Bill Martin's Guide to Oil Painting

OIL PAINTING EXERCISES ~ Distance and Texture

 

Distance and Texture is Your Last Exercise

In this exercise we explore form as it appears in heavily textured subjects and the way colors change as they are seen at different distances.

 

Distance Changes Colors

As the same colors are seen at different distances they change. When matching colors on your palette you will see that all colors acquire their complements when they are seen farther away.

Even in this short distance the middle reds of the tomatoes are different. The farthest one has the most of its complement (green) in it making it look farther away. Also the green tablecloth as it recedes has its complement (red) mixed with it.

 

 

Here the intensity of the colors of the leaves creates the impression of near and far. The most intense colors are always in the foreground.

 

Look For Texture Between Light and Shadow

Textures are most clearly defined at the transition of the light to the shadow. On smooth objects the edge of the highlight defines the degree of smoothness. On rough objects the change from light to dark defines the texture.

 

Spheres and cones from smooth to rough, the value shapes within the forms create the illusion of three dimensions.

 

With these things in mind we paint this subject.

 

The basic shapes and angles are drawn with thinned white paint on a toned canvas.

 

Landscape paintings begin with the things farthest away in this case the values of the sky.

 

The three values of the clouds are blended with a Flat and Filbert sable brushes, to create the softest textures.

 

The ocean values are put in. As colors recede they become less intense so the blue ocean at the horizon has more orange in it than the blue ocean in the front.

 

All receding colors become less intense. Their complements are added as their distance is increased.

 

The grass in the distance is the same color as the grass in the on the hill but because it's farther away it is less intense. The yellow-orange of the grass has its complement, blue-violet, added as it is seen farther away.

 

Texture begins. The edge of a Flat brush is used to begin the grass.

 

The darks of the trees are placed first here to further define the drawing. The edge of a Flat bristle brush is used.

 

Next the lights are placed.

 

The middle values complete the form.

 

The lights and darks for the foreground grass are put in.

 

And the middle value completes the form. Notice the change in intensity of the grass colors in the distance, on the middle hill and in the foreground.

 

This is the first layer of paint. Oil paint is well suited to working in layers if you want to improve an area or add something else, wait three days for it to dry before adding new paint.

 

With your review of the basic information and the completion of these four exercises you should have enough different types of painting experiences to be equipped to paint anything you want. So what are you going to do? You can send me a photo if you like.

 

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© Copyright Bill Martin 2007 • PO Box 511, Albion, CA 95410 • info@guidetooilpainting.com

 

 

 

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