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Wednesday, August 28, 2019

A Tip for More Interesting Flowers in a Landscape

'Pick Me!'             8x10             pastel                   ©Karen Margulis
available $165
It sneaks up on us. Our logical brains want to organize and put things in order and before we know it we have a line of trees or flowers in our painting. But our brains also delight in things that are irregular and unexpected. It gives us delight. I once heard Jove Wang say it very simply ....."Even is Boring." Our job as artists is to look for the even and break it up and make things uneven and less symmetrical.

It doesn't matter how experienced you are .....this phenomenon happens to all of us. Take today's painting of a sunflower field. I was happily painting and adding in my sunflower shapes. When I stepped back it was clear. I had a straight line of flowers that were the same size AND they were in the middle of the painting! Could I get any more boring?!

Can you find the line of flowers?

What Do We Do to Avoid Even?
  • We need to be aware. We need to be on the lookout for objects that our brains organize too neatly. 
  • We need to step back from our painting frequently. We often don't see these things when we are on top of the painting. Step back at least every 10 minutes. 
  • We need to overcome any fear of brushing out areas of a painting and redoing them. We have to remind ourselves that the painting is not precious and it is OK to brush out an area and try again. Even if we love the painting and don't want to ruin it....brushing something out will make it even better!

I used an old stiff paint brush to brush out the even flowers

Painting notes: This sunflower field was painted on a reclaimed painting done on mounted 8x10 Uart. I used rubbing alcohol to paint over the old failed painting.

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