Pat Fiorello - Art Elevates Life

Art & Inspiration from professional artist and instructor Pat Fiorello. Pat is known for her romantic landscape, garden and floral paintings in oil and watercolor. Her paintings often depict beautiful places like Italy and France. Pat teaches painting workshops in the U.S., Caribbean and Europe. She is passionate about inspiring others to include art in their life. Whether creating it or simply appreciating and enjoying it, there are so many ways that art elevates life!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Chianti Classic

Chianti Classic
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.

These are simple ideas, that literally take a few minutes each,  done with a black and grey markers in my sketchbook to get an idea of how I might arrange the shapes and masses on my canvas. Details are not important here. The big shapes, division of space is the idea and how you want the eye to flow in and through the composition is the point.

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.

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