Wednesday, February 25, 2009

demo block in

This is a demo that I did for the class this morning. I wanted to show how I would block in the main value masses quickly to get the design down before the shadows shift too much. The photo below is the scene a few minutes before I started. You can see how the line of sun on the ground in from of the chapel is still there. By the time I started blocking in, the sun had moved toward me, making the shadow from the tree move a bit. I like it better as a more solid shape.
I probably spent an hour doing this demo while talking and explaining what I was doing and taking a quick break.
It is important to block in all of the light and shadow before the light shifts. If you wait and tackle it one piece at a time the shadows will be inconsistent throughout the painting.

Frank Gardner © 2009

Frank Gardner © 2009

I'll post more about the class as I have time.


Art with Liz said...

Thank you for sharing this with us.

Raquele said...

Great filtering of details to get to the nitty gritty of the scene, lucky group you have there seeing this demo live. I don't care if I gotta put a motor and wheels on my french easel, I'm going next year!

Billy Guffey said...

That's a nice demo Frank. And the reminder to block in light and shadow, although a basic necessity when painting in plein air, is a good one. When I get excited and forget that, it usually ends up in the burn pile.

Dean H. said...

Beautiful block in, Frank. My eye always migrates to those great shadows-gorgeous purple-lavender color!

Daniel Corey said...

just for the record, the Raquele post was from me, Dan

Anonymous said...

Interesting blocking in demo Hmmm light and dark tones first, good rule

Leslie Saeta said...

Lovely painting and great demo about blocking in light and shadows. I want to take one of your workshops! You are amazing!

Marian Fortunati said...

This is so good to see. I love those shadow shapes.

I cannot wait to see you do it in person!! ..

brian eppley said...

beautiful block in! Particularly the top of the highest tower. It really shows height with lighter value. Don't think this needs much more Frank.

Solvay said...

Oh, I love the fresh morning light - the bold blue sky of a fresh day, the warm beaming light that overtakes the damp black darkness of night, and the clarity of everything. Maybe it's only blocked-in, but I like it the way it is!!!

Frank Gardner said...

Hi Liz, you are very welcome.

Raquele, I mean Dan. Glad you noticed how much I actually filtered out. That's why I wanted to include the photo too.
That will be a funny site, you riding the french easel.

Hi Bill, thanks. Yeah, catching the drawing of the shadow before the light moves is key.

Thanks Dean, all those colors were really bouncing around in there. The big shadow shape and all the variety of color in there was what I was trying to show.

Hi Carolann. Actually, it was block in the shadow shape first. By doing that you automatically show where the light is anyway. But I was going for marking all of the shadow before it changed.

Hi Leslie, thanks a lot. It will probably be next year before I do another. Your welcome to sign up for the mailing list though.

Hi Marian, glad you like it since you will be going there in about a week.

Thanks Brian. Glad you like the little details like that. Yeah. It is as is, I will not touch it.

Hi Sloveg. Thanks! You always have a special way with words.

Unknown said...

Valuable post for what it teaches. Thank you. I notice your tags mention palette. Do you have a standard palette that you use all of the time or do you vary it? I'm particularly taken by the blues you render. Love the work that you post.

Frank Gardner said...

Hi Mick.
I use a standard limited palette. Sometimes I substitute one here or there or leave a few out. The basic set up is:
French Ultramarine Blue
Phthalo Blue
Alizarine Crimson
Cadmium Red
Cadmium Yellow
Cadmium Lemon
Titanium White

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Anonymous said...

You really nailed the essence of this scene.
Your neutrals are lively and your brights are bold and so well seen.

I love the way you squeeze so much out of a limited palette that is only limited in terms of numbers of tubes and not by vision or skillful interpretation.

Sometimes I find I over serve myself at the Titanium White bar and everything looks too pasty.
It's then a game of follow the values and get lost in the maze.

Very lucky students.... I'm viridian with envy Frank.

Solvay said...

Bonnie's comment: "I overserve myself at the Titanium White bar." Sounds like a hip spot in the Village, where menu items are organized by color not course.
Frank, do I have permission to give out points here on your viridian turf? If so, 10.0 to Bonnie.

S said...

Thanks for sharing. Very valueable information.

Melinda said...

Thank you, Frank, for sharing the demo with photo. This is very helpful.

You really do make it look easy!

Looking forward to more of the class studies.

Jennifer McChristian said...

Fantastic demo!
Beautiful colors and wonderful depiction of 'light'

Candy Barr said...

Hey Frank... great to see the photo of location of demo. I'm starting to see the benefits of plein air with limited palette too. It's tough to not grab some other colors still for me. Afraid I'll miss out, but so much easier harmony range.

Becky Joy said...

Frank, Your light in your paintings is fantastic. Great use of color and loose brushwork and edges. I love it.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Very interesting! I HAVE to start taking some art classes very soon. *sigh*


Anonymous said...

Pas mal du tout

Unknown said...

Your colour combinations take my breath away. At this stage it looks a bit like Hopper or Porter.

Frank Gardner said...

Hi Goldensparks, thanks for visiting.

Bonnie, I can't believe that I let your comment about over serving yourself at the Titanium White Bar slip by. Distracted I suppose. That is hilarious. Not over serving yourself of course, but referring to it as that.

Hey Solveg, you've got that right.

Hi Bill. you're welcome indeed.

Glad you liked it Melinda.

Thanks very much Jennifer. You paint the light so well, so that means even more coming from you.

Hi Candy, yes, the limited palette keeps everything pretty harmonious and I am less likely to get out right useless mud.

Thanks Becky.

Yes Paz, get painting. It is a lot like cooking.

Thanks BC I wish I could answer back in French.
I think I figured out what you said though.

Thanks Eric!

Man, I am sorry that all of these comments got shoved aside without a response for so long. I guess I was busy with the workshop and they got far down the line on my in box.