There are 31 days in some months, so I figured I’d go for one more.
I tried to keep an eye on all the lessons I have learned. It’s not a complete success, but I am happy with this painting.
I added the birds at the very end – and then the Pterodactyls came back.
Here are the biggest lessons, let’s pretend like I learned one lesson every day…
- Don’t over work anything.
- Save my whites.
- Watch values
- Distant objects should have less detail, and be more blue.
- Near objects should be warmer, but only add enough detail for interest.
- The focal point should draw the eye somewhere.
- A figure is going to take focus. Period.
- Contrasting shapes will take focus after figures.
- Contrasting values take focus next.
- Contrasting textures take focus last.
- Don’t be sloppy with masking fluid. No masking fluid is better than sloppy masking fluid.
- Compliments muddy the pigment, but are useful for natural neutrals.
- Paint the illusion of the object, not the object itself.
- A figure is seven and a half heads high, with the genitals at the bottom of the fourth head, and the hands ending at the fifth head.
- Shadows aren’t black. They are purple, or grey, or the complimentary color if you want to add interest.
- Dry brush strokes should never be glazed.
- A figure’s center of gravity is always on a leg, unless the figure is moving, in which case the center of gravity is at the next step, the figure should be falling into the center of gravity.
- Paint value shapes in trees. Not each individual leaf.
- Watch the water content on the paper, beware of the danger zone.
- Pigment absorbs differently in fresh paper than on paper with a dried pigment.
- Masking fluid must be applied to bone dry paper.
- Masking fluid must be removed from bone dry paper.
- There are three ways to mix a color, on the palette, on the brush, and on the paper. Take advantage of all three.
- Perspective is incredibly important.
- Sketch like your life depends on it. Then paint like the sketch doesn’t matter.
- Watercolor is like a cat, pet it too much and it’ll hiss and claw out your eyes.
- Simplify the painting.
- Work with a limited palette for more consistent tones.
- Middle tones are boring. Use that to help focus the eye.
- Don’t paint clouds directly, lift them from the sky.
- Nothing is more important than light.
Dammit – his suspenders are on backwards. Ha!