Elizabeth Tolley Hard and Soft Edges Demonstration Painting

| May 10, 2009
elizabeth tolley hard and soft edges painting

Elizabeth Tolley Edges Demonstration Painting

This is the second and last demonstration painting that I will post from Elizabeth Tolley’s “Oil Painter’s Solution Book: Landscapes” art book. Given my commercial design background, painting loose is tough for me. I am accustomed to very tight graphic work. It pleases my brain to know everything is tidy. When it comes to fine art, I enjoy and admire realism but long to be able to loosen up and and let the paint flow in my work. In Tolley’s book, she advocates creating little sketches to practice and hone important painting techniques. This demonstration was focused on creating hard and soft edges. Needing work in that area and liking the loose feel of the demo, I gave it a go.

This one was quick. It took about 9o minutes from start to finish and I like the way it turned out. I first established the basic shapes by scrubbing in the warm and cool grays with a semi-transparent wash. I then built the forms while focusing on creating soft edges around the trees and hard edges on the corners of the barn. To finish, I overpainted highlights using thicker paint. Where the trees and sky meet, Libby advised pulling the wet paint from each area into the other to create the soft edges.

Category: Fine Art and Painting

Comments (6)

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  1. Randy Saffle says:

    Nice work Lee. I come from an architectural background also. Constantly have to make myself paint looser. Your last two posts are inspiring me to do some practice paintings.
    I want to work on changing a colors temperature without changing the value. You inspired me. Keep up the good work.

  2. Lee says:

    Thanks for the comment Randy. I feel the same way about your work. I am not sure what I would do if I did not have the ability to see the work of others to keep me motivated. The web is a wonderful thing for feeding the creative process. I enjoy the practice paintings because I feel I am able to leverage the experience of painters with a lot more time on the canvas.

  3. Randy says:

    Lee, if you are not familiar with John Cook, check out this link.
    I have seen his art in person and it blows me away. He maintains his loose, expressive brushwork while painting larger than five feet tall. I ask him how he does it and he simply says that is the only way he knows how to paint. I wish I had the same problem.

    http://www.johncookart.com/ ( click on the ad for his one man show )

  4. Lee says:

    Please, oh, please let me be able to paint that way someday! He must use a big brush is all I can say. The colors are great and I love the expressive brushwork. Are you going to go to the show? also noticed that his asking prices are similar to Jay Moore’s here in Colorado.

  5. gwen says:

    Love this simple composition. The Ochers and Dusty Blues compliment each other perfectly. The choice for bright white here and there really makes it cohesive. I like the way you brought moments of gold into the tree tops. Really lovely!

  6. Lee says:

    Hi Gwen! Elizabeth has a very nice feel to her work and this was a great exercise to try and emulate it. I hope to buy one of her paitnings in the future when one strikes me.