1. What is my statement in this painting?
Your statement is the wow factor, it’s what gets you excited about painting a painting. Ask yourself is it the light, or shadow shapes, maybe it’s the colour or contrast you see. It could be a behaviour or intimacy you found with an animal or human from a photograph you took. Whatever the reason, make it something that excites you about the scene, let this excitement become your guide and the statement of the painting.
Why its important emphasize my statement
A statement will give your painting more meaning and interest. Your statement can become the focal point and help you control whats important in the painting. For example you can use high contrast, colour intensity or sharper edges in the focal point and then soften edges, knock back the colour intensity, blur, scrape away or dull the areas less import to support your statement. You can also use design and rhythm to point to your statement and attract the viewer to make a connection with your work.
2. What is the colour harmony in this scene?
Identify the dominant colours in the scene and then ask yourself what colours will I use to create a harmony with this painting. Is there one colour that seems to be influenced in the other colours? This is what you need to look for and then establish colour harmony in the overall painting. Colour harmony can also be created by limiting the colours in your scene.
3. How can I improve the value pattern in my scene?
Value can be more important than colour and serves as your foundation to exciting design. By thinking more about what the pattern of darks or lights are doing rather than what the object represents can help you create more depth and interest. Consider how you can emphasize your statement or design with the placement of your darks and lights by massing values and creating movement by leading the eye.
4. How can I create visual interest in my painting
Consider the interest you can create with the scene by varying brush strokes, small verses large, smooth verses textured and different directions of brush strokes. Where can I apply thin verse thick paint to give my painting more dept? Where can I loose edges or make edges sharp to draw the viewers attention? Where can I emphasize the warm verses cool colours or transitional colours between light and dark?
5. Where are my darkest darks and my lightest lights in this painting?
Squint your eyes at the scene to find the darkest dark and lightest light and place these on your values on your canvas to start. Establishing these two element will help you get your values straight and allow you to compare everything else in between.
Rose Tanner is an award winning artist who loves the outdoors and studying birds. She is dedicated to portraying her subjects using traditional oil painting techniques, travels widely for her subjects and is active in supporting endangered birds and their habitat.