This lesson is for intermediate and advanced painters. Including a structure in our pieces can add interest and character to our paintings. They can add a level of complexity to our compositions and gives us the opportunity to record architectural details or capture the character of a favorite place. But we want to include them as part of the landscape so they don’t appear as a cut out or pasted on element. We want them to have the same atmosphere that pervades the rest of the landscape! This lesson provides some insight on how to include a simple structure, using a bit of perspective drawing and measuring.

This is a two-part lesson. First a Follow-Along Demo. Follow along at your own pace but remember my suggestions for time limits! Next is an Independent Assignment meant to expand on some of the principles presented in the Follow-Along Demo and to personalize your work. When you have completed both parts you can upload one or both images to receive a personal video critique on your work. Remember that the more mileage you get, the more progress you make, so I recommend that you complete both parts before submitting your images.

Who it’s for – This lesson is for intermediate and advanced painters. Including structures or architectural elements can add interest and excitement to our work. A little study of simple perspective concepts is recommended as well as some time spent on the drawing. I recommend following along for a first try, then using one of the alternate reference photos to do a second piece using the same steps; just applying them to the alternate reference photo.

What’s it’s About – Including structures or architectural elements to play up the area of interest or focal point.

Set a Personal Focus – Try to focus on just a couple aspects of the painting. For instance if you really are interested in the structure, focus on that and don’t worry too much if you don’t get the drawing exactly how you’d like it. Take it a step at a time!

Set a Time Limit – Keep it simple and don’t spend more than an hour on it. If you find yourself spending two or three hours on it, it’s time to STOP and try another version!

Materials

  1. Your pastels
  2. An 12 x 12 piece of Pastelmat paper,but you could use a different color or different brand of paper if you like. Please use sanded pastel paper!

Materials

  1. Easel
  2. Baby wipes
  3. An apron

Part I
Follow-Along Demo

  1. Stop the video whenever you need to – it’s one of the great things about learning this way. Plus, you don’t need to take notes!
  2. Don’t feel funny about copying my pieces! It’s a time-honored way to learn and I know you’ll develop your own “style” in due course. I give you lots of ways to take off on your own and expand on the demos/lessons.
  3. Take your time, but not really! I want you to speed up a bit so you can start to develop the “whole” piece all at once.
  4. Do it differently. If it feels uncomfortable, you’re likely on the right track.
  5. Remember the three “P’s” Perfection, Procrastination, Paralysis. There is no such thing as a perfect painting, so don’t even worry about it.
  6. If you have trouble, ask for help! My team and I want you to have a great experience doing the lessons!!
  7. There are 5 stages in each lesson. The beginning of each stage is a good time to pause the video, take a short break and check in on how you’re doing.

“Catching a Glimpse” Notes:

I’ve been wanting to paint this lovely photo for a long time. I struggled with whether to put the barn right in the center of the composition, but decided that it belonged there! I love the mood that the light sky creates and the grasses in the foreground creating a kind of window through which to view the barn. There is a fairly large shape in the middle ground that could easily become a “problem area”! It’s so middle value and kind of well, just brown. So, I’ve kept in mind that I want this area to be painterly and infused with chromatic grays and muted colors!

Part 2
Independent Assignment

Do another version from the alternate your own reference. Maybe this lesson calls for a little photo expedition!

When You’ve Completed Both Part 1 & 2
When you’re done, click here to upload pics of your painting and I’ll send you a Personal Video Critique. I’m curious what you’ll come up with! The first critique request is a free bonus for you. If you’d like additional critiques, normally a Personal Video Critique is $97 but you can send a message my support team to get a discounted critiques package – I’ve already told them that since you are taking lessons from me, you get at least 40% off.

If you aren’t ready for a personal critique from me, then be sure to upload your work to our Community page where your peers can take a look. I often comment on the Community submissions as well – it won’t be a video critique but I really enjoy seeing your work and helping you when I can.

The Stages (applies to both part 1 & 2)

  1. Planning
    • Crop your reference, (feel free to crop it just like mine or change it up a bit).
    • Do a quick 5 to 10 minute thumbnail. This is a great way to get a feel for the piece and visualize the final version.
  2. Drawing
    • Scale up your thumbnail to the correct proportion Watch my video on scaling a sketch!
    • Lightly sketch in the essential shapes
    • Use your thumbnail sketch more than your photo reference at this point
  3. Blocking In
    • Establish the essential shapes of the piece, (3 to 5 largest shapes) Use the sides of the sticks)
    • Establish the values of those main shapes. What is the overall or average value of each shape?
    • Get a feel for how the piece works as a whole.
  4. Adding On
    • Add a variety of hues, and intensity to each shape.
    • Add texture and smooth out gradations where needed. Watch my video To Blend or Not to Blend.
    • Add a light source or direction of light.
    • Add detail.
  5. Finishing
    • Resolve any areas that need attention or TLC.
    • Slow down make color adjustments where needed.
    • Go the extra mile and exaggerate contrast and intensity where needed. Give yourself permission to do this!
Catching a Glimpse
Download the Lesson PDF

Enjoy “Catching a Glimpse”!

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Ctrl-Click (MAC) and choose “Save File As”
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Click Here to Download the PDF
Download the Images PDF
To Download the PDF file:
Ctrl-Click (MAC) and choose “Save File As”
Right Click (PC) to download files.


Click Here to Download the Images PDF
Skill Builder
Value Studies

SUPPLEMENTAL VIDEOS

Lesson 21