Thursday, June 30, 2011

Finding One's Voice

A great deal of importance is placed on finding your voice or developing your style and mostly I think, "Rightly so!". Originality carries a lot of weight. Yet, I also believe that we can work too hard on developing a "look". I prefer to just let it happen by virtue of making personal choices like color selection, favorite shapes and patterns, tonal choices, brush strokes, content matter and so on.
Trying too hard can make work seem contrived or formulaic. On the other hand, if a body of work lacks cohesion, it may also be criticized. Damned if you do and damned if you don't. But it's interesting to look back on the work of great artists and see how often they changed their style or media. I'd recommend Picasso as a good example of this.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Creating Space Using "Push Back"

So often in painting we have a situation in which there are several objects that are very close in tone and color and we wish to create a sense of space in a subtle way. Using a technique called the "push back" is a good solution.

If you have a painting that doesn't read the right way spatially, decide which objects in the painting need to be closer. Next, paint a halo of very pale cobalt blue (very watered down) around the closest object and blend the halo as it moves away from that object and across the rest of the painting. This subtle temperature change pushes the other objects back creating an illusion of space.

In my painting of Spruce Creek, I wanted to bring the windfalls on top to appear closer than the others and used this effect to push the rest back. These temperature changes are very important to create a sense of dimension and space in 2-D work. This glazing technique can be used in paintings of any subject from figurative to landscape. Give it a try!