Happy New Years!
How was your winter holiday? Full of good times and happy people I hope.
In order to start the year off on the right foot, I thought it would be a good idea to update the site with some of my most recent commissions. Whether the news is surprising or not, I received a few comments from folks whom were unaware of the extent of my artistic capabilities. I hope this year gives me more opportunities to showcase my skills, as it can only lead to my portfolio expanding in breadth.
That said, I'd like to start off that conversation with an acrylic painting I was commissioned for during the holiday break. I was instructed to paint a couple rowing across a pond in a semi-impressionistic style. Here is a side-by-side comparison of the reference photos below.
To be fair, I think some painters would take the time to make small scale sketches to inform the overall design and technique to be utilized in the final piece. However, considering that time and money weren't that much of an option in my case, I decided to jump in, prime my canvas and loosely sketch out my plans.
Its here that I would like to acknowledge the general misconception most people have between drawing and painting. Fundamentally, the two are different in how each applies the order of design elements and how strongly each individual element is emphasized according to the necessity of the final product. For those unaware, the elements of design are: Space, Line, Shape, Form, Value, Color, and Texture. When drawing, the artist is highly reliant on both line and space to express their vision. Since a single pencil/pen is limited by its lack or limited use of color, an artist need not worry about its effects as they progress the image to completion. Instead, the artist must constantly be aware of space and shape in the early stages of the work since accuracy is highly valued. On the other hand, the characteristics of a paintbrush prevent an artist from relying too heavily on line at all. In fact, depending on the painting style, there should be little-to-no line-work implemented until the very end of the painting process. That means painters often rely on shape and form to block-out areas within the space to create a composition.
Accuracy may still be important, but paint has the flexibility of being covered up by more paint. White space does not share this type of forgiveness for artist who draw(though an eraser may be enough in some cases). So, as you can see in the following image, I've blocked-out large areas of the painting to reflect the process mentioned above, eventually reaching a point where the only negative space left is of the subjects on the boat.
I should also acknowledge the amount of strategy and planning that goes into painting. Since the medium dries quickly*, pigments must be mixed with enough quantities in advance, and specific brushes are necessary at various points in the process, therefore, the activity requires a lot of patience and discipline. This becomes especially true once a person becomes more focused in the smaller areas that require more attention to detail.
While I'm pretty satisfied of what I managed to complete in just 2.5 days, there are many areas I'd like to improve the next time I'm commissioned for a painting. Since I use acrylics, the medium tends to dry quickly which prevents the smooth blending capabilities common among oils. Since that is the case, I want to try "painting into wet" more often. You can actually see this technique along the hull of the boat in the photo above. Next, I want to improve my atmospheric perspective, i.e; diffusing background elements into the sky to produce depth in the composition. Finally, I want to buy finer brushes to paint smaller areas in greater detail should future projects require it.
Otherwise, what do you guys think? Would you like to see more traditional paintings in the future? What styles would you like to see me attempt? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. As always, don't forget to like and share this post~
Until next time,