Friday, May 04, 2012

Less is More in Art ...Part Two

'The Lady in Red'         8x10       pastel      purchase here $125
It is a challenge to keep a painting simple yet still have meaning.  Just how much detail does there need to be?  In yesterday's post I listed a few ways to help balance the detail in a painting with areas of rest and mystery. One of the ideas is to set a timer for 30 minutes and do a quick painting. The goal is for you to stop to evaluate the painting before overworking it.
My friend has a saying for paintings that we over work. We don't finish a painting rather we 'finish them off'. It may be just a southern thing but I'm sure you get the idea.  What I like to do after my 30 minutes of painting is step away and take a break. Come back to the painting and put  a mat or frame on it, or tun it upside down. Now I ask myself a few questions:

  1. Where is my area of interest or star?
  2. Is is clear that that this area is the star?
  3. Is my eye drawn to this area? Is there the most clarity in this area?
  4. Do I have any resting places or areas of quiet and mystery?
  5. Are there any secondary areas of interest? Do they lead me to my star?
  6. Do I need to add anything? If I make a mark will it help support my star?
  7. Do I need to take something out? Is there too much information or unnecessary information? When in Doubt...Leave it out!
The painting in today's post was done as a 20 minute demo for a private student. The goal of the demo was to show how I paint a poppy so by default I didn't put too much information in the background. I hinted at some other poppies and the pods but I think that focusing on my star poppy served the painting well.

If you missed part I of this exercise you can find it here.

3 comments:

Helen Cooper said...

This is just lovely!!!

robertsloan2art said...

This is beautiful! I'll definitely try it with my next painting, stop after 30 minutes, walk away and come back with those questions.

Thank you for a great two-part series. I love the poppy.

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