Monday, December 15, 2008

Painting a landscape in acrylics - part 1

This is a painting of the small village of Alcaufar, one of the places we visit in Menorca on Inspiration Holidays.

Initially, I do some quick compositional sketches in either pencil or charcoal. I am looking at the main masses, at the rhythms and lines running through the painting and how this all relates to the picture frame. I check for the Golden section (or Rule of Thirds) and patterns of light and shade. I find it invaluable to do all this preliminary work, to think about what I am painting and why, rather just sitting down and hoping for the best! On the Holiday, I encourage students to get into this way of working.
Moving on to the painting, I quickly establish the main masses of the composition. I do not do any preliminary drawing with pencil or charcoal, but go straight in with the brush. I am working in acrylics, but at this stage the paint is very fluid, almost like a watercolour.

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