Sunday, February 3, 2008

Graphite Sketch - February. Already!?

Another month has passed. I learned many things in January. I think the most important thing I learned was..."Think before you Paint". Seems simple, but I know I don't do it enough. Or at least, I don't think about all the things I should. Value studies, color studies, planning composition...all get forgotten and I just jump in flinging.
So! February will be Learning to Think month.
Myrna's challenge this month is a little less structured than last month. I am to pick a subject, choose a technique to work on, pick one design element to work on, and add one more design element per painting to emphasize.
So I have purchased some lovely fruit, taken about 3 dozen pictures of it. And that is my subject for the month.
I am going to work on the same technique as Myrna - Wet in Wet. I use it in small areas, but would like to learn what it can really do in a painting. Many of the artists I admire use it to great advantage, so I'm going to give it a shot.
The design element I am going to work on is value. I don't pay nearly enough attention to value in my paintings. I never do value studies, and I do not really know how to plan the values so they enhance a painting. So that's what I'll be working on this month - The Values of Wet Fruit!

Here is the first picture I'll be painting from, along with the first sketch. I assume that as I work on seeing the varying values in a picture, I'll eventually better understand how to use them in my paintings. Any tips and critiques you can give are more than welcome!

I have some lovely pictures of these pears, plus some with wonderful dark purple plums, and a mango. But, I'll just start with the pears, and see how it goes.
Not much else going on around here. Had a house full of kids this weekend (nieces and nephews). They are great kids, and I love them all to pieces, but boy oh boy, I do enjoy the quiet when they go home!! Lovely.

Okay. Off to do some 'sketches' of fruit. See where it takes me.

Drop me a line...tell me a story!


doudy said...

Hi, I am a beginner in watercolors....I am often searching for Watercolors here I am I love your Blog, the pears sketch is great I love the shapes, I'll be visiting you often to take peaks :)

Tracy Wandling said...

Well thanks very much! If there is anything I can do to help you in your search for information, just ask! I'll check your blog out tonight after work.

Joan said...

This looks like a good focus for February and a good project to start you off. I like the first sketch and will be back to see the others. I'm also going to go over to Myrna's blog to check this out. I saw her in the article in the Artist's Magazine. Did you see it?

Tracy Wandling said...

Hi Joan - Thanks. I think having a particular project to focus on helps me alot. I haven't seen the Artists Mag yet...I only have the Watercolor Artist one. I'll have to go buy it tomorrow!

W. K. Moore said...

Excellent renderings tracy! Composition is simple and weighs in with strength and substance.

Myrna Wacknov said...

Good project! An easy way to see values is to lose the color either in a computer program like Photoshop Elements or just making a b/w on a copy machine. If you have Elements but don't know how to use it, contact me and I'll talk you through it.

Tracy Wandling said...

Thanks WK - I've been concentrating so much on learning to paint, I'd forgotten how much I love drawing!

Thanks Myrna - Oh yeah! Forgot about that trick. (Not a problem with the's what I do.)

laura said...

Hi Tracy. Great challenge: can't wait to see what you do with it. What an excellent way to try out different techniques--I am another jumper-inner, which means I resort to the same old techniques, no matter what the subject. Value is also a weak point for me. One thing I learned in life drawing, is that value is easier to see and exaggerate if you start out with strong, directional lighting on your subject. Look forward to seeing what you do!

Tracy Wandling said...

Hi Laura - Yes, the lighting thing is important...I'll have to remember to remember that...
Join in the challenge...we'll cheer each other on!