Saturday, June 18, 2011

Still learning

Back in March I told you I was working through Charles Sovek's book,  Oil  Painting Develop Your Natural Ability.  I am finally getting back to where I left off at that time.  About 3 weeks ago I started on Exercise #16 and promptly got buried with a number of other things and couldn't finish this easy (?)  exercise.  In his book he suggest working outdoors where you have direct sunlight striking your object.  At that time it was raining here and the sun was only a memory.  Instead I pick a photo that I had showing light and shadow very well after I put it in Photoshop and turned it into a black and white.

Click to enlarge this group of photos
The photo I chose was a street scene, plenty of light and shadow.  I was to lay in opaque passages of blue for the shadows and cad orange and white for the lights.  That was when I got interrupted and didn't get back to it until now.  I did keep thinking about this when I was off doing other things and told myself "remember, big shapes", then "remember little shapes.  You know, after the painted in the big shapes, I became frozen... "what now?"....  deep breath ...  "this isn't rocket science but canvas and paint ... if you mess up its nothing serious, move on."  So I did, I kept working, not thinking of how the finished painting would look, only of shapes.  Keeping the sunlit areas warm, the shadow area cool.
I'm finished with this one but think I need to attempt this exercise again when I can do it all in one sitting.   The title of this exercise is "Using full color to show the various home values of objects within the light and shadow patterns of a composition."  I will attempt this one sometime when I can be outside and see the colors better and not just the muted shapes in a photograph.

On to exercise #17.


  1. well, even though you say you aren't happy with it, it looks plenty Sovek-y to me, and I think you did a fine job of painting light..(especially from a photograph). Good work! I'll be watching for the next lesson.

  2. Thanks Celeste. What I do like is that I found sun in my photo and left if sunny. Also that I can tell that it's suppose to be shade. I find his instructions confusing sometimes and that makes me wonder if I did the assignment correctly. I'm thinking this will as come to me as I progress. I can't wait to attempt this outside on a sunny day. Thanks for your encouragement.

  3. Nancy,What a wonderful exercise. I feel the light of the day and the deep shadows. It is fresh and spontaneous looking. Can not wait to see your plein air painting using the tips you just achieved.