I have been trying to paint "half figures". That is heads with more than shoulders attached. I find it challenging....it means the head is smaller than I am comfortable with and the focus point is not always the face. Yet another way to challenge myself....or is it punish?????
Every once in a while the model shows up in a costume. GRRRRR. I am not excited. But then again....this is a challenge. Can I make it work? Can I tell a story? How can I enjoy the pose and the session? So , not my choice, but an opportunity to learn, and to have fun with something different.
In yet another hairbrained attempt to develop, I started painting a floral still life once a week.
Flowers are hard. The detail is eye catching, the intense colors interfere with harmony, and the translucense confuses the shadow and light. I figured that learning to simplify and abstract would be crucial and carry over to all my work. I think it is working, but most of all, I am having fun!
I especially like the third picture, the short dark haired woman. The harmonies are effective and the close values between light and shadow are but not confused . The vignette works well and the painting seems fresh and effortless. Would that all my paintings were this strong.
I much prefer the less finished pieces. Somehow the more worked over paintings become overworked. When to stop is always a battle...some portion of the piece seems inaccurate or clumsy or just plain wrong...and the next thing I know the painting has lost it's life. We only learn when to stop by repeatedly going on too long.
Life is hard. Medical treatments have diminished my energies and I have had to choose what to neglect.....and posting to this blog was something to let go. However, my strength is returning so I have a backlog. My fascination with painting people persists.
The first 2 are plien air... the 3rd and 4th are studio landscapes. I like painting outdoors and trying to organize a painting surrounded by the great outdoors is a great exercise. Painting in the studio means painting more than you see in the reference photo rather than less. Both are valuable.