Friday, January 22, 2010

Another leaden picture transmogrified

Here we are again in Leadville, with the same pewter colored image. For the last several days I have been running variations on this image, pretending it was a painting that failed because it was too gray. I want to again add the disclaimer that there are many lovely gray day pictures and often gray day paintings are just fine. But sometimes they look like they were painted by dead people. When I get one of those I will often try to rework it in the studio and see what happens. Sometimes get lucky. I do this for a living so I often will give it a shot. My paintings are expensive so if I get one or two a year doing this it is certainly worth my time, and I like doing it. It is an exercise in creativity.

Below is tonight's variation. I have kept only the drawing, to which I have added my own color and light. It is helpful to have another painting from a sunny day nearby when you do that.

Above is a concocted scene using the elements in the painting but only the drawing. I have done a lot of winter painting so I have an idea how the light tends to hit things, and what colors tend to occur. Of course I am actually doing this in photoshop which for me is clumsy and not in oil paint.

But I think you get the idea. You should work to have the ability to fake your way through paintings like this. You will find it useful, because you will have to do it to passages in just about every painting you make. Very seldom is a scene so perfect that you can just copy it and call it art. Faking all of a painting will prepare you for faking your way through sections of a painting.

I wrote another Ask Stape column for Fine Arts Views which you can see by clicking here. Soon I will return to the tree thing, I do have more I want to say.


willek said...

Very informative.Stape. Thanks. The last one is the best. You may have started something new. I was easily able to see your changes and to see the elements that went in to your vision.

R Yvonne Colclasure said...

Stape, You are My hero! If only I could manage a brush as well as you manage those gummy worms! This will make a beautiful in gummy worms, actually. I found you through Lori's post, and I am catching up from your first post. I wish I would have found you when you first started. I could have saved a lot of wasted time. I was beginning to think I was getting somewhere with my paintings, but now I know I have a LONGER way to go yet. I do hope you will do some more critiques. I could use some help. Thank you for giving of your time and talent.

billspaintingmn said...

Faking it..I remember an art instructor saying never to do that.
"Paint only what you see!" he'd
Yet another instructor said you have to "imagine" a story and put it down.
Was N.C.Wyeth faking it?
A bible instructor I study with says the "best" lies are so close to the trueth that people trust 'em
So when you say fake it, I like to think you mean imagine, or create it.

Unknown said...

I've been faking my way through just about everything I paint.... but I've gotten real good at covering up those numbers and lines.

Robert J. Simone said...

Isn't it true, that one's ability to "fake it" is directly proportional to how much time they have spent developing their powers of observation by painting what they see? You have to start somewhere. As an instructor I like to know if my student understands and can paint what he sees.

Philip Koch said...

(Accidentally put this on Stape's post of yesterday. I'll try again to put it in the right place).

I completely agree with Stapleton's idea that one has to be ready to depart from what one sees in the source one is observing. Obviously the best of the source you want to be extremely faithful to (otherwise why would you have chosen it in the first place?). Inevitably though there will be passages that just aren't visually that interesting, or perhaps everything is too interesting and competes with everything else.

Know when to be accurate and faithful, know when to edit. and know when you need to tell some little lies in service of a greater truth.

Mary Bullock said...

Stape - how come you aren't using twitter any more?

Stapleton Kearns said...

Always something new, tonight, something old and strange.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Thank you. I hope my writings will be useful to you.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Yes, I mean imagining or creating it rather than observing it.

Stapleton Kearns said...

you know you were only fakin it, How does it feel?

Stapleton Kearns said...

I think that an artist haqs to have the ability to paint what he can see and also that which he can't

Stapleton Kearns said...

That's exactly what I meant.This is about the third time lately you have weighed in with wise counsel.I may have to give you my password so you can fill in for me when I fall from my perch.

Stapleton Kearns said...

I quit doing Twiiter because I am not really doing social media, I know and communicate with an unbelievable number of people already. The blog is enough (more than enough) I do Facebook once a day. I post a link to the post for that day and respond to those who have written me.I did the same thing on twitter for a while but it added another task at the very end of the day when I would rather go to sleep.