Art 134 Fundamentals

More details on the Landscape Project

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I would like you to choose a painting from the slide-show on ARTstor and emulate it, although it does not have to be a perfect copy (however, it can be a direct copy if that is what you prefer). You may crop or alter the original piece to a degree, but you must maintain the overall idea and feel of the original, i.e. the color palette and proportions of the color relationships must be kept true to the original. Also, I am especially interested how the paint is built up and applied, so be sure to zoom in to your image and study the brush strokes and the thickness of the paint in the original. I want you to try to copy the energy and gestures with which the paint was applied. Once you have selected your image and prepared your painting surface follow the steps outlined below:

-do three quick composition sketches (approx. full page in sketchbook each) of your selected painting, with somewhat varied compositions (try one full, and two cropped versions)

-select your favorite composition (remember that cropping a complex composition may make the project more manageable)

-begin your preliminary sketch with thinned paint (traditionally often an umber or yellow ochre) and/or a bit of light pencil if appropriate

-after establishing your painted “sketch” remember to step back and review proportions, watch for continuity (i.e. don’t bend the horizon line), and check that the overall composition is working

-find and mix the main areas of color and start blocking in these large areas of color in the first pass (use your largest brush)

-cover the white of the canvas in the first pass

-in the second pass work on building more detailed color relationships, use thicker paint

-in the third pass you will continue to refine your composition, build up the thickness of the paint and add details (we will work on the third pass during Tuesday’s class)


For most of this project I highly recommend standing to paint. Use an easel, tilted drafting table, or a wall to rest your painting on, rather than a flat table. As you start the painting you should be using a large brush and holding it towards the end of the handle (not near the bristles or metal ferrule–paint with your arm, not with your wrist–you are painting, not writing a letter).

-always work from general to specific

-step back from your work periodically

-squint at your piece to help see the value relationships between the colors

-paint from thin to thick

[Materials: reference image, surface to paint on (your choice, double-weight vellum, mat board, canvas, or mdf/board–primed with 1-2 coats of gesso or white paint), view finder, color wheel, measuring sticks, all of your paints and brushes, paper towels, etc.]

Objectives: material handling, demonstrate understanding of color, overall success of painting

Additional resources:Painting Techniques pdf see pages 2, 4-6 and 13 for especially relevant information.  Or revisit pages 127-131 in the Betty Edward’s Color pdf (describing the Passes One through Three of the paper still life project).

Windy Day, Auxerre, by Chaim Soutine

Windy Day, Auxerre, by Chaim Soutine


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