This is another demo from my Loosen Up with Aquamedia Painting Workshop - How I paint the great outdoors... indoors. Day Three of the Loosen Up Workshop features Landscapes.
You can tell by now I keep painting until the painting has some resemblance to the predetermined title, or theme. That's right, I name my paintings first and write the title on the back before I start. This helps me envision the journey I'm about to take in my studio. I make it all up, but with a solid graphic design composition for landscapes. There are many different compositions - I rely on four favorites and begin with bold, black shapes.
Landscape Composition #1. Mostly Horizontal - The focus is mainly along the horizon line.
Landscape Composition #2. Off-Balance - Heavy on one side, with a lot going on. Over on the other sides a stand alone "something" - this smaller shape is by itself, but is related to the other half, such as a bunch of trees in the background, one larger tree in the foreground.
Landscape Composition #3. Tunnel Vision - From the painter's point of view, this would be a long view into one specific point. For example, You are in a rubber raft in the Grand Canyon - sheer walls and stones both sides of the river. Your focal point is, simply put, where your eye goes first... the same part with the most contrast or focal point.
Landscape Composition #4. Our good, reliable friend, the Golden Section. Real quick - you draw a tic, tack, toe over your painting surface. Where the lines intersect are the four focal points of interest. Choose just ONE of the intersections to create your focal point, and the entire painting seems to hold together. This is my "quick lazyman way" to find the focal point in the golden section.
These are my favorite landscape compositions. The next step - working with color on top of these black shapes. Don't forget to look at the demo!
I select one composition and a color combination from my color wheel. I tend to paint with a variation of the dominant color over the entire surface. Then, the focal point color splashed in one spot only. Add two small touches of spice color around the focal point and this painting's done! After I practice six of these small warm-ups of the same composition, I am ready to go larger.
That's how I paint outside - without leaving the building!