Farm Road: #31

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…

  1. Don’t over work anything.
  2. Save my whites.
  3. Watch values
  4. Distant objects should have less detail, and be more blue.
  5. Near objects should be warmer, but only add enough detail for interest.
  6. The focal point should draw the eye somewhere.
  7. A figure is going to take focus. Period.
  8. Contrasting shapes will take focus after figures.
  9. Contrasting values take focus next.
  10. Contrasting textures take focus last.
  11. Don’t be sloppy with masking fluid. No masking fluid is better than sloppy masking fluid.
  12. Compliments muddy the pigment, but are useful for natural neutrals.
  13. Paint the illusion of the object, not the object itself.
  14. 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.
  15. Shadows aren’t black. They are purple, or grey, or the complimentary color if you want to add interest.
  16. Dry brush strokes should never be glazed.
  17. 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.
  18. Paint value shapes in trees. Not each individual leaf.
  19. Watch the water content on the paper, beware of the danger zone.
  20. Pigment absorbs differently in fresh paper than on paper with a dried pigment.
  21. Masking fluid must be applied to bone dry paper.
  22. Masking fluid must be removed from bone dry paper.
  23. There are three ways to mix a color, on the palette, on the brush, and on the paper. Take advantage of all three.
  24. Perspective is incredibly important.
  25. Sketch like your life depends on it. Then paint like the sketch doesn’t matter.
  26. Watercolor is like a cat, pet it too much and it’ll hiss and claw out your eyes.
  27. Simplify the painting.
  28. Work with a limited palette for more consistent tones.
  29. Middle tones are boring. Use that to help focus the eye.
  30. Don’t paint clouds directly, lift them from the sky.
  31. Nothing is more important than light.

Dammit – his suspenders are on backwards. Ha!


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