Thursday, August 12, 2010

Red Tiki

Artist - Gwen Bell
Medium - Oil painting
6x6 Raymar canvas panel.
Statement - "I like to see crazy fabric patterns reflected in high gloss ceramics."

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  1. I really like the subject, interesting objects and relationships.
    There are some wonderful elements such as the cloth pattern and
    reflections in the mug, with a nice accent of color in the composition provided by
    the little umbrella. All of which comes together in an attractive and appealing design.

    You’re certainly working towards a level of realistic or natural representation.
    When creating an illusion of three dimensional space, an artist has three main elements to consider.
    Linear (geometric) perspective, relationship of sizes and the use of vanishing points, etc.
    Atmospheric (Aerial) perspective, less detail, tone and color saturation as a object recedes.
    Focal Area, the place in the composition the viewer looks first by design.

    Just short definitions of each and all three are easily understood individually.
    However all three are highly influence and interrelated by selective focus, the use of hard and soft / lost and found edges to describe space and form. Areas of primary focus would get harder edge treatment and areas of less importance softer edge treatment. Literally directing the viewer’s eye through the painting and enhancing the illusion of reality.

    You’ve done a good job with the linear perspective and a convincing handling of the
    atmospheric perspective. And I believe I know the focal area, but the edge handling is somewhat confusing and could be better described through out the painting. Think of it like this, the human eye can not focus on but one thing at a time, if all edges are the same they compete for attention and diminish the perception of pictorial depth.

    Although I do not know if this work was done from life or a photo, it is a common error seen in work done from photographic references. Keep in mind that the camera has a very different focal range than a human eye and can not compete with an artists direct observation.
    And is why painting from life is the preferred method of study and photo reference best used when an artist has a complete understanding if at all.

    It really is an impressive piece, be more discriminating about your edge handling. And I think you can develop even stronger work and open some new doors to your art.
    Remember the axiom, “Paint light not objects as long as possible.”
    Again stellar work, thanks for sharing it.

    All the best, Bethella

  2. I appreciate this through critique so much! Thank you! I am self taught and so my work is completely intuitive. It is so nice to have concrete advice on how to take my work to the next level.

    And yes, as you so expertly observed, I paint from the computer monitor. I have tried from life and feel intimidated by the lack of restricted viewing area (if that makes sense). I have not developed an eye for keeping my focus on the important elements and fall back on the camera to define the values and contrast for me. After reading your critique and your reasoning behind the differences of live vs photos, I will make a strong effort to confront my fear of no boundaries.


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