Having recently signed up for a class in ‘Colour Theory and Painting Techniques’ given by Mother Nature it was time for our first field trip. While wandering the Meewasin Trail we kept tripping over opportunities for lessons in colour combinations, how to create textures and shading to move from one colour to another and a host of other lessons. I’ll let her explain.
To begin, Mother Nature insisted on immersing ones mind in a tranquil visual pool to clear unwanted thoughts and prepare for a creative experience. Visualizing paths with lush green boarders and overhanging canopies was suggested as a good place to set the scene for these lessons to have full impact.
Mother Nature started the first lesson with some simple monochromatic subjects and insisted on practising a visualization exercise to imagine all the shades of green in these examples.
MN (I’m now calling my teacher by her initials) really emphasized how important it is to learn techniques to move from one colour to another. Don’t be afraid to use ridiculous colour combinations that would never occur in nature… Like brown, red and green for example.
Learning how to create surface disruptions that give three dimensional effects can be tricky but possible with the appropriate use of shading.
MN and I debated what one should do when faced with a flower with only one petal left. Should you start with ‘She Loves Me’ or ‘She Loves Me Not’??
Mix up some red shades and work on creating a veining effect like you would see on a leaf.
More practice on creating that texture effect and sudden changes in colour tones.
A couple of examples here to illustrate a more complex problem of subtle shading and a feeling of unease or danger.
MN loves spider webs and water droplets. There is much to be learned when giving the illusion of tiny strands of a web with micro droplets of moisture clinging on for dear life.
How do you paint something that is clear like a water droplet? After some examination it became apparent that water droplets offer themselves as a form of mirror and show off what is around them.
White is a tricky colour because it seems to have many ways to appear white. Although these flowers might be described as white there are many shades of other colours making you believe that they are indeed white.
Just a couple more lessons for today. Moving to more vibrant colours and showing a natural transition of a maturing flower can be tricky. Incorporate a few water droplets to consolidate a previous lesson.
MN suggested that I should learn techniques for creating an aging effect and how to show wrinkles, ridges and depressions. When I asked why that might be important she replied that one exercise might be to paint a self-portrait.
By this time we were pretty exhausted and my mind was getting overwhelmed so MN suggested we look for insects and leave the painting lessons for another day.
Thanks Mother Nature for all you do to keep this a beautiful world.