Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Original oil painting 16x20"
by Susan Roux
As you know, I've been approaching my art differently since taking Don Hatfield's workshop. I'm overwhelmed at all your lovely comments. So many of you saw my initial block-in as a finished painting. I regret to tell you I put in another 10 hours since then.
Please let me know what you think of the finished piece. Should I have stopped at the initial stage? Your honesty is greatly appreciated. When one is working so hard to develop in a positive way, honest feedback is necessary. Don't worry about hurting my feelings. I'm a tough girl and can take criticism.
Ten hours. I bet you're wondering what I did in ten hours. It blows my mind too.
The first day I painted about three hours. Mike came home, went to look at it and couldn't tell what I worked on. I thought to myself, "Phew, I haven't ruined it yet!"
My brain has been completely involved in this process. I have so much useful information buzzing around in there and I'm trying so hard to implement it into my work. By the end of painting sessions, my head hurts. My only hope for relaxation through this learning process is Luka Bloom piped in my ears, via my nano. Ohhh... how he can serenade me into a peaceful creative place.
So what did I do for ten hours? The block in was to focus on lights and darks. There was no sketch, only a blank canvas and raw paint. Getting the proportions accurate was also of prime importance. The next step was to paint various planes, focusing deeply on the reflected light in the shadows.
You can see all the color in his white shirt and the different planes and colors in his hat. All the while, trying to avoid painting too much detail! I probably failed miserably on that. Paying attention to the planes and avoiding detail seem to be one in the same.
Self criticism: I tried to keep my strokes loose, yet it looks strangely like a photograph. My figure is stronger than any I've ever painted. I had fun playing in the reflected light. I never paid much attention to that before. Of course lots of grays were used and that too was new for me. I'm more of a direct-color person, but I'm seeing the benefits of using grays.
I plan to continue trying to figure this out. In time, my brain will be less active in the process, helping me see myself more in the finished painting. I do find it interesting that with focusing only on light and dark and planes and reflected light can create such a real looking painting. I have loose messy strokes throughout, yet it looks tightly rendered. Of course its worse in this small version. In life, the painting is larger and looks a bit more painterly...
What do you think? Please be completely honest...