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One Way To Simplify: Using Silhouette Shape Studies.

Simplify: To clarify; to make easier to understand.

Just Thinking!

Greetings!  I have been thinking about how to “simplify” lately and how the term applies to creating paintings.  You see, I have a mini workshop coming up with the Watercolor Society of Oregon (WSO) this fall.

Simplify: Three Minute Egg V12 Concept Drawing

Why Simplify?

But, what do we mean by simplification as it applies to painting?  And, why would you (the artist “you”) want to simplify?

Simplify: Three Minute Egg No12 First State

And How?

These are the types of questions I’m wrestling with plus the BIG ONE:  how does one simplify?

In the meantime, I’m working on some research by doing article searches and brain storming.

Create A Silhouette!

However what I’d like to share with you is one of my favorite ways to simplify.  What I’m talking about is creating a silhouette shape study of my designs.  This is a type of value (light and dark) study.  You may also have heard of the Japanese term notan, which also refers to lights and darks.  I’m adding a list of terms to show you how the meanings of these terms overlap.

Simplify: Terms

Silhouette, Value Study, Notan! (Oh My!)

In other words, a silhouette can be a value study which can be notan as well.  Its all about the underlying light and dark pattern of my painting!

Intention.

So.  It is my intention is to show you a silhouette study I did plus some of the “work-in-progress” (WIP) states of my latest painting.

Simplify: Silhouette Shape Study

Link Dark Shapes.

Back to silhouette studies, how does this result in a simplified painting?  I’m massing my shapes; that is linking all the shapes of one value which, in this case, is black or white.  The linking of shapes creates a black silhouette against a white ground.  Then, I can see the “big picture” – a shape and value pattern, without the distracting details.

Truth Time.

Oops; ahem, the truth will out.  In case you were wondering, I do not make a silhouette shape study for every design I use for paintings.  Oh?  Yes, that is even though doing so is a great practice and pays dividends.  I am thinking I might need to make a new habit of doing silhouette shape and value studies all the time!

Simplify: Three Minute Egg State 2

Get It Down On Paper.

You see, my current practice is usually just to think the design through in my head.  The downside of “just thinking” is that you don’t see it clearly.  Plus, you need to trust yourself to remember your intentions over time.  Hmmm….could be a problem for someone who takes a while to complete a painting!

So, not surprisingly, I’m finding in the articles I read that it pays to really do the extra work when you’re developing a concept for the painting.  That is, do the preparatory drawings, silhouettes shape and value sketches.  Get the ideas down on paper.

Its my experience that doing the studies helps me see the strengths and problems of a composition.

Silhouette Study: “Three Minute Egg No.12”.

Therefore, better late than never, I worked up a silhouette shape study for a design I’m working on (please see above).

Now, I can see the concept as a series of inter-connecting bold shapes.  I’m not distracted by the details.  Instead, I have a map of my lights and darks to use as I develop my watercolor.

Plus, I had fun creating the silhouette.

Paper & Scissors Are Good.

You can do this with construction paper and scissors, just like you might have done when you were a child.  Its an enjoyable exercise, but a LOT harder than I recall from childhood!   Why?  Because you have to think ahead and make it all one shape!

Simplify: State 3, Three Minute Egg No 12

Digital Works Too.

Since I didn’t have any construction paper around the house, I used the digital art program “Painter®” by Corel™.  To explain, I scan in an outline of my drawing.  Then, I use the program to draw and fill shapes.  There is a fair amount of adjusting because, as I’ve mentioned before, you see problem areas.

Link Dark-to-dark and Light-to-light.

In this particular design, I am concerned that my dark shapes touch or neighbor another dark shape.  Put another way, an isolated dark shape, surrounded completely by white, creates a hole.   You, as the observer, might get stuck in a dark hole as there is no path out into the light.  So, if you want to, look for black holes. Do you see any?

Back to the idea of simplification, do you see how the silhouette shape study helps you see a simplified composition?  That is, some of the details are gone and you just look at the structure.

Key Points.

To summarize, there are two key points to consider:

  1.  Silhouette shape and value studies are one way to simplify a design or composition.
  2. Doing studies ahead of time, that is before you start the painting helps.  You have a better chance of seeing the strengths and problems of composition before you get to far into painting.

PHEW!  Speaking of simplify, this was not a simple blog post!  Isn’t that funny?  Writing an article on simplifying design certainly seems complicated!

Thanks!  I welcome your comments, suggests and discussion.

Simplify: Three Minute Egg No 12 State 4

PS.  I’m still working on this painting!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The post One Way To Simplify: Using Silhouette Shape Studies. appeared first on Margaret Stermer-Cox.

GPMA Adult Art Classes: Now through July 2018

GPMA Adult Art Classes: Now through July 2018 - Adult Art Classes at Grants Pass Museum of Art, Grants Pass, Oregon

GPMA Adult Art Classes: Now through July 2018 - Participants painting in Adult Art Classes at Grants Pass Museum of Art, Grants Pass, Oregon

 

GPMA Adult Art Classes: Now through July 2018

 

 GPMA Adult Art Classes: Now through July 2018 - Fun with Flowers - Adult Art Classes at Grants Pass Museum of Art, Grants Pass, Oregon GPMA Adult Art Classes: Now through July 2018 - Fun with Flowers - Adult Art Classes at Grants Pass Museum of Art, Grants Pass, OregonSketching from Life: Fun with Flowers
with Kristen O’Neill
Saturday, May 12th
1 – 4 pm

Learn or develop your skills in drawing from life.
We will sketch fresh flowers
We can use pencils, pens, or charcoal.
Work on creating good values, realistic lighting
Improve composition
All skill levels welcome

$30. All materials provided.

GPMA Adult Art Classes: Now through July 2018 - Paint Like Alex Katz - Adult Art Classes at Grants Pass Museum of Art, Grants Pass, OregonGPMA Adult Art Classes: Now through July 2018 - Paint Like Alex Katz - Adult Art Classes at Grants Pass Museum of Art, Grants Pass, OregonPaint like Alex Katz
with Kristen O’Neill
Saturday, May 19th
1 – 4 pm

Contemporary painter Alex Katz is a master at simplifying compositions. His artwork has been exhibited over 700 times and he is one of the most famous living painters. In this class we will:

Have fun learning tricks to simplify a painting to make it stronger
Learn to plan our colors ahead of time
Beginning students can copy one of his works, and more intermediate, advanced, or adventurous students can bring in a photo and we will paint it in Katz’s style.
Leave with an acrylic painting

$30. All materials provided.

GPMA Adult Art Classes: Now through July 2018 - Animal Drawing - Adult Art Classes at Grants Pass Museum of Art, Grants Pass, OregonAnimal Drawing
with Bobbi Baldwin
Saturday, June 2nd
10:30 – 4

Paint your beloved pet or favorite animal, open to all mediums (except oil). Dogs, cats, horses, tigers, cows, wild animals. Whatever your favorite fur or feather animals are!
We will work on learning the anatomical structure of bodies and faces as well as how to best portray them.
We will also work on composition, color theory, techniques, and painting.
Beginners through advanced artists—all are welcome.

$85. Materials list to be sent to you. (Most materials available for use at the Museum if needed).

GPMA Adult Art Classes: Now through July 2018 - Art Journals with Karen O'Brien - Art Classes at Grants Pass Museum of Art, Grants Pass, OregonArt Journals
with Karen O’Brien
Saturday, June 16th
10:30 – 3:30

In this class we will learn how to begin our own art journal* with simple supplies. I will share plenty of ideas and approaches to begin filling your journals. We will create a journal spread.
All you need to bring to class is:

Blank journal that can handle water media: 90-140 lb paper
OR
Old book : thin spine, no larger than 9″ x 12″, no shiny, slick or glossy pages

*What is an Art Journal? It’s a place to record your thoughts, memories, and emotions through images, art and words.
Why do it? It is an easy way to use your creativity every day. It can be done with simple tools. It is portable, requiring very little space to do it. It can be used to document life, travels, plan you art, express your feelings, test out new art products and techniques. It can be personal – only for you, or you can share it with others.

$45.

GPMA Adult Art Classes: Now through July 2018 - Advanced Figure Drawing - Adult Art Classes at Grants Pass Museum of Art, Grants Pass, OregonAdvanced Figure Drawing
with Bobbi Baldwin
Friday, June 22nd &
Saturday, June 23rd
10:30 – 4

Bobbi returns by popular demand!

An in-depth study of how color theory applies to the human form. This class is designed for anyone who wants to learn more about how to draw the human form. It will also apply color theory to the way you draw the figure – including how shadow and light can make your work far better. You will leave with a stronger knowledge of how to apply light and shadow, keep them separated, and how to draw anyone in any position.

$150. Materials list will be sent to you.

GPMA Adult Art Classes: Now through July 2018 - How to Paint Waves - Adult Art Classes at Grants Pass Museum of Art, Grants Pass, OregonGPMA Adult Art Classes: Now through July 2018 - How to Paint Waves - Adult Art Classes at Grants Pass Museum of Art, Grants Pass, OregonGPMA Adult Art Classes: Now through July 2018 - How to Paint Waves - Adult Art Classes at Grants Pass Museum of Art, Grants Pass, OregonHow to Paint Waves
with Kristen O’Neill
Saturday, June 30th
1 – 4 pm

Learn how to paint convincing waves
Where it the light in the wave?
What colors make a convincing wave?
Learn about transparent vs opaque colors
Learn about the difference between Mineral Inorganic colors and Modern Organic colors – finally find out what all those crazy paint names are about!
Great color theory class that will apply to other subjects too!

$30. All materials included.

GPMA Adult Art Classes: Now through July 2018 - Vision Boards - Adult Art Classes at Grants Pass Museum of Art, Grants Pass, OregonVision Board
with Candy Rosenberg
Saturday, July 14th
10:30 – 4:30

Have you ever wanted to make a vision board?
A vision board is a powerful tool that helps you narrow down your desires through the power of manifestation. This tool helps you to invest the time and energy to visualize your future and consistently remind yourself of your life goals. This workshop is led by Candy Rosenberg of Soulworks. You will be not only be creating a vision board, you will be guided by a life coach to learn what you want in life and how to get it. We will provide everything you need, just bring your smile. This course is normally $125, so be sure to take advantage of this special workshop offering.

$55. All materials included.

Grants Pass Museum of Art | 229 SW G St, Grants Pass, OR 97528

Natural Painting Workshop in Italy!

NATURAL PAINTING & FRESCO WORKSHOP IN ITALY!

Natural Earth Paint founder and artist, Leah Fanning, will be teaching a Natural Painting & Fresco Workshop in a magical little village in Northern Italy in September!

Based in the foothills of the Dolomites, 30 minuntes from Venice, the workshop will be led by Leah and Alma Ortolan, Italian fresco artist in the ancient / natural techniques.

Lodging & studio will be in the historic and elegantly restored Palazzo Galleti and amazing home-cooked Italian meals will abound!

Find all the workshop details here….
http://www.artinnitaly.com/make-your-natural-paint.html

Spread the word, only 9 OPENINGS for this workshop!

Sunday, September 16th-23rd
10:00 AM – 04:00 PM

LOCATION:
Palazzo Galletti B&B Boutique Hotel
Via Roma, 70 -31029 Vittorio Veneto, TV – Italy

For more info, you can contact Leah Fanning at:
www.fanningart.com
[email protected]
541-890-6533

Hope to see you there!

Art Explorations: Fabric Painting Mini Workshop at Central Art

Art Explorations Mini Workshop Leather Painting with Angelus Paints Central Art Supply, Medford, Oregon

 

Art Explorations: Fabric Painting Mini Workshop

Wednesday, May 16th, 2018 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM

Fee: $10 per person

 

Explore the exciting realm of textile art! We will be using a variety of water-based paints on various fabrics. Come get hands-on, and be inspired to create something bold and uniquely you!

 

Supplies provided.

 

*Pre-registration required. Space is limited to 10 students total.

Call or stop in and sign up today!

541.773.1444

101 N. Central, Medford

Guild Hosts Conversation with with Acclaimed Artist & Educator, Jason Graham (Hip-Hop Name MOsley WOtta)

Oregon Humanities’ Conversation Project offers unique and exciting conversation at Southern Oregon Guild

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Community Conversation to Explore “What We Risk – Creativity, Vulnerability, and Art”

Snacks & Social 3:00 – 4:00 pm

Interactive Program 4:00 – 5:30

Made Possible by Oregon Humanities Conversation Project

Free Program

Donations Appreciated

Pre-registration Helpful Call 541-5019

Location: Guild Gallery & Art Center at RCC, Kerby 24353 Redwood Highway, Kerby, OR

www.southernoregonguild.org [email protected] with Acclaimed Artist & Educator, Jason Graham (Hip-Hop Name MOsley WOtta – check him out on TEDx)

 

Palette Knife Painting with Silvia Trujillo May 19, 2018

Last year’s palette knife class was such a huge success that I’m offering it again!

If you’ve never tried painting with a knife, it’s a whole new experience. Knife painting is very freeing – particularly for those of you who would like to loosen up a bit with your acrylic or oil paintings. You will achieve a richness of texture and color like no other. It’s a great way to explore your medium, expand your art language, and create something new, fresh, and different.

Saturday, May 19, 10:00 am–4:00 pm    

Silvia Trujillo teaches knife palette painting

Palette Knife Painting 
Acrylic/Oil
Discover the technique and secrets of applying paint directly onto canvas using a palette knife. With thorough instruction by Silvia Trujillo, you will develop skills that will enhance your work in value, design, and color harmony by adding luscious texture and rich color that will make your piece breathtaking.
MEMBERS $65, NON-MEMBERS $80

To register contact:

Rogue Gallery & Art Center
40 S. Bartlett Street
Medford, OR 97501
phone: 541-772-8118
website: www.roguegallery.org
Rogue Gallery & Art Center in downtown Medford Oregon promotes and provides for the study, development, exhibition, and appreciation of visual art. RGAC is a vital art hub in our community and offers regular exhibits and events, art classes and workshops for adults, teens, and kids. The Rogue Gallery and Art Center features the art work of artist members and offers membership and sponsorship opportunities.

Umpqua Plein Air 2018 at the Umpqua Arts Association in Roseburg, Oregon

Call to Artists for Umpqua Plein Air 2018

Umpqua Plein Air 2018 at the Umpqua Arts Association in Roseburg, Oregon
UVAA’s Umpqua Plein Air is a three-day annual painting event and competition for artists working en plein air. During the event, artists will capture Douglas County’s wild and stunning landscapes including the breathtaking, emerald waters of the North Umpqua River and the peaceful, golden hills at Doc Bailey’s Farm.

Cash prizes offered, along with 40 awards of distinction! Learn more here: http://uvarts.com/umpqua-plein-air/

 

The Fine Art of Painting Trees

In this video Stefan Baumann talks with his students about painting Trees. Inspiring Millions to paint outdoors This video is about Touch Move and Inspire.

Get a free Book at his website www.StefanBaumann.com.

The paintings of Stefan Baumann reveal the true spirit of nature by transporting the viewer to distant lands that have gone unseen and undisturbed. With the huge success of Baumann’s weekly PBS television series “The Grand View: America’s National Parks through the Eyes of an Artist,” millions of people witness for themselves the magic Stefan portrays on canvas, his passion for nature and the American landscape. By distilling his love of nature into a luminous painting of brilliant, saturated color that transcends conventional landscape and wildlife art, Baumann has captured the hearts and imaginations of a generation. Each painting becomes an experience rather than merely a picture – a vivid manifestation of his special and personal union with nature and the outdoor world. Through his mastery of light, color and artful composition, Baumann invites you to experience nature in its purity. It is no wonder that for many years distinguished American collectors, including former presidents and financial icons, have sought out his work.

The post The Fine Art of Painting Trees appeared first on Stefan Baumann – The Grand View: Paintings by Stefan Baumann.

Discover Creative Ways To Up-Cycle, Add Color & Pizzazz To Old Textiles!

Discover Creative Ways To Up-Cycle, Add Color & Pizzazz To Old Textiles!

Central
                                                          Art Logo

Art Explorations Mini Workshop

Leather Painting with Angelus Paints

Saturday, May 5th, 2018 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM

Fee: $10 per person

Explore an exciting new realm of textile art: painting on leather! We will be using Angelus Leather Paints and Alcohol Inks to paint 3″ leather coaster rounds and scrap pieces. Supplies provided.

Pre-registration required. Space is limited to 10 students total.

Call or stop in and sign up today!

541.773.1444 

101 N. Central, Medford

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Ashland Gallery Association May 2018 Spotlight Exhibits

Ashland Gallery Association May Spotlight Exhibits

Art & Soul Gallery

“Landmarks” – Oil paintings by Jenay Elder

Art sharpens our eyes to the world around us and tugs on our hearts. I have recently used a variety of techniques to create art. I often paint outdoors on the spot and I have started creating compositions in the studio based off plein air studies, photo references, sketches and notes. My motive is to depict different local landmarks and ideas that reflect my experience living in this inspiring area while attempting to convey something that is unseen. I am continually seeking out new experiences where I can form a philosophy to support my picture making while simultaneously honing my abilities and sensitivity. 

Please join us on May 4, 2018 from 5-8 PM at Art & Soul Gallery for a festive opening with Art, music, snacks and lively conversation.  Works will be exhibited through Sunday, May 27th.   For more information, please call Judy Richardson at 541-326-6960.

Image caption:  Jenay Elder, “Ashland Springs Hotel,” oil painting

Plein air painting of Ashland Springs Hotel, Ashland Oregon by artist Jenay Elder

Gallerie Karon  

Artist as Poet Part ll

Examples of poetry and artwork by our artists will be on display side by side.

Artists are not often thought of as poets but in fact often are. Our April exhibit features both sides and includes new additions for the May exhibit.

The participating artists include Ken Deveney, Todd Davis, Steve Dieffenbacher and Amy Miller to name a few. Steve Dieffenbacher will lend us some of his wonderful on site sketchbooks with poetic notations as well as photographs. Todd Davis will show his poems with his photography and Amy Miller has origami poetry boxes along with her books. We have poetry books year round at the gallery. Ken Deveney is a true Renaissance Man – painter, poet, photographer and music composer. 

Painter Marc Chagall once said, ” Art seems to me to be a state of Soul more than anything else”, which is a good example of his lyric writing. 

Image caption: Marc Chagall, painting

Marc Chagall, painting

Photographers’ Gallery

John Kirk – photography

Photographer, John Kirk’s new show, “Looking Back” opens at The Photographers’ Gallery At The Ashland Art Center Friday, April 6th during the 1st Friday Art Walk.  “Looking Back” is a retrospective of his favorite images from the past five years.

These images represent the painterly style he has developed and are some of his most popular photos.   John’s has numerous awards and his work is widely collected.

Image caption: John Kirk, “Take Me With You,” photograph

John Kirk, “Take Me With You,” photograph

Hanson Howard Gallery

Lewis Anderson, Marly Eidsness & James Hutchinson:  photography, sculpture and works on paper

Lewis AndersonMarly Eidsness and Jamie Hutchinson will be featured in May.  In this exhibit which includes photography, painting and metal sculpture each artist introduces us to new visions of the world through delicate and thoughtful fabrication and invention.  Join us for an artist reception on Friday, May 6th, 5-8 pm.  Show runs May 6th-29th.

Lewis Anderson accurately describes his art as being somewhere between photography and painting, somewhere between East and West, somewhere between contemporary and ancient. The images invite the viewer to explore quiet moments in diverse, invented landscapes full of light and shadow and symbology that emanate a strong sense of peace, solitude and mystery.

James Hutchinson‘s intuitive landscape’s are inspired by Chinese landscape work of the 10th-15th centuries. The compressed space and obsessive lines give the impression of topographic maps yet glimpses of sky and distant mountains brings you back to a sense of environment, though not one that is familiar. These landscapes have the feel of fantasy.

Marly Eidsness‘s wire mesh sculptures of birds assembled into shapes and poses we recognize as the majestic great blue heron or the mischievous raven. The birds appear shiny and reflective in direct light and in contrast, with back lighting, the layers and (intentionally) mysterious interiors of the birds are revealed.  As lighting changes throughout the day, the birds appear to change.

Image caption:  Marly Eidsness, “Problem Solver,” wire mesh

Marly Eidsness, “Problem Solver,” wire mesh