Friday, March 16, 2012

"The Incident"... Based on True Events

Here is a recently completed portrait of my 2-year-old English Springer Spaniel, Bella. I titled it "The Incident," and it is based off of something that happened when she was still a 6-month-old puppy. She actually hasn't gotten into my paints since then, thankfully! (knock on wood...)

"The Incident" - 18x10 - oil on linen

I had several reasons for re-arranging this painting vs. using the original photos of Bella caught in the moment (you can view those pictures here). First of all, the original pictures were blurry. Secondly, I wanted to at least start the painting from life. Now that she is a little older and better trained, she is actually able to sit for a while (she works for treats). Third, the camera distorted the perspective, making anything coming forward in the picture (such as the dog's legs) appear too large. This is something I always have to be very careful about when working from photo references.

Fourth but most importantly: composition. According to my art dictionary (yes, I learn a lot from the web), "Composition is the term used for the arrangements of the elements in a painting. A successful composition draws in the viewer and pulls their eye across the whole painting so that everything is taken in and finally settles on the main subject of the painting" (http://painting.about.com/od/artglossaryc/g/defcomposition.htm. The composition of a painting is usually what draws someone in to it in the first place. Even if you don't know much about art, you can usually tell whether or not you like a painting, and composition can be a determining factor. None of the original photos of Bella would work for a strong composition. I wanted to make a painting that is more than just a cute picture; rather, it should be a work of art that stands on its own, regardless of subject matter. To me, that is what makes art stand the test of time. The artist should have a clear vision for the painting, not just in the subject matter but in the way it is executed. This is where I've been learning the most lately -- being absolutely intentional and about each and every step of the painting (like a game of chess, I suppose) -- and I think my work is much better for it. Anyway, I really enjoyed creating this piece. Here is a close-up:


Share/Bookmark

2 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...