I'm still trying to 'get it'. Block in the shapes. How hard can that be right? The other day I found a step by step from American Artist Magazine. Frank Serrano gave directions, step by step, on how to start a painting. The name of the article was "Paint En Plein Air: Beginner Landscape Oil-Paintnig Techniques From Frank Serrano". Wow, I thought, maybe this is just what I need. I have never really done a step by step and looking at his painting and the steps along the way, he made it look as if it was something I could complete ... and get right. Maybe I would finally 'get it' after all.
The above photo is Frank's (Frank Serrano) finished painting. What my painting would look like when I completed all of his steps in the article. ....( yea, right ). I had my canvas, a small 4" x 6 " I thought small would be best and let me finish faster. I've got to stop that. Small isn't necessarily better, in my case anyway.
I was very impressed with his instructions, his step by step. He was very thorough, even telling what colors he mixed to make the different painted passages. I'm thinking "how could I miss" with all the details he was giving. Soooo, when I got to the end of the article, the above photo is what I had accomplished. I was so disappointed. It looked horrible, it wasn't any better than I'd done before. Being frustrated I grabbed a Kevin MacPherson book and headed to the recliner to once again read about the process of painting. Ah haa.... there it was, I wasn't finished .... I just had the basic shapes down. Now was the time to go into the larger shapes and put down smaller shapes. I've never done that before! I've read about it and thought about it prior to picking up a brush, but now I went back to my painting and start to put down the smaller shapes.
The above picture is after I went back in and put in more shapes. Yippee, I think I'm finally getting it. No, I'm not mistaken by thinking this is a great painting ... Its great because I finally understand and have done what I'm suppose to. Big shapes, then add the smaller shapes after all the large shapes are down! Frank had said that, but I just hadn't read it that way.
I really appreciated the step by step as it made me finally realize about the blocking in of the large shape process. But, if I were to change anything about the article it would be that I could have seen a reference photo of the area and not just attempt to 'copy' Franks painting with out knowing 'why'.
There is still one more step by step he offered in the download and I'm thinking I'll give it a try also. Who knows maybe I really do finally understand.