Monday, January 26, 2015

8 Steps to Paint Round Shape (stolen from VAA)

30 cm x 20 cm, Oil

I was annoyed by some of my recent paintings of round objects and found it necessary to do this extra exercise. I tried to follow the description on round form of the Virtual Art Academy as closely as I can. By doing this, I hope to burn this 8 step prozess into my brain and not forget it again.

1. Paint the core shadow and the cast shadow in one shape with the color of the cast shadow (i went to dark here)
2. Paint the light side of the object with the color of highest saturation found on the light side (i should have used higher saturation)
3. On the light side adjacent to the dark side paint the color seen on this location of the apple. It should be a highly saturated color and more than one value lower than the light side (9 value scale)
4. Paint the centered light (centered lights in this case). This is the shape around the highlight that will be added later on. Should be higher in value and lower in saturation than the shape painted in step 2.
5. Paint onto the core shadow of the object the reflected light received from the ground. 
6. Paint the dark accent below the object, usually close to value 1 (black). Paint the highlight(s). Better avoid the use of pure white but observe the reflected color of the lightsource on the object.
7. Paint the edge of the objects light side with a lower value and lower saturation than the shape painted in step 2.
8. Refine the cast shadow, add details and finishing touches.

Note that this process is decribed in more detail and better clarity in the Form units of the VAA. I find the section about painting the form of trees invaluable for instance.
If you want to learn painting seriously, I can highly recommend the Virtual Art Academy by Barry J. Raybould. I bought the entire material of VAA version 1 (version 2 is online, i am not signed in at the moment) in 2012 for about $500+ US. Since then, I couldn't resist to buy other books and dvds about painting, of course. I shouldn't have, with few exceptions (Richard Schmid's Alla Prima Painting is one). I advertise the VAA for free, just like any student would talk about the institution where he or she feels to receive or have received a great education.


Charlotte Mertz said...

This is a good synopsis of the process, Thomas. Great for review. And I agree that VAA offers a lot of additional information about why certain values would be used and how to judge both light and shadow colors. It's a great program. I've missed seeing your posts there.

Thomas Ruckstuhl said...

Thanks a lot Charlotte!
I am still busy doing the assignments of the old VAA program and see little need to collect more information and pay for it monthly. I know that lots of good stuff has been added in the meantime and I do consider to get back to it at a later stage. Having said so much positive about VAA i should also mention that i do not like the new website. Compared to the old online campus it is more clicking and less interaction. In my opinion the desire to have regularly paying subscribers has won over the old format, which made clearly more sense to me. Just a matter of taste i guess...