Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Toning the Board

Here is an example of how using a burnt sienna undertone can help to create an overall warm feeling to a painting. There are several benefits to using a tone to begin with on the canvas. First of all it eliminates having to deal with all that white right off the bat which is sometimes overwhelming when starting out. Secondly, depending on the painting, some of the underpainting can be left as is with a slight scumble of color over the top of it leaving two layers of color for the price of one. This is especially helpful if using oils especially if the undertone is dry before the painting is started.
This warm tone can even be helpful in areas such as the sky to maintain harmony within a painting. Starting out with a middle tone already on the canvas lets you concentrate on the darks and lights while placing the values in the piece and again eliminates that middle step.
I like to use burnt sienna but depending on the painting, other colors can be used just as effectively depending on the mood you'd like to create.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

A question of worth

This painting featured on the Antiques Road Show was appraised for $75,000. The appraiser marveled at how the artist used creative talents by mixing sand in the paint to create a texture within the circle. So how does a painting get to be worth so much?
It has to have a following, most likely in this case, artificially created by very experienced and smart businessmen and gallery owner who already has a very strong following and reputation. If not that, I believe this painting would fit into a hobbyist category.

Competition from abroad

Perhaps the only way to beat the competition is to have a strong following like I mentioned in the post above. Without that, one painting will always be compared to and put along side any other painting where status is concerned.
There are probably a thousand paintings on display here. Most of them are inferior quality but some are quite nicely done. And I dare say that nobody that I know trying to make a living as an artist can compete with this price structure and still leave something for the seller.

Below is a 24 x36" painting for $39. The stretchers and canvas alone will cost a good portion of that. You may not like the subject but would you even attempt to do a painting for that little? Think of how little the artist actually gets for his efforts.

Here are two 8 x 10" paintings including the frame for $10 each. These are original paintings, not prints.

This is a handsome 24 x 36" print, framed, matted, and under glass for $45. Try and compete with that!