Art Lesson #4

The Yellow Line Project
This idea is adapted from the book -   Painting from the Inside Out: 19 Projects and Exercises to Free your Creative Spirit  - by Betsy Dillard Stroud. It’s a great book with many ideas for kick-starting your creativity.

Set up a still-life using items with simple, interesting shapes. Using watercolor or acrylic paint in a light color, draw the complete outline of each object, even items that are behind other objects, as if you have x-ray vision. You may want to practice on cheap paper until you have some good looking interlocking shapes. Reproduce your light-colored outlines on good paper then let dry completely.


To fill the shapes, I like to use jewel-tone colors (rich, transparent colors such as, Quinacridone Gold, Phthalo Blues and Greens, Quinacridone Rose and/or Magenta) as is suggested in the book. Working rather flatly, fill in the colors of each item, letting the light-colored outlines show.  Indicate which items are in front by painting all the sections a similar color. Mix your jewel tones and vary each section of one item a little bit.

To take it a few steps farther, I started these paintings with several light colors of watercolor blending wet into wet as I made the outlines of the shapes.  After proceeding through the next few steps as described above,

I then continued to subdivide shapes, and glazed on stripes within the shapes and even in the background with my limited, transparent palette. The last step was adding Sharpie.