Blocking-In - Preparation First

Blocking-In - Preparation First

Becky Joy

Blocking-in a Painting

Another topic which was requested by several people is blocking-in a painting. I'm covering the block-in in this post, then it leads to the finished painting in another topic about simplifying. But, simplifying really starts with the block-in.

First, make a simple notan - black & white sketch. I usually use a marker, because it's simple and quick. Below are two notans that I made from the featured photo. The second, I tried putting a few more things into it, but notice how disjointed it looks compared to the first. Simplify. Simple is always better. When I speak of light and dark. Darks don't mean all the values in shadow. If something looks closer to the darks, block it in with the rest of the darks. So, I'll start the block-in.  




Sketching on the canvas is a simple line drawing of the major shapes, nothing more.


Use thin paint to start the painting. Always - think to thick.

Don't pick up white at this point. The lighter green grass I added yellow ocher to it. No white helps to keep the painting from getting chalky. Now, obviously in the light areas of the water I added white. There was no other way to get the paint the value that I needed here. If it was predominantly a little darker value, I would have possibly not used white.

Also remember that this thin area of paint doesn't have to be completely covered in paint as you continue painting. What you want to do is look at the predominant big shapes. If one shape has more values in it, avoid putting too many other values into the space. By doing so, you break up the space and it becomes spotty. This is the start of a simplified painting, with a simple block-in.-in process. Here is another example of a simplified painting which I started with the same block-in process.



Squint at this photo. You will see the lights and darks in the following painting.


I simplified the shapes. Even though each light and dark area I see more values than what I painted, I ignored some of it. The painting makes a bigger impact when you limit your light and dark areas. I'll pick up on this with the next blog post and continue the painting. Creatively yours, Becky

Add a comment

* Comments must be approved before being displayed.