Enjoy life now... it has an expiration date.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Maggie, framed and beribboned

Here's the finished version of Maggie - ready to go to her new home. While I'm not pleased with all aspects of the painting, it felt good to get the project finished and I think learned some valuable lessons for future paintings.
What did I learn?
  • That a limited time to finish a painting is a great motivator as along as I don't allow time pressure to rush me into making poor decisions or mindlessly slapping paint around.

  • That I need to constantly think about what I'm painting when I'm painting it. I've noticed I do much better if I've got some kind of an inner monologue going while I'm painting. For example, I start to paint an area and stop for a minute to study the source and ask myself questions about the size, color, shadow, direction of light, etc, and then try to put down a worthwhile brushstroke. I remember reading that John Singer Sargent would often start to paint a stroke and then stop, brushed poised in midair as he considered what effect the stroke he was about to make would have on the painting. He was thinking constantly while painting. This consistent attention doesn't come naturally to me. I start out being very conscious of what I'm painting and then my mind wanders off somewhere and I just simply paint... and inevitably mess up. So, I need to discipline myself to keep focused. I think this will get easier with practice.... I hope!

  • That I need more practice and little projects will probably be a good way to work on technique. There's a book out called "Work Small, Learn Big: Sketching with Pen & Watercolor" and though I haven't read it, I like the sound of it. Makes sense that lots of different little projects will give a wide range of painting experiences - I've noticed that a lot of art bloggers do this so it must work.

In non-painting matters, got my monthly newspaper article finished up. May post that here later in the week.... after it's been published since the paper has first dibs on it :-) Tonight we're having my parents over for dinner in honor of Father's Day. So it's off to the kitchen to make pasta salad and assorted other dishes.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...