Creativity fuels Momentum

I've been doing a bit of thinking about the energy force that is creativity. 

Various tries at dividing the foliage into shapes for my Impressionist painting. 

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The Winner!


I tried several times dividing the small clumps into bigger shapes, as you can see below, but I just wasn't happy with them. Finally I tried outlining the outside shape and then putting in the substantial tree holes. Finally, I had a sketch I could do an Impressionist painting from.  To hear my description of how to draw foliage, click on the podcast below. 

Art Stretch Exercises and Results

What is an Art Stretch?

  • Are you ever:
  • Blocked creatively?
  • Tired of painting the same old thing?
  • So busy preparing for a show you have no time to experiment?Neglectful of your creativity?
  • Suspicious you need to learn new techniques to take your painting to the next level?

You need to take a few moments for an Art Stretch.

Just as athletes stretch before they go running, so can a painter do an sketching exercise or two before painting. Art Stretches are a chance to shake off the cobwebs, try something new, and strengthen our creative muscles.An Art Stretch is a sketch or exercise that only takes a few minutes, using art supplies you probably already have. I’ll be publishing them one a month, and please do post your comments or a photo of your finished sketch! I'll be posting my sketch on Thursday. 


You can’t tell the forest for the trees   

 Intro: Designing trees is a big part of landscape oil painting. Sometimes, nature doesn’t cooperate and the artist must find the shapes in the trees’ foliage and divide it up in interesting ways. While doing this though, it’s important to maintain the characteristics of the species of tree.        

Needed: Photo of tree    

Materials: pencils or pens to sketch with, drawing paper    

The Stretch:  Sketch the masses in the foliage three different ways, don’t forget to have one part dominant and the other parts subordinate. Pick the one you like best and add grey-scale values so the dominant part is two-thirds lights and the subordinate is one-third darks. Try it again and reverse the lights and the darks. Which do you like best?

Post a photo!