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Open ChallengesCarlson's Guide to Landscape Painting

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uuglypher
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Re: Carlson's Guide to Landscape Painting

Post by uuglypher »

Hi, Piet,
Stimulated by this thread I finally dug out my old copy of Carlson - it was like a reunion of old friends. I had first studied Carlson back in the late 60s when I first got into doing pastel and watercolor and colored pencil landscapes in a period of about a decade that began about almost two decades into my continuous lifelong avocation of photography.
Looking through the old, familiar pages again after
forty-five or fifty years I recalled being grateful to Carlson for articulating -far more clearly and functionally - much about light and all devolving therefrom: image tonality, brightness (dynamic ) range, shading, and the patterns and ranges of proportions of landscape features and their roles in composition. I realized that I had absorbed, in a far less than explicitly articulate, semi-conscious manner, many of Carlson’s well-expressed and illustrated observations during my earlier two decades of photography - much of it, I should admit, was under my father’s skilled and gentle tutelage.
I shortly realized that my pastels and watercolors were strongly informed by my photography background.

I can recall that while studying Carlson thinking: “Yeah..that’s right”, and “...whaddaya know! Of course- that’s just the way it is” about observations that had become usefully - albeit subconsciously / absorbed and valued concepts via photography! It’s hard to imagine other photographers not experiencing the same epiphanies.

It is wonderful to be reacquainted with this old friend... and I’m thinking I know where those pastels and colored pencils are in the storage unit, although I am sure that was not your intent Piet, when you started this thread.

Maybe conscientious social isolation ain’t all bad!

Dave

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Post by PietFrancke »

uuglypher wrote:
Wed Oct 14, 2020 10:50 pm
Hi, Piet,
Stimulated by this thread I finally dug out my old copy of Carlson - it was like a reunion of old friends. I had first studied Carlson back in the late 60s when I first got into doing pastel and watercolor and colored pencil landscapes in a period of about a decade that began about almost two decades into my continuous lifelong avocation of photography.
Looking through the old, familiar pages again after
forty-five or fifty years I recalled being grateful to Carlson for articulating -far more clearly and functionally - much about light and all devolving therefrom: image tonality, brightness (dynamic ) range, shading, and the patterns and ranges of proportions of landscape features and their roles in composition. I realized that I had absorbed, in a far less than explicitly articulate, semi-conscious manner, many of Carlson’s well-expressed and illustrated observations during my earlier two decades of photography - much of it, I should admit, was under my father’s skilled and gentle tutelage.
I shortly realized that my pastels and watercolors were strongly informed by my photography background.

I can recall that while studying Carlson thinking: “Yeah..that’s right”, and “...whaddaya know! Of course- that’s just the way it is” about observations that had become usefully - albeit subconsciously / absorbed and valued concepts via photography! It’s hard to imagine other photographers not experiencing the same epiphanies.

It is wonderful to be reacquainted with this old friend... and I’m thinking I know where those pastels and colored pencils are in the storage unit, although I am sure that was not your intent Piet, when you started this thread.

Maybe conscientious social isolation ain’t all bad!

Dave
LOL, will post something more tonight. Methinks that the storage unit is the wrong place for your tools. I love Carlson's clarity of thought and expression. In a book written almost 100 years ago, and still on target! Anyway, I feel strongly that Carlson has much to offer to the photographer and to those folks seeking to use PS to enhance (or create) their images.

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Post by PietFrancke »

this is why I am me and Carlson is Carlson, but it never hurts to try right? Trying to see proper tones, failed horribly, but it was fun. Took a very tedious approach at first and then later realizing it would take months, just started to dash tones and splotches in - even without regard to the grid.
value.jpg

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Post by minniev »

PietFrancke wrote:
Fri Oct 16, 2020 12:27 am
this is why I am me and Carlson is Carlson, but it never hurts to try right? Trying to see proper tones, failed horribly, but it was fun. Took a very tedious approach at first and then later realizing it would take months, just started to dash tones and splotches in - even without regard to the grid. value.jpg
It is masterful to my eyes.

I have no sense of how to do this. I will read that chapter again.
"God gave me photography so that I could pray with my eyes" - Dewitt Jones

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Post by Psjunkie »

Although not real sure the end goal I like the image very much..

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Post by PietFrancke »

thank you Frank and Paula - no real goal other than to apply Carlson principles to one of his images. I blocked the thing into 6x6, 36 boxes and started to paint thinking that vertical planes would be darker and sky would be lighter and ground (since it was snow) would often have spots even brighter than the sky. In his writing he explained that rules are broken with snow... I was hoping I could make the scene look like snow - obviously not as well as his image. So it was just "practice and experience and giving it a try".

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Post by minniev »

An inept attempt, just took one of my photos from Monhegan and shaded the elements in what I dimly perceived as his thoughts on where the differently toned areas might be best assigned, based on the tones in the existing image.

Piet, are you doing this digitally or with real art supplies? Tell me your method so I can better chart my own course.

Here's what I have available:
Computer with adequate software though inadequate skills
Ipad with a pencil
Paper, crayons, markers, children's tempera paints and a set of children's beginner pastels
Attachments
IMG_0863.jpg
"God gave me photography so that I could pray with my eyes" - Dewitt Jones

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PietFrancke
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Post by PietFrancke »

minniev wrote:
Fri Oct 16, 2020 5:03 pm
An inept attempt, just took one of my photos from Monhegan and shaded the elements in what I dimly perceived as his thoughts on where the differently toned areas might be best assigned, based on the tones in the existing image.

Piet, are you doing this digitally or with real art supplies? Tell me your method so I can better chart my own course.

Here's what I have available:
Computer with adequate software though inadequate skills
Ipad with a pencil
Paper, crayons, markers, children's tempera paints and a set of children's beginner pastels
very cool, I like this a lot. I am doing all my work in PS, (the eraser works Really good and I don't feel like I have wasted paper or pencil lead). I'm going to take a break and read chapter one again to see what we might do next.

I love the flow you gave the tree's main form and branches and the overall simplification achieved. Turn your photo into grey scale and compare it to your work (make your work a layer on your photograph). Then you will see (perhaps) issues with where you placed the subjects and the general tone (I will be curious if the ground was darker).

I have a personal goal that goes through this process of what you have just done. I want to be able to see and drop down the tones, in a very fast and rough fashion, and then I want to be able to return to the piece and add sharp edges and refined details. So far I am at the same stage as where you are - the lines have a certain thickness and look that is too consistent, but I know that can be fixed by doing a second pass using a brush with neighboring tones in it to thin and hopefully sharpen lines where needed. Anyway, back soon with some ideas for things to do.

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Post by minniev »

PietFrancke wrote:
Fri Oct 16, 2020 9:35 pm


very cool, I like this a lot. I am doing all my work in PS, (the eraser works Really good and I don't feel like I have wasted paper or pencil lead). I'm going to take a break and read chapter one again to see what we might do next.

I love the flow you gave the tree's main form and branches and the overall simplification achieved. Turn your photo into grey scale and compare it to your work (make your work a layer on your photograph). Then you will see (perhaps) issues with where you placed the subjects and the general tone (I will be curious if the ground was darker).

I have a personal goal that goes through this process of what you have just done. I want to be able to see and drop down the tones, in a very fast and rough fashion, and then I want to be able to return to the piece and add sharp edges and refined details. So far I am at the same stage as where you are - the lines have a certain thickness and look that is too consistent, but I know that can be fixed by doing a second pass using a brush with neighboring tones in it to thin and hopefully sharpen lines where needed. Anyway, back soon with some ideas for things to do.
I did have the photo beneath the drawing, not tracing (which I'm sure you can tell) but turning it off and on for reference because I forget!!. Of course even when I see it I can't draw it, but I did find I was able to identify tones better after reading the chapter explaining them. I haven't tried it on the computer, I did this in Procreate, so I couldn't set it to the side for a reference image like I can do on the computer. I'll try ipad, computer, and paper and see what works best. But my art skills are very rudimentary, intended only for sketching Stitch and Goofy onto the sides of Amazon boxes, or participating in contests with Jack to see who can draw a found object. Jack always wins.
"God gave me photography so that I could pray with my eyes" - Dewitt Jones

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Post by PietFrancke »

minniev wrote:
Fri Oct 16, 2020 10:04 pm

I did have the photo beneath the drawing, not tracing (which I'm sure you can tell) but turning it off and on for reference because I forget!!. Of course even when I see it I can't draw it, but I did find I was able to identify tones better after reading the chapter explaining them. I haven't tried it on the computer, I did this in Procreate, so I couldn't set it to the side for a reference image like I can do on the computer. I'll try ipad, computer, and paper and see what works best. But my art skills are very rudimentary, intended only for sketching Stitch and Goofy onto the sides of Amazon boxes, or participating in contests with Jack to see who can draw a found object. Jack always wins.
Jack always wins... THAT IS JUST SO WRONG. You have to figure a way to cheat.

Reading Carlson, we have the different planes, sky - ground - and upright Each with their own tonal range. He mentions that within a given plane, the tones/values used "belong" to that plane. So, I am going to attempt to add more variability to the tones within a given plane by scumbling them together. (and then erasing the inappropriate scumbling from the plane where it does not belong). I am hoping that it will provide a richness and a variability that does not exist. We will see if this works,.. going to watch the news and then do this for a hour or so and see what happens.

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