Monday, February 23, 2015

Blockstudies 251 & 252


Molly said...

I enjoy your paintings very much.
You are one of my favorite artists in DPW. I am learning to paint, and I see you doing many block studies. Please explain to me how you set up blocks, and what is purpose of doing this studies? Explain to me everything about this studies. I want to do it if this will improve my painting skill. Thank you!!

Thomas Ruckstuhl said...

Thank you Molly for the great compliment!
Here my take on blockstudies:

- good color takes longer to learn than other skills (e.g. Drawing)
- blockstudies train color observation specifically and steepen the learning curve.
- blockstudies are ideal for beginners and benefitial at any level.
- Virtual Art Academy by Barry Raybould to do 200 blockstudies, better 400 and ideally to never stop doing them.
- Barry says that typically your color skills will be above at the level of an average professional painter after 200 already.
- at the beginning it is advisable to start with blocks of rather vivid color before going for the grays.
- the light conditions should be varied. Sunlight, lamp, overcast, diffuse.
- personnally i find useful to do most of them in a rather speedy manner (<1h) and some of them slow and perfectionistic.

Why use blocks and not use more complex objects to learn color?
Only with blocks (and other simple geometric forms featuring flat surfaces of identical local color...prisms, pyramids.) one is forced to find a precise color relationship for the sides of the object. By doing the blockstudies the skill to find this relationship will get better and better, so does the look of the painted blocks and all other objects.
Trying to learn color by using complex forms is clearly less efficient. Unlike Blocks, the colors gradually change on a sphere making it so much harder to pinpoint them. When a painted apple looks worse than one painted by Carol Marine it can have many reasons. With a block it is different. It is always color. Well, perspective drawing too ... Also something that is practiced by doing the blocks.

Molly said...

Very kind of you explaining about blockstudies. So, what do I do if I want to practice, too?

Anonymous said...

Molly, you could get yourself some colored blocks from a toy shop or cut some blocks from a wooden bar and color them yourself. I would go for rather vivid colors at the start. Just through a few onto a table and try painting what you see.

Molly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Molly said...

Thank you so much Thomas and Anonymous person. I am also checking Virtual Art Academy website you mentioned. I can't wait to see your new painting.