Monday, May 10, 2010

The Painterly Approach

I was at Borders the other day, and always check out their selection of art books when I am there. I came across a new Northlight book by Bob Rohm titled "The Painterly Approach". It is a wonderful book! I have a lot of art books, but this is one of my favorites because he has many really good suggestions that I know will help me in painting landscapes. As I have no formal art training, many of these things are either new to me, or it is the right time for me to hear them again. Here are some that I found very relevant.
"A dark cast shadow on the ground is filled with the reflected light of the
sky and is never as dark as an upright shadow.
Trees are warmer closer to the ground and cool as they grow to the sky."
(Especially true of aspen trunks - my note.)
"Color looks intense when surrounded by grayed hues.
Too many obvious edges make a work busy. Too many soft ones make the work
Very slight value shifts are all it takes to show form.
Thick paint, hard edges, strong color, value contrasts and vigorous
brushwork come forward while soft edges and cool, thin color recede.
The shadow must contain the same color as the sky.
Reflected light can be any color based on what is causing it, while the
reflection of the sky is always whatever color the sky is.
A blue sky calls for a blue shadow and a purple shadow needs a purple sky.
The stronger the sunlight, the more noticeable the reflected light
Dark storm clouds are never as dark as the shadows on the land.
Generally speaking, shadow areas are thin, soft and mysterious, while very
light areas are thick and opaque."
I could go on and on! Perhaps I will do a second post with more of his suggestions. If you get a chance, buy or borrow this book!


  1. Joanne thank you for bringing this book to my attention!!! Just the little bit that you posted here I found very informative.

    You may not have had "formal art training" but your paintings are gorgeous!!!

  2. Thanks Janice! It is a really good book, especially for landscape artists.

  3. This is one of my favorite books and I refer to it often. It is a book full of Bob Rohm's beautiful paintings. He is an inspiration!

  4. Maybe it isn't as new as I thought it was. It was the first time I had seen it.

  5. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful find. You have a great blog.