Pattern-The light, middle and dark areas within a composition are some o f the most important elements in a painting.
If we look at the pattern in the photograph above, the pattern is not obvious. Recognizing the pattern and using it to paint the composition gives your painting unity. The example below shows the simple areas of light, middle and dark values.
The photograph above was taken in Rock Island, IL. The pattern of values is shown in the middle, and the demonstration painting is on the right.
The photo on the left was taken by one of my students, who has a cottage on Lake Michigan in Wisconsin. The pattern in the middle shows the light, middle and dark values which are evident in the demonstration painting on the right.
One of my favorite places for painting is Bond Falls, Wisconsin. The photo on the left is at the bottom of the main falls. The pattern is in the center and the demonstration painting is on the right.
Another photo from Bond falls. This one was downstream from the main fall. The demonstration painting could have been better if I had followed the pattern. The darks in the foreground and in the upper right side should have been darker.
The photograph for this demonstration painting is a combination of two paintings, one taken from my back yard looking north just after the sunset, and another photograph for the foreground which was taken just east of the first photo. I kept detail in the buildings to a minimum to maintain the clouds as the center of interest.
The photograph on the left is from the coast of Maine taken this year by one of my students, Melissa Brouilette. The composition is good but the values and color needed change. The pattern of color and values on the right is the framework for the demonstration painting below.
This photo of a waterfall in upper Wisconsin needed some adjustment. The photo was taken on an early fall day and I decided to warm up the trees and the rocks. That created a compositional problem in that the intense warm trees in the background were isolated. So I had to add some of the color as reflections in the water in the foreground. The image on the right is the pattern. The finished demonstration painting isn't as dark as the pattern, but still retains the relationship of the light, middle and dark values.
The building in this photo no longer exists. It was torn down in the name of progress. I don't remember if there was a barn behind the farm house , but there seems to be a shape that suggests one in the photo. In the middle adjusted photo I defined the barn and lightened and warmed the composition. The pattern is a light sky, middle value house and foreground and dark tree masses. I did again lighten the tree masses in the final demonstration which keeps the relationship of the values consistent.