Sketchbook Thursday No.8

sketchbook066aMy sketchbooks are filled with hundreds of small black and white schematics. They might look to someone like Rorschach ink blot tests. But they are there for a reason.

Upon entering a gallery I immediately take a broad sweep of art to get a feel of what I am about to encounter. And no matter whether the art is representational, expressionistic, or abstract there is always something that catches my eye immediately. Why is that? Maybe it is a subject that doesn’t even resonant with me, yet I am captivated by it.

It usually is the underlying value structure of the painting that my eye is attracted to. When we are born our sight perception develops in an interesting way. We first recognize light and dark, we then see shapes, and lastly we see color. Artists can use this same progression to develop a successful work of art.

Try making compositional studies using two, three or four values to explore different arrangements of your subject matter. I find it more efficient to do a few value mass thumbnails first to explore the overall painting structure before going into too much elaborate composition planning. I think you will find that exciting shapes make the most interesting paintings. If you are faced with depicting reality or choosing interesting shapes, always choose the shape.

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3 Responses to “Sketchbook Thursday No.8”

  1. Marilyn Fenn Says:

    Thanks! Good post. Love your sketches too.

  2. Gary Keimig Says:

    Love those water scenes. I have just kinda shifted from skies to water myself.
    Great sketches.

    • Marianne Post Says:

      Thanks, Gary! I visited your blog and can relate to your sky and water paintings. Perhaps because it is over 100* in my neck of the woods, water has a particular attraction to me this time of year!

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