Placement, angles, and scale are important to me on this Godiva painting so we're on the Godiva grid today. I am using a traditional grid technique to transfer my image to a piece of 300 pound D'Arches watercolor paper. Yes, that is a nearly 6 inch bon bon in the second photo. And how fun is that? Huge truffles. I have 3 key players. Not only do I want them to have their own personalities, but I want them on their marks. And their contextual framework has a specific geometry that captured my attention. So out comes the grid. All this is because that dance of light and reflection moves in a way I like.
What's a contextual framework? Everything else that supports the chocolate goodies. If this were theatre we would call it the set. In this case, the geometry and angles are a wonderful foil for the chocolates. That, like color, is something that can also be pushed. I can compare and contrast them. Let them in their differences, describe the other. That will also show up along the way.
What's in that last photo? A value map. I did a quick sketch and coded the darks in 3 steps and the lights in 3 steps. There are more steps. I tend to deal with all 10. It's my Zone System background in photography. But here's the point. What I want in this painting is a solid grasp of the relationships in light. That is a also a key player in even wanting to paint this in the first place.
Why do all this? Why bother? Because I want to play, but I want particular results. I know what I want out of this piece. I know what spoke to me. And I know where I can play. So I am creating a framework to do just that. It has challenges and restrictions and places to let go. I chose to grid this, draw it in more than I usually do for wetlands pieces for a reason. While I was drawing I found little spots that are going to be so much fun and others that will challenge my skill. Watercolor can be fickle you know. It has a love for accident, for spontaneity of its own. Well this, this is a structured playground with wiggle room for that.
So here we are Brush. We get to look at all that white paper. Pre-painting is a rehearsal you know. Painting it in our mind. Yes, it gets painted there first. It is very tempting to rush in. But this pre-painting can make a huge difference when the truffles are so yummy and big. I know what I am after here. I can hardly wait.
Do you visualize, pre-paint when you're after something important?
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Posted by Janice C. Cartier at 6:08 AM