Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Block This!

Whether outdoors or in, starting a painting begins with the "blocking in" process. Simply outline the shapes to get your composition (usually a drawing process with a small round brush). Then you can paint in large areas of tone (value) and simple color to finish this initial blocking in stage. From this foundation, you can start to detail or polish your painting to a point where you say, "Looks good! I'm done." Never do you want to start with a lot of fine detail with all the time committed to it. You most likely will end up with a poor composition and a reluctance to "erase" what you have done, considering all the time and effort put into it! Blocking in is relatively fast, and if your composition heads south, it's no biggie to start over. Never settle for less when you can get more by blocking! Here is an easel shot of my blocking in stage. Yes, I worked from a photo I took early in the morning of a U.S. Postal worker taking five and reading the sports page. Loved his left leg on the dash board the the sun piercing through the paper. The second photo is the completed polished painting. Sometimes I take a break from plein air, especially when it's raining...nowhatta I mean?!

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