Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Concept of Light and Shadow

Susan Sprigg

Concept of Light and Shadow


I.  The pattern of light, form and direction

1. When you paint light make it a pattern.

2. This pattern is related to form and direction.

II.  Movement and direction

1. When you paint direction your paint strokes go vertically over the object.

2. Direction is movement. Increasing light is also movement.

III.  Form

            1. When you paint light you can go across the form of the object to reveal form and not direction.

IV.  Relax and take your time.

            2. Decide if you want direction or movement or both.

3. If you choose both, how are you going to show both?

4. Is movement going to dominate form or vice-a-versa?

5. Maintain your decisions to your six questions. 

(Line, Form/Shapes, Value, Color, Temperature, Chroma.)

6. Maintain your original answer to "what are my interlocking shapes."

7. Maintain the design of your interlocking shapes.

8. Maintain the values you assigned your light shapes and your shadow shapes.

V.  Plane changes

1.  Whenever there is a plane change there is a color change.

2.  Highlights occur at the corners of a plane change.

3.  The color within the plane and its highlighting should be a different color than the plane itself.

VI.  Color

1.  A warn surface takes a cool highlight and vice-a-versa.

2.  What do we see first reds or blues?

3.  How can you use this knowledge to make one light area more important than another?

VII.  The Transition of Light to Shadow

l.  Where the light meets shadow we have:

A plane change

Color change highlight

Color change between surface and highlight

2.  Where light meets shadow look for a place to add a spot of color! This is magic!


            1.  Shadows follow a plane.

2.  Shadows might start at an angle which is directional painting then change to form painting.

3.  So if light first is direction then the shadows continue to switch to form by painting strokes across the form.

VIII.  Focal point, Foreground and Background

1.  Light is seen first then shadow.

2.  Arrange your light on your focal-point-object closest on the forrn to the audience.

3.  Think of foreground and background not as a landscape (foreground,

Midground, background, ie., foreground is the bottom of the canvas

etc. Think of light as the foreground.  Think of shadow as the

background.  So foreground is the light not the placement.


Susan Sprigg:




1.  Answer six questions.

2.  Do thumbnails show interlocking forms.

3.  The interlocking forms are only 2 categories:  light and shadow.

4.  Identify the values of light forms on your thumbnail.

5.  Identify the values of the shadow forms on your thumbnail.

6.  Stick to your decisions.

7.  Start your painting by massing in.

8.  Now paint with color.

9.  Where's the center of interest?  Light will end with the darkest dark.

l0.  Paint your dark planes first.

11.  Next paint the light planes.

l2.  Decide how you are going to stick to the 6 questions' answers and how to move light.

13.  Cool highlights are subordinate to warm highlights.



Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Understanding the Nuance of Painting

    Monet was enraged when his work was called spontaneous. He fervently planned, invested his mind, drew on all his artful knowledge in each undertaking,and always challenged himself to produce outstanding pieces. He was obsessively devoted to each piece of work being conceptually perfect.... and people called it spontaneous! How dare they!
    Monet was highly laborious and fevered in concept and execution. He did not depend on accident but his own experience and knowledge of how to achieve nuance:  the sublte difference between colors, their values and temperatures that gave expression to the entire scene.

    My goal and purpose as your instructor is to give you the knowledge-then test you to make sure you understand what you need to know to create great art.  It is all about internalizing the how-to in order to conceptualyze what you imagine. You do it by planning your execution start to finish then, by following your map all the way so you can externalize your dream successfully with the  nuance you intend and your audience in awesome innocence is affected.

Susan Sprigg

Friday, January 23, 2015


     In order to decide which approach you would rather choose, it is best to get a little knowledge of both. Let's start with CENTERING which is called FORMAL DESIGN.

But first a few words from Andrew Loomas:

( New Informal Subdivision will be posted in NOT TO CENTER)

Focal point is placed high at these junctions and counter balanced with a second focal point in the opposite position below.

 When using Formal or centered  Arrangement it is best not to center the focal point. if you do your whole composition is stilled and stifled. How do you do not have your primary focal point dead center when all lines seem to direct you to that center?  Center is left less busy. So, once you are at center your eye leases for more interesting territory, that is directly up or down from center.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Form isTone is Value

Connect your values to lock your painting togetherr
    The darkest tone could be buildings or trees or wagoners in a circle.  What is important is that the tone is identified as one to make it a substantial support for the rest of the painting to come by making it a shape to be interlocked with the other values , each value being it's own puzzle piece.. This scene has been broken into 3 values plus white. The values puzzle pieces are integral to the design. Look for the line and visually project it over the value puzzle pieces to see that form and direction are separate natures of the planning process.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Some Do's and Don'ts with Examples


Be sure to mark the direction the eye follows Do not mark the outline of form that encases the path which the eye passes through. Be more direct in marking the line of your composition.

Andrew Loomas on perpective

Monday, January 12, 2015

Dandy Delights First Challenge

I thought you might enjoy another example of a submission to the first Dandy Delights Challenge via Gauguin: ( This pretending I am Gauguin... harrumph....)

Submission to Challenge #1

Painting #1 - Eugene Gauguin - Tahitian Women on the Beach

Painting one with line:

Painting #2 Eugene Gauguin -Tahitian Women

(As if I were Gauguin I might add an explanation, if I cared to, with  my submission:)

#1 In painting one I chose formal balance offset within a rectangle. The eye travels side to side through the foot that is in the centerr of the "square" marked area. I designed it to be 3 paintings in one , It can be divided in half through the center of the "square" vertically into two more asymmetrical paintings! I minimized the value in the center foot's toes to decrease attention to crossing lines. I get the eye to travel side to side , through  bosom to foot to make the two sides communicate.. see my thumbnail  superimposed over painting #1.

#2 Variation - This painting is the same formal design within an informal design. It also would be frame-able right side or left side.  (3 in 1)  This time I changed my dominant lines to sweep like a wave of water on wet sand right to left. to get you from one side to the other.

End of submission.
(More ways than one! No longer will you submit to your painting, it will submit to you and your union will be divine!)

Okay, Gang! Cool huh?  Look at all the changes between the two paintings!Increased values, decreased values, color changes to unite line (direction) Values to anchor! I wish  we could conference call to discuss what the changes accomplished as to dominant line changes! I hope this stirs you up!
Plan to enter.
Plan your painting,
Paint your plan! 

Not done yet....
Teaser coming up....

Informal Line Subdivision
Andrew Loomas on design

     Feast your eyes on this!  if you understand composition you will be able to communicate every line to any line, or group of lines and understand what you need to do before you do it! Where to put something how to correct.  With planning, the goal is to create a dialog between every element in your painting or drawing  to tell a facinating tale!!!. Composition is Einstein's  theory of relativity in Art-speak! Only, it's sensual and emotional and exquisite.
     If some of this is new to you, soon enough the information combines into a burst of creativity. Excel at this and be creating masterpieces, if you don't know how to already!  Love it all... every single stroke!  This is the Dandy Delight Adventure! You can take yourself as far as you like - and get off anytime.
     Imagine a dream and then conceptualize that dream and make it work like you never have before! But first questions 1 through 6! We are on #1" What's my line?" and  #2 ,"What's my form?"  Remember, 1-6 is enough to be a good painter! But, why stop there?

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