Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Red Castle


  1. Hey Jonathan, Ive been following your blog on and off and you are getting pretty good! Especially for someone in 28! For this painting your darks in the castle window are too dark and saturated I'd lighten that up to push the space more. Keep it up. O and what did Aiden tell you I'd like to know thanks

    Jason Marino

  2. Thanks for the crit Jason! He said quite a bit so I'll just paste the e-mail here.

    Hey Aidan, I'm a first year student at SJSU. I saw your work at the BFA gallery and it kicks ass. I also heard you got hired at Blue Sky. congrats!

    Anyway, I was browsing your blog and was intrigued by your digital paintings. And I was wondering about a few things. First, do you use special layers like overlay and soft light? what do you think of them? Second, Do you open your reference in Photoshop or keep it in a separate application? And also, do you give yourself a time limit on these paintings?

    Ive started doing 1 speed painting a day with a friend about a month ago and would love any feed back you can give. You can find my work here:

    -Jonathan C


    Hey Jonathan, thanks! Good for you for doing speed paintings. No, I don't use layer effects because they can easily be over used and ruin everything and to me it feels like cheating. As for the reference, I open it in another application. If you open in in Photoshop (especially when you are speed painting) it is way to easy to just color pick from the photo, then you don't learn anything from your painting, its just an exercise in copying. If you open it in another program, you force yourself to think and notice the color/value structure, etc... Plus it gets your eye training up. And yeah, sometimes I try to give myself a time limit, but if it takes a little longer to finish that is ok, because you can learn a lot more is you spend more time on it ( I learned this from my friend at Blue Sky).

    For you speed painting, I have two notes. Watch out doing the plein-aire type of speed painting from photos you got off the internet. If you do do speed paintings from pictures ( and you should do them from life too), make sure you took the picture. It will teach you more about light, color and mood if you do this because you will have been there even for that brief moment. Second, remember your focal point. Even in a plein aire study you want to have a focal point that have the more detail and contrast.

    Sorry, that was such a long email. But you are getting a great start and I am excited to see what the program has in store for you. Anyway, hope this helps.