Would you believe that after three years of very little design work, this week has filled up with appointments for sizable projects. Though they are the source of our livelihood, I'm not too sure I'm happy about this new development. They are definitely a good sign of economic recovery and that's great news.
BUT: After painting daily for three years and finding my way, residential design projects are an inconvenience. Instead of starting Mr. Fuz Zy Pants like I planned this morning, I'm dusting off my drafting board and looking for my drafting tools, Berol #3H pencils and vellum sheets. I'm happy for us, the real estate business, home furnishing businesses, carpenters and trades people everywhere, and the country, of course. But I am not thrilled to lay down my brushes just when I was getting a good grip on them. I have difficulty giving my best to two loves. I'm resenting the intrusion.
|Zac, Oil, 8" x 10," 2012|
LOOSENESS SHOULD BE THE WAY A PAINTING APPEARS, NOT HOW IT WAS ACCOMPLISHED --Richard Schmid
Using reference photos encourages too many details, UNLESS you don't put them right next to your paint surface, but rather tape them up six to eight feet away from the easel. That distance would encourage squinting to determine the main shapes and would eliminate the distraction of details, which, when overdone, is a give away that you were copying a photograph and not painting from life. Working from photographs is generally frowned upon by Alla Prima artists. This portrait artist thinks that's BS; it's a snobbish opinion and unrealistic. There are subjects to be painted that must be photographed to stop the action, to catch the moment, to freeze time and light. To frown upon or to be embarrassed that you employ a tool that technology has given us is ridiculous. The trick is to paint enough from life to know how to enhance the photographed image.