Today's sketches…

Author: gwendoline  |  Category: Sketching

These sketches are what I did today.  Each one took me about 40 minutes (2 poses). 

Tip: How to check your tonal values….

Author: gwendoline  |  Category: Concepts, Oil Painting, Pastel Painting, Sketching, Watercolour


To check your tonal values, take a photograph of your artwork and scan it into the computer as a black & white image.  If your tonal values are rendered correctly, the artwork should look good.   If you have not succeeded with your tonal values, it will look flat and have too many similar greys. 

I have posted two small watercolours (Thailand, Koh Samui) which have been scanned into black and white.  The tonal values are reading correctly with form.   Try yours and let me know how it goes.

Cheers Gwendoline

Take a look at your 'edges' and consistency of marks.

Author: gwendoline  |  Category: Concepts, Oil Painting, Pastel Painting

The last task you should do to your painting is check your edges on every part.  At the beginning of a work, keep the edges soft.  It is easy to sharpen an edge, but very difficult to soften one later in its progress.  A continuous edge should be portrayed softly;  a hard edge should be reserved for around the focal point and also when an edge is a finishing edge – ie. edge of a building. 

When painting flesh, try this:   outline the figure in a deep warm red (this could be alizarin and light red with a touch of ultramarine blue), keep this line reasonably dry and thin.  Then paint the flesh colour up to the edge of the line, leaving only a slight hint of it.  This will give the look of a turning edge and add depth to your figure.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     OR:   On the horizon of a river, paint your lightest light, this will give the effect of the river disappearing into the distance.

Edges suggest distances, even if they are short distances.    Examples:     A vase of flowers…….the cameo flowers in the foreground would have sharper edges than those flowers painted behind them.    Grass in the distance will not have any sharp definition, but a clump in the foreground may. 

Edges can also suggest mood:  Example:   A misty seascape……where the line between the sky and the sea meet on the horizon may be totally lost in fog or mist.  The distant ships may be fuzzy, whereas a boat in the foreground may be sharper.

Lost  or broken edges allow your audience to participate in your work.  By saying less, it allows your viewers to connect  and create in their mind, what you have only suggested.  On finishing your painting, look to see where you could say less and simplify.

Whatever type of marks and softening you use, they should be echoed throughout the painting.   If you soften an area, say in the clouds with a finger,  do this elsewhere in other parts of the painting.   If you use one type of mark in one area, and marks with a quite different character in another area, you will destroy the harmony of the surface texture and your technique will look inconsistent.  The same goes for brushwork or direction of pastel marks.  The key is always to be consistent.

Today's Sketches

Author: gwendoline  |  Category: Sketching
Pencil Sketch