Lesson 1: The Concept and Reference Photograph

Welcome to lesson 1 of the Portray the Panorama workshop. Glad to have you ever on board!

Earlier than I get into it, I’ll recap what to anticipate from this workshop.

The thought of this workshop is to provide you sensible perception into the panorama portray course of. I’ll stroll you thru the creation of my most up-to-date portray, from concept all over to reflecting on the completed work.

There shall be 4 classes overlaying the completely different phases. I’ll notify you by electronic mail when a brand new lesson is prepared.

Lesson 1 (at the moment) will cowl the thought.

Lesson 2 will cowl planning and technique.

Lesson 3 will cowl portray and method.

Lesson 4 will cowl self-reflection.

While I’ll be utilizing my work for example, take note there are numerous methods to go about portray. What works for me won’t give you the results you want, so don’t really feel you should copy what I do.

If you wish to invite any pals to the workshop, simply copy and paste the next hyperlink:

Painting the Landscape

Okay, right here’s lesson 1.

Each portray begins with an concept.

The stronger the thought, the stronger the potential on your portray. The thought doesn’t must be advanced. It is likely to be so simple as an fascinating show of sunshine and shadow. Nevertheless it must be sturdy sufficient to compel you to color it.

Most of my concepts are saved within the type of reference pictures. I discover the world searching for fascinating shows of sunshine, shade, form, emotion, or story that I wish to seize in a portray. Pictures permit me to retailer these concepts so I can paint them again within the studio.

I’m primarily a studio painter. I do paint on location on occasion, however I discover the comforts of my studio permit me to get into the “zone” simpler. On this workshop, I’ll be portray from a reference photograph. For these of you preferring to color from life, you’ll nonetheless be capable of apply the data from this workshop, however your course of will must be extra impulsive. I may also do a separate workshop the place I paint from life if that pursuits sufficient individuals.

Once I wish to begin a brand new portray, the very first thing I sometimes do is look via the pictures on my cellphone. That is my inspiration hub and the place a few years’ value of concepts are saved. I even have a favorites album with pictures I’ve starred as having potential.

If nothing catches my eye, then I have to go exploring to get extra pictures. (I received’t go into the main points of exploring the world and taking reference pictures on this workshop. I’ll cowl that one other time.)

I search for pictures which can be backed by a powerful concept and thru which I can see a completed portray. If I don’t see a completed portray on the finish of the road, I don’t paint it. Easy as that. You need to be capable of envision your self portray the topic. The portray hardly ever seems as deliberate, however that doesn’t matter. It’s extra about having the imaginative and prescient, power, and motivation to start out and see the portray via to the top.

I don’t care if the photograph isn’t “good” by images requirements. I’m not going to be judged on the photograph, solely on the portray.

The photograph’s core goal is to offer me with a tough information and, most significantly, to remind me of my first impressions of the topic. These first impressions are gold and may kind the inspiration of an paintings.

I favor utilizing latest pictures, while my reminiscence of the topic, place, or occasion remains to be recent. As time passes, my reminiscence fades and I’m compelled to rely extra on the photograph. This sometimes results in a portray that’s much less impressed and inventive and extra of a replica of the photograph.

Bear in mind, the pictures signify concepts, and it’s the concepts I wish to base my work on. The pictures are flawed by nature: they don’t seize how I see and expertise the world. A photograph can’t seize the wind, rain, motion, emotions, what occurred earlier than and after taking the photograph, or what’s taking place outdoors the photograph. It’s only a snapshot from that cut-off date. As artists, our job is to seize all this different stuff. That’s what makes our work distinctive.

Having appeared via my latest pictures, I narrowed down on these two:

These had been taken at Maleny, Queensland. Chontele, Elora, Kobe, and I had been there on a household vacation again in October 2022. It was an overcast day and we had been exploring the environment (making an attempt to get Elora to nap). The panorama shimmered with these tiny blue flowers which jogged my memory of the bluebonnets in Julian Onderdonk’s work. The pictures don’t do them justice. I keep in mind them being richer and extra sensible in individual.

Robert Julian Onderdonk, Bluebonnet Field, 1912
Robert Julian Onderdonk, Bluebonnet Discipline, 1912

I made a decision to color the latter photograph. The composition appears stronger and extra coherent.

(Click on right here to obtain a high-resolution model of the photograph.)

The flowers would be the huge concept of my portray. Each the tiny blue flowers on the bottom and the white and purple flowers on the function plant.

Another sturdy facets of the photograph are:

  • The function plant offers a transparent focus to construct the portray round.
  • My eyes are taken on an fascinating journey with all of the curves and slanted strains.
  • There’s a way of depth and house, with a definite foreground, middle-ground, and background. 
  • There’s an fascinating play between optimistic house (the bushes) and detrimental house (the sky).
  • The function plant pushes up and overlaps the center floor. This creates a way of cohesion between the completely different areas in house. 
  • There are numerous alternatives for fascinating shows of brushwork and shade, notably with the grass, flowers, and crops across the backside. 

Most significantly, I can see a completed portray on the finish of the road.

The photograph isn’t good. I can see facets that I’ll change within the portray. For instance, I don’t like how the underside seems awkwardly cropped. And I’m uncertain in regards to the single fence submit on the right-hand aspect. However these are minor issues. 

Now that I’ve a photograph to color from, it’s time for the planning and technique section. That would be the matter of the subsequent workshop lesson.

Train (Non-compulsory):

For these of you who wish to paint together with me, do the next:

We’ll dissect the photograph within the subsequent lesson.

If this workshop goes effectively, I’ll get you to color from your individual reference pictures in future workshops. However for now, I’ll maintain it easy and get you to color from mine.

This train is just non-obligatory. Be happy to sit down again and benefit from the classes in case you favor.

I’ll see you within the subsequent lesson!

Dan Scott

Draw Paint Academy