Leonardo da Vinci

Where the spirit does not work with the hand there is no art.

--Leonardo da Vinci

Friday, April 20, 2012

Going Outside the Lines....

Academy Ruins V
A main focus for painters is knowing where your light source is coming from and how it falls upon a subject. It is a most critical key ingredient when designing a composition. For many, that means getting out in the field before sun-up to capture that elusive early morning light, or staying late to take advantage of the amazing colors of a nocturnal scene.
As a rule of thumb, most painters and photographers put down their gear between the hours of 10am and 2pm due to the flat light that ocuurs that time of day. However, rules are meant to be broken, right?....
I began this painting about 1pm last sunday, not for its outstanding light quality though. I have been wanting to paint this scene for the lines and how the shadows fall across the grass and the face of this part of the Academy's old laundry building.
Even though it's the wrong time of day, i really enjoy the effective light on this old structure. Plus it was a great study of line and composition.
It's important that we know what we are trying to convey, what initially draws us to a particular composition and execute the emotion.
Like many, I enjoy painting amazingly lit scenes, but i also won't limit myself to staying in the lines; if you couldn't tell.... :{>


  1. I do love painting old structures--structures with history.
    Your work has so much character, a dream-like quality that is beautiful, nostalgic and romantic.

  2. I used to go out around noon a lot and the light was so flat, I found it discouraging. Then I read somewhere that the great Richard Schmid actually prefers to paint on overcast days and it made me realize that the time of day should not be blamed for my poor results. I do try to find interest in strong light when I can, but I know it is best to find the thing that interests you as a painter and go from there! You bring honor to "the ruins" and I'll be watching for more in this series.