Sunday, June 30, 2013

I've Got Homework

I've been taking private painting lessons now for almost a year and I have to say that I have learned so much.  I would recommend taking lessons from a local artist if you are at all interested in improving your skills.  Even if painting is only a hobby, there is so much satisfaction in tapping into your creativeness.  In a world that is crazy out of control, painting gives me the ability to escape and create my own world.  It might be a mountain stream, an old barn or the ruins left behind by some long forgotten miner. They allow me to escape to another time or place.

Not only do I learn from painting the lessons with my instructor Lily Adamczyk, I find that I actually learn more when I bring an original piece that I have worked on myself and have her critique it.  Her experienced artist eyes can see small flaws and areas of needed correction.   I have on several occasions shared these critiques on this blog with the hope that as I learn there is someone else out there that actually can benefit from my lessons.

This piece that I'm calling "Taking a Break" is an 18x24 Oil painting that I have worked on for several weeks.  It is a particular challenge for me because of the size and detail of the prospector.  I usually paint in acrylics and appreciate the speed that the paint drys and so when I paint in oil I find myself impatient because you often have to wait for the paint to dry before you can proceed.  Often I will find that I'm just pushing muddy paint around the canvas which is what I did in this piece as I struggled to paint the rocks and the water.

Before taking my painting to my lesson

Here is the piece as it looked when I took it to my lesson yesterday with the following corrections brought to my attention.  Now I have lots of homework to bring this painting to the FINISH LINE.  I'm certain that I will share in a blog post very soon the finished product when I get all my homework done.   Here are my needed corrections:
    1.  Background trees are too bright and detailed.  Below you will see that one tree has been adjusted to better reflect the distance element.  I have to fix all of them to match this one. HOMEWORK
    2.  The water has too many lines and is too bright especially in the distance.  This makes the water look unnatural.  I have also not done a good job of painting around the rocks.  Normally in a composition like this you will have painted the water before proceeding on to the foreground but because of my going back and making changes I've actually worked on the water after my prospector and rocks were already painted in.  Lily helped me by showing me how to correct the water and so have to finish the river.- Homework
3.  We added depth to the foreground by adding more dirt area between the log and the rocks.  I have to correct the rocks by changing their general shape and color...More homework.
4.  The details in the grass blades need to be more defined.  I have painted them to uniformly by making them all the same size.  The grass in the background appears too clumpy and needs to have a more random appearance- More Homework
5.  We fixed the fire by adding more Naples Yellow to the flames rather than yellow and smoothing it out.  I have to add back in the smoke once I have finished with the rocks- You guessed it- more homework
6.  We added more highlighting to the log, the hat, the cup and plate, the gold pan and shovel.  By adding a darker background color the result was the prospector and the log popped more.
7.  The shirt required more rounding out in the back and adjusting in the front where he it would meet his pants.  Now my prospector has a little more natural look rather than the appearance of being stiff.  I had painted his suspenders with paynes gray and didn't think that as they came up on his shoulder the sunlight would change that color to a blue hue.
8.  The tone of his skin that was shadowed from his hat wouldn't only be grays but would have a glaze of skin tone.  Lily had me brighten up his cheekbone and nose to finish off his face with a more rounded appearance.  We also made a correction on his wrist where I had painted the shadow of his sleeve too dark.

My painting waiting for me to make those final details that will bring it to the finish line

No comments:

Post a Comment