Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Tony Couch

I took a watercolor workshop with Tony Couch fall of 2008. I didn't really paint anything but I wanted to relook at the notes for composition ideas and self-encouragement.

8 Principles of Design
1. Contrast
2. Gradation
3. Harmony
4. Repetition
5. Alternation
6. Balance
7. Dominance
8. Unity

The bible is "The Art of Color and Design" M. Graves

Other people to look at:
1. Frank Webb
2. Ed Whitney for Composition
3. Tony Couch - Keys to Successful Painting

Tony Couch: "You can ignore the principles of design but they won't ignore you."

Contrast/Conflict/Opposition: it's arresting however it's disturbing but a little goes a long way.

Dominace: Is all about priorities. Something is more important than something else. It's a pecking order. Tells the viewer what's the most important.

Alternation: A form of repetition particular type of repetition. Used in design more than in painting.

Repetition with Variation (no Variety)

Repetition without Variation

Contrast: abrupt change from Alpha to Omega. Colors on the Opposite Side of the Color Wheel.

Harmony: A little bit of change

Unity: Not Change

7 Elements of a Design for Painting

1. Size
2. Shape
3. Line
4. Direction
5. Color
6. Value
7. Texture

If you have dominances in a painting it's probably a good painting

As artists we are "Shapemakers, symbol colllectors and entertainers"

How do you make something Dominant?
1. Make it bigger
2. Make it happen more often
3. Make it brighter
4. Make it have more contrast

What should a shape be?
1. Two different dimensions
2. Oblique (or atleast one side should be)
3. Incidents at the edges (be careful what you put there)
(Interlock is an incident)

Value: lightness/darkness
- the degree of luminosity or brightness of a color or gray

Hue: Color i.e. red, blue, yellow, green

Chroma: Brightness/Dullness
Has strength, intensity and saturation.
Color is bright or not bright
Color is grayed down

Nothing in nature is as bright as tube color except fall foliage and flowers. Everything else must be grayed down.

When painting vary color in all three dimensions. Value is more important than color.

How to gray down?
- add the complement
- add gray

Brown is orange with black in it

Put Ivory Black in your palette and add water

Rembrandt that black was the queen of colors

Black can be used as gray

Don't use black for black instead mix any blue and brown.


Munsell Color Wheel

We associate warm colors with things that are hot and cool colors with things that are cool like the sky and large bodies of water

Greens/Reds/Purples are neutral

A complement is the color on the other side of the color wheel

Any warm is the complement of any cool (with a few execptions)

Every color has its own value scale

Value Patterns

1. Large dark shape and overall mid value
2. Small light in a Large Dark with an overall mid value
3. Large light in an overall mid value
4. Small dark in a large light

Line: curved, straight, angualr (one or the other should be dominant)

Direction: Horizontal, vertical or oblique

Texture: hard/smoothe, soft/rough

Art is not a Destination it's a Journey. Be Patient. Be Content with being wrong. Do a Bunch of wrong. You will go through much sweat and tears and disasters. It isn't fun but it is rewarding

Reading List

Coutsky: Books on Trees
Graves: Art of Color and Design

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