Sunday, July 27, 2008

Point of Interest



The Fallen Totem
This will take you over to Ebay

Many of the views at The Grand View Ranch are breathtaking and inspiring, but hidden in the woods we find many intimate corners, that although they are not as breathtaking, they are worthy of closer observation. As I traveled deep into the woods today, I discovered this fallen Totem, its ancient wood slowly decaying over decades as the forest reclaims it to make room for a new tree to grow in its place. The old moss on the tree captivated me and I wondered how old the giant tree was, when did it fall, and how long ago did it happened? I chose this tree to be the point of interest for this newest painting called “The Fallen Totem.”

Choosing a point of interest for a painting is a thoughtful and intuitive process that is influenced by the artist’s interests, beliefs, and personal connections to life. The methods used for selecting the subject or object of the painting will change with each painting and every location. Sometimes artists invest too little time thinking about their connection to point of interest in a painting before they start to paint. Often painters fail to remember simple things like the viewer can see only a limited number of objects clearly at a glance, and that one object can catch the eye more quickly than two or more. Artists must use all their skills and techniques to bring their main message or intention of the painting to the viewer.

After choosing the point of interest, I recommend that every artist draw at least four small sketches of the subject in pencil. This allows the artist to experiment with compositional elements, and to make changes rapidly until a pleasing combination is chosen. Next,
select your preferred sketch, and simply transfer the composition onto a small canvas with a brush and paints thinned with Turpenoid. Voila! The canvas is ready and painting can begin.

Some techniques that artists regularly use to focus the attention of the viewer on the point of interest are intensity of tone, contrasting values, directional focus, linear movement, and the size of the objects. Emphasizing the darkest or the lightest spot on the canvas and using directional lines or eye magnets will lead the viewer to the point of interest in the composition as well. Creating small field studies allows the artist to sample many of these techniques and to make changes efficiently and easily until discovering the desired effects that make the point of interest pop.We, at the Grand View Ranch, are preparing for the fall workshops, and if you have not had the chance to come to a workshop, I invite you to visit our website at


http://www.thegrandview.com/ for information about painting outdoors in Shasta, California. While you are on the website, you can download my free book, “Everything I know About Painting” under “Information” on the home page of the website.

I am offering (for a limited time only) the readers of our blog and Outdoor Painting newsletter, a $75.00 discount off of the price of the workshops that will be held in September and October, 2008. You can call me at 415-606-9074 or register on the website. Space is limited, so call soon.
If you are interested in experiencing a breakthrough weekend that will take your art to the next level, visit our new website at http://www.thegrandview.com/, and you can download my FREE BOOK where I share “Everything I know About Painting.”

I hope that we can build a community of artists that can share information with each other.

If you know of any artists that might appreciate being included, let them know about this blog.

I hope to offer more painting tips as this conversation continues. If you have questions that you would like me to answer, please don’t hesitate to email me anytime.

I welcome your feedback. Stefan_Baumann@yahoo.com

5 Comments:

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