Saturday, July 08, 2006

Fewer Strokes

The best paintings are often created with the fewest brush strokes. Anyone can make a fairly comprehensive and convincing painting if they dab at it long enough with a tiny brush. The trick is to create the same result using only a few strokes. It's often not an easy task as it takes forethought and conviction. The result will be more powerful, the statement stronger, the conviction more apparent, and the beauty will be seen more clearly with this economy of means. However, it is not an easy task to accomplish and I often find myself picking at a painting with details to try and dig my way out of a painting situation that would have been much better corrected by building a stronger foundation to start with.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Tone of a painting

Most great paintings that deal in realism have an overall color tone to them. I look at such paintings and immediately say to myself, "This is a green painting, or this is a yellow-ochre painting." There are exceptions but generally an overall tone is a mark of a well thought out, well visulaized painting. It is a mark of someone who sees beyond what one expects. Objects effect each other so strongly with regard to reflected light as well as shadow that a painting will be lacking without these effects being realized on each other and as a whole.


Paintings that I have done which are most successful are the ones that have no more than three major elements in them. Each element can have multiple trees, buildings, umbrellas, etc. in them but for my taste they must be grouped as one. If the one element is a set of buildings they must be connected or grouped in some way either by light, shadow, color, or a physical connection of touching each other. In any case they must all look and feel like one large block.
Sky and water can become one element as they can share the same value and color. Trees and grass can do the same but the better paintings have a unity of oneness about them and much of it is obtained by this grouping of objects.

Clearly stated

In the much overused current political vocabulary, the word "clearly" means that their opinion is right. If you have a different view, your opinion is wrong and are probably an idiot. Whenever a polititian uses the word "clear" then he or she has an adjenda. The word raises a red flag for me and I know there is probably room for discussion. Of course the use of the word also means that there is no room for discussion.
Another much overused word is "absolutely" and it too has lost all meaning.