Saturday, February 16, 2013

Rose O'Sharon

Diane Mannion, 34 Rose O'Sharon, 8x10" o/c

 Valuable Value Lesson and the VALUE OF DRAWING

Another demo started in class... and from a photo I took a few years ago in Aiken, SC.  And yes, (oh, horrors, we used photo reference).   The lesson for my class was to get students to "see" values.  Values (darks and lights, for those of you from Ohio)... values and drawing skills are the most difficult things for students to grasp!!!  

Short, but vital nag session:
If only aspiring artists would spend some time drawing with pencil and paper, iPad, charcoal, brush on canvas, sticks in mud, whatever... they'd be miles ahead in their painting ability.  Some students think they can learn to paint but don't know how to draw.  I've been drawing since five years old so it's almost second nature, but at whatever age or skill level, draw, draw, draw.  Draw people, still lifes, landscapes, animals, whatever.  But learn how to DRAW.  Nobody can teach you how to draw but yourself.  And the only way to do that is to draw!  Hope I don't sound like I'm losing patience with my students, but!?!!!?

 Now back to values...  If the artist can learn to SEE, to really look at stuff, they will notice that some things are darker or lighter than other things.  Squinting helps to see this!  A light thing will show up nicely with a dark background, like the main flower in the above painting.  To make it simple, think light, dark, and middle value... saving your darkest dark and lightest lights for accents.  That makes only five value shades to worry about.  The icing on the cake, those finishing darkest darks and lightest lights make the painting pop and sparkle.  So how easy is that?  Instead of looking at the usual 10 count value keys, simplify instead.  Paint your darks, lights, middle values... then add the vibrancy of your darkest darks and lightest lights as accents.  Hope this helps.


Karen Johnston Daily Paintings said...

Agree with all you say Diane...I have always told my students the same! I feel like Polly the parrot repeating myself, but it is the most important part before painting!! I still have to keep that foremost in my mind as well!

Diane Mannion said...

You're right, Karen... it's like practicing a musical instrument, or working out if you're a dancer or athlete, drawing and "seeing" is a constant learning drill (or joy if you love what you do). Sometimes, I walk around the classroom and wish I could just press replay... "round that form, cylinders don't have points on the bottom, soften those edges, and line up this with that."

Maria Bennett Hock said...

totally agree!!! I spend almost every evening sketching everything around me and also sketch from some wonderful resource books I have. It has helped my painting immensely.

Your work is absolutely beautiful!

Diane Mannion said...

Thank you, Maria! Drawing is the bones of art, the roadmap, composition, and music. Even an abstract artist has to have a sense of seeing and design, of judging darks and lights, and seeing warm and cool colors. I know you understand this, I love looking at your painting explorations and seeing your results.