Robert E. Wood (1926-1999) was known for his watercolor landscapes, marine paintings and figures in a semi-abstract style. He earned a B.A. from Pomona College and an MFA from Claremont where he studied with Millard Sheets, Phil Dike and Jean Ames. He was elected to the National Academy.
|Taxco by Robert E. Wood|
I was so fortunate to take several workshops from him and in fact met him and visited his studio while I was in college. His nephew, Ron Wood, was a classmate of mine and he arranged our visit. During the workshops, I took notes and several years ago I gathered up those sketchbooks and arranged his advice in categories. These have been helpful to me and I hope they will be to you too.
|Figure by Robert E. Wood|
Bob Wood on Shadows
• Be aware of the character of form and volume. Look for the shadow shape.
• Softening the edges of 2 vertical, parallel lines rounds form. It turns the area into a tube.
• Shadows are not equal in width - they are thick, thin, etc.
• Shadows are not repeats of the border or the edge of form.
• Cast shadows are hard-edged while form has a rounded edge.
• Look for shadow linkage - where it goes through edges. Too often we stop at every edge without seeing the passage of shadows.
• Shadows blanket a group of things.
• Recreating light exactly can create a "jumpy" painting. Try to simplify the darks so they are more clearly stated, made more understandable.
Bob Wood on Color and Value
• Attempt to take fewer steps from light to dark.
• First washes appear dark because of the comparison to the white page.
• Make a value plan of 3-5 steps. The painting will always be more complicated than the plan.
• Most painters are good colorists in the lights. In the middle values they start to be a little less color conscious and the darks are boring. Bring life to the darks.
• Paste is not as luminous as a thinned liquid dark.
• The first application is never a dark - layering is what causes the darks. Start with a moist color so the paste on top of moist color will dry more "liquid."
• Use a complete palette to create a greater variety of darks.
• Several little paintings can explore different color moods which is more effective than one large painting.
• Be sure the drawing is dark enough to see so the first wash doesn't obliterate it.