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Author Topic: Hello from Florida  (Read 4678 times)

patindaytona

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on: November 26, 2010, 12:36:03 PM
Hi,
Just discovered this site. I've painting in oils about 8 so far, but tend to overwork. I've probably spent 20 hours on a single eyeball of a portrait because the more effort I put into a painting, the more I can't let it go if it's going bad on me. It's very difficult...and frustrating! I have done a couple since this that I've been able to stop in time. (i just keep going back to the old one all the time). Hope to converse with others and learn how to do it right and accept it as "good enough"
Pat
The moment you find yourself mostly satisfied with a painting and think you'll "just quickly" do this or that, that's the moment to stop completely. Take the painting off your easel and put it aside for at least 24 hours, then reassess whether it really needs that tweak.


nolan

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Reply #1 on: November 26, 2010, 01:12:41 PM
Hi Pat :bigwelcome: to the site

Overworking is a HUGE problem for most of us because we all want our paintings to look exactly like the reference material so we fiddle and fiddle way too long.

The best advice I can give for that is to turn your reference material upside down, stand back and ask yourself if what you have painted looks right in the painting. With your eye example you would ask yourself if the eyes are straight or squint and if they look live, nothing else. If the answer is yes, then you move on to the next section of the painting.

Let's take a look at what have we done here :
1) Turn reference material upside down - forces you to stop comparing millimeter for millimeter / shade for shade because small differences like these only affect the final outcome of your painting in the most extreme cases.

2) Stand back - forces you to view the painting from normal painting distance, eg. when you are sitting on the couch and the painting is hanging on the wall. When we are painting we are extremely close to the painting and can see fine detail which disappears when viewed at normal viewing distance so we tend to waste our time with one hair brushes to add details nobody is even going to see  :crazy2:

3) asking if the object looks right in the painting - once the painting is complete nobody is going to see the reference material you worked from so won't be able to tell if you have painted something different to the original. If it looks right in the context of the painting then it's time to stop and move on to the next section of the painting. Practice to evaluate your paintings as though you are looking at them for the first time, ie., by blocking out the mental image you have of what you want the painting to finally look like or what you recall from the reference material because that is what everybody else will see.

One final hint I have is to take a photo of the painting and judge it from the photo (just zoom in enough so the whole painting fills the screen), not the original painting. I do this all the time with my students and you will be amazed at how "different" the painting looks on the photo simply because you have tricked your mind into thinking it's seeing a different image.

Hope this helps  O0


patindaytona

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Reply #2 on: November 26, 2010, 01:44:23 PM
Thanks Nolan for the great advice. I think most including myself tend to believe that a painting doesn't look good enough if it doesn't have enough refinement. I see too many sites online that show people's paintings that are really refined. Some videos speeded up show paintings that end up rather refined in only an hours' time. I see them changing things many times over while the paint is still wet. That's where i go wrong, when I start changing something I've painted, it's easy to get involved with thinking, "was it better or worse before i changed it"? Self doubt. I'm trying to save examples of very simplified paintings for encouragement. Are more refined paintings considered more advanced? Maybe not. I went to a friend's house last night and their were two reproductions on the wall of paintings. They were very very sketchy and unrefined. So, it shows I don't need to expect too much of myself. Though I have to constantly remind myself of all of this...i may never get over it. Just need to stay away from looking at highly polished paintings online so i can't compare myself to this.
Pat
The moment you find yourself mostly satisfied with a painting and think you'll "just quickly" do this or that, that's the moment to stop completely. Take the painting off your easel and put it aside for at least 24 hours, then reassess whether it really needs that tweak.


Val

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Reply #3 on: November 26, 2010, 07:11:30 PM
 :welcome: Hello Pat from Florida! Glad you found the site, nice to have you here. I was doing much the same thing, comparing everything I did to what I was seeing on other sites. Not only can it drive you crazy  :idiot2: it can give you a real headache!  :banghead: I found once I started to sit back and relax with the drawing/painting, things began to fall in to place. I still tend to second guess myself once in a while (I'm sure Nolan can tell you that!), I can stop, step back, and say...that's enough...its done.  :clap: That said, its still reassuring to have someone say, you can if you want, but its fine the way it is.  :painting: One thing I have learned is to compare what I do now, with what I have done previously. This shows me how I've improved, how I begin to develop my own style, and its not such a struggle, but more of a personal challenge to improve and create that 'Perfect Painting'. With the guidance and support of the people here...it can become my reality, and yours.
Cheers to Dennis & Nolan...teachers extraordinaire!  :smart:  :smart:  :clap:
Cheers, Val

”Creativity is allowing yourselves to make mistakes. Work on knowing which ones to keep!”

- Alvaro Castagnet


patindaytona

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Reply #4 on: December 21, 2010, 12:11:23 PM
Hi Val,
Yes, I like this site alot. I think it IS all about encouragement here. And asking, "is this ok"? I can never leave it alone. I am that way with everything, not just painting, so I doubt if I can control that aspect a whole lot. I painted a person and I worked on the single eye probably 3 months! I'm not looking for realism so much, but rather does it look "right" within the context of everything else in the painting. Anyway, I think that painting portraits is not a good idea for me, because i'm so particular. ANYTHING else is better. I am currently painting a landscape of a pond with distance trees, bushes. Today, I painted in the background lilypads. I felt like the brush strokes were too large because they are very distance lilypads. But, as an excuse, maybe that clumping of larger brushstrokes could be actual clumps of pads together in the distance...? So, sometimes it takes imagination to set your mind straight. I'm worried I put my paint on my brush too thick or too thin, etc. and clogged the brush, but once I start painting with it anyway...i dont' know enough to stop and change things. Like brushes, I just keep using the same one or two, not thinking that maybe if I had patience, the right brush might work so much better. I'm new here, and want to post some of my paintings. I've only done about 12 so far.
Pat
The moment you find yourself mostly satisfied with a painting and think you'll "just quickly" do this or that, that's the moment to stop completely. Take the painting off your easel and put it aside for at least 24 hours, then reassess whether it really needs that tweak.


nolan

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Reply #5 on: December 21, 2010, 12:44:04 PM
looking forward to seeing some of your paintings Pat :clap:


Val

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Reply #6 on: December 21, 2010, 02:01:30 PM
Hi Pat....ONLY 12?!!!  :heeha: I have some catching up to do! Look forward to seeing some of your work. Don't worry about the lost ones...they just present an opportunity to perhaps try something new from suggestions you'll receive. Funny enough, they sometimes work out!  :clap:
Cheers, Val

”Creativity is allowing yourselves to make mistakes. Work on knowing which ones to keep!”

- Alvaro Castagnet


bottleman

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Reply #7 on: December 21, 2010, 03:48:15 PM
Good to see you on the forums Pat.  One suggestion is to not hold your brush like a pen, but instead like a stick.  This forces your entire arm to be involved in the application of paint, and will help loosen up your brush marks.

Another suggestion is to prepare some pieces of cardboard, and just sketch with paint.  Quickly paint out the basic shapes of your subject, then move on to the next one.  The idea is to teach yourself, or discover, new ways to apply paint.


patindaytona

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Reply #8 on: December 21, 2010, 04:03:41 PM
Ok, first where do I go to upload some images of my paintings? Your right about holding the brush right. I just read about that recently, and I'm not sure how I actually hold it! I'll have to check myself next time. The one I'm working on currently is at another sticky point. I need to take a break and leave it till it dries. I have a fear of making it worse. I know at least famous painters paint in layers, usually as glazes, but do alot of painters also just decide to let it dry at any particular point and continue with it, even if it's just the usual opague paint?
Pat
The moment you find yourself mostly satisfied with a painting and think you'll "just quickly" do this or that, that's the moment to stop completely. Take the painting off your easel and put it aside for at least 24 hours, then reassess whether it really needs that tweak.


patindaytona

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Reply #9 on: December 21, 2010, 05:38:12 PM
Good ideas bottleman. I like the carboard to practice out simple principles.
The moment you find yourself mostly satisfied with a painting and think you'll "just quickly" do this or that, that's the moment to stop completely. Take the painting off your easel and put it aside for at least 24 hours, then reassess whether it really needs that tweak.


Val

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Reply #10 on: December 22, 2010, 02:30:08 AM
 :clap:
Cheers, Val

”Creativity is allowing yourselves to make mistakes. Work on knowing which ones to keep!”

- Alvaro Castagnet


bottleman

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Reply #11 on: December 22, 2010, 02:01:57 PM
Looking at what you've uploaded, I think you're doing better than you realize.  The brush marks in your landscapes are loose and expressive; a landscape is a more "open" subject than the closed shapes of a still life.

It also looks like you are experimenting with layers of paint.  One of the purposes here is of course to discover the transparencies of various pigments, and what effects these can achieve.  For example, a transparent red over a more opaque yellow will result in an orange that could not otherwise be attained.

If I may suggest two experiments.  In a future still life, take an even smaller brush, and nudge the work a bit more toward realism.  Sharpen the edges, punch in a few more highlights, and so forth.  In a future landscape, use an even bigger brush, and nudge the work further away from realism.  Create shapes with as few brush marks as possible.

The point of the above exercises is that, by experiencing two opposites in approach, you will have a better understanding of where your own style will ultimately fit.


nolan

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Reply #12 on: December 23, 2010, 01:12:26 AM
Patin your art is beautiful. I really like your loose style. You have managed to do what takes many years to accomplish - define your own style. Well done. Looking forward to seeing more of your paintings.

Bottleman - as always some excellent advice :clap: You have clearly been around the block a few times and done a lot of learning - now if I can just convince you to do a guest post on the site... :whistle:  :smart:

I have taken some of your advice on my African UFO painting I am currently busy with and am standing back and painting as opposed to sitting like I usually do. My next painting is definately gonna be holding the brush like a stick - I have never tried that.


patindaytona

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Reply #13 on: December 23, 2010, 04:15:16 AM
Thanks for that really great advice Bottleman. Nolan, thanks for that encouragement. I have a question. Sometimes I've noticed that certain things are painted wet in wet, like the reflections of trees on a water's surface, or clouds painted in the wet blue sky. I can understand why these subjects are done wet in wet. But, for example, I might take a week or more to paint the hills and trees surrounding a lake. By then the lake is dry(i couldn't paint the reflections in before the actually trees). So, it's it acceptable to do it anyway one likes, such as painting in the reflections after the painted water has long dried? I'm hoping even some famous artist's have done it this way too. It would be nice to "realize" that painting is "acceptable" ANY WAY one does it.
The moment you find yourself mostly satisfied with a painting and think you'll "just quickly" do this or that, that's the moment to stop completely. Take the painting off your easel and put it aside for at least 24 hours, then reassess whether it really needs that tweak.


dennis

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Reply #14 on: December 23, 2010, 11:27:09 AM
Reflections in water should always be painted in last otherwise you will never get them in the right places and angles and colors. Obviously the best and easiest way is to paint the reflections in while the water area is wet but this is not always practical in real life. This often happens in the class situation.

What we do is to brush a similar color lightly over the whole area as preparation to the final. This is to act as a binder between the dry and the new layer and helps with the final blending. If the under-layer is very dry and has been so for a very long time then a light layer of painting medium can also be applied and allowed to get tacky before starting the final reflections in the water.

It all boils down to this: It is nearly impossible to blend a wet color with a dry color successfully - it can be done, but it is easy to spot it.
You are what you THINK about - Napoleon Hill


 

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