There is no singular “correct” strategy to produce a painting. There are as many ways to create as there are artists. Unfortunately, human nature being what it is, one can easily fall into a rut and paint using the same tired formula. Now and then, it is refreshing to “get out of the box – out of one’s comfort zone”.
The first sketch of an old house overlooking Lac St-Jean was done near Peribonka, Quebec in the Saguenay region. Here are some questions I asked myself while “transferring” the sketch to the color rendition:
* Would moving the horizon line higher up on the format render the scene more dramatic?
* Should I use predominantly warm orange and ochre colours to create an aspect of welcome?*Why not accentuate the foreground rocks in order to lead the viewer into the painting?
* Would creating strong, varied but subtle horizontals on the water help stabilize the strong diagonals found in the rest of the painting?
I drew the second study of a row of houses, shacks and buildings while on a painting trip near Haliburton, Ontario. These alterations were done when painting the color image of the scene from the sepia line drawing.
* A diagonal sky feeling was created in order to lead the eye back to the house structures –the center of interest.
* A strong colorful foreground tree and weeds pushed the main house shapes to middle ground, creating a three dimensional feeling.
* The field at right was textured in order to counterpoint the smooth feeling of the sky.
*The background row of darkened trees helped to anchor to the horizon the flat shapes of the buildings.
On a rainy day or when the weather is inclement and it’s inconvenient to go out and paint en plein air why not pull out one of your black and white sketches and paint an invented colour scheme of your subject?
Raynald Murphy sca