Painting Shapes and Light

This is a photo I took while scouting out some rock formations in the California Sierra Nevada’s. I loved the way the light was hitting the rocks and that one small tree. I then cropped the image to the composition I liked and opened it up in Photoshop. By using the artistic filter option cutout and eliminating the color the result was large shapes of just 4 values.  By doing my homework up front, checking my composition, values and shapes confirmed my idea of the painting I wanted to create.

With oils as with pastels you work from dark to light so you can never go too dark. Many beginner painters paint too light of values for the shadows and then end up re painting them.  This can cause yet another problem of having to make sure your other passages look right. Meaning once you change one area then the area next to it might not read right.  The back and forth can cause a unwanted frustration pattern. Best to start off darker in the beginning you can always add lighter values of the same color to lighten up a passage.

So the next time I look at a scene, I’m going to be concentrating on just large shapes, shadows and the light.

The original finished painting, 3 different views of how to look at values and shapes.

The Gathering- 11×14
artistic lesson
Notan black and white
Original photo
Original Photo
Values and shapes
Simple Values