Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Studio Cat 2 WIP ~ a bust

Where have I been? Lost...totally. I admit it...this style change is not going to be easy for me. After spending an entire afternoon freehanding my sketch onto my working paper I began painting and it immediately got away from me. Foolishly I didn't realize it at the time. My first clue that I was headed in the wrong direction should've been the fact that I took so long with the sketch. So meticulous rather than expressive. At some point I noticed I had three separate paintings happening in one and, over a period of days, battled to tie it all together and (hopefully) rescue it. Too many ideas/styles equals no cohesion and no amount of color blending can bring it back from disaster so it's back to the drawing board.

(1.) I need to learn how to set up a proper still life. Don't rely totally on imagination.

(2.) Don't sweat the details. If it looks good in 2-D, leave it! It's about the basic shapes, not contour and volume ie. realism.

(3.) Don't choke up on the brush. Holding a brush near the bristle end tends to make one want to focus on fiddly details. Instead hold the brush high on the handle and be confident/expressive with the strokes.

(4.) Find interesting patterns/textures to incorporate. This is what makes Shirley's work so exciting and that's why I was drawn to it in the first place.

(5.) Not sure yet. Probably lots of practice with lots of failures. I hate failing but I seem to learn something from each disasterpiece I create.

Note: a good thing...I've been sketching more than I have in months and that's never a bad thing. I'm not a sketch artist nor do I aspire to become one but practicing observation and honing basic drawing skills is/should be the core of any good artist.


Judith Farnworth Art said...

Looks like you have really analysed the problems with this and I have to agree with your thoughts about the problems with still life... maybe you could change tack and do something much simpler,, as you say there are 3 different paintings here, could you try all three separately and see how that works? I also agree that we learn as much if not more from those we think have failed... I think composition is the hardest thing to master and I certainly am only at the beginning of getting to grips with it!!!

Billie Crain said...

It's so true that without failure there's no growth. I plan to forge ahead with these still lifes, Judith and probably produce many stinkers along the way. I should have a fair knowledge of composition by now so that's not my biggest concern. I think it's the fear of allowing myself such a large degree of creative freedom. You echoed my thoughts by suggesting I start again with a much simpler comp and I believe that's the way to go at this point. Baby steps.....