June 17, 2015


Four elements of art….shape, value,  color and edges…..everything seems to fall within those perimeters.  When I first start thinking about doing a painting, I will first focus on shapes and how they fit within the boundaries my canvas has set for me.  What will this composition look like?  How will it hold the viewers eye  Are there any lines that fall off the edges of the canvas.  This is the time to answer all of our compositional questions as it is very difficult to change your direction in mid stream

This is the time to set up your center of interest as well.  All lines and shapes should lead to your center of interest.  So shapes can be an important element to start with.

Brand New

Brand New

There are shapes within shapes.  Say for instance you have brushed in the silhouette of a saguaro.  In order for that saguaro to look realistic, you will have to decide where the dark, mid tones and highlighted shapes of that saguaro will be placed.  Each piece of value and/or color is a shape of it’s own.  There relationship to one another will be like pieces of a puzzle coming together to form the total picture.

One good way of seeing all these shapes, particularly shapes with shapes is to squint your eyes.  I always laugh to think of the struggles I go thru to prevent wrinkles, and then turn around and tell you how important it is to squint.  Of well, life is full of contradictions.  Squinting for an artist is a good thing  Learn to squint?  It will somewhat blur your subject and give you the answers that you’re looking for.