Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tea Time

Tea Time, 9 x 12
  It was "still life" week in my classes recently, and our focus was on edges.  I find that the most dramatic, eye-catching artwork makes good use of hard and soft edges, and disappearing and reappearing edges.  Artwork that attempts to equally define every element loses its impact when everything in it is fighting for attention.  Good artwork needs places for the eye to rest (the soft and disappearing edges) in order for the more exciting areas (the hard and reappearing edges) to gain attention.

I think still life studies are a great way to learn this concept before applying it to landscape work. With most still life subject matter, there's not very much depth to work with; most items are usually at a close viewing range.  You have to really work at seeing the more important vs. less important areas.

Looking at this image of the finished piece, I'm feeling a little daring and am thinking of going back to it and doing something crazy with the background. There's a good chance I may end up destroying it (as I many times do when I get these crazy urges).  But without the confines of the original scene in front of me, I can simply think in terms of making a dramatic piece of artwork with interesting composition, color combinations, etc.  I've learned not to get too attached to any painting so that I can have fun getting a little crazy every once in awhile.

1 comment:

  1. I think Charles Reid is a master of lost/soft and found/hard edges

    I love your paintings - I'm reading your blog from the start, and I'm really enjoying it so far

    I started in watercolours, and struggled for years before switching to oils this summer, and I'm realising now that I can learn a lot from artists whatever their chosen medium

    I love the effect you get with pastels