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CAFE - Group watch of Barbara Jaenicke video (Composition)

  • Tuesday, February 20, 2018
  • 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
  • MAL Studio


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Jan Pini and Anne Trimble will share the four-part video they bought showing the pastel landscape painter Barbara Jaenicke's technique (although this is not necessarily a pastel class). $3 studio fee. After watching the session video, we will do recommended exercises for each session (details for this session below).

2/20 - Composition
2/27 - Color Harmony
3/13 - Color Temperature
3/21 - Edges and Editing

Composition Exercise (see below for supplies):

Select several of your own reference photos. Squint at them and see which ones can be divided into about five specific large and small shapes. Keep in mind, the best composition may simply be a section of your original photo. 

As you squint to reduce it to five shapes, remember you can connect similar-value shapes even if they’re completely different landscape elements. Choose one photo that reduces down to the most eye-appealing five shapes and, if you have the capability, crop it to the best composition on your computer and print it out to approximately a 3” x 4” size. 

On a small piece of tracing paper,* draw out a border for a thumbnail sketch that’s proportional to your chosen painting size. A thumbnail size of 3” x 4” will be pretty close for most standard painting sizes, but there are variations. (For example, 3” x 3 ¾” is proportional to 11” x 14” and 3” x 4” is proportional to 9” x 12.”) Mark your centers on each side and place the tracing paper border over the photo. 

Draw in the contours of your five shapes, placing a shape and shifting as necessary, making sure to have a variety of large and small shapes. Reference your center marks to be sure nothing gets trapped in the center. Place the shapes first that are already in an ideal spot. Then shift the tracing paper to place the other shapes that may need to be shifted or reduced/enlarged to stay clear of dead center, and to create the most appealing arrangement of those five large and small abstract shapes. Then add the value structure so that you have a variety of dark, medium and light values. 

Values should be indicated with flat shading, or when necessary, slight gradation. No form or detail should be indicated in the thumbnail sketch. Try this with several other reference photos to see which ones provide you with the best abstract designs that could serve as a strong foundation for a landscape composition.

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