Monday, September 17, 2007
Secrets from the Playbook 9/17/2007
This Week's Tip: Grease the Squeaky Wheel
Do you have a time of day when you are not as productive as other times? Find a way to "grease the track" for yourself during that time. For instance, I am very slow in the morning. I usually don't speak for an hour. My thinking is on "ultra-slow", it just takes me a long time to warm up all the cylinders. So, I try and make it as easy on everyone as it can be. I set up the coffee pot the night before, set the table for breakfast, make the lunches, lay out the clothes etc. It makes the night a little longer, but it enables me to just slide through the morning until I am awake enough to deal with things!
Above you see a painting I did of the Gawler Ranges in Australia at sunrise. The reference photo was taken by Susan Borgas. She has several from a trip to this part of South Australia. Check out her FreeSnapShots blog, it is definitely worth a look.
When I saw Susan's photo, Monet instantly popped into my head. It just seemed to be calling out for a Monet-type painting. I had a fun few hours painting this, it is 9in x 12in on acrylic paper. It was a new experiment in painting for me. I just began, no sketch underneath (although I had done a few value studies.) I started with some middle tone washes to break the area into sky, far distance, and foreground. Then I just went for gradual detailing with middle, light and dark values.
Later in the evening, I was reading a bit about Monet. The author claimed that in the early days, i.e. before Giverny, Monet started with middle values and then added lights and darks. That made me feel good :-). I have read that his methods changed over the years, so I guess it wasn't always this way. But, for me, it was a nice way to work.
I plan to try this next in CPs on drafting film.