Continuing my research into style I wanted to explore the artist’s eye. It stands to reason that styles are different because what we see is different.
The Masters see the world differently than most. There are scientific reasons for this: stereoblindness (wall-eyed), divergent thinking, non-attentional blindness and a few others. But what makes them Masters is that they are open to this. As Picasso said, “Others have seen what is and asked why. I have seen what could be and asked why not.” They seem to have understood that divergent thinking can be a powerful tool. By noticing things others don’t have time to see they can jar us out of our habit of seeing what our brain tell us we see.
My college professors would tell us not to identify the object, instead look at the entire scene: lines, shadows, shapes and contours. They would also have us close our dominant eye before beginning a drawing. These are ways to see the world as it is, not as our brain tells us it is. I wish I had understood their importance and had continued using them all these years.
I watch artists’ videos, high speed demos, their progress shots and marvel at what they are able to create. I love the idea of several artists painting from the same reference, you would end up with several extremely different approaches, processes and finished paintings. It is how they see the the subject matter and their style working together that makes their art their own.
Pulled this guy off of pexels.com and used a grid. Using someone I didn’t know made this less precious to paint, and the grid definitely helped keep his features where they were supposed to be. I am not sure that if you knew him you would recognize him here, but good practice and I have more ready to go.
After I painted him, I drew him without a grid. I was pleased with this rendering.
I’d like to start this post with a sincere apology to my husband. He is the most beautiful being in my eyes and someday I will be able to get that on paper – but that wasn’t yesterday or today!
Some paintings are SOOOOOOOO bad you have to contemplate banking as an alternative career choice (sorry bankers, it would be just as bad for you if I was handling your financial transactions, trust me!) That was yesterday’s daily painting. So I got up this morning and decided to try again. Not much better, but I think I am seeing the lesson in all of this.
To Grid or not to Grid – a grid helps place features where they should be on a face, keeps arms from getting too long, etc. Using one helps the eye see accurately, not what the brain thinks it sees. A grid takes some time to layout and get on the reference image and then the drawing phase takes longer. This is not how I normally work. I spend time planning a piece in my head, sometimes I do a small version to work out composition and color, but I do not spend much time drawing before I paint. This works great for landscapes, I get to dive right into painting – get pigment all over quickly. That is what I love! However, landscapes may be the only subject matter that I have the technical skill to be able to do that with at this time.
After 26 days of still life’s I thought it might be time to mix it up a bit and although still life’s are still a top priority, it was time for some faces and figures as they are a priority for me too. I want to be able to go to the bar on Friday night and draw the people sitting on the stools, the people dancing and laughing. Currently, I don’t have that skill set, my faces are clownish caricatures and my figures are stiff an other-worldly. I try to draw faces and figures while watching TV in the evening, but it is stressful because I don’t have the skills – vicious circle! Yesterday and today have proven that I desperately need to spend some time in the circle chasing my tail!
Like I said my goal is to drink and draw – with no fear! The question is how to get there. Practice, certainly, and drawing with a grid is a good option.
I will try this painting again tomorrow with a grid.
Another rough one today, a brass lamp with an opaque white glass shade – ON! Very challenging. The drawing is off, but I didn’t notice that trying to get it to register as on and all the reflections, will definitely need to try this again sometime!
I’ve been wanting to paint my white Christmas tree since we put it up, but I have been afraid – finally decided to ‘just do it’ and my fear was warranted! The only positive I see is that I can’t wait to paint this next year and see how much I have improved in a year!