Monday, February 4, 2008
"Las Sombras del Ranchito"
"Las Sombras del Ranchito", 14' x 18" oil on linen, 2008
I am happy with the way this painting turned out. My method is not always the same with each painting. An artist should be like "Felix The Cat" and have many options in their "Bag of Tricks". That way, the process does not become too much of a formula.
In this painting, I wanted to get a lot of color into the shadows without breaking up the strong pattern of light and shade. I decided to start with one basic value for all of the shadows with lots of color changes not value changes. There is a lot of reflected light bouncing around in this scene. That made this part even more fun. I linked everything in the shadow into an interesting pattern taking care not to vary the values too much just yet. I did not paint any light colors until I was content with this step.
Sombras, by the way is Spanish for shadows.
Step One - Shadow Pattern
Below is the step one photo turned into black and white in Photoshop to show how there is pretty much just one value at this point. The only darker value is in the trees to the left, which I chose as my darkest shadow to judge the rest of my values against.
I checked the values in black and white as I was posting this, but you could take a picture of your painting along the way and try this to check your values. There are a few strays, but most of the values fall into a very limited range.
The next step was to add the color into the light areas. Again, I did not want too much variation in the values. I also did not put as much color variety into the lights. I wanted the shadow color to remain the focus.
Adusting the colors and values of both the light and shadow, I added some highlights and dark accents. This unified the painting a bit and made certain areas "read" better.
When I felt like I was thinking about the details too much I stopped.
Step One - Black and White