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Old 08-13-2002, 06:56 PM
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dbclemons dbclemons is offline
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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.

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Old 08-14-2002, 02:45 AM
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arlene arlene is offline
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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
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Old 08-14-2002, 07:06 AM
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jenrou jenrou is offline
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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.
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Old 08-14-2002, 07:07 AM
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bruin70 bruin70 is offline
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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,,,,,,,

1...compositional ideas

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

"it's alright to be judgmental,,,,,,,,if you have taste"...MILT

Last edited by bruin70 : 08-14-2002 at 07:42 AM.
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Old 08-14-2002, 11:37 AM
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dbclemons dbclemons is offline
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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!

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Old 08-21-2002, 10:46 PM
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Selina Designs Selina Designs is offline
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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 !
Not all who wander are lost-JRR Tolkien
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Old 08-23-2002, 01:51 AM
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Kinart Kinart is offline
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workshop shared lessons

Thank you Rod, I found your notes and examples very helpful
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Old 09-21-2002, 01:55 PM
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Jakeally Jakeally is offline
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Thanks so much Rod....this thread is so useful to me
Best wishes Chris
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Old 09-22-2002, 12:09 PM
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matildaberry matildaberry is offline
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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.

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Old 02-05-2004, 09:09 AM
Grasshopper Grasshopper is offline
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Re: A Tutored Workshop

Rod, thank you so much for this info.
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Old 02-19-2004, 11:54 AM
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Cronious Cronious is offline
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Re: A Tutored Workshop

Thank you for this info, It is VERY inspiring
Smile, it confuses people...... Scot Adams


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Old 03-26-2004, 02:59 AM
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xreader xreader is offline
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Re: A Tutored Workshop

Rod-thank you for taking the time to spell out steps with definitions. It really is a help to beginners like me.
"The tragedy of life is not that it ends so soon, but that we wait so long to begin it." -W.M. Lewis
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Old 06-21-2004, 04:49 PM
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FriendCarol FriendCarol is offline
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Re: A Tutored Workshop

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.' )

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.
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Old 07-30-2005, 09:07 PM
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Miss J Miss J is offline
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Re: A Tutored Workshop

Thank you for taking the time to do this....
the tip on tonal value was most helpful.
Jane Ann
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Old 08-06-2005, 04:25 AM
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Alison2 Alison2 is offline
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Re: A Tutored Workshop


This is fantastic - thank you for sharing!


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