In a way, maybe art reflects that lack as well. There has been a deep correlation between mentally ill patients and their art. All you have to do it consider Van Gogh and you will see what I mean.
I started and finished my latest painting, ALONG THE PATH after studying some recent photos I had taken and decided to focus on little things rather than the grandiose. I'm not good at that but tighter subjects with a single source of focus seem to be my strength. Here is a step by step recording of that process. This painting is a perfect example of how and why you need to paint from back to front!
You see white circles that are used to indicate the placement of the flowers. The first group was much too small so I washed these off and started again. With a white erasable pencil (or black if a light canvas) its a great way to get your objects where they need to be.
|Step 2 with photo|
Once satisfied with the flower centers, I began to put in the succulent stems that are behind the flowers. Full well knowing most these would be hidden, but then so would the background, you put them in because, well, you never know. They peek through petals, gaps in flower coverage so put them in. You will be glad you did. With rare exceptions I wasn't going to let myself get involved with the details. I wanted some green, green that looked like stems and only did details on areas I knew would show later on.
You can also see the original photo and it is filled with color. Wait, there's more!!!
|Step 3 - flower background|
I added a bit of red creating pink to the flowers that would be magenta. You can see that the background stems are peeking through and give a degree of depth already. A flower or two were added to fill in areas that were "empty." We are artists and can do whatever we want to create a pleasing composition. Rarely is a painting a true capturing of reality!
|Step 4 - adding color|
|Step 5 - basic flower color in place|
As you can see below, with the flowers all painted in place, it is a pretty dreary image. The yellows are all too much the same as are the other colors. There is nothing to create a greater depth of field. It is at this point that many artists fail because they:
1: fail to find shadows or
2: fail to realize there is a pecking order. Some flowers are behind and below others.
I found myself looking at this and wondering, what was next? What do I do now?
|Step 6 - adding depth|
I started shading with washes of each color. I didn't want to change the color I merely wanted to make it richer without degrading it. Since oranges and yellows are usually transparent a dab of raw umber deepened the colors without changing them. The yellows were washed with other colors but not so much they didn't retain their original color. A bit of off white was added to the left because these petals had a subtle reflection of light that I felt make them stand out. They became the focus of the painting.
As you can see, already the painting has changed. The flatness of step 5 has been greatly altered in step 6. There is now a hierarchy, flowers on top, the middle and near the ground are creating a three dimensional quality that until now has never been there. This was how I left it.
|ALONG THE PATH|
Painting, writing, music composition, movie making are all journeys. Every practitioner will tell you that often what they started with and what was finished are often very different. Its not a bad thing. You need to seize those opportunities and you will be surprised, as I was, by what you get!
Please visit AlanKrugFineArt.etsy.com for my new fine art store. This and other paintings are there for you to view and purchase if you wish. For crafts and birdhouses please visit KrugsStudio.etsy.com for a wonderful selection of items ready to ship and just in time for Mother's Day. Thank you for visiting my blog.