I have been doing many on-location studies of scenes in Calgary over the winter and spring. It has been a wonderful learning experience. The main lessons I have learned from this process are:
- Before I begin painting I need to plan the entire painting process including getting the composition, the colour family, value pattern and what story do I want to tell.
- Using a viewfinder really helps to simplify the composition. So much needs to be left out. Simplify, simplify, simplify.
- Choose an overall colour scheme before I start don’t try to recreate the actual colours.
- Decide on the value pattern that helps tell the story.
- Decide on what story I want to tell.
- Even though this takes a bit of time, the painting always goes more quickly and effectively if I do all of this.
This process is all very new for me. I normally just do a quick sketch and then start throwing paint.
The interesting thing about all these paintings is that the actual scene in each case (with the possible exception of the Dog Park and Tivoli) is not particularly attractive and each one except the dog walk was done on an overcast day. Also the figures were all from my imagination.