Friday, February 19, 2010

Creating Shadows and Reflections in Landscapes Part 10 of 11 with Andy Braitman

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Now this is the stuff that everybody sees, all the shadow work, but it's all the layout before that makes this work. All I'm doing now is focusing our attention at certain areas that let us not see all the other stuff.

I'd like to get a shadow from this tree to come down this bank and carve that. I may just take my knife and make sure I don't have too much wet paint there.

I'm going to have that shadow come down and help contour that land. I'm going to work here to have this trunk work and probably do the same thing over here. Get this area really interesting.

This may be sufficient information to hold the rest of that painting together. That's what I'm hoping so I'm going to try to do that now.

That means getting a nice cool shadow, a dark cool shadow, down across this edge. Remember, that the tailing edge is more important so I'm going to make that crisp and the front edge I'm going to break up with some grass.

I want each of these trees to hug the ground a little bit so I'm going to have some sunlight come in and spill up the trunk this way. Just see if that's going to work.

Still a little wet, this might not be the final go round on this painting but it gives us a good idea and gets us closer.

At this point I'm using a lot of paint and little strokes. I want to draw attention to the sunlit side of this tree. That shadow is a little sharp so I'll play with it a bit. Now I'm happy with it.

Then I'll come over here and work around that tree which means a much smaller brush and some pretty color in there for the water.

Take the water right up behind that tree. If we're going to do that we need to make that tree a little darker so we can see it.

We're getting that water to come back behind the tree and show the land mass in front. Then make the tree hug the ground.

The reason I'm working so hard on this is this is going to be, I hope, sufficient to hold the whole painting. So I'm working hard to get enough contrast in these areas to focus our eye and keep us off the rest of it.

This make take another layer so I'm just going to drop in some dark right now and that means I'm going to go against this shape.

So at this point I'm just going to real lightly give myself a nice horizontal dark. Just enough to really make it so we can see it from across the room.

That means this tapers down pretty abruptly. I'm not going to finish that, I know where it will go, but right now I'm not going to finish it. I'm going to put a little green along the shore line.

The trick is not to draw because that's always problematic. If I set it up right I know what color goes in this area and I should be able to just put that color down.

I've got a warmer color here, cooler color there and a much cooler color there. I can start putting that reflection in the water.

This is where it's fun to keep going back and forth. You can't be in a hurry, this should take a little time.

As still a body of water as this is, I'm either going to be working horizontally or vertically right now. I'm not going to do too much angle, I just want to get this to lay in and be attractive.

I'm running out of stuff to say because at this point I'm just really looking. I'm just trying to make that a nice soft transition, I want this to be pretty. I want to have some transition here from the purple to the ground.

Then as it gets a little hard to distinguish I'll come back with that mixed black again and the tip of this big brush and just drop in and reinforce where that land mass ends and where the water begins.

It's amazing what that little dark will do for our brain to have it be comfortable with what's happening. In almost every case that should be a series of really stong horizontal pops rather than any angled pops.

That's just going to reinforce where those rocks are and the base of the ground. See how that just anchors the piece. It's really cool how this works.

It's just a rhythm that you're going to notice. You should just spend a lot of time out on the water looking back at the land so you can have some references for this.

Again, this is not the finished piece but it's close enough to get to the point where I should be getting some pretty high contrast in. I'm trying to get enough to make this interesting. And that's going to have to dry for me to work across that edge.