Tuesday, July 27, 2010
I am sure this has happened to all of us, that we have a photo we love looking at and and a painting from that photo we don't. As much as I liked my photo I knew it was not a great photo but I loved looking at it, so why did I not like looking at the painting? Why was I having such a hard time, why did I keep working on it when it had several things wrong with it and I didn't really know where to start to fix it, again?
I finally showed the photo and painting to my friend and fellow 8 Carol Schiff. We analyzed what I liked about the photo, what was interesting and what was the real focal point. My painting was exactly like the photo but it was wishy washy, boring and nothing stood out, there was no point of interest. What I really liked was the laundry hanging on the line, not what was going on anywhere else. Carol had a great suggestion that I use my palette knife to bring out some of the contrast and texture (both which were sorely lacking) and that is what really started to excite me about the painting. This is what I wanted to show and couldn't with just my brush.
This reinforced a simple but forgotten lesson for me especially when painting from photos. Find your real point of interest, what excited you in the first place. Take artistic license, you don't have to paint exactly what you see, edit selectively. And, brushes are not your only tools. Fingers, knives, cloth, paper anything you have around you can be used to help you get where you want to go with a painting.