Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Encyclopedia of dumb design ideas 1

Encyclopedia of dumb design ideas

Sorry I am posting late today. Internet access is hard to come by sometimes, but I will do my best. If I have to miss a day, I apologize in advance.

Above is a dumb design idea. The road is jammed against the side of the frame. Often this is the way that nature actually appears before you, so watch out for it! Remember that a road leads you into a picture, this one leads the viewer in and then throws them roughly against the frame over on the left.

I have seen roads tortured into vertical sections as the artist tries to keep them inside the painting. The answer is to either move your easel before you start work, as soon as you have realized the problem. The second solution if that is impossible is to move the road to lead through the middle of the painting to it's destination.

Roads leading into paintings are a great device and many fine paintings have them, BUT can be extremely difficult to paint. Unless I am in a location where the road looks just about right, I am very leery of them. Often I will invent most of a road rather than go with what is actually offered.
More on this soon, I have painted lots of country roads and had more than my share of disasters.


Anonymous said...

this is an excellent topic, please do elaborate.I have attempted to paint more than one painting of road bicyclists... hard to paint the scene without the road...


MCG said...

are streams similarly evil? I just, after an entire day, wiped a whole painting off, cursing and with sunburned feet only to show for it. I think I had good placement, but a damn hard time with it receding and other things. frustrating.

MCG said...

..sunburned feet being another stupid lesson acquired. if your wearing sandals don't forget sunblock on your feet folks. :[ better still, enclosed footwear only I guess.

Jeremy Elder said...

I have been absent for a long time due to work. I have a lot of catching up to do on your past posts, but was fortunate to catch the first of your "design series" today. You have so much design knowledge that is lacking in a lot of art, so I am looking forward to more!

By the way, your post also makes me think about roads from a color/value design too. I remember in Caddell's book that he would change asphalt roads to dirt to help the design in this respect.

I guess like you said, roads can be a great leading device, or complete disaster if used improperly.

T Arthur Smith said...

I don't see exactly what the problem is in the example. I understand what you said, but the example still looks pretty good to me. Maybe you should make another image and fix it.

Anonymous said...

Hi Stape,
I love paths, roads, trails etc. as an 'Air Force brat' I lived in hundreds of places around the world. Came to love getting on the road to the new.... We have a lot of those here in the desert. sometimes, if I can get away with making it look possible, I substitute the desert 2 lane rut for asphalt, or bring the sides in to make the asphalt road narrower if I like the shape, throwing some shadows across it to slow the speed (or the occasional heat mirage!). My idea is that the viewer should slow down to enjoy the journey and asphalt unencumbered just seems to speed thru my landscape too fast.
I love that you are taking little side trips on this journey thru your history of art. Terry

Susan McCullough said...

Stape- I was wondering: would it be better to lead the road out of the painting and then back in, therby not trying to cram the road into the space provided but it would still look natural. Not all of the road, just the outside curved part- I've done that before and I thought it worked but maybe I was just stupidly thinking that it worked. You know what I'm trying to say?

Antonin said...

This is great idea for a post Stape. Could you do like one dumb design and one possiblity to make the thing work ? That could give some ideas and train my beginner's eye.
Once again really good post !

Stapleton Kearns said...

I hit that topic again today.

Stapleton Kearns said...

No but they have to be handled as leading lines and you need to think about where you are leading.

Stapleton Kearns said...

I virtually always strip asphalt out of a painting.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Will do!

Stapleton Kearns said...

Thanks heres another side trip.

Stapleton Kearns said...

That doesn't sound ;like a very good solution to me. But like everything else there is probably a picture out there that has that working.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Yes, I have that today.