Wednesday, June 3, 2015

What Was, Was, But Isn't Anymore And Won't Be

Three years of painting and you're not the painter you were, you're more discerning, more critical, more insistent upon getting the light right, creating a sense of volume on a surface that has no volume. JD, I Gotta Crow, was flat. He was far from my idea of okay let it go, move on.  Yesterday I laid into him--the background, his arm in shadow, his shirt edge fading into the brightly lighted background.   In other words, I began repainting him with all the smarts I picked up since 2012.

I also photographed my progress manually setting my digital SLR.  My ISO was set at 400; the White balance was set to incandescent, the general lighting in my windowless studio; the Image Mode to PC, which geared the photo for being seen on a personal computer.  The colors are as close to accurate as any photographic translation can make them.

See the difference: Yesterday's tear in

JD in progress three years after the start:  Concentrating on painting the light, not the figure.
 
 A backlighted situation is a tough reference photo especially when the photographer (me) didn't know to use the flash to bring out the forms in the foreground.  Today, I would take the reference differently--manually setting my digital according to the lighting situations.  Today, three years of painting later, I can fix elaborate on the forms without caring that the reference is poor.  Yesterday, I washed  out the background and started to soften the exterior edge of his shirt. I lightened up the forefront of his face and began developing the volume in is right arm.  This painting may be my Mona Lisa--the painting I work on . for sixteen years, but I doubt it.  I'll get to good enough again and stop

 2012 doctored just slightly on the overhang the day before yesterday when I obliterated it and got into every part of it knowing what I didn't know in 2012.

The initial start three years ago was okay, but not what I knew it could be, knowing what I know now.

10 comments:

  1. Linda, you really have created more light, animation, movement. I was busy for a few minutes, flipping back and forth between the two photos. And I agree ... we are definitely not the painters we were a few years ago.
    Kathryn

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    1. It was pretty scary taking that first swipe, but once I did, I was committed. The original paint-in was timid and flat. The lighting was on the right track, but dark and dreary. He needed to be rounded out. As shadows are darker than we see them, highlights are brighter. The overhang is the tricky part. I will probably play around a bit more with that in the upper left corner. The light is traveling on the diagonal.

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  2. In each watercolor work it ends up being what it is in its moment.
    Almost impossible to reset, unique possibility is to do another painting.
    Just a week or a weekend, and what the hands and the head can do is already different.
    Talking to other people who paint this fact is related to many painters.
    Artistic activities are knowledge, so when changing knowledge also changes the painting and the way we do and feel painting.
      Beautiful path where a famous painter nonagenarian whose name unfortunately escapes me, said that every day learning something new again !!!
    I am ready to become a nonagenarian to see if it is true !!!

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    1. Every day in the studio we pick up new skills, new insights, consequently, all the work that went before becomes inferior in some small way. For that reason alone, I think we need to sell the stuff or gift it away. Otherwise, we would always be repainting, painting in circles, never satisfied with anything. I'm sorry I came back to this ability at such a late stage in life. I think I could have been quite successful. Reads pompous I know, but I can recognize that my raw skill had potential had I developed it at a younger age. Motto: Do not save the best for last.

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  3. It's amazing how you've moved the second one on. The strange thing is that the first one looked great, but it now seems less so in comparison to the second one.

    My hero, Axel H Haig said that comparing your work with others has limited value; one should only compare ones work with your earlier stuff - as you have - and this is the real way to progress.

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    1. I didn't start a new one,; I painted into the existing painting. It's risky I know, but this is an important painting to me. Flat was unacceptable. The drawing was good. There was no sense in scraping it. There's more to go; I'm in it now up to my eyeballs!

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    2. Yeah, I understand, I meant second photograph, sorry :)

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  4. I really like how those few brushstrokes make a difference! Bold but it paid off!

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    1. Boldly made, but not tamed. The shirt was where I jumped back in. Scary move since it was rendered fine initially. BUT THE LIGHTING WASN'T RIGHT! There wasn't enough range between the darkest dark and the lightest light. He was stuck in mid-tones and therefore FLAT. I took a chance, a leap of faith, that I could do better after three years more of practice and study and observation.

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