Designed Abstraction - Tips For Discovering New Ways To Express Yourself | Robert Joyner | Skillshare

Designed Abstraction - Tips For Discovering New Ways To Express Yourself

Robert Joyner, Making Art Fun

Designed Abstraction - Tips For Discovering New Ways To Express Yourself

Robert Joyner, Making Art Fun

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11 Lessons (1h 38m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Step One - Design

    • 3. Step Two: Value Structure

    • 4. Digital Breakdown Of Value

    • 5. Step Three - Execution

    • 6. Execute Demo One

    • 7. Execute Demo Two

    • 8. Execute Demo Three

    • 9. Acrylic Version

    • 10. Watercolor Version

    • 11. Mixed Media Version

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About This Class


Class Overview

  • This online workshop will teach you the three steps of planning your painting.
  • Designed abstraction is all about taking an image, or scene, and developing a blueprint on how you will execute it.
  • The demonstrations are completed with watercolor, acrylic and mixed media but the techniques can be used with any medium.
  • This workshop is best suited for intermediate and advanced artists.

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Robert Joyner

Making Art Fun


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1. Introduction: re steps I want you to think about in this workshop and four designed abstraction is one design and composition, so you must have a really good design and composition to make everything else work. If you don't get the first step right 23 nothing else after that is going to matter because it's all going to fall apart. In the end, Number two will be the value structure. The value structure will determine where your lights and darks are placed within the design and composition. It's a very important stop because he wants you organized and simplify your values. So painting loose isn't about singing pain or doing whatever you want. It's really about understanding and developing your vision. And of course I'm going to talk about that as I move into value structure. And then, lastly, is the part b of the blueprint and thats understanding the execution part of it. So basically what mediums one brushes materials will you use to create this value structure , and this is really the fun part of this process. But I do fun and artists trying to get here too fast. They forget about step one, not really interested in Step two is this. Just get to the fun part of putting some pain and putting some mixed media down or whatever , but that's that's really backwards. You want to spend time developing steps one and two so that we get to Step three. It's much easier for you. You had that really good vision of where things will be. They cannot lock the method for what she will do it. So without any further ado, let's kick things off with the basic design and composition. 2. Step One - Design: welcome to composing. This is basically Step one in the design process. So what I'm doing is taking a large sheet of drawing paper now divided into four sections. Those sections, though each section should work nicely with e size of painting. I will be doing for this particular project, and that size will be in 11 by 14. Now it's important to know and note that design and composition is a very complex subject. I'm not going to cover every single detail about design a composition, but I am going to break down to particular images that I'm working with so that you will have a good understanding of how I'm approaching the design aspect for this course. To learn more about design and composition, feel free to check out my course, and that's going to give you a complete breakdown of my thoughts and ideas on how to compose and design. So again, I'm gonna work with this one image that I have and then walk you through how I break my subjects down again. Step one is all about the design and composition. I'm always going to look at my subject, my inspiration and break it down into very basic geometric forms. In most cases, you can always do that using rectangles, squares, circles, ovals and that sort of thing. All right, let's have a look at my inspiration image here. As you can see, just a very basic home or structure here. I'm going to crop that down. I took a few rectangles there just so you can see what I'm thinking of in terms of the foreground. And then the gray section there will just symbolize were those distance distant trees and middle ground will be. So I'm going to start with a very crude outline of what my inspiration is giving me. And basically, what that is is a rectangle that's coming off the edge of the page about like this. Then I have a background, something like that. So in terms of a composition, I mean, this could probably be OK. So you have a dominant shape, you have a smaller shape and then, you know you have these other shapes here for the top, which will be the sky in the bottom, which will be the ground. So really, these two shapes, which will be the buildings and then the foreground, There kind of competing with each other, so they're about the same size. So even though it's a very subtle thing, it can be It can throw you off because the I is trying to pick one or the other. So it's always going to try to find a dominant shape. So I know what needs a little bit of attention. I either need need to make the buildings bigger, or I need to make the foreground bigger. Something needs to give their now. Also, you have, you know, these two larger shapes, a medium and then maybe another medium here with the buildings in the background. So it would be nice to add some smaller shapes in there. And when I can do is this kind of look at something putting something here which could be a car. I've got the possibility of, you know, putting some figures in here, maybe some smaller figures in there. Something like that. And this is not bad. I could also, this shape is kind of boring over here. So, baby, I could add another little shape there, and that right there breaks things up. So it makes this shape, which is the ground a little more interesting. It makes it a little bit smaller because all of these shapes are just added are cutting into it. So it's extracting and taking away from the overall volume of this foreground. So if I did something like this, that would probably work pretty good. Now they're probably 1000 solutions that will work well. You're only you only need one. So again you know it's all about taking the design, breaking it down into simple shapes and then trying to visualize how they're going to work in your frame. So your frame is basically the four edges of your campus or paper just like that. So what this is doing is designing with shapes, basic outlines. So I'm not shaving anything in. I'm not worried about color. I'm not worried about details. I'm not trying to figure out the exact ah, final piece right now, it's just blocking things in. If you're a sculptor, you kind of get things chunky in the ballpark. And then you start to refine things and add details as you get closer to the final stages. Designing and composing are no different, so next stage would be to take this idea and move into ah, very rough sketch of understanding the value structure 3. Step Two: Value Structure: if I were doing this, um, all my own, I probably would just take this paper which is pretty thin, and lay over top of it and kind of go for it. But since I'm kind of putting this out and stages or steps for you, I'm just going to replicated real quick, right here and again. You can see how raw and crude that IHS. It's not again about details, even at this stage. So now, because we're dealing with a landscape, I know this. The value for the sky is going to be very light. I know the buildings in the distance will be kind of ah, light value as well. So I'm going something like that. Now the buildings here will be I want to be a little bit darker, so this will be a kind of a dominant shape, something like that. Now the base of the building will be even darker. And I do that as kind of Ah, a rule of thumb, if you will, because I feel if the base of the buildings are too to light, they just don't anchor a while and they look like they're almost floating, floating in space so adding a little bit darker value, as you can see their works pretty well. So now what I would do is look at this shape here, Asuni that nice, dark value in there, and I'm going to start with matching this one, and then I'm going to put kind of a cash shadow here, going across like that. So this this value here is gonna look like this. I've got these figures or shapes over here. I'm going to make these pretty dark as well. So that's going to be an extension of the base of the building. So this dark value coming down so you can see I'm just kind of bringing that in like that. And then over here, these figures, I mean, they can be dark. I kind of have a mixture of things and maybe put a shadow here on this one. And then this figure here really can be an extension off this kind of mid tone value like that. Okay. So I can put a look. Another little shadow may be coming down here from the building, something like that. So that's a really good value structure. So you got your darks. That are all connecting this dark is kind of massing with this massing with the figure here coming over getting into the car like that and you know, something like that, I could put a light shirt on the figure here just to kind of pop it against that light value. But in terms of, um, abstract value mass, I mean, that would probably work pretty good. And if I go a little bit darker on the building, kind of separated from that distant building there, are you gonna start to see it come to life a little bit more? You start to see, You know, this figure can have a little bit of dark on it, something like that, so that that would work pretty good. And that's all about trying to be very chunky with it, but just kind of taking those mid tones, the lights, the darks and joining them. So you want them to connect. So what you don't want to do is put a little dark here, a little dark there, a little dark here and little mid tone value, their little mid tone value there where not nothing is connected. And we have things that are kind of splotchy. They don't connect, emerge like this. Then there is no unity. And the I is confused about where to go, where to look. And when you get to the next stage of this process, which is envisioning how you're going to execute the painting, you're really in trouble, because here, so you can use all these dark values. No, put it down much quicker. If you have to do all of this stuff, then you're left with more brush strokes. And you have to, um, kind of guess at how things were going toe work. So you're basically when you start to construct your value masses and group them and make them connect harmoniously, and then you're going to simplify your painting as well. I'm talking about the execution of the painting on, and that's basically looking at what you're doing and try to envision how you're going to pull it off. Okay, so this works pretty good for me. So I was able to compose or take a very simple shape, add some smaller shapes to it, break up the problem of having balanced big shapes that moved over to value structure, and I was able to simplify things and make it interesting by joining the values and making sure I know where my mitt? No, my heavy mid tone, My dark er's my lighter lights. And then, of course, the lightest values. I know where they're situated now. So this gives me a really good blueprint to move forward into the next part, which is basically understanding how I will execute the painting. So we're going to start with that in the next video. 4. Digital Breakdown Of Value: All right, Here's a breakdown of my value. Study what I have in mind. I'm showing you this because it's just a little bit cleaner, then my pencil sketching. I just have a very, very loose style. So it's common to kind of get things really scribbled in, so to speak. So I thought showing you this would give you a little bit cleaner. Look at my vision. And this is the blueprint I have in mind as I start to move forward into my painting eso. Whenever you look at this, you'll see on the right hand side, I've got four swatches. Eso It starts light all the way down here to dark. And these swatches, um, represent certain value patterns within my actual value study here. So if we look at the light right here, the top one, you can see how those air placed throughout the painting. So I've got it in the sky. I pretty much used it in the foreground. I've got a little cut out here like an awning or something in the background, and I've got some here, though light highlights on the figures, the shoulders, these shapes and that in my mind is all it needs to be, although the sky maybe a little bit lighter in the finish painting, um, the goal here in the goal you want. Whenever you create these studies and looking your images, you start to design your shapes and your values. This is how simple you want to see things you don't want to worry about. Details. You don't want to get into all the subtleties of the buildings. Your you just want a chunk things in because this is your vision. This is your blueprint, forgetting the painting done in a manner that's readable, that makes sense that's organized and clean. So anyway, if you go down here to these mid tones and I'll go ahead and just take that out, you'll see that's mainly used for the building on the right hand side and then this figure down here in the foreground. So I admitted that wrong. There we go. You'll start to see that, and in the background there is a little bit lighter and that you can see that's pretty much by itself there. If we get in here to the darks, I mean, you'll see how these darks will disappeared. How Onley, putting them in certain areas now, obviously towards the base of the building, there will be some darker values darker than what the actual building is. But again, that gets into details, and I don't want to worry about that. So again, Creating these these light for these four value structures is important because it makes you think about how this painting is going to work. So obviously, when you're painting things, unless you're doing them in a great scale, you have to use color, and color has a value to it from light to dark. So choosing your colors is important because you want to make sure that colors were chosen based on the value structure of your painting, and you'll find that if you get these the main values right than the colors can be a more arbitrary. It's so long as the value of it is right is, ah matches correctly, or at least close enough that it keeps the painting keeps the blueprint together. So once you start to understand this and really you know you have to explore for a little while and then practice, practice, practice with your subjects to really get it but and as you understand it and learn more about it, you'll find that these little pattern studies like this are the gateway to painting whatever style you wish to paint. But I can tell you, whenever I'm approaching a painting, I'll always do a study like this. I don't get my affinity software, and I do the and create a study for each one I But I do it on a regular basis so that I keep my my fundamentals sharp when that I continue to explore and continue to learn, I may find a scene that I really, really like, but I can't in my head figure out the value pattern. This can't figure out this blueprint that I'm showing you right here. So what I will do was either use pencil on paper to sort things out, and then oftentimes, I will even bring it in to my software. My digital software and I will create this little value pattern structure using the same idea. Had these four blocks of values, I will try to simplify things in a way that I know where each of these main values air placed. I want to know where these darks are. And then often times I will have to shift things. You know, I will always have toe, maybe make a shape that is a dark, a mid tone. I may have to take a shape that is light and make a midtown or dark. But it's all about getting this blueprint that makes sense. And as you can see here, this this is nice and clean. You can read this, you understand it and it's not too choppy. It's not cluttered. So for me, as I move into a painting and as I move into showing you three different versions of this painting, this is my blueprint. I mean, this is in my mind is what I'm envisioning the whole time. Okay, so that is kind of a breakdown of the main blueprint for this particular piece. And if you have any questions, of course, let me know. But from here, we're going to start to move forward into creating the final painting 5. Step Three - Execution: so a quick recap before we talk about execution. As you know now, I'm a big fan of simplification. So in my design process, I will take an image that appeals to me. I will reduce it to basic geometric shapes, so squares, rectangles, circles, ovals, that sort of thing. Then I like to look at the dominant shape. And then I designed around that, using medium shapes, medium, small and smaller type of shapes so that I know I have a good balance before I begin the next stage. Of course, all the while I am arranging them, trying to place them somewhere within the fraying the four edges that is compelling again. Step one is the most important stuff. It's a step most of you will probably not do, and that is going to frustrate you more times than not. Step two is adding value, and again, that's all about simplifying, reducing it to four values. You can also use the white of the paper now, with the values I try to place them in a way that makes the focal point interesting. So I do believe every pain should have some sort of focal point or one area that stands out over the others. There are many ways we can achieve that, but value structure is certainly one of them. So I showed you how I use a quick value sketch with a number two pencil to quickly find out where I want to place things. I also showed you a more simplified, clean version of using a digital sketch. And remember, I did that because I wanted you to completely understand what I was seen. I know that when I use my pencil, things get loose and sloppy, and it's hard for me to convey my vision that way to you. So steps one and two are done. Now we get into execution, and this is the exciting part for me because I've done the hard work steps one and two are challenging. That's where I have to use my brain and work out problems. But it's also where I start to get my ideas. I start to develop that connection with the piece. So now, with execution, I can now start to think about how I want to use my medium to create the final painting. The point is, you want to think about your medium. What medium do you want to use? Maybe you're like me and you, like a variety of mediums, also have a variety of techniques. Different things I can do, like collage ing inks as some charcoal. In there, all of those things start to come into play and the execution stage. Now, when we start looking at mediums, it's important that you understand the limitations for each one and, more specifically, watercolor. That's a medium. Love is absolutely a joy to work with, but you know it's not very forgiving. So if you make mistakes, if you get too loose and sloppy, yes, it's hard to fix, as opposed to acrylics, where you can let things dry. You can come back and layer over top of it with a lighter value color and so want. But he can still use designed abstraction with watercolor. It's just understanding where your values will be placed, and then things like brushwork or brush selection things like color. Then you will use to execute it. So my rule of thumb is to always use the biggest brush possible in most cases, especially with watercolor, because ah, larger brush, you can get the paint down and fewer strokes. If I take fewer strokes to do something, then chances are I don't get too fussy about the details. And the same can be said for my curve, lick or other mediums I like to use. Now. Do you have to paint this way? Do you have to have the largest brush for the largest shape and so on? No, you don't. You can still create nice, loose art with smaller brushes and big shapes and things like that. It's just a matter of your personal preference and what works well for you. So what I will do now is show you some ideas of dis experimenting with a medium to better illustrate what I mean about execution. So let's go ahead and start that one right now. 6. Execute Demo One: So now we're going to have some fun. But before I dive into it, I just want to remind you that I have my blueprint to fall back on. So no matter what I put down on paper, I can always correct it. I can always bring it back to the value structure that I had mine. And that's the point of creating those simple value sketches. They're a great guideline to keep you in line with your vision. Can we change them as we start to paint? Absolutely. So by having that blueprint, it actually gives me a lot more freedom. So, for example, I'm going to start with some acrylics. Now I know that building. I want to be a Midtown. But do I have to start with a mid toe? No. I can start with a really light color. I can start with a really dark color because with acrylics, I know I could let it dry and I can layer over top of it. I also know that I could work blood in toe wet and change the value of it. I also know from experience that if I wanted to do the buildings with a collage and to say watercolor. I could do that, too. I would pick paper, maybe that suited for the building. So at that mid tone or mid value and then I would work with it so that there a lot of different approaches you can take to the execution part of it. Like I said before, this is where it all happens. This is the fun part. And this is where designed abstraction comes together. So now I'm going to bring you in a little bit closer, and I'm going to explore. I'm not going to do the entire scene. I'm just going to work with bits and pieces. I'm going to show you how I can execute brushwork. I can show you how I can use collage. I can show you how to use border color. I can show you how to use value. And really, since I'm working with color, I'll say tone to get the vision that I'm after. So let's go ahead and start with some acrylic execution ideas. Okay. What I work with first is the little car on the corner with the building and maybe one of the figures here. So if I were to draw that out for you. It would. It would look something like this shadow corner of the building comes up or whatever. Something like that and the shadow comes down something like this. And then we have the figure kind of walking into the sunlight here, something like that. So if you remember right, this was our mid tone. The building. We have the car, which has a really dark shadow underneath. Then we have some really light values here. And then this is all dark value here. The figure is going to be a darker value with shadow, obviously the shadow against the building and all that. And just for giggles, I can put some windows and here like that. Then over in here, we've got the little other buildings and the sort of thing. So again, just kind of exploring this right here. So I have a fan brush. But obviously, if you want to explore brushes and different types of brushes things you're not familiar with, now is a great time to do it. There's no pressure to create Ah, final painting. So if you want to do those things I recommend you do, um, Now if you're curious about my palate peace Cardboard here with some burnt sienna yellow Oakar, COBOL blue and titanium white Have a little bit of water off to the side. And this is just cheap drawing paper. All it iss It's just going to give me something to paint on that I can explore abstract qualities. I'm not trying to keep everything perfect. So if I get a light value in on the building, no big deal, I think it a dark value in the foreground. No big deal. The idea here is to really take some liberty. You can kind of get in here and have some fun with brushwork, so that that's a mess, right? Anyone that looked at that and was like and knew that it was supposed to be a building or something would probably freak out they go. Oh, my gosh. This guy has lost his mind, But now I can get in here, Um so a little bit darker value here and catch the bottom of that building like that. Maybe I could put a few windows in there, but look how loose that is that this is the abstract part that I'm talking about a soon as you understand. And really, as soon as you start to break away from painting literal objects all the time and start focusing mawr on value structure and trying to find abstract shapes within the values, Uh, you gonna have a hard time going here? So now just adding a little mid tone here. I couldn't give a little buildings in the background. And now I can get in here to some jokers and whites. I kind of start to bring back the's lighter values. I'm just going to stick with acrylic on this one. Now, have a small brush here. I can get in here and put my life value there. But look how abstract that is. It's just people. So I'm not here trying to paint. It's got to be the top of a car. This gotta be the, you know, the tail the car's gonna be I'm not thinking about that. I'm trying to just use that value structure means to find my abstract qualities. So I got a little red here. We find it, we know there's tell lights there, slap it down if you want to, you know, smudge it a little takes some liberties of do some sort of things, scratch into the paint. Now is the time to do it because we had that value structure that's going to brain us in. If we get a little bit too wild and crazy, we hate for that to happen. So I have a little figure here coming out of the shadows. Get some dark value there, something like that, and we can connect. All of this. Doesn't matter. You can take a little bit of that dark value and throw on the window. There. All looks good. See, I lost a little negative shape there that really wanted to keep it a big deal. Load up my small brush there. We got it back, scratch into the paint. I put a little face on it, maybe a little hand on it on him. Her whatever could be. Give it. We can put a little shirt there, and that's fine. So for kind of the first initial sketch and everything, that's all we needed. If I wanted coming here with Sky and just kind of let these shapes do that, that's fine. As always. I got those values roughly no roughed in or and where they belong in the ballpark. I know this is going to hold together. You see very loose, very abstract brushwork. But in terms of the value and tone of everything it holds together, it's within the blueprint enough to where it works. 7. Execute Demo Two: All right, so now we can introduce per se a little bit of collage. That was kind of interesting. Kind of using the building with the car in mind Just cause there's a lot of value changes there, you get a little bit of everything. So you get the figure, you get the car, you're probably fine. As you do this sort of stuff, you'll get looser and looser with how you draw things to. All right, So now let's just start with maybe some paper here. I'll just use this. I think I can get this in the ballpark where I want to be Good. Knock down on my brushes at work, so you stick it on there. If you're curious about the colors, I'll just stick with the same color. So the COBOL, I use a little bit of this cat red cat, red meat are cadmium red light. I use a little bit of poker and a little sienna a little bit of weight. So I have my beginning there again. It's probably close in terms of value of where it needs to be, so I can work around that I can put the window in there I can put a darker value for this car. I can even switch to a big old brush. Something like this blended on into that slap. My went some windows down in here. I mean, go back to my fan. I can start to do some negative space painting to get some of these edges back. No big deal. Run that into the car. They're Aiken. Put in the this lighter, mid tones in the background. So again, look at all these abstract brushstrokes. You don't see me here. I'm painting a car. You know, I'm painting a personal painting, a shadow. Now I'm letting these brushstrokes and everything go down in a nice, abstract way because I know I can bring it back in because I know the range of this medium . I know my acrylics. I can layer now, if I were painting with watercolor, I may have to do a little bit different if I'm trying to do watercolor. That's a little more traditional and not turn into a mixed media. So now I have my figure. So I've already got the kind of the face in there. So I've got that light value for but like that rather than to the windows, could be a little archway and that all that is right there's just having phone brushwork. I can get away with that because I have my little blueprint to fall back on. I got the shadows coming down, something like that, taking a little smaller brush a little bit of poker here and make something out of those buildings in the back. I can't even light in the window there if I wanted to, so that gives you an idea. Where is going? Put some highlights on the figure or whatever. I'm good to go, so that falls in line with that value structure and I can get away with it. But the approach was a lot different then, this one where I just used straight acrylic. 8. Execute Demo Three: I can take a big old brush like this and start with something like that. I can run that color all over the place and really let things rip and come back in here and just put back in what needs to be put in for all the while letting some of these abstract qualities live and the painting. So I feel like each time you do these things, things can get looser and looser for you too, if you allow yourself the opportunity to do him. Most artists don't all about painting that finished art for God. I've gotta paint something and kind of posted on Facebook tonight. Everyone know how awesome I am. Put this guy and a little shirt on this guy. If you push this more to a brown this time, have some fun with these windows, get our little negative space, And there we could work straight from the tube. You see what I mean? Now you know anything goes so long as you have a blueprint to fall back on. All these, I think are a little bit different. Hopefully what you saw there, that is I didn't get into painting. What? The subject actually, Waas, I just put the values where they belong and let that be my guide. And the more of this stuff you dio, the more abstract qualities you're going to find. You'll start to start, and then you'll start to take some liberties. And those abstract qualities will start creeping into your artwork if you put the time in. But if you simply take images and you start painting them finished art I was just a little bit of ink there. More than likely, you're only going to do what you already know, and you're probably gonna paint things very literally, So you're just going to paint them for what they are. I think hopefully you got some ideas on this whole no abstract part of it relying on that value structure to get what you want. But you're not sticking to it. And more importantly, you're getting away from painting your subjects that literally and you're just painting those shapes. And once you understand that you have that blueprint, then you can start to exploit things. You can exploit it through brushwork, medium or other ideas. Again, these air just on Lee a few, and this hope we'll give you an idea what I mean about execution and I don't always do this . I don't have to explore every painting this way. Break it down into little segments. It's not really about that. Ah, Lot of times I would just look at my blueprint or I'll see Ah, scene and go. Yeah, that thing works. I can see where my lights are. See where my darks are? I know where my subject is, What, My focal point and I'll just go for it and know that that's my vision that I'm going to end up with and just start, you know, putting any old thing down, just hammering some inks and charcoal mark some Sharpie, whatever kind of go back and sculpt things a little bit and get him back in the ball park of where you want it to be, and you'll find that things will start to hold together. I do believe if I finished all of these ideas that I had here, if these were all paintings, I'm very confident I could have made them work. And that's the beauty and the message of design abstraction. So we're taking a good design and we're using it to give us the freedom to go for it. 9. Acrylic Version: on palette. There is permanent violet cobalt blue cat orange Quinn Accord own magenta burnt sienna, yellow Oakar, lemon yellow, titanium white. This is just a piece of scrap cardboard that I'll use for my palate. I would not be showing my palate on this demo. I'm going to focus more on the painting itself. Working with values 11 by 14 15 Excuse me, a piece of paper. This is just kind of generic artists or student grade watercolor paper, so it's not premium watercolor paper. Scott. A little bit of causes Cold press has got a little bit of texture to it and some masking tape on a piece of Gator board here that gives me nice form, firm backing. I've got a sponge down here to keep it angled a little bit. I use a number two pencil toe. Lay it out so this demo will be strictly acrylics. I'll go over some of my brushes as I get into it. But again, when focus more on sticking, sticking with the idea of using the blueprint, I'm focusing on values. I don't really care a lot about color matching or trying to get things perfect again. It's just all about using that blueprint as my guide to designed abstraction, creating it loose, expressive but knowing where to place those values within the frame. Okay, so it's going crack forward, got my main lying there, which is my longest line, and that just represents the kind of ground level with their and keeping all this loose in here. Yeah, I just kind of make up a few things. I go distant, kind of support, the better composition, and we get some figures. Put another figure in here if you remember, right, But And we've got our car here on the corner represent our darkest value on the cash shadow that's going to connect. And we have our it really dark figures or values I should say in here and maybe for your here and then maybe something. And here, figure walking with a shadow. They will have some lines and stuff running, and there will have some probably telephone poles, things of that nature happening. That's it. There some details on this building that if I wanted Teoh work on, I could do that. Just add a few, forget the windows, things that again a lot of this is just made up fun stuff, but yeah, that's all it needs to be. That gives me my layout. And now I can start painting, all right, using my large flat brush. Here, you can see, is very thick. And why it's got some really firm bristles there could hold a lot of pigment. The goal here is to put this the basic structure down of the values again. I know I have my initial drawing in there, but that's just to give me a loose guy lying on where things are situated and, you know, it's easily, um, I can work with that for this particular demo. I don't always use pre drawing if I'm really familiar with what I'm doing. If I feel like I totally understand the composition where the main value masses are, sometimes I'll just go without it. It's kind of really what I prefer, but for this case, I got my drunk, my lines in there. I'm just going to add the little sky area that will eventually be the lightest of the value masses. And then I'm just going toe, stick to that blueprint and then add these colors and the half is shipped him. So I came, for example, of that first that buildings in the distance there there are a little bit too yellow. So I just added that little punch of violent into it. And then that's just going to cool it off a smidge, and I'll end up cooling it a little bit more, you know, for my initial my block in, if I know I'm dealing with a, uh, shape or an area that I knew will probably have mawr warmer values on the block in. Sometimes I will use a cooler value, and sometimes I know the end result will be cool. Then I will kind of put down um or, ah, warmer value. And that gives me a really good, um, kind of a foundation to put the final layers down so you don't always have to color match what you're doing. I really prefer to use the opposite of where it's going to go in terms of temperature. That makes sense. But now I can start to move into this lighter area in the foreground, and that white looks really pale, their value. But I know I have a lot of pain on my brush and it's going to blend with that white. So whenever I put in the buildings and the shadow area and all that stuff, all that paint was still on my brush. So I know all that's going to blend a little bit, basically. So here you can start to see I'm cooling that off a little bit more and getting that close to where it needs to be. But I don't know. You know, this is a block in stage. I will let that dry and then I'll come back to it when it does, and we'll start to add the final layer for this third layer. I'm just going to speed the video up just a little bit. There's the bulk of the painting is in this layer, but I thought just bumping it up, maybe 25%. We can get through a little bit quicker, and you're not really going to notice any a big decrease in the quality. So anyway, this is unedited. I'm just kind of bringing you everything here and now it's This layer is all about making adjustments again. Everything is 100% dry. You can see here I'm adding a lighter value to the building, all the while loosely indicating details on that building. It's important to keep that abstract feeling going. We only need to indicate and show that it's a building. That's it. It doesn't need to be a complete illustration or doesn't need to define every single detail . It just has to tell the viewer that just of what it iss and this painting is all about. You know the layers of buildings, from background middle ground to the figures in the car, and that's what it's that's what it's four. So the shapes air can be loosely indicated, and you'll find, uh, where you can get the balance of understanding where you can go loose and abstract and were , You just need to rein things in a little bit just to make sure you get the design part right. So we want the abstract qualities. But at the same time, we have to always keep in mind the purpose of the design itself and what makes it work. I think for this one it is those layers of the distant buildings, the middle ground buildings and then the car and the figures coming to you in the foreground very, very important to pull that off. So we want to be loose. We want to be expressive. But we also know we need to dial that part in. So here, just adding that second layer paying mawr attention to value than anything else. Uh, not trying to be a slave to colors or get getting anything perfect. Hopefully, you noticed that throughout this course I really didn't focus much on colors at all. And that was a design of the course itself. Because I want to under your focus and understand that value placement is more important. If he can get there, then you break away from your image. You're not having to a copy. What is giving to you in nature and in real life, you you can start Thio of, you know, make decisions about color on your own, so you don't necessarily have to copy what is always there. And the more you do that, and the more you focus, I think on value itself over color matching, you're gonna find you're gonna get a lot more freedom because you're mentally getting away from the image itself from the actual literal objects. And that's something I know you've heard me mentioned several times throughout this course is understanding mawr and focusing more on shapes and value. And and then, of course, the execution, the execution part of it. Excuse me. And with execution, you are basically no using your medium such as this. This is acrylic, and you're using your tools, like brushwork thing. You're doing things loosely and and you're doing it in a very abstract way. So you're trying to connect shapes, you're trying to connect values, and you're also, uh, the whole while looking at the whole and making sure that it all makes sense. And here you can see I'm using a very small brush like a detail brush in getting those values placed right again. I could care less that it's a car or figure. I'm just focused on shape and value and making sure that part of its right and and I know that if things get a little bit sloppy and they will, if you work quickly, like in the manner I do, it's It's easy two for things to fall apart. But you know that you have experience. So if you painted with acrylic for a while, you understand the layering aspect of it. You know that you can let things dry and then fall back and layer over it and fix any area that you would like so you can get a light over dark, darker, relate. If you're trying to do more of a traditional type watercolor, you'll you know that that particular medium isn't going to give you the freedom as, uh, let's say, like water color. So if you know, make those mistakes and anay area that you needed light and value ended up dark, then it's a little bit harder to remove that value with acrylics. Of course, you can let it dry. You come over it and we can use different brushes to refine shapes to your liking. But just keep in mind, it's all about with execution. You're taking that blueprint and let's sit like but this one and using acrylics, and you're trying to envision how you can apply your medium loosely, and they're looking at the design and understanding the areas that you can get away with and where you can have fun putting those mid tones and just being loose with it, and then trying to envision where you can let things go outside the edges with your brushwork and then come back and refined things, as I did with the sky tone and the building there. And I use that sky in this last layer to add those little shapes at the top to make him more prominent, but also to make them very loose in abstract. And that's the part of this course I really want you to hone in on is understanding number one that value is going to determine, um, if you have a composition that's workable if if it's I am also where your darks and like lights are placed. But more importantly, you're focused on your medium, and you're dealing with using your experience, your ability to say your ability, your ability to exploit the medium, exploit the brushwork, envision applying that broad stroke and then how you can come back over it and dial it back in a little bit. And that's why I showed you those three exercises of exploring when I explore like that. And of course, when you do it, then what you're doing is you're giving yourself more tools. You're giving yourself your teaching yourself rather techniques things that you can get away with, and an artist is only as good as the experience and the skills they have. So with designed abstraction, you're going to find more ways to create things and to exploit value to exploit brushwork in medium collage ing Whatever. Um, the more you practice those small little sketches because if you just paint finished art all the time, what's gonna happen as you're going to put aside your willingness to explore and discover, because in your head you're painting finished art and that is a different ball game. Then when you are saying, Hey, this stuff is just play time I'm just having fun, putting paint down, exploring different ways, methods that I can achieve certain value placements and being able to create shapes with certain brushwork and knowing that you can come back and do a B or C to refine things and bring it back. So, in other words, you're getting away from predictable techniques, and you're trying to explorer and create more unconventional ways that you're less familiar with, but that actually in the end do the same job, because if you think about it, it's just shapes and values. That's all your painting. And the more you can break away from up again, painting a literal stuff and become more in tuned with values and place and value placement and things like that and your keenness to understanding what shapes need to be there. They need to be a little more accurate and what shapes can be distorted. And in a painting, that's what it's all about. It's understanding where that focal point is and where you need those edges and that sense of believability, and then where you can get away with letting things be a lot looser. And so, basically, that's that's what you're always trying to balance out throughout a painting. But anyhow, you can see I'm moving into details. Bring in some highlights on the figure shoulders and and now I'm just do a little finger painting here, and I want to add a little bit of, ah, lighter value to the windows. I thought tying that blew in. And that's basically the same Hugh that's on the figure on the bottom left hand corner. They guess that figure has a jacket on. It looks like, and now just tying. That blew into different areas. Well, just kind of let that color bounce around a little bit, but yeah. So I'm throwing the signature on there. And now I will, on a few little blue pops here in the air and a little blue on this jacket just to mix it up there, took the tape off. And now what I'll do is bring you in a little bit closer and show you some of the detail. And this is all taken. This photograph was taken a natural light, so it gives you a good sense of the color accuracy. And that concludes on this demonstration. So thanks for watching. And I'll see you in the next one. 10. Watercolor Version: with the watercolor demo, I am going to start with a number two pencil here I am using ah, £140 cold press paper size of that is 15 wide by 11 high got a little bit of masking tape to keep the edges down, and that is a piece of Gator board I am using just to allow me to tilt the board and things like that for my washes. And with this layout, I can kind of go through it pretty quick. I don't I usually put a lot of details in. The main thing is just get the basic shapes and their where they need to go their particular areas of the design, mainly the focal point that need to be drawn perhaps more carefully or considered anyway. And apart from that, everything else can be really loose in abstract. But because I have worked with this in a few stages, pretty familiar with what's happening here, so I can be a little bit draw a little more freely than the safe, our just drawing it for the first time. That's one thing nice about working through the process like this as you build up that familiarity, and it gets easier and easier for your spot. By the time you get to the final painting, it's It's your so familiar with that you can almost do it blindfolded. But anyhow, some getting you notice I'd started with that large shape and work my way to the smaller shapes and now just adding a couple of details and then I'll be ready to move in to the final painting. You hear all this mark where the rows of windows go, and that's about it. So we're just about ready to wrap this little drawing up. I do recommend that you just get the gist of it down there, especially with watercolor, because the medium itself is going to dictate a lot of other details and what happens beyond the bigger shapes anyway? So showing you my large mop brush, I've got this loaded up. Ah, full load on it. I guess you could say so. That's when the brush is fully charged, full of paint and ready to put in a large wash like this. Oftentimes, I think beginners bar colorists will not used enough paint. No, just give very stingy or not get their brush what enough? And they'll have to keep going back to their palate to get more paint when really can almost fully charge it and get that Washington without having to to work his heart or to reload the brush. So now, just getting into the sky area and it doesn't matter a whole lot at this stage. If they're washes, blend or bleed a little bit into each other, that's perfectly fine. You see here I have a hair dryer that I will use to speed up the process a little bit. And if you do, like using a hair dryer, I just know that you have to be careful with how close you hold on to the paper because you don't want that wash, too Ah, bleeder. Or to run too much from the air coming out of the hair dryer there and now, working with the background, laying in some abstract shapes there and now, putting in a little feeling of an awning and again the using that original wash or the first wash as the base color for a lot of that. So just that's just some good old layering. They're happening. So we paint wet over dry like that. You're going to get that layering versus painting, what into wet, where things bleed into each other and now just a little bit darker tone towards the bottom of that background. And now I can just run that color down and to the figure here in the foreground and adding some blues that would be COBOL blue. Or actually, I'm sorry, sir Ruli and Blue. And now get into the car. If you do get bleeding and things of that nature that you don't like, it's OK to have, ah, clean paper towel there just to soften that up a little bit, as I've mentioned before in the little sketches I did, I'm always keeping that blueprint in mind, So I've got those values etched in my brain. At this point, I know where that vision is taking me and sticking to it is best possible if I get a few happy accidents. That's all right, too. So mixing some burnt Ciena's and hookers that is touched a little bit of lavender. And with that, it's like symbolism crimson and jokers as well, curious. While I'm not showing my palate, it's just because when a focus moral value and the execution of the design and not really focus on specific colors. So again, it's all value with this stage, I feel as long as I get that right, the colors can be arbor sherry for random. But for the most part, I'll keep things fairly mutual. So using allow the Joker's earth tones things like that to make it happen. And now, going with a little bit of neutral tent in blue, mixing that original earth tone there just kind of makes that wash a little more interesting. So I didn't want to. I use a wash, a large wash of one hue. If you have large areas to do like that, you're always better off to mix it up a little bit. All right. So just after that figure in the background, look moving into figure here on the right of the car, I'll be, Ah, key part that focal point and adding the tail lights while there was wet there, just so I could get a little bit of bleeding and also drop it in some brokers for the faces on the figures again, all wet in the wet to avoid any hard edges. So here I have some violets and I'll just drop that in to the base of the building, and that's going to start to connect those darks, which is a very important part of this design. And you can see it's I'm not trying to get fussy or picky about the literal object. I'm just focusing Mawr on the actual shapes and values. I know if I can get that part right, then it should hold together in theory. So now everything is pretty dry. You can see it did lighten a little bit in value while it dried, and I can start to use a hair dryer while I work actually can see the hair dryer. I'm holding it with my left hand. But as I dry it, adding some details of some of these abstract shapes of figures and things like that all the while just trying to join things. If the strokes and shapes get too tight, then I will try to do anything I can really within the brushwork, in colors, to connect things and just to loosen it up a little bit, you'll see me every once in a while, make a slashing brushstroke all I'm doing what I do. That's where thing is trying to loosen it up, because the edges and the shapes were just getting a little bit too tight. So a little bit of lavender there for the windows, touching that into the top areas well, and the top of that building is dry. That's what into dry where I put the shadows in. It's still a little bit damp, so you'll see that lavender bleed a little bit. I don't know. This thing is are sticking with my designed abstraction. IHS. You know, progressing the whole while, too. But it's pretty interesting how the original design can even us hold through. Ah, loose watercolor like this and again, it's not going to be perfect. It's not gonna be, is clean, but we don't want it. The design, abstraction, the blueprint part of it was, ah, guide, and it's not intended to copy. It's just intended to I'll give you a base to work with. There's always gonna be more details and more subtle tones and values in the final painting that don't exist in the actual four value design. So here, just doing some dry brush, getting some details into it But all the while those details have a purpose and their Disl eines that are connecting values and keeping things loose, which is important, so easy to tighten up. Even at this stage, where the painting is almost done, or at least 2/3 of the way, it's easy to revert back into painting a little bit too tight. But it's pain chunkin things in and kind of being giving it a little bit of leeway there to do its own thing. To do its own magic, I guess, is you know what I'm after. So I want the medium to work for yourself, and my job is only to guide it and to keep it within an acceptable level of ah, of the blueprint. So, as you can see use of that needle brush to add some finishing details, some linear interest and all the while just keeping a loose and doing my best to get away from, you're painting the literal subject. Soon as I start to paint figures, cars and I'm building, that's when I start to get away from the blueprint. You will see me quite a bit in this video, used that hair dryer to draw certain areas. And while I do that, I like toe to paying to its Ah, sometimes it's about getting it partially dry and adding the strokes while the pain is still slightly damp versus letting it dr 100% but pretty much starting to bring it to a close. Well, doing a little bit of lifting there with a wet brush and sometimes removing paint is just as effective is putting more on right there on that window. I wanted to give it that feeling of a reflection or sun hitting it and no, finish it off with a little bit of good boss here. These are just little highlights that air capturing some of the shapes of the figures. And now I will wrap that up and then bring you in a little bit closer, and then we'll look and see how these values compare to the original blue apron. And here's a peek at the final piece. I hope you enjoyed this demo and now see you in the next one. Thanks for watching 11. Mixed Media Version: are in this demo. I will be using a reject painting 11 by 15. And it's just something that was doing just experimenting. I never throw these away because they're great for painting over and getting these really loose abstract qualities. Because I'm so familiar with the blueprint for this painting. I'm not even going to worry about putting in a preliminary sketch or layout lines. I kind of know where all these shapes are now. No, I did the initial blueprint. Um, I did the blunder color version. I did the acrylic version. So now? No, it is very easy. So what I'm doing here is just using some acrylic paint, these of the same exact palette that I use for the acrylic version. And I'm just putting over this, putting their splashes of value. Really? You know, over the reject, I'm leaving bits and pieces of that original painting too. So I'm not trying to cover everything up. Ah, but I'm I'm also again thinking Maura about value. And even though I know this is going to be a building with a car and some figures and everything, I'm more concerned about getting it really chunky and putting those values where they belong. I can come back later and sculpt things and try to make more sense out of it and get more details. Now I'm gonna move into the collage part of it. And this is just some collage paper on the other side. You'll see soon that I have. There's a pattern on it, but I'm not going to use the pattern side. I'm just going to use the B side basically to get this background. So remember that little background that those buildings in the far distance their they're a very light mid tone, and I just you I'm going to basically use negative space collage ing to get the edges of that. So here I'm just putting down a little bit of macho podge like glue on the collage paper. And you see, I use those scissors and everything just to get a few interesting edges. And those edges don't exactly replicate what I did in the blueprint. But it doesn't matter all that this is ah, more of, ah, more freedom and what I'm doing here in this version. But so long as I stick to the kind of meat and potatoes of it and get things in the ballpark where they should be. I should be good. And so now just fold in that paper over increasing it basically, and they're all trying to rip it. But eventually you'll see how graphs from scissors and cut it off. And I decided to use that scrap paper sort of folding it all over and losing it. I thought I would cut it and then use the rest of it in the remaining sky area, which I will do here in a second. So get the tape back down on the corners there. And now I've got the the collage paper and this is again the same clash paper that put glue on. Um, I'm just tearing it. I'm just gonna piece it in where I knew. I want that sky area to be and this is ah, good way again to get those abstract qualities really loose, expressive qualities. But believe me, they're structure to it. And that's what again this course is teaching him and trying to do this off the cuff without a blueprint and without experience and being familiar with your subjects and things like that, Then you wanna struggle quite a bit more. And so you see here just got getting that piece. Then little by little on that sky area is pretty much where it needs to be now. And I can start to move into the next section, and what I will do for that next section will be the foreground and just using my fan brush . And again, it's really I know where this ship, what this shape should look like because I know where I'm going with it. Have all that preliminary work that I did see. I just used a fan brush there and a bunch of really loose strokes too loosely. Put that in. Now I'll grab a little more of that collage paper, and that's the same exact piece that worked with in the beginning. And I'm just making some cares here, too. Put in the shape of that where that car will eventually be, and now I just use the other piece, just kind of slap in to the shadow area. I figure that could be kind of where those figures are. There's with that kind of really dark mass, and maybe I'll eventually uses for highlights. But I'll see how that goes. So now you're still working with the block in stage, which is just essentially getting everything the major value masses where they need to be. And once I get that satisfactory, I can start moving into ah, some shadow areas and some details. And so what that is is a small signature brush or liner brush. And I'm using that with my darker tones now moving into the darker values to lay in where those masses will be and again using during loosely and doing somewhat unconventionally to most artists would use appointed around or some sort of brushes very specific for, you know, painting these sort of shapes. But I find they're using random brushes sometimes is a better way to get those abstract quality. So I'm really pushing my boundaries and pushing the art a little bit a my materials as much as I can to get those abstract qualities and again following my blueprint the whole while. If it doesn't need to be perfect, it just needs you need the ballpark it that's it. So now, getting where that darker Mitchem will be for the shadows and using the side of the brush, the point in the brush, different parts of it to get either fill in larger shapes or to get some nice line work on . But little by little, you know this thing's starting to take shape. And in what? Maybe six for seven minutes. So now switching to my fan brush, I'm going to start to our reshape this foreground area a little bit. I just want to clean up these edges. And then once I get that where I want it, I can start to move into some some different areas. Now I'll start with adding some color here into the figure in the foreground, getting that nice punch of blue in there and letting that, you know, go in loosely, as I as I can without distorting it too much. And that's kind of a tricky thing to do. You know, we're trying to paint lose, but at the same time we need to keep enough structure and form to make things readable. So that's, Ah, just something that it comes with time. It comes with just kind of looking at what you're doing, making sure as you put these loose strokes down, and as the painting is kind of coming forward and you're getting to these middle and late stages that as a whole, you can start to see things develop, and they're starting to look more mawr like actual objects. But of course, it would take it too far. Then you've got yourself representational painting. We don't want to really get too much into that we want. Those abstract qualities are now just going back into the building. You see, I got a really small That's a travel brush. It's actually suited for watercolor. I've had forever. I never use it. I just don't travel much. Do go outside and paint, and things generally will take my regular brushes. So these travel brushes never really did anything for me. So I try to use them for little details, especially with acrylic and mixed media. I'm just so they don't sit there and do nothing, but, uh, the point was, there just it's a small brush, kind of hit a few details and get some small shapes going and without getting too chunky, I guess here just adding the other figure kind of lurking in the shadows there, and now I can start to shape these darker masses in the corner. You see how kind of strategically put that white collage paper there as a way of knowing I would have highlights so I could use that paper, the white of the paper, the value of it, too. Ultimately, get the highlights in there that I'll need. So that was done for reason. You see that start to come together there. It's a lot of fun that to paint this way, but it does take a lot of confidence. You have to be pretty familiar. You're with your subjects and again that can. It comes down to toe having that vision of no one where you're going and that vision of understanding where everything is going to be places. What really gives you the freedom, And it certainly gives me the freedom to paint loosely and to go with this sort of energy and enthusiasm, so discontinuing to add some smaller shapes on. And that's kind of what this boils down to. So get the big old chunky shapes. The medium shapes are like the car, the figures, and then we start getting into the smaller shapes, and they're just becoming highlights. Little touches here and there of dark that's all again about kind of finding that balance now, just kind of moving into some of the details. Slowly start to bring this painting together, and it's so easy at this point to get fussy and picky about what you're doing and what you're seeing. And she is so important to not ever painted. And that often is the case for many. And it's the demise for, ah, lot of great art, unfortunately, but takes time. I know I'm guilty of doing all those things myself over painting and taking things too far , but hopefully with each mistake like that, you know, I continue to learn from it, and we'll eventually, you know, get it right the next time identifying when you're doing it. Identifying the over painting when you're doing that should say, is the key to not making those mistakes over and over again. So now just giving a little bit of a blue hue here to throw some windows in on the first level. I thought that would can be a nice little addition there. Keep your eye down in that focal point area a little bit, but we don't you know it's easy to put too many details and in smaller shapes all over the place. But you really want to, you know, keep those details that center of interest? Um, the main part. So I felt, you know, adding those little blue windows, they're kind of help pull your I into that area a little bit and adding the little do not inter assemble here and kind of little drip that's okay. And blocking that in kind of felt like that was a little too distracting about. I'll come back and and reshape that a little bit. So I kept a little bit of that collage paper there, which is good. And now just adding some highlights. Some of the figures, heads and shoulders, little by little bringing this thing to a close. Now I have a really light value there on my brush, and it's kind of shaping a few things in the background and around the buildings. And now I can start. You just add some. The tire marks thing is coming into the kind of leads you into the picture a little bit. I use my finger like I did. They're just a smudge him out. If they get too prominent and that's all coming together nicely. So again, it's all about having that initial blueprint knowing where you're going with it and what once you what you had that I feel, you know, you get a lot more opportunities to create those abstract marks. And with this case of doing this painting, I did add the mixed media and even with collage ing whatever medium you prefer tell you, um, knowing where you're going with it, is that the number one key for me into creating loose art? So here's the final piece. This image was taken a natural light. I'll give you a good look at the colors. You start to see a little bit of that collage ing some of the texture of the paper and things like that, too. So I hope you enjoyed the demo. And thanks for watching