Sunday, October 31, 2010

Painting Progression.

Last week I attended an oil painting portrait demonstration.  I won't say who the artist was, but he is an exceptional artist and teacher whose work I admire.  Here is what I discovered, after watching him paint for 3 hours.....first of all, I paint pretty much the exact opposite of him, and second, I didn't care for the finished (and I'll use that term lightly) painting.  (I don't think a painting can really be finished in 3 hours..)  It seemed way too dark for me.
There is an interesting "rivalry" developing between painters who paint from life, and painters who paint from photographs.  I watch the discussions on facebook, and find it interesting that artists are judging other artist's, not on the work, but on the process.
I generally like work that is done from life, especially from the experts like Daniel Green or Jeremy Lipking, but I also love the work of Alysa Monks and Pamela Wilson, along with many of the photo realist and hyper realist artists like Charles Bell and Pedro Campos....just to name a few.  Of course my works run more towards the photo realism genre, but I am amazed to watch people paint from life, because it is a talent that I don't pursue.  I did start out painting and drawing from life, but I eventually, not that many years ago, started to paint exclusively from photographs, mostly because of time constraints.
I feel like having a photo shoot is where I can really come up with many different ideas, and then weed out the photos that wouldn't work as a painting.  When a model comes over, I am paying her by the hour, so I try to use that time to the best advantage, and get many different images I can use.
Because I am a self taught artist, I learned by, as they say: "putting miles on the brush".  I painted in watercolor only for so many years, that it was not in my nature to paint dark to light, so I start my oil paintings the same way as a watercolor painting; light to dark. 
I don't think there is a wrong or right way to paint, and I think labelling a painting process as right or wrong can have a detrimental effect on an artist that is just starting out.

Having said all of that, I thought I would post some pictures of one of my paintings in progression.  The painting is named "Bananas", and behind the model is one of my favorite paintings by Janet Fish named "Yellow Bananas".