How To Paint From Photo References Without Copying; All Mediums Welcome | Robert Joyner | Skillshare

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How To Paint From Photo References Without Copying; All Mediums Welcome

teacher avatar Robert Joyner, Making Art Fun

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

16 Lessons (2h 24m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Materials

    • 3. Rural Landscape Design

    • 4. Rural Landscape Demo

    • 5. Townscape Design

    • 6. Townscape Demo

    • 7. Abstract Flowers Design

    • 8. Abstract Flower Demo

    • 9. Red House Design

    • 10. Red House Demo

    • 11. Your Assignment: Initial Design Process

    • 12. Roberts Take On Assignment Images 1-4

    • 13. Roberts Take On Assignment Images 5-7

    • 14. Assignment: Final Painting

    • 15. Waterfront Bonus Demo

    • 16. Assignments & Recap

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About This Class


In this course you will learn many ideas for how to paint from photo references without copying every detail and nuance. The lessons are packed with useful tips for all levels from beginner to experienced artists.

The course has four sections.

Section One: Robert will create a series of four paintings all inspired from photos. Each painting is broken down from the very beginning. The steps will include understanding what's included in the original photo; then Robert will extract the elements that are interesting; the scene is re-worked into a new design based on his thoughts and vision. Then a finished painting is completed so you see the idea(s) come to fruition.

Section Two: An assignment that includes seven photo references. You will take each image and use some of the ideas Robert shared in section one to make edits that appeal to you.

Section Three: Robert completes the same assignment using the exact same images as you. This will give you something to compare your work to so that you aren't left with questions. There are no right or wrongs but it's useful to see how he approaches each image.

Section Four: Create a final painting based on your favorite design. Robert will paint his favorite and toss in a bonus video of another :)

When you are finished you will have some fresh ideas and techniques for working from photos.

All mediums are welcome!

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Meet Your Teacher

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Robert Joyner

Making Art Fun


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1. Introduction: Hi, I'm Robert Joiner And welcome to painting phone photo references. This is a beginner class that teaches you how to work with photos without copying them. Working with photographs is something all artists do. So it's important that you approach it the right way. The biggest flaw many creatives have is they copy their reference images. And in this course, I will share a much better way to use photos as a starting point for building a more personalized design and composition that captures your vision and personality. The course begins with several demonstrations. I will take a photo reference and break it down. Along the way, we will discuss good composition and design skills, how to use value to impact the focal point and art. And finally, how to take the design to the next level by completing a final painting. So you will see the process from the very beginning to the very end result at their viewing these demonstrations and examples, it'll be your turn to complete the assignment. In part one of the assignment, we will take a series of seven images. You will dissect each one using some of the ideas shared with you in the previous lessons. Basically, you are learning how to use the photo as a starting point so that you can come up with a really good and interesting design. Along the way, you will learn how to remove clutter and also how to add things when necessary. In part two of your assignment, you will create a final painting based on your favorite design in part one. And I pick my favorite design and create another final painting based on that, I have also included a bonus demonstration because I had so much fun working with these images. I just couldn't resist. Don't want another one. When you are finished with this course, you will never copy photos. Again. You will have new ideas to guide you through the creative process. In the end, you're finished art will reflect your vision and your personality. So if any of this sounds exciting to you, then list gets started working with photo references right now. 2. Materials: Alright, let's go over some materials for my final paintings. I am using Strathmore 400 series mixed media paper has a really smooth surface, great for collaging acrylics. And as sort of thing, I wouldn't really use it are recommended for watercolor. But if you're not using whatever color, you can check it out. The paper, paper is roughly 11 by 14, but the paintings, the final paintings are a little bit smaller. You can see they're not quite as big as the paper. So roughly maybe ten by 1010 by 12, something like that. For my acrylic painting, I'm just using a paper palette. I think it's roughly 14 by 18, something like that. For my paints, I'm using golden. These are heavy body Matt acrylics. So they have a similar finishes Guassian, not much shine to it. So something new I'm experimenting with. So again, heavy body Matt acrylics. I will cover the Hughes I'm using for the painting's once I get into that. But it's a limited palette. The brushes are royal laying nickel. These are the Zen series Z. N is a number for any number eight flat drawing. I am using 2B graphite pencils. I also have some Sharpies. I've gotta large king size of couple of regular fine point Sharpies. Some of them have a lot of eat, some do not, like using both of them. The ones that don't have IQ are great for value studies and stuff. Have some oil sticks as well, I'll play around with and a few of the composition drawings. I'm also doing some collaging and the final paintings. So I have a collection of disk random paper I've collected throughout. So mod podge there I'm using to adhere the collage paper for my drawing paper. I've got some student grade paper. It's roughly 24 by 18 inches. Again, that's just student grade. I'm using this paper for just some of the composition and design part of the course. I've got an old brush that I use for my mod podge. I don't like to use good brushes on that. I have a quart size water reservoir I use when I acrylic painting, so that pretty much covers the materials I will see you in the first lesson. 3. Rural Landscape Design: For this one, I wanted to emphasize the sky. I thought the landscape was rather boring for this image, which I will put up in just a moment. But the focus with landscapes for me, a lot of times As if I have enough interesting shapes and information in the land itself. Or it could be a barn or a silo or a path. I'm going to put more of that. And the painting, if I have a sky where I am in the mood to paint some interesting Clouds and shapes in the sky. Then I'm going to put more of that in there. So the diagram I have drawn out here is a, basically a representation of the original image which I have now on the right-hand side. You can see that image has more land than sky. My goal with this was to do something very simple and very minimalistic. With the finished painting. I didn't want to put too much there. I wanted to know, get some cool-looking clouds, some interesting values structure. And then kinda let it go from there and not tried to get too picky or fussy with a bunch of details and that sort of thing. What I have on the bottom is a square diagram. I thought the best way to approach this would be to change the layout. So I'm going to get away from the portrait layout and make it more of a square layout. You will see in the diagram below now where I have my square, i had the horizon line n. And notice how low it is. So that gives me about two-thirds, maybe a little more for Sky and clouds, and the rest will be land. Now I'm going to tackle the sky. And the main goal with my sky isn't to copy what's there, only to use it as inspiration. I want an interesting cloud structure. So I have to have shapes that will, that are appealing. And when I design there was this kind of almost a v looking shape in the middle centers, a very bold big shape. And I've got a small cloud below it. Then I have a third Cloud off to the left. Now whenever your dawn clouds or any other shape or subject, you have to watch out for symmetry. So the little diagram I just drew to the right shows a square and it shows a big cloud in the middle, and then two little clouds that are equal distance on the left and then one on the right. You would want to avoid that. So make sure when you're designing, always look at your inspiration image and tried to identify things that are have symmetry. And if they have it, get rid of it. And when you're designing your landscapes such as I'm doing now, make sure your watch out for symmetry because it will pop up. You have to always be on the lookout for that. So I'm going to continue with this by adding some bushes, some medium-sized trees for the landscape. And again, I'm always aware of shapes on, I'm drawing inspiration from the original image and I'm grabbing larger bushes and trees, a small, a medium. But as you can see, they're very nondescript and it's not much to it. My goal, but these quick sketches is just to come up with the main shapes and then work off of that once I get to the final painting, having this sort of blueprint is the key. What's going to allow me to paint confidently and more importantly for me anyway, as it allows me to take risks, to really branch out and do things like collaging and mixed media and really go for it. So basically these blueprints give me the freedom for my artwork. They don't inhibit me in any way. And it's easy to get so sucked into details. And to get these designs so diode in that it can restrict you so you have to be careful. But for me I always know if I spin a little bit of thought. And the design process, just understanding the shapes of the subject, moving things around so they look a little more interesting to me. And then I started working with the value structure, understanding where some of my darker darks, what will be the lighter lights and then all the mid tones Have I can start to dial that stuff and then I'm way ahead of the game. And then that way when I get to my painting, I can have a little more fun. Because even if I get it a little bit off, I feel like if I can kinda stick to it 80%, I should have something that works pretty well. So that covers the design, some of my thought process for this piece. But I did do a small value sketch which I wanted to show to you here, had the sun coming off from the top right hand corner. And you can see my darker values are in the verticals, which will be the trees and the bushes. The cache shadows are relatively dark, but then the sky itself is going to have more of that lighter values and a few mid tones. And now in the next demo, I will actually paint it for you. 4. Rural Landscape Demo: Alright, here's my rural landscape demo. There's the final piece, that's where it's going. And if you remember from the previous lesson, we have the original image. So this is what inspired it, but this class is all about taken inspiration images and make them our own. And here's a quick look at the design process and what I wanted to do with this piece. I think because we have a lot of blues and the sky and then also we're going to have a lot of greens. I will atone the paper with an orange. I think that will give it a really warm background to paint on. Because if you think about the color palette I'm dealing with here, blues are very cool and the greens are relatively cool color as well. Although we can make warm blues and warm greens and general, they can be very cool and nature. So the orange is on the paper and I used a cloth just to dry it off and that's going to remove allow them moisture and excess paint. So now I can get down to business. I'm using my royal Lang nickel flat. This is a number four, will cover all of that and I have covered that in the Materials section. Now I'm starting with some dark values here using a little bit of my read, some little bit of the yellows and blues. And I'm just going to quickly lay in the main shapes and some of the main details for this piece. Again, keeping a very loose, it's important to set the tone. It's so easy with a preliminary drawing like this. Put too many details in. And if you stick a ton of details in your sketch on the painting, then it's naturally going to tighten up. So I always recommend as little information as possible, just the main lines and details that are going to help you place the overall design. So using some of the cobalt blue and some titanium white, a touch of the yellows, I added the light blue sky. You can see I'm leaving little specs and pieces of that original orange that I use to turn the paper. And that's going to ultimately create harmony. And throughout the piece, when it's done, you should always see a few of those little specks which will almost bringing the painting together. And again, make it a little more harmonious. Using a little bit the CAD, lemon yellow, a little bit of the yellow ochre, Some of the Cerulean Blue. I'm going to mix up a preliminary green. This is going to be my lighter value, green. I even added a touch of red and do that. And that red will kinda neutralized the green little bits. So even though I'll want it to be a light value on all wanted to be a line green. I don't want it to be too intense. So now mixing some cad yellow lemon, a little bit of throughly in blue, a little bit of ultramarine blue. And I'm going to take a little bit darker green here. And that darker green will be used for a base hue for my cast shadows. So I won't this piece have really fresh, carefree approach to it. I wanted to have a feeling of that it's not overworked, has very free. And that's why I'm trying to get the colors right. I don't mind testing the color as many times as I need to before I put it down. Because once you put it down, if you're not happy with it, then you have to fuss with it a little bit. You gotta go back premix, go over it. And next thing you know, you're in this kind of battle going back and forth. So, you know, having a little swatch there is a great way to test your colors and it's also a good way to eliminate a lot of unnecessary brushstrokes. I'm pretty happy with how everything has gone. I think it's a good time to add some lighter values in the sky. So some titanium white, a touch of orange, and then also some of the blues in there. And not trying to get it perfect here, I just want something to go with. Again, using a brushstroke and an application method that I'm not over blending thing. So we'll put the stroke down and leave it alone, even, even if I'm not happy with it. And it's important to not overpaying it. As I mentioned before, we want this thing to look relaxed and easy. And the more you fuss with it, the more you get away from that. So that gives me some clouds and now I can start to see how everything relates to each other. But I want this one big cloud in the middle to have a nice gray belly to it, but it's not going to be as gray as the one on the bottom right. So you will see I'm mixing up a little bit darker gray here for that one. And that kinda helps connect the clouds to the land, believe it or not. So having that dark gray in there, it's a similar value as some of the green, the darker green tones I have. So that's a very subtle way to connect the land and the sky without them actually touching each other and you're doing it through value. So all of this is moving good. You see I've got some darker greens now. So basically adding a little more read to my greens is a good way to do that. You have to be careful about how much of that you add to it because red will decrease the amount of green. I'm, it's going to make it lighter and value, but it's also going to start to gray it out. So I'll just use it sparingly. If you decide to use complimentary colors to darken your, your Hughes, whenever you're painting. Never tried to use a super dark value and never, and try to avoid really light values. The goal with painting is to be stingy with your really dark darks and your light lights. And only use them if you have to. So allow the greens, I'll put down so far I can push those a lot darker only if I have to if I put something down this too dark or too light C, then you have nowhere else to go because, you know, you've used everything up. So always when you're putting your colors down and when you are choosing colors or Chai, remember to work in the middle between light and dark and China to again use them up too quickly. And if anything, you save those light lights and dark darks for the very end. And that's basically kind of strategy I use all the time when I'm painting. So now a little bit more of a pure white here. And I want to add some highlights and the clouds. So believe it or not, when the clouds are closer to you, they tend to have a little more yellow in them. The same can be said for the landscape itself. As the clouds go away from you, they tend to get a little more grey and blue. The same thing for treason. Different things in a landscape as things recede from you, they get lighter in value. They also get a little more blue and sometimes even Gray. And as things come closer to you, you want to intensify the warmth of it. And typically you'll see a little more yellow as things get closer to you. So kind of another rule of thumb you want to use for landscape painting. I'll cover that in great detail. And my landscape painting fundamental course. So if you want to learn more about that, you can check it out. So here's a look at the final piece. I've also got my design sketches there and that design sketches so important, I can't stress how I am necessary. It is for artists, no matter how long you've been painting to do these really connects you with your subjects. You can work out details. You can solve problems that you didn't realize existed. And then you can certainly make the piece your own. So that's what this course is all about. It's about using photo, photo references, but more importantly, it's about not copying them, making changes so that the artwork becomes a reflection of you and your personality and what you're trying to say with the painting. And hopefully I was able to deliver that message to you with this demo. 5. Townscape Design: Alright, welcome to my townscape here, again using acrylics on paper. This is the final piece or this is where it's all going. Here is the inspiration image. So all No, it's not a bad piece. There are a few issues I see here. So let's go ahead and talk about the design of it. I will use my graphite pencil here. This is just a good old 2B and I'm drawing a diagram of what I see in this image. Now, when you're looking at your images is best to separate from reality. So you don't want to think about buildings, cars, and trees so much. Just look at the shapes. How, what are the big shapes in this picture? And then how do they, how are they arranged within the frame? So if you've never heard the word or term frame, I'm not talking about what you put all finished art to hang it up. I'm talking about the four edges. So the top, bottom, left, and right side of my diagram. So that's the frame and everything has to fit within it. So when I'm dissecting an image, a photo reference, I'm always thinking about how things relate to the frame and how big are they, how small are they? Where do they enter the frame and that sort of thing. And then once I get the big bulky shapes in there, then I can start to make some decisions on how well they relate to each other. If there, if one is too big, one is too small, if they're all too similar. So as I was looking at this image, I wanted to make that waterfront what's in the water, the main focal points. So everything kind of leads you down into that. But the problem I have with the original image is everything's equal. So when you look at how that space is divided left to right. And if I draw a line vertical, vertically to from the end of the buildings up. And then the same thing from the trees and even the water area. They're very similar in size. Almost like you have a trifold piece of paper. And you're going to unfold it and look at whatever's on the inside of it. So what I'm trying to do is get away from that. I want, I want things that are obviously asymmetrical and not things that are bordering on symmetry, even if his closest symmetry, it's symmetry in my book. So I'm going to do is again, go to a square layout. I'm going to make the buildings a little bit smaller, so we don't have as much of that in the piece. And then I'm going to make the tree a little bit smaller to actually quite a bit smaller. And what that's going to do is put more of the weight of the subject and shapes on the left-hand side. And that'll make the right-hand side less weighty. So you'll have a more volume on the left, less volume on the right. And then ultimately, I wanna just kinda pull you in and using perspective to the water area. And then I'll probably go ahead and put some boats, maybe some sailboats or something in there. But it doesn't need to be anything big, Just kind of something easy to look at there. So we look at how I divide the space horizontally here, I've got a medium shape on the left, a large area of lager, and then a small area for my tree. And so I'll get away from those three equal parts. Now have things that are, that are a little more interesting to look at because they are not equal. So that's my thought on some of the design. And again, my intention is to pull the viewer down towards the water area. So I think this design pretty much does that, you know, without being too obvious about it. And I'm going to throw away a little bit of light and shadow. So I've got a light source that will be coming from the top right hand side. And that's when you make most of these buildings on the left. And theory a little bit darker in value, but I'm going to punch those a little bit darker so you don't get to light and distracting. But you can see I've got some cash shadows coming across the street in the foreground. I've got the white car, which I will put a little more in the center of the street. I've got some distant trees way in the background there behind the water. There'll be kind of a light medium value. So I'll, I will basically tried to make the white car on the right. Nice and light and value. And the tree which is on the right-hand side there, you see I got a nice dark value on the left-hand side of that. And that's going to help frame that water view. So let's look at how the space on the right is divided. So I've talked about the medium, large and small going across the top. So on the right I've got a medium space. So if I do a dotted line there about where the land, the water starts, and then do another one where it ends kinda in the foreground. And then I've got the entire Road area. So that is the large. So we have a medium up top, a small in the middle. So we have a thin strip of water and then our larger land mass there. So that again, helps me understand how things are divided vertically. And then I'll also understand how it's divided horizontally. So there's a look in my design and that's what I'm going after for the next piece. 6. Townscape Demo: Welcome to the demo. Again, this is the piece that will be done. So the townscape that takes us down to the water, a few sailboats, how that you can see I've added there. And this was the inspiration image. There is my design that I discussed in the previous lesson and now I'm going to go over my paints. This is pyrrole red. These are golden Matt acrylics, so they don't have the luster and shine of regular acrylics. And they kinda dry more like a Guassian. So again, pyrrole red and then that was cadmium yellow medium. Then I'm going to put down some Hanson yellow light. I do want to say that these are all the same color as I'm going to be using in the demos. So the, how I'm laying it out, this is the same palette I will be using throughout this course. This is a yellow ochre, which gives me a nice and warm yellow. I will also be using an ultra marine blue, which is a nice warm blue. And then for my darker green hue, I've got some fellow green. So that'll give me a good punch agreeing whenever I need it. A little bit of Alizarin crimson. So that's my cooler Red. Alizarin crimson has a little bit of blue in it, and then plenty of titanium white. Those are my two brushes. These are by roiling nickel there flats. That is the Zen series. I've got a number four which is a small, and then a number eight. So those are the only two brushes I'll be using. In this course. I'm going to start by mixing a little bit of ultramarine blue, yellow, ochre Alizarin crimson. And that gives me a gray, dark gray that I can use for my layout drawing. I don't wanna go too dark, but I find a darker hue works better. So I'm going to be also using a square layout for this particular piece. So I've got my frame in there, and now I can start adding my main perspective lines. So I've got the buildings, of course, that'll be on the left. Notice that do not add a lot of details for my drawing. I, my style is very loose. You may opt for much tighter style, but for me, I just get the main shape in there. And whatever few details I think I may need to pull the painting off. Essentially. You know, it's important to get the main elements place right. And I wanted those buildings to be kind of a smaller part, horizontally speaking. So I kinda have condensed those a little bit. And now I've got my white car, which actually plays a key role in the design, is going away from you. So as it will almost like lead you into the where I want you to look, which is the water. I've got my smaller tree. Well, my smaller mass, I should say on the right. And that leaves me a good amount in the center there, big shaped for my, my water. And then I've got my distant trees. I'll go ahead and quickly put where I want my boats to go, or at least a general idea. And that's all I need. I've got a dark shadow coming across the foreground to kinda frame everything out a little bit. And, and three or four minutes, you can easily get your preliminary drawing in. If you're someone that likes to or aspire to paint looser, remember that the looser you can put in your preliminary drawing, the better chance you have an painting loose, the more details you add. And that preliminary drawing typically means the more details you're going to paint. So you end up painting and a very coloring book way. If you have too many edges in too much detail. I'm starting with the sky. I use a little bit of the failed green, ultramarine blue and some titanium white. I like to put a little touch a green Ummah skies For the most part. Unless I'm dealing with, you know, the golden hour or does it really bright red orange sky or something? Now for the distant hills, I want to blew them out a little bit. So I'm using ultramarine blue, a little bit of pyro red, a little Alizarin crimson. The pyrrole red is actually going to make it a little more grey versus violet. And putting a little bit of yellow in there, we'll do the same thing. So that's just going to cancel out some of the violet color. So I wanted to be grey and wanted to be a cooler color, but I don't want it to scream violet because that field that will be a little bit too distracting. Especially if I want kind of an intense blue water with the boats. So now I get to the water. Notice with this piece I'm kinda starting in the background and then working my way forward. And also for the initial block in, which is basically what I'm doing here. So a block in as basically how you're going to take all the means, shapes and put a color down, some sort of color that represents the bulk of the local color. And at this stage, I'm not trying to nail it or dial it in to tight. I want to actually try to not do that. So I'm not trying to mix up any color. That thinks going to be the final Hugh. Kinda just want something in the ballpark and then I'll come back and correct it once the all the main shapes or blocked then. So try not to dialing your colors perfect than the beginning does get him in the ballpark. And that's kind of a good rule of thumb to use. And then know that. You're going to come back later and make your adjustments to make them as accurate as you want them to be. Now I'm going to work on the buildings on the left. The sun is basically hitting the face of these buildings because they're verticals that can be a little bit darker. So things that are vertical don't really get direct impact from the light as much as things that are on the ground. So that when the sun is up in the sky and it's basically shining down on the earth. The ground is always going to get the bulk of that sun, that light, where vertical elements tend to not get it unless you have a very low sun. So the sun is maybe an hour to from setting. Then there are times when it can hit verticals much differently and they will illuminate more. But in this piece, I don't want those verticals to be too light and value some kinda making them a little bit darker intentionally so that they don't get too distracting, convinced, or too light and value. Then this going to detract, from my opinion, getting the viewer to look down towards the water. And I've got the tree element on the right hand side, which is not much when compared to the buildings. But that's going to be very dark in value. So there they're going to kind of balance each other out. Alright, so basically got either the bulk of this blocked in. So I've got my grey my warm gray on the street. I got my cash shadow coming across, working on some of the cast shadows now. So uses some ultramarine blue, little bit of red in there, little bit of yellows as well. And that's, that's going to be the block N. So again, look how loose it is, but it really sets the tone for the overall painting. And because it's not perfect, whenever I come back for the next layer, I've got plenty of wiggle room to correct things. And then that adds a layer a to the painting. So I kinda like that. I like when things very imperfect in the beginning. And then no locking come back in the next layer and add something a little more saturated, a little more colorful maybe are accurate on top of it. And stacking those layers on top of each other as what gives the painting some depth as opposed to painting things accurately in the beginning. And then you come back over it and he really had nowhere to go because everything is kinda where it should be. So here it is a nice and dry. So whenever I do a block in, I like to let it dry and that gives me a chance to look at it. And then make some decisions on where I wanna go. Because the buildings are know, fairly medium and value. And I've got a nice dark element of the tree on the right. I wanted to add that dark car on the left-hand side. Now thought that again, create some balance but without symmetry and details, I'd just add enough to let the viewer know what it is I'm painting. It's kinda like when there was an old TV show of name that tune. And you know, you would have to name a tune and as few nodes as possible. So sometimes when I'm painting, I think about that and I'm probably date myself there. That's pretty old TV show. Because I try to say OK, I want to give it as little information as possible. And then let the viewer try to guess what's going on there and let, let the viewer uses a little bit of their imagination. It's okay to do that. You don't have to put every single detail in the end your paintings. It's actually best for me to leave some of those out at this stage. And over the buildings, the cars, adding little pops of color, correcting things a little bit, but not trying to, again get fussy. I wanna keep that nice loose feeling. I decided to lighten the value in that water a little bit. And I felt like that would maybe make a little bit better focal point then if I were to make that water to saturated in to blue. So, you know, just working around the painting a little bit, a few details in the building on the left, but because the buildings on the left, our growl wants you to look. I'm leaving more details out, then I am putting an details. So think about that too. You know, like, you know, how many details can you leave out of something? Because if you want the viewer to go on a certain path or a certain journey, then you have to selectively and strategically add things and you eliminate things accordingly. So adding a little red sale though yellow sale to the sailboats and the distance will actually help take the viewer there. So that's why I put a little popup color down in there. And I can add some few, few figures walking under the tree. But again, not trying to do too much. You know, it's so easy at this stage to add too many details. And then, you know, you gotta painting this fussy or has so many details that you don't really know where to look, you know, so everything is kinda demanding your attention. So I've got a little figure on the left hand side there, perhaps getting in the car. I'm going to sprinkle in a few more darks here to anchor the foreground. And then I can start to dial in a little bit better color for the street. That color is good. I think that's a nice gray By thing. Adding another layer to it. I'm just going to, you know, helped me negative space. Some of the shadows, clean up some of the shapes and that sort of thing. So yeah, just going around the painting just like that. You can see I'm I'm working on a, another layer for the sky. That's probably a little too white. So I wanted to get a little bit lighter value just because the distant hills are that kinda light violet color. I wanted a little more contrast, saw thought pop in the sky with a little bit lighter color was the best way to do that. But yeah, I mean, this painting, you know, all started with the inspiration image. Obviously. I'll work with my design some to make the piece my own. That's what this course is all about. So we want to use photo references as our starting point, make our changes, and then go for it. 7. Abstract Flowers Design: All right, so here is the next one. Flowers. So the design process is what we're going to cover in this demo. The inspiration image is right here. So pretty straightforward piece here. So we've got a dark background, some medium tone flowers. We've got the portrait layout, which I think works pretty good. There's no sense in change in that. And we have no tall thin vase on a light table top. And all that works pretty good. I mean, there wasn't a tremendous amount of changes I wanted to make, but still, it's important not to stop there and just go for it. So what I'm doing is I'm taking it to the next level and I'm just dissecting the shapes a little bit, just getting to know, you know what's really going on. So if you look at this thing literally, Yeah, there's a vase or some thin flowers or some pink flowers, some green edge in there. But you know what, what type of shape is really going on? And is that going to be interesting enough for me to paint or do I need to tweak things a little bit? And this gives you time to develop a better connection to your subjects. So here I'm plan with the contour edges a little bit. And I want to make sure that this piece has some interesting edges because it's so easy to accept what's there. And then next thing you know, you start to paint it. And you have symmetry because this piece already has that. It has the vase that's going to probably be in the middle. It's got these flowers that are kinda being out from the top of the vase. And it's very, even. So it's up to me to make that shape at more abstract. And so that's what I'm working on. And once I had the overall feeling of the shape, then I can add a couple of big shapes. They are a big shape and then a small one for the flowers. So I'm not going to paint the flowers as I see them necessarily. They're gonna be more of my take on the flowers. So now I'm starting to feel my way around this a lot better now I'm more comfortable because I had that abstract shape. Then I'm going to be using coming out of the vase. And the idea, the key still to making this work is that the focal point has this big mass world proud probably indicate to flowers. And then one small one off to the left. Because if I start painting every single detail in every little blade of grass or whatever is there, then that's going to easily, or could easily end up as a very boring painting. So my idea is to make the colors more saturated and then play down everything else. So kinda make this painting less about color and more about this idea that you're really handling the values a well. And then the only really color that speaking to you would be the flowers. Now, the background is very dark in this piece and I'm going to keep it that way. So I want this, these flowers to kinda pop against the darker background. And plus I've got a table top that's very light and value. And then I have a vase which I will probably make a fairly dark or maybe a medium value. But the flowers themselves can, because we're dealing with a lot of greens and things like that. They're going to be a midtone, so they're not going to be super lightened value. So I've gotta make sure up push that background dark enough to where it's going to pop the flower. So that's going to be my goal with this one. And probably that challenge. And again, knowing that the main colors are going to be in the flowers, I know I'll want my edges to be very interesting, which is hopefully you can see that. And the value drawing I did right there. So look at that, the edges of the flowers and the leaves and everything that you can start to see how I'm envisioning this piece to be. So a little bit of color there just to indicate the flower. So there it is. You know, in a couple of minutes I was able to connect to this inspiration image a little bit more. I feel like I have a better chance of making it my own. And now I'm excited to paint it, so let's do that. And the next demo. 8. Abstract Flower Demo: So here is the final piece I'll be painting in this demo. So my expressive flowers, the inspiration image that I used for this one is right here. So that's pretty much the only starting point I needed. I covered the design process and the last lesson. So there that is, I will start using the same Strathmore mixed media paper. So it's a very smooth surface and works well with mixed media. Its use of he liked collaging. I'm, it's a really excellent surface to go with. I've got my tabletop in there, laying out the the vase slightly off center. Ever so slightly. And I'm willing to make that a little bit shorter. I felt like it was a little bit too tall. So now I've got my little v coming out of the vase. I've got my larger mass for the flowers on the right, and I've got, I'll have my small ones on the left. But the work I did in the previous lesson is so important because I understand how I want to pull this off. And that's such a huge advantage as opposed to just seeing the image and painting it. I've got a leg up on the piece already because I can see it. I can see it better. Now as I'm painting things, they May start taking on its own course or a new direction. And it's sometimes I'll go with it, but I always had that blueprint to Ramy back in if I want to hear, I'm even playing with colors a lot more. You can see I'm through some yellow down for the background only because I know how dark that's going to be when I'm done using a light yellow, there is going to add a little bit of pop to it. And now just kind of was filling spontaneous and Spunk e. So I threw some reds down. And that's all confidence and kind of playfulness that comes from the initial work they did and the design process. Now I showed you some collage paper on, that's just some cheap stuff up picked up along the way. You know, my visit Michaels and Hobby Lobby. I taught AP score some paper, always check those aisles to see if something's on sale. And I like putting my hands on that stuff, that's one thing I don't like buying a stores is collage paper. I like to see it and kinda check out the patterns and what nod before I invest in it. But I will use some of that collage paper on top of the initial acrylic paint here. As a starting point, I'm using mod podge to adhere the collage paper. And I've got a little something down for the vase. I've got a little light value for the table top. And I'm this kind of sprinkling this stuff in there. And there's no really game plan as to where this collage paper goes. I just kinda had this vision, which is my blueprint of what I wanna do, my design. And I kinda go for it. And again, it's that initial work that allows me to be playful here and to take some risks. Have, I've learned that if I don't do that part of it, I don't have that vision that tend to tighten up a little bit, so I'm not I'm unsure. I don't really know what where I wanna go with it. And sometimes that just lends itself to a lot of uncertainty. So before I go into the darks on the background, I want to add some midtone greens in there. Get the feeling and the movement of that V kinda bursting out of the vase is all I'm after trying to capture the movement of it. Not necessarily all the details of it. And I'm, I'm real loose with the colors and values here because I don't really think that's going to matter a whole lot once, once the piece is done. So some pieces, I'm pretty particular about light and shadow, and I'm trying to get the values and the tones. So, so or, you know, just so, but for this one, I just think I've got a little wiggle room. So that colour there was a little bit too light and value. And I'm going to win with a little bit darker gray here, leaving some of that tan collage paper visible as well. And now just stolen some more neutrals in light greys to fill in some of the light area, the table top. And now I can move into a cash shadow still again leaving some of those reds and yellows that I originally did there. Because some, leaving some of that behind is what creates the harmony and the whole piece. Those reds and yellows I started with EPI, kinda leave those sprinkled here and there. It just kinda ties everything in real nice and just gives a painting a little more, little more energy higher. So this is all working good. Just sprinkling in some grays here and testing out some, some graze in the background, trying to see if that's going to be dark enough. So I've mentioned this before, but, you know, if I had this idea and something needs to be really dark, then attend to not go as dark as I need to go. That way. If I need to go darker, aka i had that extra wiggle room to do it. So I decided to go a little bit lighter on the values on the left and then punch those dark values on the right. And of course I've got those dark values around the big peak of the flowers as well. So that, that tends to kinda highlight that mass over the other one. But if you remember the blueprint I created, you'll see that most of what I'm doing here falls in line with that blueprint. So as I'm painting here and I'm selecting and mixing colors, it's all based on one, what I remember from the blueprint, what what my vision was, and what I was trying to say with my value structure and things like that. So you can see this piece came together really quick. We'll take a look at the final image. This was taken a natural light, so you get a better feel for how those colors look. And let's not forget the inspiration image. So this is what kinda inspired the piece and then the design process. So hopefully you can see my thoughts and everything in the final painting. 9. Red House Design: All right, welcome to the project. How with this one? This is my red house design. You can see the finished piece here, the inspiration images here. So stuck to some of the things I liked. And this will be the design process I cover in this demo. As with the previous design demos, I'm going to start with a diagram that illustrates well how I see the original image. So I've got the land line going in, I've got the horizon line. And and now I'm going to add the house, which to me is the most interesting thing there. I just liked the red house. There's something very peaceful and tranquil about that setting. And I just want to be in that red house with my feet kicked up, maybe on the back porch or something, watching the boats go by. So in just a few minutes there, I've got that idea kind of on paper now I can see it and understand what's going on better. And it's important to observe and see things on this level as my two little cartoon eyes indicate. The overall theme to me would be to maintain the tree in the house, but I want those over to the right. I don't like them situated on the left-hand side. I feel like if I push him over to the right, then I can have a little more water view there. And then I can know maybe add a few boats in the water, which is kind of what I would want to be done, as I mentioned earlier, if our sittin in that house or on the back porch, assuming it has one. So I'm going to go again with my good ol square layout. I've got that pretty much penciled in. I've got an indication of where I want some of my features. Features which is kind of a tree in the house. But those two lines again are very important. I want to accentuate the angle of the land line. And then I've got my distant horizon put in as well. And I liked the rhythm of those. I dislike how that looks and the frame. So I've got this little v basically cutting into the frame. And I've got a little more of the land, then the water, and more sky than all of the above. So I've got a nice asymmetrical scheme gone already. And now to make that work, and to get in the tree, I feel like I have to kind of crunch the house a little bit. So I'm going to decrease the size of that and then maybe put a little more emphasis on a tree. And then I've got my little boats there that I really want to look at for some weird reason. But yeah, that, that's going to give the painting a little more of a focal point there, kinda complete the scene. So you're not, you don't just have an empty blue water. And so now let's refine that a little bit more with a third sketch. So for this one, I'm going to make it a little bit bigger. And I'm going to go over some values. Values are so important. I haven't really emphasized it in every single demo for this piece, but I've got courses that you can check out own value structure. I've gotta Landscape course that breaks it down quite a bit. And I use a lot of landscapes in this course because I feel like they're more challenging because you had that background, Middleground, foreground, Vocalpoint thing happening. So you have to work a little bit harder, I think with landscape images sometimes to make them your own and to make them work. So I've got a light value for the land, for the distant hills, but I am going to emphasize more of a hill or some sort of something happening back there besides what's in the image. So the image is really just water. There may be a little island back there, but there's not much. So I wanted to kind of bring that distant background area closer to me. Here I'm adding a little value to the sky. I'm not going to put much emphasis in the sky. I want the water to be a little bit darker in value what she pretty much is in the photograph. Some amazing changes here. We're, like I mentioned earlier, to push the house and a tree over to the right. I changed the layouts. I felt like I didn't need all of that excess. Distance and information on a square layout is really all I needed to kinda make this work. And I kept that V structure for the land and the water excited stalled out. It's so interesting to look at. And then we got the good verticals of the house and the tree kinda intersecting those dollar just made for a really good design. And, you know, and playing with that red house will be sold fun, you know, against the blue sky and the blue water. And even that kinda tan greenish foreground, that bread, but just kinda contrasts really nice against all of that. So I've got my value structure working out here. The shadow on the house on the left is going to be probably my darker value. The roof is going to be very dark too. And of course I've got the dark green shadows in the tree. I made change the variety of the tree baking, give it a little more body. You know, instead of maybe like that pine tree look. I'm also adding or emphasizing a little shadow coming across the right-hand corner. But working on these quick thumbnail value studies are really important. Let's have a look at the final piece here, all my studies. And this is my blueprint. So I'll kinda seeing where we came from, the changes I wanted to make. And then the value study, which will ultimately guide me into picking the right colors as I move forward in the next demo. And I paint this piece for you. 10. Red House Demo: Okay, here is the final piece. This is where I'm going with this one. I will be using the mat heavy body acrylics and some collage to get there. So you have seen the design and you have seen this inspiration image. So this was my starting point. These are the changes I made. And now let's get Cooking with the final painting. So for this one, I'm using my to be honest, this is Strathmore mixed media paper, all the same paper materials for each painting. Some pieces will have collage, some will not. But for the most part, the painting supplies, brushes and paper. All that stuff stays the same. So since I already am familiar with a U R2, with my design, I can quickly add that end. So again, remember the square layout and I've got the house kinda coming in there. You know, my perspective is off too. If you really look at my, my drawing, you can see that perspective, especially the roof line, is a little bit off that, that Chaconne. Be a little bit better in terms of picking your eye back to the right, but that's okay. I mean, whenever you're and you're painting and you're deciding like when a style, how you want to do something. It's really the design process that makes the big difference. If you understand your, your composition, if you understand your value structure and you get that part, you know, 95% correct, you can get away with a bad drawing and almost adds to it. But because you understand the values and you can, you, you know how to make it believable. You can get away with doing things and perfectly. And this, these are the things I really try to stress to my students and throughout some of my courses where kinda showing you my thoughts on painting. Some of my courses are designed to teach you the fundamentals to kind of dial things in and don't focus on style to teach you the things you need to know about building your, your foundation. But once you have a foundation and you understand design, composition, value structure, all that stuff, how you do it is up to you. And the design and composition part. Typically take about the same amount of time. No matter if you're a photorealistic painter or you're someone like me, that does things a little more loosely. Because that's the part that you have to put thought into and then how you do it, how you execute it. That's where someone that paints loose is going to do things more quickly because we're not adding all of the details. So anyway, you can see I'm working with some collage paper here. I've got some. A few solids and I'm using that are being used for the ground plane and some textured paper or some pattern paper for the red house. So I'm not completely stick into the reference image. I'm taking liberty to make changes in color, but I'm also keeping in mind my blueprint so I understand the values and where things need to be light and dark. So a lot of that's been placed accordingly because I know those are colors I can probably work within my blueprint. So colors are pretty much the same. Ultramarine blue, yellow, green cad Red, medium cad yellow light, a titanium white. This is a little more of a minimalistic palette that I used before. So I think with a red house and this sort of landscape, I wanted to change a few things and there are some colors I just need. So pyrrole read a little bit of Alizarin crimson for the shadow side of the house. And you know, right away that's starting to take shape, right? You can see the house, you can see this shadow under the IV. And there's that level of believability even though the perspective and certain things about it are off. Alright, so now mixing up a little bit of white for the Windows, I've got some I guess a second floor there, some windows coming in. So I'll just get a little bit of a gray and yellow gray for that. Just, you know, just to again indicate those. But what we don't need to paint them as they are, they just need to be suggested and not painted. Now I've got a medium grayish tone for the distant hill. This was something I took liberty in adding. For this piece, I wanted to kinda make that background a little bit closer to us than what's in the original image because I felt like it kinda kept your eye in the piece a little bit more than pushing the water so far back that we kinda get lost and the distance. And for the rest of this demo, I'll speed things up just a little bit. This course is really about the design and how you approach using images. Not necessarily trying to go over a ton of painting details. The demos were added just as it common extra bonus to show you the follow through and how the pieces were were painted based on the blueprint. But the blueprint, the first stop finding the inspiration image I guess would be the first. But then using that inspiration image as a starting point and not necessarily an end point so that you can make these things your own. You know, we don't want to copy our images. We want to use them, but then add our own twist, make them our own so that when we look at it, we know that we added, subtracted, we did whatever we needed to do to make the painting work for us, our vision and what we were trying to say. And not necessarily letting the image tell us what we need to pain. And you know, we gotta be in control of those things. And that's, that's important to, to, to learn. It's not easy to do. Some artists have a hard time doing this. And this is why I made this course is because I want you to start taking liberty and to start making some changes and don't fall into the trap of copying things. Just extract certain elements that you like. Hey, I like that red house, that's a starting point. I can use that to build upon and go with it. Versus taking the image and say, all right, I'm going to copy everything in it. And then you end up with a painting that just has no inspiration to it. There's nothing interesting. And the end result is you have a piece that looks uninspired versus a piece that actually has some energy and some spontaneous action going on. So here's a look at the final piece. Again. Hopefully you can see my take on it, the, the things I wanted to do. And I'll kinda show you the original image here. So this is what inspired me to paint it. These were my changes and the design process. So there you go. I'll see you in the next one. 11. Your Assignment: Initial Design Process: All right, you've seen me use a few techniques to work with photos, to make images my own. And now it's your turn. I would recommend starting with a quick sketch. So take the photo and create a sketch as is, so that you understand what's there in the image. And once you understand it, then determine how you wants you alter the layout. So with my example on the right, you remember this was my red house demo. I made it square and I move the house and the tree over to the right. So it's okay to use the elements that are there. But feel free to arrange them according to what you feel would work. Well, of course, add or subtract elements. I eliminate a lot of stuff from my photos, but I'm not afraid to add things, anything that will be synonymous with the scene. So if you remember what the red house, I added a little sailboats and the distance, and I eliminated a lot of the land and the sky that were there. The final step for the design process will be to create a quick Value study. You can see mine and the bottom left hand side. And that's all I needed to take it to the next level, which will be painting The final piece. So for your assignment, only focus on the design process. This is not going to be the final painting. We will do that in part two of your assignment. There are a series of seven images in this video. Each image is four minutes long, so you have four minutes to create a study that looks like the one I have on the right. Obviously, you can take more time if you need it. When there are 20 seconds left with the image, you're here a notification that sounds like this. Thus, we know it's about time to wrap it up and get ready for the next one. Good luck and have fun. We're done with part one. 12. Roberts Take On Assignment Images 1-4: For the assignment, you know, you want to start with the original image. This will help get me connected to what's there. It will help me identify some of the potential problems and he symmetry and he sort of shape that I can latch on to and make more interesting. So this is an important part of it. I don't always do this part for myself. I tend to just take, you know, two or three minutes and just look at the image and spot these things. But I think when you're learning this sort of process, it's important to draw it. I've got the basic outlines and contours of what's happening there. And so far, the obvious thing is this inspiration image is sky. You can see it's very dominant. And I like it. I like those dark navy blues and the sky contrasting against the white fluffy clouds. I liked the one tree that's located on the right-hand side. And I think it's good. But I don't feel we need all of that extra real estate at the top. So I'm going to convert it to a square layout, which I have gone on here. And then move that horizon down towards the bottom, which is pretty much where it's at anyway. And that's going to give me a design that is emphasizing the sky. So I've got the fluffy clouds or cumulus clouds towards the horizon. In the cirrus clouds is kinda higher bands of clouds moving in from the top. And I'm going to make the cirrus clouds, the bands kinda move more in a diagonal. So they're going to move down towards the top left into the larger cumulus clouds. And then of course ask when it leads you down into the landscape. Again, I kept the tree as a good focal point. And then the darkest value is going to be on the right-hand side of that tree. So we do have a light source. There's coming from the top left-hand side. Looking at the image, there's a row of trees and the very distant kind of a dark green row. I'm going to keep those and just kinda make it a little bit bigger. In the back, there are some smaller bushes and things like that as well. There's actually one that's to the left of the tree which I kept. And there's kind of like a row of Bush's to the right of the tree, kinda moving back in a diagonal. I like how that diagonal is moving across the foreground there. So I would keep that diagonal feeling of those bushes kinda moving across the foreground. And then you've got the diagonal cirrus clouds moving in from the top left-hand corner. So those kinda contrast each other. So you have one diagonal that's moving from the lower left to the upper right in the foreground. And then in the sky you haven't moving the opposite way. So that adds a little kind of a interests there, a subtle design. Element that works really well on a painting. I would keep the sky relatively dark. I like that navy blue clashing with the clouds. The white and the cloud will probably be the lightest value. And then the land would be fairly light as well. So again, the darkest dark Being in the tree, we've got a cast shadow. Also, the bushes would be fairly dark. So that gives me a really good design to latch on to. And I think that would work well for a painting. So let's have a look at the final sketch there you can see I emphasize the diagonals and the serious clouds on the top left. How they would add a little interests and kinda pull you down into the clouds and then into the, ultimately the tree in the landscape. But anyway, I kinda liked that a lot. I think it will make for a really nice painting. It's a little bit different than the inspiration image. And of course, the inspiration image. Many elements are still in there, so I used it but I made it my own. I, this sort of image can be a real disaster. I mean, there is so much information coming at you. But they're kind of cool too, because there are probably 50 different paintings or more. You could pull or extract ad of this sort of photograph. And you know, it's important to think about your inspiration images in that manner. So it's not like we want to copy him. Of course, this is what this course is all about, is it gets you to avoid copying your photographs and just use them for a starting point. But anyway, I'm going to approach the assignment and the photo the same way. So I've got a generic contour of many of the, the elements that exist there. I kinda liked that little c, that reverse c of the water cut in through there. I also like the homes. I like the little trees that are kind of popping up into the sky. I think there will be fun too abstract and kinda do some fun brushwork in that. And I like the boats, like the boats that are dock right next to the homes. And again, this is about trying to find one thing to latch onto and not the whole. So I'm going to try to do a design here that incorporates the hill in the back. And then some of the bushes or trees rather that are kinda cutting up into the sky. I've got that diagonal of the hill and the trees in there, you can see the tree on the right, that group there's kinda cropped off a little bit. And then I've got the part of that see the top of it coming down. And then the rest is going to be water. So the bottom part of this painting will be mostly water. So I'm going to basically, basically do away with all the foreground information that's in the inspiration image. So my focus will be trying to capture the boats that are, that are docked. They're next to the homes. I just have an affinity for boats. I love old work boats and things like that. So I'm going to use that as my kinda focal point that there'll be next to this kinda quiet space of the water. And that's important to talk about for a second. So in a painting, you know, you need an area of emphasis and a focal point of course, but you want to always think about balancing things. So you have an area that has a lot of small shapes, medium shapes, and I'll kind of these almost very detail oriented stuff. So it gets very busy in those areas. So with this one, if you look at the boats and then the homes that are going to be behind it. And just those two elements alone. There's a lot going on and we haven't even started talking about windows and elements in the boats and different subtleties that we could either add or take away. And even still it's very, very busy. There's a lot happening. So having that quiet water space in the foreground, balances out. Balance will, let me try it again. It will balance out the business. So if I have a really busy water, there's a ton of reflections. And I'm trying to capture every single nuance and the waves and the reflections and things like that in the water. Then it's going to become very busy and it will start competing with the boats and the homes. And then next thing you know, every square inch of the design is begging for your attention. So it's important to recognize that. And in your design process, you want to have those areas busy-ness, but always remember we went to balance it out and use the symmetry rule as well. So you don't want half quiet and half busy. You either want like a third of it being kinda busy and maybe the rest being somewhat quiet or vice versa. So that's just some things I always think about whenever I'm designing and working with photos is where, where's it going to be busy? Where am I going to had these small shapes and details and all these little smaller brush strokes. And then where's it going to have the balance, whereas where is my quiet space? The painting? So that's all part of balancing in the design. So that when you have a finished painting, you can kinda see it. And then also more importantly, you can really see where you want the viewers to go. And that's going to be where the boats in the homes are. And so basically the background sky, all that stuff is going to be relatively quiet. So here's my take on the design and hopefully you can see where my emphasis would be for the final painting. If I did one r, This one's got a lot going for it. I liked the white home. Obviously, they're looking over the water. Second little iceberg out there might be a little chilly to be sitting on the porch, but we can always change the season. I like the land, how it kind of slices and an angle. And it takes you up to the dark Hill. On the top right hand side we have a distant hill to that's a little bit lighter in value. Kinda loops you around back into the water. And then we have a light Road, kinda gray driveway sort of thing coming through the middle of the foreground. And that's, that's nice too. I may want to turn that into a driveway or something that kind of takes you into the house where you kind of feel like you want to park your car or something like that. The first thing I'm going to do is just crop off a lot of the left-hand side of that image. So it's going to be a landscape layout, but think of maybe five to four ratio. So slightly longer on top and just keep a lot of what's there. So I've got the horizon, which is this lovely navy blue color like that distant hill. I like how the foreground or the land mass conda angles up towards it. I think I'm going to move the house a little bit closer to the water so that it intersects the ground plane and the C. So you kinda see that roof line is now kinda breaking that line up a little bit and just pulling your eye into that home, basically selfie, you follow the land mass in the picture. And that just takes you to the Hill where now if you follow my composition, he follow that land line from the left hand side. You'll see how that intersects that house and it just makes the house a little more of the focal point in my opinion. And again, I'll, I'll keep that hill in the very back. I liked that dark mass, but everything else is going to stay the same. I'm extracting a few bushes and things like that that are in the foreground. And now I'm going to add some value to it so the sky will be very light and value. I've got that dark Hill which is really going to join the dark roof. I have a light source that'll be coming from the top right hand side. So the left hand side of that tree will be dark. So I'm just joining all those darks into one big abstract mass, which I think would work really well. The c, I want to keep that kinda rich blue going on like that color. I think it works well. If I can get a nice light tan for the ground mass, I think that would be a really good contrast. And I'm going to delete that iceberg and maybe just add a few boats back in their turn in more of a spring and summer sort of seen. And now I can add a little value for the land and add a few shadows. I've got the little pathway coming in now the kinda gotten rid of the straight line of the The grey path coming in the foreground. I kind of loop that around a little bit and just to make it where it's curling into the house, like maybe it's a driveway. And I just think that connects the house, the driveway to the house and to the rest of the elements in the design. So there it is. A little bit better shot of the image. You can see, you know, everything's been cropped a little bit. Hopefully the house plays a little bit more of a key role. And it gives you the feeling that you just want to be on that porch looking out over the water and everything. All the elements kinda bring you back to that house. And then of course, you've got the little boats in the distance, which give you an interesting thing to look at if you were at that particular spot, you know, sitting on the porch with a cup of coffee and join the scenery. So that's my take on it. Let's move on to some flour or something a little different. Still Life images can be fun to work with. They tend to be a little more simple because you don't have all that distance you're dealing with and like a landscape. So you don't have miles and miles of landscape. You're only dealing with feet basically. But there's still work to be done. And with this one and we've got a bed, we've got a table, we've got a book, we've got some flowers. So I'm going to do that contour drawing, which helps me connect to what's there. Again, it only takes a minute or two, but it's a good way to warm up to the piece and then to connect to some things you like and maybe don't like. So I think the obvious thing to do here would be to eliminate a lot of the bed and pillow and all that stuff. I just think it's really unnecessary. I'm going to focus on the flowers. Just get familiar with how I can make that interesting. So with the flowers you had these white, I guess, or tulips or something. And you have some that are individual, and then you have some that are kinda touching each, each other. So whenever I'm doing flowers are still life like this. I'm well, or even a landscape. I'm always trying to think about variety. So with the flowers, I don't want four or five individual flowers. I would rather have one or two or maybe three that are singular or alone and then maybe join two or three. And that way there's interests. So you have flowers, but none of them are really the same. Some again are by themselves and others are grouped together. So you can join to a three flowers into one white mass. So that's when I'm done with this piece and with a still life like this too, you can always add some other interesting elements. So when I look at this, you've got a white vase, you've got white flowers, you've got dark green leaves and stems. Maybe like orange would be kinda nice or an apple to add a pop of color. And if I did things that were kind of grayish and White in green, maybe I wouldn't like pile on the saturation. Keep it to where though there's orange but it's not like out of the tube orange, I would gray it down a little bit. And there's always that idea that you can add things to it that aren't there. So when you're working with images, there's certain elements that are synonymous. So like if I'm working with a seascape, there's boats, there's harbors, there's docs from working with a cityscape. There's cars are as people. And there are certain elements that are always part of that scene. And with a still life like this, you have a vase with flowers. You can always add anything near the vase to make it more interesting. So here you can see my design. Eliminate a lot of the clutter that distant need. I also showed you quickly on the bottom there how we have individual flowers. And then he can join three flowers into one interesting mass. And that sort of thing can make or break the painting believed or not. So that's kinda my idea, will probably add a little popup color near the bottom of the vase and orange or something like I said. And or maybe even too. So that's my take on it. And I'll see you in the next one. 13. Roberts Take On Assignment Images 5-7: Alright, for this one, we've got a really interesting scene. Of course all approach it the same way. I'll just lay out some of the main edges and contours and get familiar with it. And along the way, I'm always connecting two things, disconnecting from things, what I like and dislike. So that's basically what's happening. I do like this kinda abstract zigzag sort of feeling the land gives you against the water. You had this kind of busy-ness and saturation of the rocks and the grass. And even though the little shack there that has some orange and burgundies and stuff in it, but, you know, it needs some work. I do like the idea of this sort of Shack that's going over the water. I liked the pylons that are under it, although it kinda looks like it's just barely hanging in there, like any point is just going to fall into the water. So I want to give it a little more support. I want to bring it back to life a little bit. So I want to be the contractor that goes out there and starts building up here around it and gives it some, some energy and some use. So bright now would even take a step on that thing. I'll be afraid for my life. So I'm, I'm trying to understand the perspective. So the, this kinda house, this shack there, it's just a cube that's moving away from us. So that left-hand corner is closest to us, and the rest of it is kinda moving away. So I want to make sure in my design that I get that perspective. Because it's, it's so important to capture that movement of the the house or the shack there. Moving into the water. And perspective is, is understanding, perspective is part of it. Being able to draw a cube movement moving away from you like that is important, I think for this piece. So I've kind of added a little extra highlands there, a little dock area. And I think that makes me feel a little bit better about the overall design, but overall, you know, feeling of this piece, I want to kinda give it that idea that it shifts a shack. There may be a main somewhere and you know, kinda slice and into the emptiness of the water. And then we've got this green, probably would really punch that green. Maybe keep those graze in the shack though in a little bit of red maybe. And then instead of doing the big thing about the rocks and making it about into the rocks to our probably doesn't downplay that a little bit. More color, some unit grays and maybe a touch, a gray green, just to tie it into the foreground. But really a nice empty water. Not much going on with the water, because everything else is going to be fairly busy with different things. Now would probably suggest some rocks and cliffs, best sort of thing in the background. And then we'll give it a couple of boats know, floating in the water may be buoyed up, something that like that and connect those boats to the background. See how I'm slicing into that background with the mast and different parts of the boat so that so it's connected in the boats aren't isolated in the water. So I like to connect my elements with boats. I like to either connect them to the foreground, the pier, the background or something. So here's my design. So you can see what I came up with. I really liked that design a lot. I think it would work really well. And anyway, that's my spin on it. And hopefully you like it. And of course you learned something from it. Alright, I really like this piece is such an interesting composition already. If you really look at it, if you just break away from the literal and this focus on the lines and how things connect in the perspective of it. It's really a fabulous image. You've got this little hook there's going around. So it starts on the bottom right, and then loops around. And then it connects to the pilings which kinda come back down vertically. And then you have the little lobster shack there that sit on top of the dock. And all of these elements had this really interesting perspective. And how it just takes you right into the water and the boats in the distance. And I'm going to talk about that a little bit more and here in just a second. But, you know, it's so easy to overlook these things. If you don't understand it, if you just don't take time to appreciate it. And that's why I think, you know, picking up a pencil and paper and working on these things is so important because it just really opens you up to seeing better. And that's a big part of being an artist. So I'm gonna go over these perspective lines now. Some, I'm kinda, some of these, I'm exaggerating, some I'm playing down. But basically he had this, these, this perspective. If I add that little dock there where all the little boats are, look how those perspective lines are all taking you into the distance there while I'm going to just suggest some boats, but just the perspective alone of using the lobster Chac, the top near the dock and the pylons and everything. And being able to kind of take you from the righthand corner, loop you around and that little hook, and then send you out with these perspective lines into the distance and then having a dark mass over to the right, which is nothing more than the pylons that are existing already. That kind of keeps you in the picture. That's awesome. I mean, you don't even need to over paint this. You can underpin this. And just so long as you capture that perspective. And that would be interesting by itself. I mean, this is one of those pieces. You don't even need a lot of detail. So here I'm going to show you what I'm talking about one more time to silver on the same page so that you had that house, which is getting the left-hand side of it. And these perspective lines of moving away from you in the distance like that. And if I continue that idea, the perspective lines, you'll see how that little circle there all leads you to that circle. So all of those are like little arrows. And that, that's how perspective works if you really use it in design and not just paint it for what it is, but like really think about it and tweak it to where it's at school. And as Dawn a job for you, it's making your viewer go to a certain place in the painting. So it's perspective is something you definitely want to learn to use and incorporate in your designs. And I of course have courses on that as well so you can check out the links. But anyway, this is my take on it. Again, I'm not going to change anything if any. If I'm going to emphasize one thing, I'm going to just this, that perspective and then making it work for me as I send you out into whatever, some very vague painted boats in the distance. And then using that dark mass to keep you in the picture and to pull you back down into the loop. And it starts from the bottom right. And then, you know, ONE round to the the pylons, the house, and to the distance, and then back around. So a really cool piece. So another very busy scene here. A ton of stuff happening in the big trees and bushes on the left, the big busy foreground with all the grass and we have a dock with a home or shack there, some boats and then the distant hills. And on top of that we've got this big street sign slice and up through the middle. So can it be a cool painting? Yeah, I think there's always an opportunity to take images, get familiar with them. Again, extract the things that are interesting to you, eliminate a lot of clutter and find that focal point. And you know, you have to, every painting has to have a why, you know, why do you want to paint it? What are you trying to say with it? What do you want to show off and then design around that. So it's just much, a much better workflow then taking an image and trying to paint it and not really understanding what you're trying to do. So again, a very, very busy scene there. Of course we're not gonna do it that way. I'm going to latch on to the Shack, which will give me a good hard geometric subject and shape to kind of place in the right-hand corner. So I'll start there. The distant hills I'll keep. So I think that gives me a good backdrop. And I'll have the sky, a little sliver of the sky there. So I'm going to make the shack a little bit bigger. I'm also going to play up the perspective. So you kinda had this arrow pointing into the scene. And that's basically what I'm using that Shack for and also the dock. So instead of thinking about painting a doc, I'm thinking about using these as prospective shapes to take the viewer into the scene. So I've got some of the blades of grass go on there and that's probably a little too much. Sometimes when I get a like a group, I'll just save this grass that's kinda moving all the way across the foreground like that. Sometimes act that can feel like his blocking the viewer from getting into the scene. It's like there is a fence. So I'm going to use the grass, but I'm going to end it about where the middle of the dock is and then I think that will connect it. And that's pretty much all the grass I need right in that area. And really the grass, the object or the shack there, the doc. All that's dawn. Those elements are Dawn is, is framing. What will be the focal point, which will be just some boats back in there. And I think every painting needs something to kinda out to lead you into wherever you want the viewer to go. And now I feel like just those boats, even if they're under painted, just silhouettes, which is pretty much all I would do here. That's all you need. And so you would just have that feeling of like, oh, that's cool. You know, nice though a dock there, I'm little workshop or whatever and some distant hills and homes or whatever, and some boats. So it just gives that viewer a feeling that, hey, that'd be kinda fun to be there right now, looking at that scene and taken it all in. So it's a little journey going on. So anyway, here is the sketch. Hopefully you can see I'm using elements that are there, but at the same time, you know, using them as a work, as a tool. So the home, the docs, all that is a tool that leads you towards the boats, the distant hill and homes wherever is gone as just a backdrop saying, okay, that's far enough. That's come back to me. And then the grass just kind of frames everything. So that's my take. 14. Assignment: Final Painting: Well, I hope you enjoyed part one of your assignment and I hope you had a chance to see my take on it. And now it's time to do a final painting. So for part two of your assignment, you'll create a finished painting based on your favorite design. Feel free to use any medium of your choice that can be mixed media, watercolor. And just as a matter, I encourage you to try something different and always use your blueprint, your design as your guide. That's a good way to get back on track. If you get lost along the way, loosen up and have some fun. So here you're looking at my final painting and it's very loose. I left out so many details in this piece, and I actually didn't intend for it to be this style at all, but it just so happens. That's how it ended up. I liked it, so I'll let it alone. And now I will paint this piece for you as the final lesson. Now here is my design that I worked with and the assignment. So in part one, I shared my thoughts on this. So overall thought this worked pretty good. I'm going to keep the shapes nice and distinct and just keep it simple. And that's because I just don't want it to be cluttered. It's nice the way it is. So for this one, same palette as I've used before. So cad yellow, pyrrole, red, ultramarine blue, yellow ochre. And I have some failed green in there. I've got a dark hw here that I will use for my lay in. Again, keep in Mali and nice and quick, nice and simple. Since I've spent the time and the design process, I'm familiar with the shapes. So theoretically, things should go a little bit smoother because you're already there already know kinda what's going on. And this is such a leg up on those that see an image and just try to paint it right away. There's so many advantages to Dawn the design par and just getting connected with the piece and making it your own. And you know, just coming up with a good design is only part of the picture. You know, it's really that confidence it gives you as you start a painting. Knowing that you're already familiar with everything, it's really a, a good approach to creating. So you can see I've, I'm starting to whack away. My use some titanium white with some of the blues and greens are all my palette. And I'm mixing a little bit of ultramarine blue into that and just know, putting, putting in some base color here. But keeping everything fairly muted at this point, I'm going to try to bring most of the color down towards the middle ground and foreground. And of course I've got this nice puncher green gone across the foreground. So, you know, I don't want the overall feeling of this piece to be two Gaudi or garish, I should say. I don't want it so intense in color that it starts to lose the quality because the design on this and the way the shapes hook and mingle with each other. That's really the star. So the color doesn't have to be, in my opinion, that big of a deal because I think that design really works so well. So that's, that's my goal is to see how simply I can paint this piece, how minimalistic Lee. And to try to do the idea that less is more and just know C Now if, if it needs more as I get into it, I'll add it. But my idea is just to kinda splash some color. This get the values correct, and just fill in those shapes with the appropriate value. And my vision is that should be enough. So basically letting them design, do all the heavy lifting. And here is the peace, believe it or not, one go in about six minutes, this piece was painted. The image was taken a natural light so you get a better feel for the colors and the saturation of everything. So anyway, I hope you enjoyed the demo. 15. Waterfront Bonus Demo: Sorry, here's a little bonus video for you had so much fun with all of this. I wanted to do another one. But you're probably remember this scene. This is the photo reference, so we get the White House and everything. And with my assignment, this was my design on it. So you can go back and watch that or perhaps you remember it. So let's go ahead and crack forward. I am filming this at two times the speed, but everything's the same. I'm going to lay it out with my large flat, get the main lines in. That's, that's what's important when you're painting. You want to get the main elements and the main shapes in first. So defining where the land will be, the background. That'll help me lay in my house. Remember that house is going to intersect the land and they kinda connect the hill in the back as well. So I've got a little curved kinda hook driveway going on few shrubs in the corner. On the bottom right, I think would just keep the viewer in the scene. So I'll, I'll add a couple of bushes there. And I think that I should do it just fine. So from here, you can start to think about the execution, which is, I think some collaging will be fun. So I've got some tan paper there. See I use my scissors to cut out a little area for where that roof line will be. I'll add a little bit of that hue on the right-hand side as well. So right away attacking that design. And that's what was cool about this process. You know, whenever you take five or ten minutes to draw your thoughts down and to think about some of the values where they'll be placed, then we start painting it. You've got such a huge advantage over someone that just skips these important things. And that doesn't have a connection to what they're doing. They're just simply copying what they see in rather than taken time to make it their own. And then more importantly to really understand the values where the dark and the lights will be, where their main shapes are, and what are they trying to say? What exactly are you trying to emphasize with the piece? So you just take time to do those things. It just, you know, the painting can almost pain itself at that point. Whereas if you skip this sort of stuff, then you tend to struggle in the painting process because you're just really uncertain. There's a lot of uncertainty, I should say, throughout the decisions you make. And so when I'm making decisions on color, I'm thinking about value. So color isn't necessarily driving me or making, you know, it's not a huge impact on what I do. I'm thinking more if I get the values correct and their colors can be more flexible. So values are what's going to make the piece hold together, the Vout, the colors can be off. So a lot of people even will take photo references and they copy colours. They try to match every color in the image. And of course, you know, there's really no point in doing that because you're not ever going to be able to, to match nature ever. So whenever you think more about values and you're thinking, okay, I'm going to just dumb this down a little bit and make it simple. And just use, you know, a handful of values and get the darks and the lights where they're supposed to be, then I would just have fun with color. I'll find freedom with color and not become a robot and try to copy everything. So here you can see I'm exploring some more collaging. And instead of everything being painted as fun too, throw some collaging in there and see how you connect with that. So working with photo references is as a great way to begin. Painting. For me, photos are interesting to work with. I get a lot of my inspiration from photos. And of course, the internet is flooded with opportunities and really cool things to look at and to paint. But I never take a photo and put it up on my easel and start pane that. I'm always taking that time to connect to it, to extract the things that I like and don't like. And all the while I'm getting this vision of how I want to execute it, how will I pull this off? I'm getting thoughts about, you know, should I use watercolor or can I use watercolor and mixed media? Do I want to use acrylics? So you're, you're kind of painting it even though you're just spinning time, designing it along the way. So anyway, you can see this thing is coming together. I've got a lot of the, I think values where they need to be. Things are connecting. And if you went back and he compared the final painting to the value sketch, I did mean, yeah, it's not gonna be perfect. But remember, perfection doesn't need to be, you only need to be in the ballpark. I find if you have a decent value structure, then that's going to allow you a little leeway to make these mistakes in a take liberty and undo things maybe a little lighter or darker here, and they are just for impact. And so value structure sometimes gives me freedom as well to do things, you know, a little more loosely. So anyway, you can see these paintings come together pretty quick. This is again two times the original speed, but I think this one took about 15 or 16 minutes to pull off. And he can see, I've lost some of those lighter values of the landmass along the way. So don't a little collage paper over top of that. We'll bring some of that backend. Now at this point, I want to just evaluate the piece and then make some decisions on whatever needs to be changed I want to make wanted to make that tree a little bit darker in value. It's a vertical element, should be a little bit darker. And now I'm going to punch some darks, some shadows and some details on the roof. And little by little, each change is as getting me closer. There, I've got my water soluble pencil and that's drawing into the wet paint really well, kinda hit and miss on some linear interests there some line work, adding some details into the sighting, different things like that. So I found some light green collage paper. So I'm adding a little bit of that to the shrub there in the foreground. So I'm just finding ways to have fun with what I'm Dawn and collaging and doing this sort of work is a lot of fun to me. I just enjoy the field of paper ripping paper, glued it to my artwork. And the process. And sometimes that alone is, is all I need. There's enough satisfaction. And just the process of painting. And I don't become stuck on trying to paint masterpieces all the time. It's more about just the experience, just enjoying myself, whether it comes out good or not. So here is the finished piece taken a natural lights. The photo was taken in natural light rather. And so you can kinda get a better feel for the textures and some of the line work. But yeah, a little bonus video for, yeah, I thought would be fun to do this one. I really like it as I was working with the design. So there you go. I hope you enjoyed it and thanks so much for checking it out. I'll see you guys in the next one. Byte. 16. Assignments & Recap: Well, that brings us to the end of the course on hopefully throughout the lessons, the assignments and everything that we have covered that you now are inspired to use your photo references as a starting point. Hopefully you have some good design tips, some things that will inspire you to think a little bit differently about your photo references. I remember photos are wonderful. They are great for getting ready to paint, but always break them down, make them your own. Remember, you can always take away some of the details and elements that are in them to simplify it. And of course, you can always add things as bow. So hopefully with these final paintings I did for you all the different demonstrations and examples that you're able to extract something useful for your painting process. I do think we covered a lot of ground. I know many artists, including myself, worked with photos all the time. I don't always have time to get out there in the field and drive around and find good subjects to paint. So working with photos is something that's necessary for painting subjects. So, you know, the Internet is full of wonderful, inspiring starting points. That's the beauty of it. But remember, don't copy the things that you see. Always take the time to just dissect what's going on to simply do those preliminary drawing so you understand what's there. And then decide for yourself how you can shuffle things around in order to find your vision and find something that inspires you to paint. So complete the assignments, I'll look forward to seeing what you do. I hope you enjoyed the course and I'll see you guys in the next one.