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

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Shapes, Teresa, SHAPES!

A quick post for the day. I'm working on the portrait of Gracie and another artsy light bulb has gone on. (Amazing that the more I paint, the more I learn - fancy that!).

I've almost completed Gracie's mouth, and when I stepped back to view the entire portrait I realized I had some overall tweaking to do. As mentioned in an earlier post, I knew the eyes needed adjusting and I've taken my time doing that because I want to get good results with as little re-doing as possible. As I carefully studied what was in front of me and what I wanted to see in front of me, I wanted to know why I didn't get it exactly right the first time. I looked from the ref photo to my painting a dozen times, analyzing the differences. I looked again at my previous blog post where the problem showed up clearly after I posted the fourth WIP. Then it hit me. I had painted what I thought I saw and not what I actually saw. How many times have I been warned of that very thing in art books? There are tips to keep a painter from doing that. Things like... turning your painting upside down so you see it as shapes, rather than as a person; squinting to see basic shapes without detail distracting you; thinking in terms of colors and shapes. Shapes, shapes, shapes. Not eyes, but shapes.

Ah ha! I needed to get the stereotypical appearance of an eye out of my head and simply paint what I saw. I needed to remember that I'm not painting an eye, I'm painting a shape. And that holds true for whatever I'm painting.

So now I'm trying to subdue into silence the analytical, logical side of me and let the artist rule the roost. I'm happy that this light bulb came on- forewarned is forearmed!
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