Sunday, February 10, 2008

Book Review: Fill Your Paintings With Light And Color


Well folks, at 2:00 this afternoon, February 10th, it was a -6 degrees in Spencer, Iowa. Lovely. (yes, that's dripping with sarcasm, probably in icicle form) Let's get on to better things! In an earlier post, I promised to write about the three artists whose work I had just read/about. I had hoped for contrast but when I went back in a second time, I realized it would be comparing apples to green beans. (an apple fresh from the orchard, or just picked green beans, steamed lightly and topped with just a bit of butter---I show no partiality!)

But for now, let's talk about the Kevin Macpherson book. Speaking of good things to eat, first glance tell you this book is chock-full of eye candy! It starts with several pages given toward the 'well equipped painter' ---pretty regular list, but with the addition of a 'thick chisel pointed black marker' for sketching. Keeps the prep sketch big and simple. "If you use a pencil you may draw things instead of shapes" (guilty!)

The book includes great demos, example: Practicing Simplicity With Figure Studies "The big shapes. Do not think separate objects. The ear, face, and neck are all one interlocking shape" Must be a good place to jump right in with that aforementioned big black marker. He works through still life and landscape demos as well, eight total. Regarding the big shapes, he gives a clear example on page #55: "Thinking simply will build your painting quickly. Look at your subject and ask what one color choice best represents that mountain, tree or sky. Imagine you are cutting the shapes out of colored paper; this helps you to think big. If you also imagine you will be charged one hundred dollars for every piece of colored paper you use, you will be very selective."!

And don't forget the paintings---page after page of beautiful paintings to look at.

I tend to have a half circle of open books on the floor around my easel while I work. Sometimes they are there for inspiration, sometimes for problem solving, sometimes it's the eye candy thing and I'm hungry! I got this copy I read from the library, but am planning on ordering my own soon. I wonder what Macpherson would say if he knew he was joining my open book circle with Renoir and Morisot? Have a great day!

Later, Cooper

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