Sunday, January 24, 2010

Picking a Motif

Picking a motif.... it is always difficult when choosing a composition for the next painting. What should be included and what should one leave out? Sometimes it is hard to leave out anything which results in conflicting focal points -and although each one painted with much technical virtuosity, is just too much. The above photo is copied from Emile Gruppe's book "Direct Techniques in Oil" where he demonstrates on one of his paintings- what NOT to do. He shows three beautifully painted focal points- hence illustrating Coni's Mantra --"What's it About?"
Here he takes just a part of the above painting and focuses on just that particular element. Look at how much stronger the result is?
I took this idea and as looking out my window , saw something that caught my eye. It was a very simple motif with the snow patterns and the contrasts between light and dark. I will work on a painting with the above sketch in mind and we'll see how I do.

You see , I have been studying painters like Robert Genn and Stephen Quiller- I'm a big fan of both of them - and they are master designers. Coni is also a great designer and her above mantra is a good one to follow. People should never question as to what you were after when they look at your painting; it comes down to simplification.

A summary of lesson for the day: Just because you have the technical skills to paint it all doesn't necessarily mean that you should.

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