Monday, December 18, 2006

Painting 7

It's been forever since I've updated this blog. I'm enjoying painting and I'm still moving towards my goal. Actually, I'm getting a litte quicker at my painting, and with some paintings that I've completed in a day, I'm going to reach my goal a little quicker than anticipated.

About this current painting. I planned painting this rooster very differently from what I ended up with. I had wanted the rooster to be low on the canvas with an expansive sky taking up most of the painting, but I was too afraid to experiment, and didn't want to end up with a bad composition. And what do I end up painting? A rooster in a bad composition. Seems like the risk may have been worth it. This painting was on a small canvas, about 9x12. I think the handling of the background is effective and draws your eye to the face of the bird, but the cropping of the bird feels awkward. Nor do I think it was a good idea to paint the tail feathers with such detail because it seems to compete with the focal point. Overall, I feel like I overworked the paint, especially in the yellow area of the feathers. Some quick paint strokes of pure color would probably have been more affective. Also, the legs are heavy and too thick, plus, he feels lopsided. Pay attention to details, cause they come back to haunt you!

My biggest challenge is finding interesting subjects in interesting compositions. And knowing all the paintings that are to come in my posts, I'm not sure if I've tackled that issue.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Painting 6

I don't know why it surprises me that this is my sixth painting, but it seems as though I had painted many more before getting to one I was actually proud of. And because I like it, I really won't spend too much time looking for flaws—I don't want to ruin it for myself. Kathleen said 0nce that you get about 1 good painting for every 20 you paint, and I feel this is one of those. I think the main reason I like it is because it's from my own photo I took while traveling through China, and it's just a great reminder of a very wonderful adventure.

The biggest challenge from this painting was the water. I wasn't quite sure what I was doing, but Kathleen talked me through using layers of paint to achieve the sky reflection. Also, there's a lot of detail in the photo and I had to decide how much I would translate to the canvas, especially with the grass in the water. I wanted detail, but didn't want to overdo it and distract from the figure. I also simplified the clothing and decided against the striped shirt the man was wearing for the simple solid one. I think I did justice to the lighting. It was an overcast day, but with diffused lighting which goes with the reflected clouds. One thing I left out of the painting was a few figures in the background. I regret not including them because I think they would have added depth and interest in the upper portion of the canvas. It's funny that I get to a point with paintings that I'm scared to experiment and add to it. I decide that I might ruin what I already have. I'm slowing getting over that and I'm realizing the power of the paint. I could have added them and if they didn't work out, just painted over them, but that didn't occur to me at the time. I think it's important to experiment when I'm painting, and to just forget trying to make a good painting, but during this time, I was very interested in getting a painting that I could show others and be able to say, "I did this" and this painting did that for me. I entered it in a show at the Center and put a price tag at $500. I wasn't surprised when it didn't sell, but it was fun to try.