Bird & Sunrise photo

Bird & Sunrise photo
Because "someday" is today!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Tool Kit

Now that January is here, I really feel the necessity to get to work on my goal to have at least twelve paintings ready for the spring to show at Ojo Caliente. That means completing at least one painting a week for the next three months. I decided to focus on flowers and have researched all my photos from last summer to choose my best subjects. I am glad I took so many pictures!

I debated whether to try the grey scale underpainting with the flowers. The last time I tried it, I was very frustrated with the results. I have learned since that the key to success with the underpainting is to have a more complete image with all the darks and lights where I want them. My frustration from before was trying to change dark areas to light. If I changed my mind, those areas took more time to fix.

With the dramatic results of the Petra cat painting, I decided to give it another try. This time I did very detailed drawings of my subject before I even started the underpaintings. I used a technique that I never liked to use in the past, because it always seemed to take forever and I wanted to get to the painting, but I think it helps save time in the long run. I created a pencil drawn grid of squares on my canvas and then made a small grid of the same proportions. One useful thing I learned from art school, is that if it looks good small, it will look good big. I drew my desired image on the small grid and then I could transfer my drawing to the larger canvas grid. While I was drawing, I kept hearing the voice of a dear friend of mine who once told me that "real artist's don't use grids, they can just create from their heads directly to the canvas".

This statement has always bothered me, and Jeff and I had a discussion about artwork and tools. Essentially the grey scale underpainting is also another tool. Is the artwork created using these helpful ideas somehow less than artwork just painted spontaneously with no pre-thought? I like the results of using these tools, I spend less time re-painting because it feels right the first time. I was feeling badly about not being a "real artist" and Jeff said he would like to see an example of "fake-art". Laughing made me feel better, that is why I keep him around.

Jeff's Corner: Would the statue of "David" been any less beautiful if Michangelo had used power tools?

1 comment:

Dawn Chandler said...

"Real Artists" do whatever works for THEM. Period.

Do what works for YOU.