Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Another dissection

Ribera, Apollo flaying Marsyas image from artrenewalorg the worlds largest online museum, check em out at http://www.artrenewal.org/asp/database/contents.asp

As long as I am showing that baroque painting, I suppose I will dissect it a little just to make sure MY knife is sharp.

Look at that, hidden geometry.Theres a hamster trail, habitat design going on in there! Ribera has linked the two figures together into a large rhythmic vortex. That big black tree brings your eye down to Marsyas who is expressing some discomfort. Marsyas lost a contest with Apollo over who could best play the aeolian pipes. It is best not to wager with Gods.

I have received e mails from some of you who want to sign up for the New Hampshire workshop which will be held September 19th through the 21st.The hills of New England at that time of the year are beautiful and I have scoped out the area around Jaffrey and it should be a great place to do a workshop. There are lakes and rushing rivers, old mills, and small villages full of historic clapboard houses. It is excellent landscape terrain. It is mostly hardwood and there are still open fields and of course Mt. Monadnock. This will be an intensive three day workshop and I will attempt to cram in as much instruction as I possibly can in this time. We will paint together during the day and then join up for dinner in the evening, so we can talk shop and enjoy the company of other artists.I have some information on affordable lodging that I will post soon. Here is the link to sign up. I hope I will see you there.


Lets see, our first contestant has been strapped to the gurney and despite some struggling, misgivings, and annoying shrieking, is finally resigned to some surgery.

Here's a lovely little patio scene. I think it has a lot of charm. Certainly the sort of thing that people like to hang in their homes as it reminds them of leisure and a break from the worries of everyday life. I felt it could use a little more light and some more impressionist handling to give it a happier more summery look. Here's what I did to it in photoshop.

Here are some of the things I did to this image and why.
  • It looks like the sort of image that would look good with a broken color French impressionist look, so I took it that direction. The artist who did this may have had entirely different intentions for it, but I have no way of knowing that, and as usual I have never seen this place and have no references other than the painting submitted for the critique.
  • I turned up the light to glare level.I made a strong pattern on the ground and the furniture. Notice for instance how I separated the light and shadow on that cushion on the ottoman in the foreground. I felt the image before was a little mushy, dividing out the lights gave it a crisper look.
  • I scattered little pixels and accents across the piece and used them to break up the linearity of the drawing and to get sparkle.
  • I tied some of the darks together to get the parts of the painting to relate more to each other. I also did this to get a more circular design, a little like our miserable Marsyas above.
Well, that's it for tonight, I will return tomorrow.


Stapleton Kearns said...

What? cat got your tongue?

Gregory Becker said...

Well first of all, your playful intimidations at the begining of your posts is surprisingly refreshing because no critique can be as bad as what is going on with Marsyas.
It takes the edge off.
I would love to be at your workshop but my wife in school and I have a four year old that commands constant attention...something I enjoy.
I do hope to meet you one day and go out and paint together. When your not looking I am going to paint a stroke of paint on your canvas and see if you notice what I did. :)
I can totally picture you chasing me across a field, stabbing at me with a paintbrush and me screaming up and down that I didn't do it.
Just kidding. I would never touch your work.
Your critiques have given me a splendid idea.
My computer came with a program called arcsoft. When I get stumped and don't know where to take a painting further, I can just pop it in there and go play with it without messing it up all. It can really point you in the right direction.
That is a nice tool.
It is so interesting to see where these paintings can go.
I love the seascape critique a while back. I was excited to see what you did with that.
It's a nice painting either way.
I have seen paintings where I am absolutely floored with the artists' use of light. The light is showcased to such a degree that it becomes the subject. That is something that I strive for.
A question...
How important do you think it is to strike a balance between the actual subject and the light so that they both share the attention or is it not important at all?
Cheers on a great post.

mariandioguardi.com said...

Hi Stapleton,
I like that you practice what you preach and it works too (added bonus). Here I see the principles that you write often about. The unification on the darks; keeping what is in the dark and what is in the light separate. But what I like most here is the addition of the visual violets in the atmosphere that is barley apparent in a photo but often intense in observed sky light. The violets add a cool zing contrast to the warm reds and a color contrast to the yellow sun. All instructive moves by you.Brush stroke can be difficult to correct..it's like handwriting, I think. But I do like the impressionist stroke here.

WillK is away and I am sure he'd have something to say if he were able to get to a computer.

Hmm..Gregory asks an interesting question about balancing subject and light. It might be different for every artist as to how to weight the subject against light. When in doubt, I am afraid I choose the light. Maybe I'll be like Hopper who just wanted to paint light on walls (he did this in his last painting, I believe) Light on walls is what keeps us urban dwelling painters sane Gregory and it's what keeps us here.

Carole Abla said...

I LOVED everything you did to my painting! Everything you did made the painting more charming..... Although I use Photoshop, I don't know how you made these changes. I would like to be able to alter some of my photos before I start a new painting..... would you be able to expand a bit more on how you used photoshop to make these changes?
Questions (1)how did you turn up the light to glare level.. I usually use levels.... is there something better to use?
(2) Strong pattern on the ground and the furniture.... is this a custom brush that you used??
(3) Scattering little pixels and accents... custom brushes again???
Thanks Stape,


Stapleton Kearns said...

Ilove to paint light, however I like paintings with form rather than paintings where the form is lost in the light.For that reason I prefer the American Impressionists to the French.

Stapleton Kearns said...

As I said above . I will choose the form, however I think you can get lots of light without dissolving the form in it. My interest in expressing the form is why I like to paint in a lower key, that gives me more ability to work with the form . It also makes my pictures darker than the inside of a cow sometimes.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Thanks so much. After I do a crit like this I always wait to hear from the artist. I always worry about hurting people when I do it.

The average reader of this blog is not a beginner painter I don't think. I have hundreds of regular readers and of course I don't have any idea who they are, so I have extrapolated from what I have seen.
I will go after your photoshop question in the post tonight.