23 February 2016

My First Online Course: Values in the Landscape

In my last post I mentioned I was taking a 4-week online course, with Deborah Paris, on the use of values in the landscape.  Now that the class has ended, I'm reporting back.

This was my first online class, and I liked the format.  It was self-paced and interactive, I didn't need to leave my studio, and it's was cost effective. Deborah's a good teacher, too.  No time to waste.  She loaded the course work on, and I got my money's worth.  I learned a huge amount.

I liked it enough to sign up for more of her classes, which go through May.  The coursework is eating into my studio time, so I'm not producing much of my own art right now.  But I need to do this. 

The present class covered the use of value to create distance, depth, atmosphere and different lighting scenarios like a sunny day, overcast day, dusk, etc. Some of the course content was based on John Carlson's Guide to Landscape Painting and his Theory of Angles.

Value study of "At Twilight.River Istra" by Isaac Levitan, 8x10" oil on linen

Assignments included exercises to judge isolated values, value mapping of master works, and field drawing exercises to observe values in nature.

Value study of "Castelmuzio" by Marc Dalessio, 8.5x10" oil on linen

The paintings in this post are all copies of masterworks I painted in gray scale for the class.  They show how value alone can convey the feeling of a hot, sunny day in Tuscany, or the weight and volume of sunlit clouds in a big prairie sky.  No color required!

Value study of "Prairie Jazz" by Clyde Aspevig, 8.5x10" oil on linen

I look at the landscape differently now, and I can identify potential landscape compositions where I saw none before.  I am also more aware now of value problems in artwork...both my own and other artist's.   Sometimes it's artistic license, mostly it's just careless value choices.

Value study of "Oak Tree" by Isaac Levitan, 10x10" oil on linen