Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Tonal Study in Pencil


It doesn't take very long to do a preliminary tonal study, but the time spent pays big dividends. Here's a small pencil sketch that I did in preparation for a painting in Dinotopia: Journey to Chandara


For example, the tonal study helped me plan the dark area behind the light feathered dinosaur in the lower right, and it helped me work out the chiaroscuro of the bearded farmer.


Once I get into the details of the painting, I'm making decisions at a more micro level. Without that tonal study, it's hard to see the big picture. 

The original pencil tonal study appears in The Art of James Gurney exhibit at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia through November 16.
-----
More about various kinds of preliminary drawings in my book Imaginative Realism: How to Paint What Doesn't Exist



3 comments:

Mika Paananen said...

Hello!

My name is Mika and I have a few general questions I'd like your take on. I understand if you don't have time to answer them all.

1. Who are the most controversial or unorthodox artists or teachers (in fine art)? Why? What do you think of them?
2. Who are the most impressive lesser-known teachers (fine art)?
3. What makes you who you are? Who trained or influenced you?
4. What are the biggest mistakes and myths you see in your field? What are the biggest wastes of time?
5. What are your favorite instructional books or resources on fine arts? If people had to teach themselves, what would you suggest they use?
6. If you could train someone for a short period of time, say 4-8 weeks, what would you focus on?

Thank you so much and I am so sorry if these questions are asked in the wrong place!

Have a great day,

Mika Paananen
Finland

James Gurney said...

Hi, Mika, Good questions, but Wow, it would take a lot of time and thought to answer them. In fact on some of them, I have done previous posts that might help.

1. Who are the most controversial or unorthodox artists or teachers (in fine art)? Why? What do you think of them?
Try searching "Art Schools" in the "Blog Index. You'll meet many of the art teachers I've met.

2. Who are the most impressive lesser-known teachers (fine art)?
I don't know other than the ones I've met. See previous question.

3. What makes you who you are? Who trained or influenced you?
Put "Interview" in the search box at the upper left of the blog and you'll find links to several interview that address this question.

4. What are the biggest mistakes and myths you see in your field? What are the biggest wastes of time?
I'm not interested in judging other peoples' mistakes because I make enough of my own.

5. What are your favorite instructional books or resources on fine arts? If people had to teach themselves, what would you suggest they use?
Search "Instructional Books" or "Art Instruction Books" in the search box. We've done several polls. Also in the back of Color and Light and Imaginative Realism books, I list many of my favorites.

6. If you could train someone for a short period of time, say 4-8 weeks, what would you focus on?
It depend what they want to accomplish. By reading through the blog, you can find the things that matter the most to me.

Hope that helps.

Mika Paananen said...

Hi again!

Thank you so much James for the "road map" so I know where to look for more information! It helps a lot! :) I will dig deeper into your blog and your books!

All the best,

Mika