Monday, April 6, 2009

A critique

I am grateful to todays' mystery artist for allowing me to critique their work. This is a fine painter with a lot of experience. I am looking for particular faults in paintings and because this artist presented me with a broad range of work from which to select my examples, I have chosen paintings that have problems. There is an unfairness in this, our unnamed artist will rightly protest that they had some far better paintings than I have selected, and they do. So, as I intend to do multiple posts on this one crit. I will also show some other things they have made, that are really fine. In fact I have got one waiting in the wings that I think is a real winner by this artist. I will post that tomorrow.

This painting has a problem with the main lines of its design. They lead the viewer downward into that lower right hand corner. These descending lines give a drooping, unhappy sort of look to the painting. Even though there are some rising lines in the painting such as the foreground fence line, they are overpowered by the lines which descend to the right. The leading lines often set the mood for a painting.

Above you see the painting again. I opened it in photoshop and did a few things to it. I flipped it horizontally. Now those lines rise and the painting has a lifting, positive feeling. No droop. I also eliminated that fence across the foreground. I felt like it was fencing the viewer out of the painting. I reworked the snow in the foreground a little so it led the viewer back into the painting. I emphasized the foreground trees on the left and added one on the right to break up the line of the remaining fence. More tomorrow.

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