After yesterday’s rather glum conclusion it was back to basics again today. I was having a lot of trouble with pretty much everything. The values were either too different or too similar. The colors were not cohesive. The brushstrokes were too heavy handed. The only thing that really held up was the drawing which is one less thing to worry about I suppose.
So what to do? After spending an hour last evening riffling through pinterest I went back to one of the masters - Joseph Zbukvic. His style is deceptive. It looks like he just dashes things off but that masks a mastery of drawing, composition and above all value. Copying one of his paintings is not for the fainthearted but I was ready and had a plan.
- Do a preliminary thumbnail sketch and work out the big shapes and values.
- Draw carefully but not too rigidly detailed. Make sure all the shapes work - especially the negative ones.
- Work out the large shapes ahead of time and what values they are.
* Lightest = sky
* 2nd = sunlit portions of the buildings.
* 3rd = shadow portions of buildings and parts of the cars
* 4th = foreground
* 5th = cars and middle portion of the picture
* 6th and darkest = foreground buildings at the sides and the poles/wires.
Phew - that turned into quite a lot of values. Was only really planning on 3 or 4.
- Keep the values fairly close. No stark changes and keep the highest contrast in the middle area of the painting.
- Keep an eye on color. Use a restricted palette (ultramarine, perylene maroon, yellow ochre).
- Don’t rush!!! Simplification doesn’t mean slapping the paint around willy nilly.
And here’s the original I was using to paint from :