Friday, July 18, 2008

Artist Checklists

When I was at the Portrait conference this year, they talked about how every artist should keep track of the critiques that they receive and compile a list based on the mistakes that they seem to keep making. Actually, this reminded me of when John K made very specific checklists for us Ren and Stimpy BG painters to actually physically check off before he would even look at our backgrounds, and to my surprise when I started doing it I started doing some decent backgrounds, which finally started getting approved;) Anyway, so here’s my current painting checklist:

Most Frequent Mistake Checklist:

- not looking long enough at the model before making a brushstroke
- don’t mistake the area of highest contrast as the brightest/darkest
- seeing warm in the shadows, but not comparing it to the warm in the lights, so making it too chromatic
- cast shadows should be sharp(ish)-edged, dark, often cool, and united with the contained shadows
edge of a warm object gets cooler, and colours get warmer at the edges of a cool object
not so loose at edges (treatment inside a shape can be loose, but refine the edges)
usually darken at edges (so it wraps around the form)
in painting trees, use careful strokes, like calligraphy (actually, this applies to almost all brushstrokes ideally:)
working without enough paint
leave some brushstrokes!
don't put in detail highlights before the big form modeling
don't over do it with the highlights!
shadows should be transparent

Capturing a Mood in a Portrait

Matthew Innis sent me a bunch of articles, essays, write-ups and soooo much other great stuff, and I was reading through it the other day, and came across this really cool article called “The Difference Between Genius and Talent in Figure Painting, by an artist.” It had some really cool ideas about doing meaningful portraits and figure paintings.

First the artist should conceive of what it is that they want to express with their painting. What they want to capture or to say about them. Perhaps an inner emotion or feeling, or an “elevated form of a genuine human character.”

Then select a pose, gesture and expression that embodies that theme.

Then, the REALLLYY interesting part was that when you are painting, get into the mood that you want to convey in the piece. When we are in a certain mood, we naturally create brushstrokes and shapes that express that feeling!

Anyway, I just thought that was really interesting!



Anonymous said...

That is very interesting about being in the mood that you want to convey. Compton and I moved into a new place over the 4th of July. I placed some of my old paintings around...and nearly bored myself to tears!!!! Maybe I can get myself in the mood to make some better artwork!!!


Kristy Gordon said...

Woo, that's so cool that you guys moved into a new place on the 4th of July! Where'd you move? And I love your paintings Michelle! I want to see them again! I need to get to Santa Fe again Soooooooonnnn!! :)

Anonymous said...

We moved into a pretty neat space. It's part of a 4 unit compound that has an interior courtyard. The actual house is just two floors of big open space (aside from the bathrooms). The ceilings are really high and we bought a projector which we are using in lieu of a's like we have our own movie theater (complete with surround sound). The image on the wall is about 8'x8' :D

Kristy Gordon said...

WOOOWW! THAT SOUNDS SO NICE!!! I WANT TO SEE IT RIIIIGGGHHTT NOWWW!!! Hhehehe, and your new movie theatre style projector is going to make your Mount Everest show crazzzyyy!! :)

Vanwall said...

I wonder how Bosch got in the mood for "The Garden of Earthly Delights" - one shudders to think.

Apropos of nothing in particular, I ran across this rather remarkably painterly collection:

Have you seen it? Lovely images.

Peggi Habets Studio said...

Thanks for the post Kristy. I would add to the list: not looking long enough at the model before making a brushstroke. Did you hear one of the speakers at the conference say, "If you make two brushstrokes before you look up, you've made one too many?" Also, congrats on the award (earlier post, great painting.)

Kristy Gordon said...

Hey Peggy! that's a great one! I've totally added it!! Thanks for that:) hehe, and no, I didnt hear that at the conference, (about if you make two strokes before you look up you've made one too many!) That's awesome! Cool that you were (I'm assuming) at the conference too! Maybe I'll meet you there one year! K:)

Peggi Habets Studio said...

Yes I was there. This year it will be in Reston, Va again. I've already registered (got to get that earlybird discount!) It would be great to meet up with you there, have a margarita or two and share some insights.

Kristy Gordon said...

hmm.. that's weird, I thought this year it was going to be in Washington, DC...maybe there's different portrait conferences or somethin... is it the Portrait Society of America one that you go to? That wold be so fun if we were at the same one! We'd definitely have to meet up and talk art over drinks!! :)

Kristy Gordon said...

Oh yeah, and Vanwall, thanks for that link! There is a lot of great stuff on there! hehehe, and yeahhh, very true about the Garden of Earthly Delights! hehehe

Peggi Habets Studio said...

Same conference. It's the DC area, but it's actually in Reston, Va, west of DC. So yeah, it will be great. There was a group of us that went to dinner and it was so much fun, talkin' shop.

Kristy Gordon said...

Ohhh, hehehe, yeah, i really don't have that great of a knowledge of the States;) that's so great though!! I'll see you there:)

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