Friday, March 25, 2011

losing focus and decision making

cropped 5x10

10x10 pastel and watercolor on Uart (original size)
It's always good to show a total dog so that I can speak to my own learning process. This began as a plein air sky study.
Same painting, above has the crop, below is the original. It is amazing to me how much it changes. The top version is all about the color of the day and the way the sky moves. The square format of the bottom one changes the tension (which doesn't work) and the red buds on the maple in front adds a whole different dynamic. I could tear it apart forever instead I will summarize. (Actually neither painting works.)
Two good lessons-
*Your format is your first important decision, don't blow it here!
*When you decide your concept- stick to it. I have two divas in the bottom one and they are fighting. If sky is the focus don't let the water or trees get the spot light- divided focus is BAD.

To see some excellent use of cropping (something I rarely do, but maybe should investigate more), visit Barbara Newton's blog post"the cropping queen". After you visit the "cropping queen post" make sure to see the follow up (newer) posts. If you have never visited her site you are in for a real treat!

So now that I am completely warmed up, back to painting.


Caroline said...

Isn't it amazing how cropping makes such a difference. First I saw the cropped version before scrowling down and thought how lovely your painting is and the portrait format is brilliant and then I saw the original! You were right to crop it suits the scene to be simple and for the viewer to focus on the sky, land and lovely spring colours. I can feel that springtime is here at last in this painting. Well done, another gem!

Donna T said...

It's hard to blame you for losing focus on our skies lately, Loriann. They haven't been offering much. The crop makes a huge difference. What are your thoughts on square formats? When do you use them?

Double "D" said...

Oh, o b, I hope my difficulties haven't invaded your blog. The cropped version is better but I see your issue with multiple divas. I know you'll
Have a perfect answer for this painting.
I really like your paintings now. They are different than before the surgery. Great, great stuff.

loriann said...

Hi Caroline, Yep, I lost focus so it needed a crop. I knew it when I began, but I thought I could use that square..oh dear! Lessons learned.

Hi Donna!
I LOVE squares, although they are much harder than any other format to use. It's funny Richard (my forever teacher) says they have so much tension. I have always thought they need the artist to make the tension. Which ever way squares are wonderful challenges.
I really like long verticals for skies...they are made for skies.
On another topic, I received a wonderful package from you today. Thank you so much for the new papers to try. Yum, I love new chocolate. THANKS!

Hi PB!
I struggle just as much as you do...I just don't always post them..We share the same territory my friend.
Thanks for your insights about my painting after surgery. I am THINKING differently. I am glad it shows!

Anonymous said...

Hi Loriann,
The long version doesn't quite work because the pond creates a divide that splits the painting into two sections that do not quite relate to each other. Would the sense of going further back to the horizon have been stronger if the row of red trees made were smaller? That section does not read as being deep. The light green section from the edge of the pond to the red trees seems to very compressed While I love the use of green in the foreground it is a bit too strong. It seems to be a green that is more of a summer green then the greens of early spring. There are some beautiful passages of color especially the touches of purple mixed in with the greens in the foreground. Green & purple can create a wonderful harmony-which is something that I learned from viewing the paintings of Wolf Kahn. The sky is very poetic with a sense of light. The 10 x10 {original size} -the problem I think is the red hand corner-it pulls your eye to that spot and your eye keeps going back there. I do not think that this is a "total dog". There are some issues with color balance creating a sense of space .It would be interesting to take this "total dog" and work out a studio painting incorporating what you have learned from this experience. The challenge with working on the same sized paper or canvas is to keep finding new solutions to compositional problems that occur when painting. You are right on the money when you write about two divas fighting each other. There can be only one diva on the stage. This reminds me of working 60 % main color, 30 % secondary color and 10 % accent color.


Cathy de Lorimier said...

Loriann, thank you for reminding me about the importance of format. You are so right. I will be starting a still life today, and taking that very much into account. Still experimenting! Aloha, Cathy

Barbara said...

Loriann, I love reading your posts because they remind me what I should be planning, doing and thinking for successful paintings. I guess I work kind of backwards because I paint then crop and wash-off (which is actually fun to me). You are an inspiration and I thank you for the mention of my blog.

loriann said...

Hi NJ, Cathy and Barbara, I am amazed how kind you are even when I post an absolute dog.

NJ, maybe I will consider your "studio challenge" I think I know what to will be very different.

Cathy, As I remind myself of these things I am happy to help you as well.

Hi Barbara, You blog is an inspiration to me! i am happy to know I can offer an artist as amazing as you anything! Thanks!
PS My pleasure to mention your blog!

Jala Pfaff said...

Personally, I like the top one.

loriann said...

Thanks Jala! It has some redeeming factors, I just wanted more from it. Maybe I will try again and see where it gets me!