Friday, May 11, 2012

Details in painting are always a varied preference to the artist-when is it too much, when is the painting overworked or left unfinished? They can often be overwhelming and cause the eye to lose its focus. With teaching painting I have recently learned several ways to help a student get over the hurdle of details without wanting to discard painting all together.

The simplest option is finding shapes in the painting and isolating the areas. The student creates shapes and fills in the detail of each shape and the focus can be on the shape and its content instead of the whole image with all of its detail at once. The good thing about this technique is that the shapes create interest and the creation of the detail is more deliberate and distance and changes in value can be easily formed through the creation and separation of the individual shapes. When I first started painting, I used to get a technique of texture down and would overuse it, losing depth and interest, this technique helps to avoid this obstacle.

Another option is to cut a circle out of a cardboard piece and cover the picture that you are using for reference. This technique allows the student to concentrate on a smaller image of details and the work is faster and less intense. When the student finishes a small area of the painting the mask is moved to another area.

Details can be an overwhelming part of painting and often we lose focus of the overall painting when we concentrate too much on a small area of texture or extreme detail. It is challenge enough deciphering details for the artist in their own work but when you need to help a student get past handling detail it's good to have some techniques that can help the process.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Art by Gordon: Tonight's questions- For fellow creatives-what ins...

Art by Gordon: Tonight's questions- For fellow creatives-what ins...: Tonight's questions - For fellow creatives-what inspires you to create and do words often come from pictures or do pictures follow words? Fo...
Tonight's questions- For fellow creatives-what inspires you to create and do words often come from pictures or do pictures follow words? For the non-creatives-what about art attracts or interests you and again do you think of images while reading a story or do images tell more of a story than words? I hope to have lots of comments and insights on both sides of the creative spectrum-maybe we'll all learn something about what inspires us and where true inspiration originates from.


In this blog I will include a painting and than the words behind them-normally that would be poetry but in this case it is more of a prose description of a time and place.

At the beginning of football season-my son was ten I think, I sat on the ground watching storms pass through the sky over the field as all the parents wondered if they would call the practice but it continued. Later we even sat on slick bleachers and ignored the fact that we were all soaked, that's parenting I guess and I can tell you not one seemed put out-okay we hide it well-another parent thing.

This first painting was inspired after the storms had subsided and a swarm of dragonflies stormed in the sky around the great burst of light that broke through the clouds. The light was amazing and the break in the rain was a welcome spectacle for us drenched parents at the beginning of another football season.

The wonderful thing about that space and time of
watching my son practice is I actually get to sit and spend time observing, the time is his not mine, we actually act like a community-If I wanted to be hoaky I would say the light coming through the clouds was hope for a winning season or maybe just a spark of hope through the storm, but I won't be hoaky-no really, I won't. The inspiration for it was the beginning of the season, my son and I enjoying a time that was precious and unable to be duplicated. It was a moment in time-the dragonflies, the end of summer and time to notice the simple things-my life stopped for that moment and even when it was a burden to go at times, even sitting in the pouring rain, it was somehow worth it and the relationships my son         and I developed were wonderful.

The bottom picture is another pastel of the same place, different time- he was more like five and the sport was soccer, another group of people to know, another great moment in our lives captured. These images were all sketched out for several years before I ever actually finished them, it's almost like they have to ferment for a while.

Now we are in football again, different group of people, again moments captured that create images that become pastel sketches and always remind me of those moments. I'll always remember the dragonflies, the light of the evening and the light of the storms that would pass-all of these feelings and moments become the colors in my paintings.