: Something new...and I need help...

Tam, you'll do fine. Just practice. No matter what my reference pic is, I almost always make up my own colors. I use the reference picture for the basic composition, but then off I go. Hal was right about tones.

Then again, I still avoid landscapes as I'm horrid with perspective.

Sorry, I'm not sure if this is very helpful or not, haha.

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Old 07-17-2012, 09:41 PM
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sundiver sundiver is offline
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Re: Something new...and I need help...

I put the image through a FotoSketcher filter. That's a free download I mainly use for digital frames, but sometimes the filters help to show what colors are there.
As you can see there are lots of different blues in the shadows but they are not very intense.

Last edited by sundiver : 07-17-2012 at 09:45 PM.
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