Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Breaking Rules

"You have to know the rules in order to break the rules" not sure who said this or if it even matters but this line has been coming up for the last couple of weeks. I am taking a plein air pastel workshop this week with Richard McKinley here in Scottsdale, AZ. Full day yesterday with lots of refreshers, things that we knew but just tuck back in our memories. Reminders on color, value, composition and how the eye sees these things. Richard discussed simultaneous contrast, how a color can look cooler or warmer, darker or lighter depending on what it is next too. This not only applies to art but to everyday art, your house walls, the cloths you wear anything really. It was a morning filled with learning the rules.

The afternoon was spent watching a demo en plein air and then working ourselves. Richard reminded us of doing a 4 value study, the white/light of the paper is one value, then 3 shades of gray. I get away from doing this and need to include it in my daily practice. Once the composition and values were established, Richard began a color demo. He has a lot of passion when he speaks of art and is working. Watching him work I felt I could see where some of the rules were being bent if not broken. I watched as he introduced color and texture to his work. A touch of high contrast green here and there, which I did not see but it worked in the piece. One of the other things Richard focused on was serendipity, that sometimes you just need the work take you where it wants to go. You just go with your feelings and instincts about the piece. Sometimes that is where the rules get broken.

Guess we will see what rules we can break today.
Check out Richards blog in the Pastel Journal. http://pastelpointersblog.artistsnetwork.com/

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