Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Painting, The Practice of Practice

A short time ago I had the opportunity to be part of a Draw-a-thon that was held at Art and Design, my old high school in New York City. I had a lot of fun drawing from the model even though I struggled the whole time as I worked from the model. It's been a while since I worked from life, even though I have practically preached the importance of it. I went from one bad watercolor to another but it didn't matter. The experience of working from life was more important than coming away with a successful painting (though that would've been nice too). I could have chosen to be discouraged by the experience but when you really want to be good at something, really master it to the best of your ability, whatever that thing might be, it will be the hardest thing you ever do. I am signed up for a lifetime of working at this, looking forward to each new day to practice my craft.
 
So now I am in a painting class where every Sunday where I work from the model for about 6 hours. Of course that's not enough so I have to get back and keep up with some old habits like painting outdoors and drawing my fellow passengers on the subway.
 
 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

How Much Detail Do You Need In A Drawing Or Painting.





How much detail do you need in your image? How do you decide what information is absolutely necessary to create a compelling image? My response is an obvious, "practice", keeping in mind that every artists has a unique way of looking at the same thing. One persons choices will be different from the next.


Of course there are exercises you can do to help you to begin to see things more simply, (you know, less is more).


I like making brush drawings with black ink, focusing on broad patterns of light and dark. Like the first two drawings at left.


Another exercise is to work with a watercolor wash using either lamp black or burnt sienna.


I do my best to keep it simple and stay away from adding to much detail. Something I continually strive to do, that is to strike a balance between simplicity and the amount of detail I put in.


The color self portraits at the end are pages from my sketch book where I try to resolve how much information is necessary to create a convincing image.


































These last two are actually the same image. I scanned the painting midway through to show that much of what was necessary was already there.