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Lesson 2: Painting Tonal Patterns
Copy a tonal Pattern by Eye Using a Five Tone Scale
Create a simple five tone pattern consisting of the darkest tone, (0) the lightest tone (10) the mid-tone (5) and the medium light tone and medium dark tone. Then reproduce that pattern sight size, working from dark to light. Always start with the darkest tone and proceed, from darkest to lightest, as the canvas you work on is light, and you always begin where you will make the greatest difference.
As with the tonal chart scale in lesson one, practice makes perfect. Practice reproducing tonal patterns, and you will develop your artist’s eye to see tonal value, the shape of the tone and the proportion and correct placement of it in your painting.
Lesson Two Part Two
Painting a Tonal Pattern
The examples shown were by students from the art classes held in my Mooroopna art studios.
I allow three hours for these exercises. Occasionally a student will need all of that time to complete the exercise.
As this class finished their work early, I had time to give an additional tonal painting demonstration at the end of the class.
This bonus exercise was to do a quick, tonal impression using one of the students as the subject. Strive to look for the pattern of light and shade, the tonal value and start with the dark shapes first, and then gradually work from dark through to light, using the left over premixed paint. The image of a recognisable face appeared on the canvas within minutes.
From beginner student, suddenly a developing trained artist is emerging.
Notice in the pattern on the canvas board, that represents the seated student’s head, how there is little development of the eye that is turned away from the viewer. Why do you suppose that is? Remember also that the painter is painting the pattern of light and shade that they see, and that is a different pattern to the one that the camera has taken from a different location in the room.
The value of this training is that the mind is being asked to ‘stay out of it,’ and the artist is learning to trust what the eye is seeing and paint that. Do not allow your mind to instruct you that there are two eyes and both must be painted in detail if what the eye sees is a glaring reflection off an eyeglass with a small shadow of the shape that the artist has rendered.
This is excellent, in my opinion, for a rapidly done tonal sketch to demonstrate the confidence of the student to move from painting the pattern of light and dark on a two dimensional surface to being able to see it on a three dimensional surface. They should not allow themselves to freeze in fear at the thought that this is eyes, nose, lips and such things. See the work as a pattern of light and shade in certain shapes to be rendered in proportion to other shapes.
Practice these foundation lessons and develop the confidence.
As both my student and I are nature lovers and I am pleased with her progress, we will move on quickly so we can be ready to paint the roses in the studio garden.
Don’t attempt to add colour to your paintings until you master painting tonally if you hope to paint natural looking paintings. With no colour present, the image appears only as tonal values or light and shade.
It is only because of the effect of light hitting the things we look at that we can tell what they look like. Learning to see the exact tonal value of these things is the most important thing an artist has to do in order to be able to represent that subject as a painting. You cannot paint it until you can see it correctly.
It sounds obvious, but we can replicate dark as black paint, very simply and even the lightest tone by using white paint, but seeing and mixing the middle tone the medium dark and medium light tone takes training. This is one of the most important lessons for any artist and learning to see and replicate tones could be likened to being as important as being able to hear and replicate music notes for a musician.
In my Studio Garden
I recall when I invested $7,500. on a professional pottery studio, half a lifetime ago, and before I could throw a pot. Some people thought I was mad.
My man never doubted me—bless him. I firmly believed that all I needed was a desire to become a good potter, a skilled tutor, and a lot of practice and I would become, and I did become, an award winning master potter and sculpture—as well as remaining an artist as my primary profession. I'm not saying that to beat my drum. I state it as a reminder that I need to take that s same determined approach to creating videos.
To become skilled at pottery, I needed to throw 1000 pots before I could throw a good one. I needed to throw another 2000 pots before I could consistently throw good ones. So. if it takes me 3000 video shoots and editing sessions to master this, I'll put that work in—but master the skill I will. It is happening. It took me six weeks of quality tuition and full time practice to throw pots as well as your average potter. I took such more to reach the standard I was after.
You are not born talented.
You need the desire to seek out a skilled tutor, invest in quality supplies, and then a great deal of practice to master a creative skill. If you will do this things.
I can teach you to become an artist.
Meanwhile, studio assistant Valentine has decided to become part of the painting, part of the first early spring in Ryn's Studio video.
Coming home to Spring, eight years ago.
Under my pergola, A great place to soak up some gentle morning sun, and get my Vit D.
We planted wisteria to grow over this to provide late spring blossoms and Summer shade.
I have been settling into our northern Victoria, Australia, warm season home for just over a week now. Driving up to the front of our rural retreat, it was wonderful to be welcomed by spring flowers. The peach blossom and freesia, daffodils, tulip and Dutch iris in bloom, our first yellow rose was in flower and to have not missed the azalea and camellia. These winter blooms had lasted until I got home. For nature lovers like Reg and myself, it was a wonderful homecoming.
Having gotten over the shock of finding field mice in our home when we arrived home, no doubt encouraged into the area by the healthy crop of oats opposite our home. I set about cleaning, dusting and disinfecting in the home. I am still moving furniture to clean behind it, and I have tidied up the garden, planted herbs, and vegetables. Now the garden has been tidied; I am ready to carry the patio furniture that I stored in our bedroom while we were away, outside.
Our new five-month-old, garden showing the avenue of poplars opposite and the field beyond, which is now a lush green growing field of oats. This photo was taken April 2009.
Early September '09, waiting for my table and chairs to be replaced under our front garden pergola so we can enjoy meals served in the garden.
Preparing the home to leave it unattended through wither
There has to be an easier way. Next year, I will prepare the home, garden, and patio with more care and save myself a lot of this work.
I’ll be leaving mouse bait behind cupboards before we leave.
Use sheets as dust covers for the inside furniture.
Chain our patio furniture to the pergola, hide the chain with flower pots or rocks and use patio furniture covers so there will be a lot less work involved when we arrive home after our winter away.
My garden roses welcomed me home and turned my mind to painting flowers again.
Roses in Ryn Shell Art
I always prune the garden make sure it is weed free, and the ground soaked and mulched, the climbers freshly tied back before I leave for a winter inland tour.
I find if I am home by early spring all I need do is cut off any frost burn, hoe any emerging weeds, and fertilise my plants, especially the roses.
Then, I'm ready to relax and enjoy the garden I love.
I have already begun to have my breakfast outside in the morning sun; The garden furniture makes a great breakfast nook.
This photograph shows the field of oats opposite our home, the source of our field mice visitors. It is lovely living in a rural area with unbroken country side views, so I accept I need to protect the home more carefully from uninvited visitors when we are away.
After traveling around Australia and occasionally abroad with Reg for over forty years you would think I would be an expert at making the transition from the trip to back home, easily, but here I am still learning.
I would love to hear any tips other travelers have, for protecting the home, patio, and garden while they are away or even just great way’s to batten down and winterise the home and garden and save time and effort on the return to spring time. Your comments are welcome.