Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Daily painting

Recently I decided to make a foray back into oil painting. I remember as a teenager it brought me great joy (actually the parental praise brought me the most joy out of it). And if I can drop the modesty for a few minutes, I seemed to be fairly good at it without being taught. It made me feel good to know that I may have some sort of inner kind of talent for something and since my hopes and dreams of veterinary school have disintegrated I really wanted to reclaim something. Plus unlike many of my other hobbies (quilting, knitting and spinning), painting is the most stationary in terms of body movement and the easiest on whatever the hell this illness is that I seem to have now.

So I do what I usually do whenever I pick up something new or restart something. I dived in head first, pedal to the floor. I did a lot of web searches. I read a lot of artist blogs and webpages. Daily Paintworks being one of my absolute favorites for inspiration. The variety of styles is truly incredible. I could spend hours clicking around. Plus the weekly challenges are really something I would love to start doing.

But if there is one thing that reading all these blogs and websites has gotten through to me is that in order to paint better, you have to paint. So, beginning now (and oddly enough with the start of a month) I will make an effort to paint every single solitary day. Whether it's working on a larger painting or just a small little "study" or "sketch" like painting. I will post pictures along with self critique involving what I do and do not like about the painting along with what I feel I learned. And, most importantly, I will list at least 3 positive aspects of the painting and no more than 5 negatives.

August 1, 2011

1) I love the stem. It actually seems "attached" to the pear.
2) There's a good range of values in the pear. The darks seem dark enough to me and the lights are light enough.
3) I didn't overpaint the pear. I left a nice "painterly" quality to it instead of trying to make it look like a photograph.
4) The lighting is done well. There's good direction to it.

1) The background color is far too bold. I fell in love with the color of the fabric that I think I'm letting it overpower the pear itself.
2) I placed the pear far too high. I loved the shadow it was casting so much it's almost the focus of the painting. If I actually wanted to frame this it would really not work. As it is I want to slice off a good inch from the left side and bottom.

I learned a great deal about bristle pressure in this painting. A lot of the time I found myself actually removing paint from the pear because I was pressing too hard. I'm learning to not choke up so much on brush and instead hold the brush more towards the back. I also found that in the beginning when I'm just fleshing out shapes and values that I need to use far far far less paint to do it. I need to start making a pledge to myself to also stop painting after I sign the damned thing. I put my initials on the bottom corner and then I started futzing with the background and the little speckles. I'm also still working on the signature. I know that seems like a silly thing to want to work on but I really want to find something I like. I want it to always be the same thing... the same color... the same style. Right now I'm really liking the simplicity of the initials and the straight from the tube red.

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