Today we started on a new painting. Next week is our last class so I chose something I thought we could finish in two sessions. Rather than working from a photograph I decided to bring in a reproduction of a painting. There is a lot we can learn from copying a painting instead of a photograph. We can learn how another artist has solved the same problems we have to solve when working from life. We necessarily have to simplify and edit when we paint from life and there are many ways to accomplish this successfully.
In the image I chose the artist painted quite loosely with very little detail. Notice how the texture of each element in the scene is treated differently to suggest the material qualities of what is being depicted. The paint in the clouds is applied with bigger more directional strokes, while the bushes are painted with smaller, more circular scumbling.
In my demo I blocked in large areas of color and value. This image (as most images I choose) has dramatic lighting so much of the power of the image comes from value contrast. As you block in colors make sure you are paying close attention to value relationships.
Next week we will finish these paintings. It will be our last day of class for this semester so feel free to bring in food and drink to share with the class.