Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Chavis Park

oil on hardboard
Click here to view or buy

I'm really happy with the way this one turned out. The other day I was reading S.P. Goodman's painting blog, and he mentioned SQUINTING and NOT STANDING TOO CLOSE.

It's not like I've never heard that advice before—only about ten thousand times. But somehow it really clicked with me, finally, and I did both things. I squinted to see the shapes/colors, and I put a piece of tape on the floor marking where I am allowed to stand when painting. Which is exactly one arm + one paintbrush length away from the canvas.

What a huge difference. It was like everything went right with the painting from the very start. Not that it's perfect; there are some areas* I'm dissatisfied with, but it was such a different experience from the way I start a painting so hopefully and then spend the rest of the painting time trying to fix everything. This approach eliminated most of those problems. Basic value and composition problems, which just aren't fixable later. Much better to not have them to start with.

*Specifically, the sunlit trees behind the little bridge. I couldn't quite get that color how I want it to be—it shouldn't be so green, but I couldn't seem to hit just the right value and color combination**. Another brilliant painter once said "Fix your mistakes on your next painting," so I'm going to leave it alone.

**I'm starting to question why I paint on a colored/toned ground, because it makes it almost impossible to get those bright, light colors. 

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