Impressionist Landscapes - Composition - Format & Energy | Rachael Broadwell | Skillshare

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Impressionist Landscapes - Composition - Format & Energy

teacher avatar Rachael Broadwell, Fine Arts Teacher

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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

13 Lessons (1h 12m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. The Subtle Psychology of Format

    • 3. The Project

    • 4. Color Palette & Supplies

    • 5. Landscape Format - Sketch

    • 6. Landscape Format - Painting

    • 7. Portrait Format - Sketch

    • 8. Portrait Format - Painting

    • 9. Square Format - Sketch

    • 10. Square Format - Painting

    • 11. Panoramic Format - Sketch

    • 12. Panoramic Format - Painting

    • 13. Conclusion

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About This Class

Composition is one of those terms often thrown around when discussing art, but the meaning can easily be lost. Composition is a broad term with many aspects. I am going to examine composition of landscapes one aspect at a time in a series of courses. In this first course on composition, we will examine format.

Composition is more than the placement of elements within a work of art or design, it also pertains to the very format on which the art or design is placed. By reflecting on the intended message you want to convey through your painting, you can make informed decisions regarding the format you choose.

In this class, I will demonstrate how simply changing the dimensions (aka format) for a single landscape composition can lend itself to altering the perceived energy of the painting. The format of your picture plane, no matter the subject or medium, can help you achieve the energy you wish to convey through your art. 

How often do you think of the shape and dimensions of your painting surface as being part of the overall composition of your painting? The surface -- whether a canvas, paper, panel, or just a napkin -- plays a subtle but important role in the composition of your work. Think about it -- painting on a square is different than painting on a long horizontal rectangle. With each, you have a different set of opportunities and limitations to what compositional elements you can include in your design. Do you choose a particular format merely out of preference or convention? Or can you choose a format that best suits your intention for your painting?

I will be using oils to do these demonstrations, but these concepts are useful for any medium in which you would like to work.

The videos in this course focus on format and energy, rather than a detailed tutorial on painting techniques. If you would like some more background on technique, check out my course catalog! The full length versions of the paintings in this course will be available on my YouTube channel -- Rachael's Atelier.





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Rachael Broadwell

Fine Arts Teacher


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1. Introduction: Hello, Welcome, Teoh Impressionist landscapes. The composition. Siri's My name is Rachel, and in this course we're going to focus on just one aspect of composition, which is format in format refers to the actual physical dimensions of the surface on which you choose to paint. So whether that's canvas or paper panel, whatever you choose the paint on, I think that this is an often overlooked aspect of composition, but one that deserves some consideration because you don't need to choose your format based on mere convenience or convention, you can make an informed decision regarding format that will suddenly impact. You're painting in several ways. In this course we're going Teoh, discuss a little bit of formats, psychology and how you can use that to help convey a message or feeling through your landscape painting. In the demonstrations, I will be painting from a single composition on four different formats in order to illustrate how we can use formats to convey a sense of energy and even mood in our landscape paintings. In this course, you will learn how to make a conscious choice about the format on which you choose to paint in order to convey the impact that you want through your design. We'll discuss some of the particular challenges that are inherent with some of these formats, and you'll gain insights and knowledge that will help you to guide your decisions in choosing an appropriate format for your painting. I hope that you'll join me, and I really look forward to seeing your projects. Now let's get started. 2. The Subtle Psychology of Format: now I just want to spend a little bit of time talking about the subtle psychology behind the format that you might choose for your landscape. Painting. The landscape format is obviously the most common format to use for landscape paintings, but you definitely don't have to stick to this just because you're painting a landscape. However, you might want to use this format if you would like to convey a wide expanse. If you'd like to have a somewhat medium level of energy and movement, ah, horizontal bias that also impacts the direction of the movement. That's implied, and this is a good format to emphasize a snapshot or, in the moment seen. The portrait format is very similar to the landscape format in that it's the same directions just flipped the other way. And this offers a really unique perspective for landscapes, because this isn't how we typically naturally see the world. This format can imply high energy, and it has a strong vertical bias with a bias towards vertical movement implied in the scene. This is a good format to emphasize abstract shapes and to offer your viewer a unique perspective. Square format also is a unique perspective for landscape painting. And personally, this is my favorite just because there are so many opportunities for your own personal interpretation. In general, squares convey stability. Home nous, Tranquility a sense of being centered. There isn't a lot of energy inherently implied in squares, and there isn't a strong horizontal or vertical bias either way. But this is a really good format. Teoh emphasize abstraction or a feeling of serenity. The panoramic format is also very unique, but it does pose a few specific challenges and requires a little bit of extra planning. But that will really pay off when you have a sweeping, energetic composition that leaves your viewers in awe. Obviously, there's a strong horizontal bias to the panoramic formats, and you need to take special care to emphasize vertical shapes within the composition. I really recommend approaching this format from the perspective of putting together a trip Tik composition, which I'll talk about a little bit more in this course. But this is a really great format to try out. It just is going to require a little extra consideration 3. The Project: the project for this class is going to focus on composition, and in particular we're going to be focusing in on formats. And by that I basically mean the actual dimensions and format of your picture plane, which, of course, is your canvas or your paper or whatever you're using. And to emphasize how format impacts your composition were going to be it picking just one subject and painting it in different formats so you can see how that impacts the painting as a whole. So this is the original photograph. I took this photo, so it's not great. It's not super exciting, but it's going to work really well for this demonstration. And basically what I did is I used some photo editing software to crop this image into the formats that I'm going to demonstrate. The first is just going to be your typical landscape format, so I only have to crop this just a little bit to make it fit a four by three formats. Next, we're going to do a vertical or portrait format. This is also four by three or three by four just the other way. So it's a vertical orientation. Next is going to be a square or a one by one format and last is going to be a panoramic format. This is a 16 by nine formats. This is what we often see in videos, but you could see it's just a little bit more of a wide angle than the typical landscape format. So it makes it a little bit more expansive now because I'm using the same photograph as a reference for all these paintings. I went ahead, and I just wanted to do a really quick color study of this format. So with water color, I used basically the same color palette that I'll be using with oils. Of course, you know, water pillar is a very different medium than oil, but I really just wanted to get a sense of how I was going to use color in this composition . And so I did a really loose quick sketch with watercolor, and I drew in these lines with a pencil just to emphasize some of the movement that I thought was really important and essential. Teoh. This composition and I also showed where I've exaggerated some colors because I thought the color of the sand in my original photograph was pretty boring. I didn't want Teoh be too closely tied with that. I wanted to add a lot of vibrance and life to this composition. So sometimes doing a quick color study helps me do a little bit of problem solving when I feel like my photo reference is kind of lacking in interesting colors, and I need a little bit of help to determine where the emphasis is going to be. Format did not play a part in this initial color study sketch. Um, so this was just a quick sketch in my sketchbook right now. Of course, it is a little bit of a vertical orientation. However, I'm going to be doing black and white sketches within each format framing Teoh. Help me work out the composition. So this was just a quick color study, and I do recommend doing this. If you are looking at a photograph and not particularly feeling inspired by the colors that you see there 4. Color Palette & Supplies: I'm going to go ahead and set up my palate, go over all my colors and supplies. So the first is always titanium white. Next, I have a cadmium yellow hue, so this is kind of a warm medium yellow. Next, I'm going to use permanent Rose. This is a cool read, a little bit like a magenta. Next, I have ultra marine blue, which is a cool blue. It's a little bit closer to indigo or violet, and the next I'm going Teoh be using turquoise. This is a color I do not usually use. Sometimes I'll use a fellow blue, which is a warm blue, and turquoise is really a warm blue, but it's sort of right in between blue and yellow, and I'm gonna have some trouble with this tube of pain. It's kind of a new tube, and it's just you can see really oily, So I'm gonna show you how to deal with that. If you're using oil paint and you end up with a tube that just has way too much oil at the top, what you should dio is squeeze it out onto a paper towel and let it sit there for a little while because the paper towel will absorb some of the oil out of the paint and then you'll be able to transfer the paint to your palate. And then I'm using raw number. This is my kind of earthy, dark tone, and then I have a variety of brushes. I try to use just very limited brushes most of the time, and I try to go with fairly large brushes in comparison with my surface and then a palette knife for mixing. I probably won't do any palette, knife painting, and then I'm using Citrus oil as my solvent. Today, sometimes I use odorless mineral spirits, which is a little bit toxic. So sometimes I try to just use my Citrus oil because it's not toxic. It is a little bit more expensive, but honestly, it's worth it because the toxic solvents can give you a headache over time. And I have some paper towels handy just to wipe off my brushes. And then this is the paper I'll be painting on. This is just Kansan oil and acrylic papers. You can use it for either oil paints or acrylic paints. It's very inexpensive, and what I like about it is that you can just cut it down to whatever format in dimension you want. So now I've been letting this sit on this paper tell for just a little while to absorb a little bit of the oil out of their still gonna be very oily. You can see it's slipping and sliding around. I'm actually just gonna put it the bottom of my pal. Even though normally I'd prefer toe have it right next to my ultra Marine blue books. That's where it would kind of go the way that I set up my colors. But I don't want it to just be crashing into my raw umber. So I'm just going to set it here at the bottom, and I'm finished spreading it out a little bit so it doesn't slip around so much. And by no means do you need to use the exact colors the I use. This is just a recommendation for a limited color palette, and I do emphasize choosing a limited color palette because it just makes your learning process of mixing a lot easier. So don't overdo it with colors, but use what you have. I think, a good strategy for picking your own limited palate is to try to have one of each of the primary colors and make sure that you have a mix between warm and cool. For example, I have a warm yellow, a cool read, a cool blue, and then the raw number would be a warm, neutral color. Start with those, and then once you get comfortable working with just those really basic colors, throw in an extra color like I did here with the turquoise. 5. Landscape Format - Sketch: for each format that I paint of this composition. I'm just going to do a really quick black and white pencil sketch, and I'm not measuring out the format of the schedule, just roughly trying to get it approximately the right dimensions. And so this is going to be the typical landscape formats, and I get a little bit confused. It's basically it's four units by three units, three units on the height and then four units on the length. So that's not a measure of inches or centimeters or anything like that. It's just generic units, and you often will see that if you are using pretty much any photo editing software and you go into crop, you'll see these units notated there. So basically for every single composition, and I'm not really changing the focus of any of these compositions, so I'm roughly going to have my horizon line in the same position, no matter what format I'm doing. But I want to make sure that the lines, the movement, the rhythms are making sense for that format so that all of those cues are in each composition and then in the sketchbook. After I do my quick little scribble sketch. I'm just going to write a few notes about some of the things that I want to make sure I put into the composition. And when I think about these different formats, I really think of how they impact the energy of the composition. So I kind of think of a landscape format as having an energy. That's sort of like a walking pace. And I think about it best in terms of thinking of what kind of action the energy I can associate with that. So I kind of think of landscapes as kind of, you know, you're walking, you're moving things air Not too fast paced, not too energetic, but definitely you're not just standing still. And then I like to think of how I want Teoh kind of subtly shift the colors the way that I use colors. And so to go along with that energy, I want to use mostly muted colors, and I'm just gonna throw in some bright colors for emphasis and then because I use a lot of imposter auto applications in my painting, I always think a little bit about my brush strokes, so I know that I'm going to want a combination of soft brush strokes as well. A strong brushstrokes in this composition 6. Landscape Format - Painting: In this course, the painting demonstrations are going to be a little bit different than what I normally dio . Normally, I don't like to speed up very much of the painting process because I think it's really important to be able to see everything that goes into creating a painting. And a lot of times when the video is sped up, you miss a lot of nuance. However, in this course I'm really focusing on format rather than painting technique and how the format really impacts the overall composition. And since I'm painting this same scene with four different formats, I think that it's going to be more informative. Teoh talk more about how I am approaching the painting in terms of what I want to achieve through the format rather than a very detailed painting tutorial. The techniques that I'm going to be using for these paintings are going to be very similar to the way that I paint in my other Impressionist painting tutorial videos here on skill share. So if you feel like you need more information on painting technique, I definitely encourage you to check out my other painting courses on skill share and thes paintings will be available in their full length on YouTube. So check my YouTube channel if you are interested in seeing the's paintings done in a more detailed way. So, of course, I have toned my paper with red, as I generally dio. And then I did a quick laying with my raw umber, and I mixed my Turk poison with my raw number. And now I'm going ahead and starting to do some block ins and again for these paintings, I'm painting the way that I pretty much always do. So I'm painting from my darker values and working my way up to my lighter values. And when I say that I'm starting dark, basically, what I mean is I'm going to try to avoid mixing in any white with my colors for as long as possible. So I'm starting out with just ultra marine blue, and this is seeming a little bit dark right now, especially up in the sky. But not to worry, I will address that in a little bit. Right now, I'm just kind of blocking in a lot of the shadows, and then I have added in some of that turquoise and turquoise for these paintings is going to be kind of an accent color or a featured color. But right now, while I'm doing the block in, I don't really want anything standing out too much, and so I'm just kind of mixing it in and blending it so that I can subtly work it into the composition. But later on, I do want to make it more of a feature color, so you can see now I'm mixing up some green again. The important thing in this stage of the painting for me is just to avoid using white. So green is obviously not a super dark value. But I still consider this working from dark to light just because there's no white in there . Once you add white into a mix, it is very strong, and it pollutes or corrupt your mixes anything that comes into contact with white, so it's good to start out dark. It's much easier to add your lights on top of darks, then to go the other direction. So to begin with, I'm a paint things a little bit darker, then I really want them to be and areas that I'm going to keep really, really light I'll end up just allowing that toned paper to show through until I'm ready to move up to mixes that have white in them. And then I will also lighten up some of these areas that are a little bit too dark once I get to that point in the painting as well. One thing that I do just want to mention really quick is I personally have always found it very challenging to paint things in landscapes that are similar to this kind of sandy color . And a lot of times I see it in concrete, like paved streets or sidewalks, things like that. It's just kind of a challenging color to paint, especially if you're working from a photo reference, because in photographs these colors are really flattened, and it makes them appear very dull and on interesting. And if they take up a lot of space in your composition, and even if they don't trying to paint them, the way that you see them in the photo reference will often make them just look very washed out and dull. And so one thing that I encourage you to do is to try to just really push that color and even painted in a way that it really doesn't look in your photo reference and my shortcut or my go to when I can't quite make out which way to go with those kinds of objects is, I usually paint them a little bit more orange or red in areas where they're getting a lot of sun lights and then in areas of shadow. I use more of a violet color, so that's just a little tip. It's what I find. It works for me for the most parts, and so I do tend to exaggerate those colors. Teoh pretty great degree, and I think that it in most case works and I'm ready to start adding some white to these mixes. And this is what I will use not only in the lightest areas of this composition, but I'm also going to be using these colors toe. Lighten up the areas that are already painted better, too dark and two. You can see that throughout this painting, I'm using a fairly large brush in comparison with the size of the paper that I'm painting on, and I am not blending. I'm just applying strokes of paint and I'm letting the eye of the viewer put together a lot of the composition. And again, this is one of the reasons I think that we're so naturally drawn toward Impressionist paintings because it really invites a lot of participation from the viewer into the art. And so that makes it more interesting for the viewer. And it's actually pretty challenging to paint this way because I think our natural tendency really is to try Teoh articulate small details that we see. And just as a side note, these paintings that I'm doing. I'm doing these relatively quickly. I think that this painting took me a total of 25 minutes in full time to Dio, and so I think it's a really good idea to to do sketches and give yourself a very limited time period. To do this in this will kind of force you to work a little bit faster and looser and now going back Teoh, this whole idea of format and how that impacts the energy and the overall impression of your painting this again, of course, is just your standard landscape format and the way that I kind of think about this format and the energy that it implies is I just kind of think of, you know, when I'm taking a leisurely walk. So I'm moving. I might be looking around and just very quickly observing things around me, but I'm also getting cement exercise. So that is kind of just the overall general sense of energy that I want to bring to this composition, because I think that that is what this format implies to me. And you can definitely read up about some of the psychology behind different shapes. So there's a psychology behind rectangles, depending on the orientation that they are. There's psychology about circles, about squares and triangles, and so we're really only dealing here with rectangles and a square when we're talking about format for paintings. But I think that it's safe to say that the horizontal rectangle feels relaxed and yet not stagnant. So there's some movement and energy implied here. So that's why I compare it Teoh the amount of energy that a leisurely walk requires, and it just so happens that sometimes when we take walks, we are looking at landscapes and scenery, and so it just kind of think of the way that I look at my surroundings when I am taking a walk, and I'm just kind of a casual observer. I'm not necessarily becoming fixated on any one thing. I'm not concentrating on one thing. I'm seeing kind of a lot and just getting a very general impression of it. And so I think that that's why this is such a popular format for landscape painting, because we kind of just get this quick glimpse. I think we're used to seeing things in this format, especially from photographs. It's not as wide as the panoramic format is going to be, which is kind of how we typically take in the world if we're really just there to fully absorb, observe it and take it in and kind of look around and use our peripheral vision. So this is really just kind of ah, format that lends itself to being more of a snapshot. And so, of course I'm wanting Teoh. Keep the energy on that level, and to accomplish that I am trying Teoh mix my colors in a way where I have a good mix of colors that are a little bit more muted and subtle, and then some colors that are really standing out and grabbing my attention, and you can see that a lot in this sand bank here where I'm exaggerating a lot of colors. I'm adding a lot of warmth, a lot of reds and pinks in there. They're very energetic colors as well as the yellows and oranges, and I also I'm trying to really keep my brush strokes varied so you can see that in the sky . I didn't just try to copy the sky in my photo reference. I really gave it some energy just by using really expressive and strong brushstrokes up there. But because that's not my focal point, I didn't spend a lot of time on the sky. In general, I would say that whatever you want as your focal point, that's where you should be investing most of your painting energy. And that's not to say that you should overdo it or overwork it, or, as Bob Ross always said, work it to death. We don't want to do that, but that's just where you're going to focus more of your attention down where you want the viewer to spend most of their time looking. It's also important to consider depending on the format that you're working in, whether you are needing to really emphasize horizontal movement or vertical movements, and in any format where it's more horizontal, you're really going to want to make some effort. Teoh emphasize some verticals within the composition, and my composition doesn't really have any super obvious verticals because the trees in the background we don't really see you know their trunks or anything like that. However, they do imply some vertical action because we can just kind of intuitively know that those air trees back there and then also the diagonal lines that I used Teoh lead in the viewer's eye into the composition where this shallow river is and the bank of sand. Even though these air not vertical lines, they do give a good, dynamic energy to the painting that I think counterbalances the strong horizontal orientation of the format. I think that with almost any composition, you can make it work no matter what format you want to put it into. It's just that sometimes you need to take a little bit extra care and consideration in planning how Teoh emphasize parts of your composition. You can see now I'm finally, to the point where I'm almost done with this painting, and now is the time when I'm going to add in just a few expressive strokes of this turquoise because of courts. This is going to be kind of my featured color for this composition. I don't want it to be overwhelming, but I did wait to the end. Just add a few strokes of that where it seemed appropriate. And I think that that really brings a lot of life and energy and interest into this composition, especially for me, just because I don't typically use that color. And now I'm just giving it a few last brushstrokes just to kind of tone down some of those reds and oranges, especially in the mid ground to background regions. I don't want those to be quite so colorful again, really wanting to balance the neutrals and the nice bright colors in this particular composition. So that was the landscape format, and I think that that turned out pretty good. So next we are going to work on the portrait format 7. Portrait Format - Sketch: and now I'm going to do a quick sketch of the portrait format. So this is really the same dimensions as the landscape format. So it's gonna be four units by three units four by three. I guess I get this confused all the time again. I'm gonna put my horizon line in roughly the same position. So it's about 1/3 of the way from the top of the format. And then I'm making sure that I have this composition set up in a way that I have all these important lines within the composition. And these lines, especially the diagonal lines of the shoreline and the edge of this very shallow river, are very important because these air the lines that leads the viewer into the composition. So I need to make sure that I have those cues in this composition because without those, this composition, I think, would be very un interesting. And that's kind of where I'm emphasizing viewer toe Look in this composition. So here's my quick sketch, and then again, I like to just think about what kind of energy fits with this format and with a vertical format. I often think of high energy, So I kind of think of an action like jumping. And so when I'm working on this format with my paint, I want my colors to be very energetic, and I want to maybe exaggerate them a little bit. Have them be a little bit brighter than they normally would be. I still will need to have some muted colors in there just for contrast. But I really want to emphasize the brightness and that high energy. And then I want my brush strokes to be very strong. So I'm going to use a lot of imposter of our strokes, a lot of really expressive brushstrokes to match the energy that I'm going for, because the energy in this format is very upward, and so I always think of that as being a very high energy formats. 8. Portrait Format - Painting: and I'm starting with my portrait format of this composition, starting the way that I always do just by toning my surface. Sometimes I think that painting almost has to become somewhat have it. And so for me, toning the canvas and doing this first block in the way that I dio where I just lay in the composition with a dark mutual pillar. This is just part of my process. It doesn't mean that this is the right way to do it or the only way to do it. But I think that you have to find a way to get comfortable starting a painting, because I think that we can all relate. Teoh a little bit of that anxiety that we feel before we start painting, and we just have a blank sheet of paper blank canvas. It's a little bit intimidating, and sometimes I think just by staining my surface and doing that quick little lay in, it really knocks out some of that anxiety for me. So that's just a quick side note for this format being vertical. And as I said, I think that this is the format that really has the most implied energy So this is a very high energy format, and I really want Teoh play with that in this composition. So it's the same composition as before. And overall, you know, if you look at my photo reference, you can see that the photograph isn't necessarily very energetic. When I took the photo, it wasn't an energetic seen. It really was kind of a quiet scene, and just there were things there that I kind of just thought were interesting. Compositionally And I think it's fun, though, too. Try to pick out a level of energy or mood and tried Teoh. Apply that to your composition rather than simply painting accurately. I think that one way to really improve your painting and to get in touch with the art making process is Teoh. Think about how you want to feel about this painting, because when I see this photo reference, I am not exactly inspired. Teoh paint an energetic scene, but as artists we can decide Teoh apply whatever emotion or mood or energy level we want. And I think that that's an important part of the arts decision making process and something that I think you know, we could all benefit more if we spent a little bit more time really thinking about our intention for our painting and not just focused on painting a landscape or trees or water concrete, things like that. It's really important. Teoh. Think about how you want to connect with your painting and how you want viewers to connect with your painting. And so one way to do that, especially with landscapes, is by thinking about the kind of energy want this landscape tohave so to achieve a higher energy level. In this painting, especially in comparison to the previous painting where things were a little bit more mellow, I am going to be really focusing on having lots of really strong brushstrokes. Um, you can see that I'm keeping them really blocky and sharp, not really allowing, even for the impression of blending. I normally don't do any blending anyway. In a literal sense, I don't like to blend paints together because I really like to paint in a blocky manner. But here I'm really emphasizing the block iness of these strokes, and I am going to really try to just stick with my larger brush in my last painting with the landscape orientation. I did switch over to my filbert brush, which has kind of a rounded and for the bristles. And so, even though I'm not blending those brush strokes, that rounded bristle type kind of gives the impression of softer strokes. And so in this painting and really want to keep those a little bit sharper. I'm also upping the ante on these reds and oranges on the sandbank so you can see I've got almost some fuchsias and they're just some like really bold oranges, some upward strokes and diagonal strokes. And those small things were going to help bring a little bit more sense of energy in vibrance. So this painting and none of this is to say that you couldn't have a portrait format that is calm and serene or, you know, a little bit slower. You absolutely can. What I really want to emphasize here is that I think it's a good idea to make decisions about what format you want to use for a painting by what that format can really dio for the energy level in the mood of your painting, especially with landscapes. And that's exactly what I did in the sketching and planning phase for these paintings. So I had that same composition that I wanted to use. But I wanted to achieve different energy levels. And I think that one challenge that I know that I've had in landscape painting, but also something that I do observe and others and that I hear from students is that they can spend so much time on a landscape and trying to make it look beautiful, trying to make it look, you know, somewhat accurate and also a little bit Impressionist. But then they get done after hours of working and feel, maybe nothing for the scene. And I think that one good piece of advice that I can give you for that, of course, is just to really start thinking about everything in the composition and how it can impact the viewer and the overall mood. And so format is just one small part of that, but I think that it's something really worth considering. So don't pick your format just because you have something laying around or because you know you think landscapes have to be a horizontal orientation or whatever. Pick a format, depending on how you can interpret that for your own work, so make the format become part of your art process. Make that work for you may help make that help you get your message across. And, of course, that's going to require you to think about what your message really is. And I think it's hard sometimes Teoh think about conveying emotion through a landscape. And so that's why I do spend some time just talking about energy, because I think that that is one way Teoh apply a human sort of. It's not necessarily an emotion but kind of a human element to landscape. So how did you feel if you if this is a photograph that you took, try to think back to what inspired you to take that photograph and then think about different techniques that you can apply to help get that message across. So for me, if I had taken this photograph and I was just really struck by the energy of the scene, that may not even really translate well in my photograph. I might look at my photograph later and think, you know, I don't see that anymore in this photograph, but it's important, of course, to be able to work somewhat subjectively, and not just to be completely married or tied. Teoh your photo reference because we're not here to copy photographs, photos, especially ones that you take yourself really should just be kind of a visual reminder of what you sign, what inspired you in particular and so to give a piece energy you might want to use brighter colors. Bolder brushstrokes. Lots of diagonals use this vertical portrait format. Those things just come together in very subtle ways to help get that message across. Your color palette can also really impact the energy level of a painting so you could use more oranges and reds. If you want higher energy, you can use more blues if you want a more melancholy energy. You can use a lot of neutrals if you want something that you know is a little bit lower in energy or even conveys a feeling of sorrow. And as I said, another subtle way Teoh get your energy message across is just in your breast stroke. So I happen to paint using very thick in pasta breast ropes, and so I can really use those toe help me get a message across in this case, I'm using really strong brushstrokes. I'm not really leaving much room for softness in this whole composition. And so I think that that really is going to convey a lot more energy as compared Teoh, my previous composition and even my next composition, which in the square format I already know that I'm really going to go for a very calm and balanced energy level. And also remember, just to try to find ways Teoh balance out the features of your composition with the format that you're using. So since I'm in this example using the portrait or vertical format, I need to spend a little bit extra time maybe emphasizing the horizon line, which is really the only horizontal feature that I have in this composition. And so I'm making bad a little bit stronger in this composition. I didn't need Teoh emphasize it very much in the last one because it was already a very horizontal composition, all right, so I think that that will do it for the portrait format, and I think that you can see that there was just a lot of release subtle, interesting ways that you can use the format to complement the energy level or the mood that you want to get across 9. Square Format - Sketch: the square format can be a bit of a challenge, and the reason for that is because it's equal on all sides. There's a very strong likelihood that your composition is going to be a little bit too focused in on the center. And so what I'm going to do is drawn X in my sketch just to indicate where that center is and I'm going. Teoh kind of use that to manipulate and guide my composition as a whole, because the good thing about a square composition is that it's a very calm, in stable format, and so you can really emphasize the serenity of a scene. But I don't want this composition to be to some metrical, so I want to use that X just to make sure that I haven't asymmetrical composition. However, I do want it, of course, to be very balanced and stable because that's really the whole point of using a square format because it really lends itself to a very serene scene. And so, of course, I put my horizon line 1/3 of the way from the top of this format, and I'm making sure that I have all those really important lines of movements in the composition. And then I'm planning everything else out so that it's very balanced, but in an asymmetrical way. And as I said, the square format really lends itself to serenity. So the energy I think of is kind of just sitting or even meditating. Everything's very balanced, very centered, of course, and so you can really use this format. Teoh emphasize that mood now. The colors that I want to use for this format. I really want to emphasize the muted color, so I'm not going to use quite as many bright, bold colors and then same with my brush strokes. I think that this will be the format where I use probably the least amount of impossible brushstrokes. Of course, my style is very imposter. Oh, oriented. That's just part of my compositions. He use those really nice big brush strokes, but I'm going to try to make them a little bit softer for the purposes of this composition , And I'm really going to think about calmness and serenity being centred, kind of like meditating. And then, of course, the square format is just a one by one format, 10. Square Format - Painting: and now I am ready to dio the square format for this composition, and I have to admit that the square composition is my favorites. I love landscape paintings in this format because I think that for me, I'm naturally just very drawn Teoh. Very calm scenes. And so the square shape being that it has kind of the psychology behind it of being very centered and very balanced. I think it just lends itself so well to conveying an overall feeling of calmness on its very mellow. I find it very soothing. So this is really my favorite format. Teoh dio landscapes and because that, to me, is what landscape painting is really all about. And that's why I do it, because I find it so therapeutic and relaxing. And so I really want that to get across in this composition. So in addition to using the square format, I'm also going to really try to stick Teoh colors that are more muted. So right off the bat, I'm going ahead and mixing up this very mellow blue, and this does have some red in it. So technically, it's kind of violet, or almost like a periwinkle kind of color and you can see right away in this painting, I'm approaching it pretty differently than I have with the previous two formats where they both had a little bit more energy to them than what I want for this composition. So normally I wait a pretty long time to add any white into the mix. And here after I got my initial lay in, done with the dark colors and then I put in some nice, dark, ultra marine blue where all the shadows are. I went ahead and already started adding in some white, because lighter values, I think, convey a really nice sense of calm. And so overall, this composition will probably be a little bit lighter in value than my previous ones. And even though I'm using my big flat brush, I'm applying my colors and my values in a way that they're a little bit closer together. So even though I'm not blending them, we're not getting that impression of hard edges, especially the way that we did with the vertical format, where I intentionally used a lot of contrasts and a lot of really hard, strong brushstrokes to emphasize that sharpness and energy and here. I'm still not blending. I'm just mixing my colors in a way that they're shifting in value and Hugh just slightly. So we almost get the effect of blending while still maintaining some really nice, interesting brushstrokes. And again, the energy level that I'm going for here is going to be very calm and serene. And the action that I associate that energy level with is actually just maybe sitting meditating, kind of just taking it in. Maybe, you know, I found an interesting thing toe look at, and I've decided that I'm just going Teoh kind of sit and observe that for a while. So this isn't something that I want to feel rushed. And yet it's something I'm not going. Teoh obsess over or try. You know, of course, I'm not gonna, you know, try to pay in every detail that I see because I'm taking a very relaxed approach to this composition. And I'm trying to think of my colors as being a little bit softer, a little bit more muted, a little lighter in value. And that's not to say that dark colors can't also be serene because I often think of taking a lock at night when no one else is out. It's very quiet. It's very calm. But I think what is important is not necessarily the lightness or darkness of your values that actually the contrast between your values. So Teoh achieve something that's a little bit quieter. I may just wanna have less contrast. So whether overall I'm using dark values or light values, what I want is to avoid sharp contrast, because contrast also implies a little bit more energy. And then in terms of my brush strokes again, I I'm not doing any blending necessarily because that's not really my style. So I'm still using very bold Impressionist brush strokes. I'm still applying my paint in a very thick or impossible manner, but I have less contrast. And so even though my brush strokes are not blended, that lack of contrast really lends itself to giving the impression overall of softness. And I've also shifted my colors a little bit so that I don't have white so many oranges. In fact, they so far haven't put any oranges in here. There are some reds you can see. I'm kind of toning those down with this really muted green because I felt like they were just a little bit too much. And then another thing to keep in mind when you are working with a square format justice when you're working with a horizontal or vertical format is that you want to make sure that your compositional features are balanced with the format. So the square form A is unique because it's equal on all sides. You don't have an orientation to it, necessarily. That's either horizontal or vertical, and this really lends itself to creating interesting compositions that can almost feel a little bit abstract because of that. But I do think it's really important. Teoh still consider how you're going to achieve a bit of balance and to, you know, help make things a little bit more dynamic if that's what you're going for, or you can even really focus on horizontal and or vertical elements within your composition , Teoh give an overall energy level that is kind of counterintuitive to the formats, so there's lots of different ways that you can play with the square format. It's very versatile. I think that it's under used. I don't think that people utilize this format quite enough, but I think it's so interesting because it really lends itself to interpretation 11. Panoramic Format - Sketch: the last format that I'm going to demonstrate is going to be the panoramic formats. So this is the very wide angle sweeping formats. And this is a really effective format, especially for landscapes, because this is kind of how we naturally see the world through our vision and then our peripheral vision. But it's also a big challenge. And so I think it's helpful to divide this kind of composition into a trip Tik. So you can see that I'm making this composition or this format into three equal formats, and I'm going for a nine by 16. And if you think about that, nine is just a little bit more than half of 16. So it's not exactly a one unit by two units composition, though you certainly could do that. In fact, with a panoramic you could exaggerate this composition as much as you want, but I still recommend thinking of it as kind of a trip Tik and dividing it equally so for this format. I ended up with three trip Tik sections that are each a little bit of a portrait formats, but if this was more elongated, you might end up with squares or unlikely, but very possible. You could even have three trip ticks that are in the landscape format. That would be a very elongated format for this panoramic formats. But what I'm doing is I'm using these trip Tik sections to make sure that I have an interesting composition within each trip Tik, because when you're doing a panoramic landscapes seen you run the risk of making it look a little bit stretched out and even stagnant, and you lose a little bit of the movement and energy in that formats if you're not careful . So I recommend trying to think of any panoramic format as being composed of three equal sections, each that needs to be able to stand alone as a composition. So I'm covering these right now, just so you can kind of see the composition within each trip Tik section and how they're all different. They're not equal, but they all have some visual cues in there that are making it work as a standalone composition. So, as I said, this is the format that is the most challenging, but it also has so much potential to be a strong composition. I think of the energy level of a panoramic format as kind of standing and looking around in awe of the scenery around you for the colors. I could pretty much go any way I could do, very energetic or muted, but I'm gonna keep it's more in the middle, so we'll have some muted colors. And then I'm going to emphasize areas where all the energy is with brighter colors. My brush strokes for this composition again are going to be varied, so I'm going to have some really strong, impossible strokes. And then I also wanna have some areas that are a little bit softer as well, where that I can rest. And because this is such a sweeping, expansive composition, I do need to emphasize some vertical energy in here just to keep it interesting visually. 12. Panoramic Format - Painting: And now, finally, I get to work on my panoramic format, and I actually spent the most time out of all of these little examples that I did. I spent the most time on this format, and I do really think that this is the most challenging format, and the dimensions that I have for this panoramic format are not even terribly extreme. So you could definitely have a more extreme panoramic view for your painting. But I would say Teoh, definitely do your planning. Do your thinking, think about your goals for the composition and do lots of sketches and value studies and color studies because it really is challenging to get everything to balance out. And Teoh make this composition really feel integrated because with such a long horizontal format, it's really easy to get big blocks of color and value in here that are stronger on one side of the composition than the other, and that can make the composition feel somewhat disjointed. So I think that out of all of the formats, this one maybe requires a little bit more special consideration in planning and really articulating what your intentions for the painting are going to be. But all that said, I think that it's also a really moving formats. In a sense, it's extremely sweeping. And as I said when I was sketching this the energy level that I kind of subjectively applied to this format, I just imagine standing somewhere and just being in awe of my surroundings. So really taking everything in really observing everything, appreciating, you know, the scale of the environment that we're in. So I think that this format lends itself to being a great opportunity to really convey that feeling of awe and wonder, especially in landscape painting, where we often are taken aback by our surroundings and being inspired to take it all in. And this format is also challenging because it is the way that we tend to see the world because we have peripheral vision. And I know when I first started painting, I had this hang up where I kept thinking that I really didn't even like being constrained to any format because I wanted to be able to pay everything. And I had this idea of, you know, maybe I just needed Teoh be in the middle of this 360 degree canvas, and I could just paint everything around me. Everything that I saw and I actually have had the opportunity to do that. There have been times where have painted murals for people, and they wanted kind of this 360 degree view, and so that was a lot of fun. But that's not something that we often get todo. And a lot of times when I found myself, especially when I'm outdoors painting. I'm so drawn in by everything that I see and I want to put everything on to my canvas. And what happens is there's no real area of emphasis. I get kind of lost in details, and the composition doesn't always come together very well. But when you're doing a panoramic format, and so you have the intention of getting that really wide angle, you you can take a little bit more time just to kind of plan how you're going to convey what you want. And so in this format, of course, I wanted Teoh kind of really show the sweeping vast have you. But to make things feel more integrated, I'm using that trip dick technique that I talked about a little bit more when I was sketching. But you did see in this painting at the very beginning, I actually did put in lines where the trip Tik would be so that I could make sure that my composition is coming together in a way that there are strong elements of design all throughout the composition. So in each one of those three trip ticks, I needed to have a strong design. And that's really going toe also help make this composition feel integrated and unified. And I'm actually approaching this painting somewhat similarly. Teoh, I'd say that this is kind of a hybrid between my first landscape formats and then the square format. So the way that I'm approaching this is that, of course, you know, I'm thinking oven energy level where I'm kind of standing in awe, taking it all in. So it is kind of a common, serene view and energy level, But yeah, I'm also thinking of kind of like turning around and looking at everything. So there's some motion and energy implied here, So the colors that I'm using are somewhat muted, going kind of in line with the square format where I wanted it to be very calm. But I'm also going to be using a lot of really strong brushstrokes to convey a sense of movement and energy. And overall, I just want things to be pretty balanced between kind of that calm feeling of, you know, standing in awe and taking everything in and also the energy of, you know, just kind of being overwhelmed by a scene. So I really want to have a good variety and combination of colors that are both muted and also some really vibrant colors. Definitely want to bring some nice strokes of turquoise into this A little bit later, and you can see I'm mixing up some nice, energetic oranges right now to use over in the sand banks. And then I want my brush strokes toe also be a variety. So I want some brushstrokes that are going to be really sharp and hard and blocky, and then in some areas, I want it to be a little bit softer things where you know I want the viewers I to just kind of rest and relax. And then, as they move through the composition, maybe gain a little bit more energy in some areas and very similarly to the horizontal landscape format with the panoramic format. It's a big challenge, especially in landscapes to really incorporate Cem nice vertical elements into the composition. It might work well, you know, if you have a lot of trees in your composition, but if not, like, I have some trees. But I don't really get a strong sense of vertical with, um, so I'm really going to be emphasizing again thes diagonal lines. I'm really going to make those and emphasis in this composition because I don't have a lot of vertical lines. I have a really long horizontal horizon line back there, which you can definitely see, is very strong. It might be good to find a composition where the Horizon Line is a little bit obstructed or broken up, so that it's not just a straight line. That's always a challenge for me, because I live in Nebraska and we just have horizontal lines and horizon lines everywhere. And OK, so right here I'm adding a lot of energy into the diagonal lines just by using this kind of bright fuchsia. So I'm using a little bit of very subjective color in here just to add Theo energy that I want and using that with just a little more blue to make a violet for the bank that's more in the mid ground because I also want that to have a little energy. But I don't want it to be competing with the sandbank that's in the foreground. So I think that you can see that even with this very horizontal composition, weaken still use the horizontal panoramic format and make it work. It really is just going to take a little bit more planning and finding areas within the composition. Teoh counterbalance that very strong horizontal nature that comes inherent with both the composition I chose and also the formats of the painting plane. And I used color in here also very subjectively, just to bring about some of the energy that I wanted that might have been very difficult to achieve otherwise. 13. Conclusion: I've now brought my four compositions outside so that I could see them in some ideal white . And so I'm just going to take a quick look at these. And I also just want to mention that painting on paper is a really great option, not only because it's very affordable and you could easily cut it to whatever dimensions you want. But if you're working in oil pains in your waiting for paintings to dry, I love painting on paper so that I can just hang these up basically on a clothes line in my studio. And they don't take up a lot of space, and I don't have to worry about my cat walking on them or other terrible things happening. So do look into painting on paper, whether it's just Kansan oil and acrylic paper. Or sometimes I use arches Oil paper, which is archival and in conclusion I just want to thank you for taking this course. I think that format is an aspect of composition that is often overlooked, and too often I think we choose our format based on simple convenience or comfort or convention. But now you know that you can make an informed decision regarding the format of your painting that will help you suddenly get your message across and has some psychological implications and can also help you convey a sense of energy again. Thank you so much. And I really look forward to seeing your projects. For this course, feel free. T is my photo references or your own and to work in any medium that you choose. Have a great day.