Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Good Design is the blueprint for success!

Lately, I've had lots of emails and requests from students needing help with good design. They say that they have a good handle on texture and color, but they don't know how to finish their paintings.  I believe that good design has to be established BEFORE starting a painting.  It's like the foundation of a house.  A strong structure to support the house. 

Here's a great Design Exercise that will help you get started:  Using mat corners, crop into a photograph to about 2" x 2", until you like the abstract shapes.  (You can also cut out L shaped papers and use them for the mat corners.). The thing that you look for is high contrast and big simple shapes, in looking for the cropped room photo.  Below is the line drawing I did based on the cropped photo.   I like either the lights or darks to connect.  Turn your sketch all 4 ways to make sure that it is balanced.  Do a value study, using only a mid tone and the white of the paper.  This will force you to simplify the study.  I add the darkest darks within the shaded mid tone later on. 

I like to use a continuous line that is the shapes of the dark shapes in this photo.  Now that you have the line drawing, try coloring in the center section as pictured below on the left.  OR.... you could shade in the corners, leaving a light shape that connects the viewer to all 4 sides. (See on the lower right.)   Notice that this practice gives you limited shapes. I count 6 in all!  You will know that you have a good design if all the corners are different sizes and there is good repetition and variation.  I hope this clears up some of the design questions.  I find it so different that the left and the right ones are from the same drawing shown above.

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