12 x 16 Oil Painting by Pat Fiorello
Haven't been posting much artwork this week, but know that I have been painting pretty much every day. I've been doing some larger pieces and have several in the works that are not quite done yet.
Here's one called "Chianti Classic". I've been stressing the value of doing preliminary thumbnail sketches with my students and used this one as an opportunity to share a number of different compositional formats. I was just working of a photo of a building I liked in Tuscany, and my memories and tried to come up with multiple possibilities and then chose the design I liked best to scale up to a full painting.
I recently revisited a great book in my personal art library, "Mastering Composition " by Ian Roberts. In his book he talks about creating armatures as the foundation for your painting. Much as a sculptor has a wire armature that they might lay clap on top of. the painter benefits form a strong foundation too. Roberts offers several, what I call "thought starters" for tried and true compositional formats that work to carry your eye through a painting. Not meant to be a formula, but a jumping off point if you are stuck on a composition. Often if we are working from photo's, or even on location, it's easy to get mentally locked in to what is vs. what could be (a better composition that what nature provided). I see my students many times feel locked in to replicate what was in a photo. I took this building in Tuscany and went thru all of the suggested armatures to see how that scene might be expressed and then chose my favorite
(radiating lines) to use as a plan for the painting.
A few minutes planning up front is well worth saving aggravation and frustration later when you might feel lost in the middle of a painting not knowing where you are going.