Controlling DEGREES of Emphasis

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Reference photos for your exercises are in the Materials Section and in Lesson 2 above. Other materials you will need are your painting gear and a painting surface appropriate to your medium.

It is important that you approach your homework study as just that–a study exercise. YOU ARE NOT MAKING A PAINTING, but you are doing a practice exercise that is studying methods for controlling DEGREES of emphasis. For this reason, if your medium is oils or acrylic, please do NOT use stretched canvas for your homework exercises. Gessoed card stock or sheet canvas will work just fine. If your medium is watercolor, pastels or gouache, use the quality of paper that will give you the best results.

The size of your painting surface should be no larger than 12” x 16”. Otherwise, there will be too much space to manage to keep your attention on working the concept you are working with. Beyond this, use the paints and brushes with which you are most comfortable working. Dianne’s intention is not to change your choices to hers, but to focus on learning one of the best ways to use your attention to the concepts being taught.

NOTE for Watercolor & Acrylic painters: If you are using acrylic or pastels, for the notan, use a thin wash made from watercolor. For this, it’s okay to use the less expensive ones, including the pans such as Prang sets. Watercolor painters will probably prefer working out the notan on scrap sheet or in the sketch book. Some watercolor painters (such as Mary Whyte) often will set a faint notan on damp paper in a wash of ultramarine blue. What’s important is that you have firmly found the pattern of light and shadow.

Below are your reference choices for doing your exercises.  Feel free to choose one of these, but if you have your own that you would prefer to use, feel free to do so.  In that case, email a copy of it to Dianne at to get her okay on it's potential for this study. To download one of our Options, click on the link, then right click on the image.

Emphasis Option A

Emphasis Option B

Emphasis Option C





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