Sunday, July 10, 2011

Mapping

Back to the watercolours.

One of the most amazing things I learnt was mapping.  In five years of painting lessons, workshops, art magazines and DVDs, no-one ever mentioned mapping.  It was a revelation and I discovered, when applied without that interfering left brain activity, it jolly well works!

I am now so much more aware of tonal values, something I always struggled with.  These are a few of the watercolours and sketches I did whilst discovering mapping with Penny.


           

It seems that I'm not the only one who didn't know about mapping.  Most of you do it instinctively anyway, but being tonally challenged, it was a revelation for me.  The heads of the boys probably illustrates mapping the best.  Forget the left brain stuff, simply draw a line between your dark and light areas (best done upside down) and shade in the dark side.  There are obviously differences in the dark areas, but ignore them in the initial stages.  These will work out when putting in colour.  It's that simple and it works.  If you ignore what you are drawing/painting and follow the mapping guidelines, you will get an amazing likeness, especially with portraits.


37 comments:

Carol Schiff Studio said...

Liz, These are are so beautiful, it would be impossible to make a choice. The values are wonderful in all. It has been such a joy, over the past few years to watch you on your art journey!

AutumnLeaves said...

I have to agree with Carol; these are indeed beautiful pieces! Mapping...hmmm...

Katherine Thomas said...

Could you explain this mapping concept? Your paintings here are wonderful! I think I need to learn mapping!

Ramesh Jhawar said...

Liz, your sketches and watercolours are just wonderful!
Thanks so much for your kind comment on my blog!
P.S.
Are you on facebook?

art2cee2 said...

These sketches and paintings are wonderful. Mapping? I thought your work was always amazing! :-)

hmuxo said...

These 5 sketches and watercolors are outstanding, Liz. However, I'm still confused about mapping...but it must have worked! love them!!You get better with each painting.

Prabal said...

Oh.. These are brilliant.. That person in the jacket reminds me of Sherlock Holmes.. And yes we all are curious to know.. What is mapping??

Marty said...

wow Liz, I'm so impressed ! these paintings are wonderful !
I love your work ! great really great!
I love all of them!
the last one is amazing ! it moves !
An artist you are !!! yes
bisous from far France

Shelley Smart said...

Oh, my, these are fabulous!!

I'm guessing that mapping is defining the dark and light areas of your subject in simple shapes. Many plein air and landscape artists use this technique to begin their paintings. It helps one compose the flow of light and shadow through a painting.

Even if that's not exactly the technique, what you've created is stunning!

Marie Theron said...

A wonderful set of works, Liz. And they are all so very alive! The painting of the children is delightful!

Watercolorist said...

I agree with everything Marie Theron said. I particularly like the children and the man in jacket. You have captured the lights wonderfully to make these watercolors sing. I think this is your calling.
Jean

AK said...

All these works are fabulous. Great work. Can you enlighten us a bit about mapping.... it definitely seems to work!

Barbara Pask said...

Always interesting to visit your blog Liz. You try different techniques and mediums and your work is always a treat to see. Please post more about mapping when you have time.

Pam Holnback said...

Wow! Don't you love those "I get it" moments! You got it!

Marian Fortunati said...

These are wonderful, Liz!!

I wish I knew more about mapping!!!

Art with Liz said...

Dear Carol, you have been an inspiration to me. Thank you.


Hi Sherry, thank you so much dear friend. I have put a comment about mapping on the bottom of the blogpost sort of trying to explain!

Art with Liz said...

Hi Katherine, thank you and I've added a bit to the bottom of the post!


Thank you Ramesh. I've got a long way to go to get to your proficiency. I have a fb page somewhere, but never go on - in fact when I go into fb, they email me immediately asking me where I've been! I admit quite freely, I'm not a facebook fan!

Art with Liz said...

Wow Crystal, what a nice thing to say!


Hi there Hilda, thank you so much. I am still on the hunt for a pastel teacher!

Art with Liz said...

Hey Prabal! Thank you my friend. I particularly enjoyed doing that old guy except for his right arm! And the background. Still struggling with watercolour washes.


Hello Marty - thank you so much!

Art with Liz said...

Shelley, you've nailed it on the head! Apparently this technique is especially useful for portraits, but I can see where you would use it elsewhere.


Thank you dear Marie.

Art with Liz said...

Hello Jean! Thank you, I love the fluidity and translucency of watercolours, but my medium of choice is still oils.


Hi AK, thank you and I hope I sort of answered the mapping question!

Art with Liz said...

Thank you so much Barbara and I've added that bit to the bottom of the post.


Hi Pam, and yes those moments are a revelation - just got to remember to apply it to all the work!!

Art with Liz said...

Dear Marian, I think you subconsciously know about mapping anyway! You do it with such ease with your landscapes.

rachelsstudio.com said...

WOW, I haven't been to your blog in a while - your work is really progressing beautifully!

V. Deshmukh said...

This is very informative Liz. Thank you so much. From what I have understood from this post I think mapping is dividing your subject into two shapes, one light and one dark and then treating them as abstract shapes and painting them. I havent done this before, but looking at the success you have achieved I beleive I might benefit a great deal too.
Best wishes and thank you once again.

Arti said...

Watercolor is all about catching the light- and you are doing that beautifully, Liz!Congrats for producing such beautiful work.

Tweedles -- that's me said...

Hi Liz
We are always amazed at your art work. My one mama is addicted to all that you draw and paint,, and create,, she thinks you are exactly how she would like to paint,, just like you.
I am going to show her the tips you shared here
love
tweedles

BrandNewStudio said...

I enjoyed your
Work very much
Good Creations

Saundra Lane Galloway said...

WOW Liz, I don't know HOW I missed this post...absolutely WONDERFUL work...and your mapping tips were fabulous...

Elizabeth Anderson said...

Beautiful Liz! I think I'll be experimenting with mapping.

V. Deshmukh said...

Hi Liz,
I have been tagged by Crystal Cook ofr he seven links project.In turn I have linked you forthe same. You shall have to review you past blogposts and choose 7 best of your choice. Please see my blog to know more about this.
Vinayak

Roger Brown My Botswana Art said...

Great work !I have read (Drawing on the right side of the brain) some years ago, it was really interesting I remember doing some of the exercises like turning your reference photo upside down and then drawing, I was amazed at the results.I will give mapping a try as well.

Dean H. said...

Your watercolors are really fantastic, Liz!
I guess I have been using a form of mapping for years. But the large first division of light and dark is a world all it's own! What a great way to simplify down to the bare essentials!

padmaja said...

Need to know more about mapping, seems like it works well to simplify stuff and arrive at the light and shade,, I loved max's portrait on your recent post as well, Liz, thanks for your visit and comment!

Sharon Wright said...

How did I miss this! Wonderful post. I've not heard it called 'mapping' before.....and I always forget to do it. Judging by your results, I relly think I should stop and plan before I slap the paint on! Keep up this amazing work.

Sadeu said...

very good watercolours : )

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