Saturday, June 27, 2009
As noted yesterday, I will be working on a short tutorial to be posted tomorrow on the upper part of this work, specifically the way in which I indicated the frayed cloth of the canopy.
And, some final thoughts and notes on my 'adjustments' on the ways in which I modified the original photo reference to have things work for my concept of the composition. As I have said any number of times to students and those who ask . . . reference is just that, something to be referred to and not necessarily slavishly followed. In this case, there were good 'bones' to begin with, as the gourds with their interesting patterns and shapes, made for a very good starting point. By leaving some out and moving others (like the two smaller gourds that now hang, one above the other just to the right of the birds) I hope I have made a more interesting pattern, one that is less of a punch as is the case in the overall, evenly distributed gourds in the photo.
Also, by extending the log in the center so it runs off the right hand margin, I think I have better balanced the lower log which runs off to the left. Since I removed all the gourds hanging on that lower log in my work, there was much more emphasis put on that lower log and therefore I felt that by extending that central log to the right, a better balance would be achieved. Also, a stronger horizontal feel was achieved by this.
Getting rid of some more of the background texture, as on the extreme left of the photo, and the drum which is cut off at right, there is more focus on the central part of the composition, I feel.
And finally, by establishing that little bit of light coming through in the distance just to the left of the birds and behind that crescent slice of basket to their left, I wanted to give the viewer's eye a little more aid in finding the birds and establish a depth to the work that I found missing just a bit in the photo.
So, does it all work? I guess that is for the beholder to decide. I know how I feel about it!
Friday, June 26, 2009
Depends on the composition and where the darks are and where the focus is. There is a lot going on in this composition and to keep from having it all dissolve into total chaos, what with all those different textures going on, I have been constantly overworking areas, going back to deepen shadows or overall tonality and making sure that all the various components of the overall composition look like they fit together. This is where my technique of layering helps a great deal by allowing me to work an area, move on to another area and yet another and then to return to the first area and make subtle changes with a layer of grey to deepen the tone or a gradation of dark to light to indicate roundness and depth and dimensionality. By not specifically laying in a dark area in its fullest sense right off, I can go back and go back and darken as I work, making sure that the levels of dark and shadow suit the overall composition and make things look 'real' and as if they were sitting within space, some near, some far.
As to a query the other day regarding just how I have indicated the frayed, weather-worn woven cloth draped at the top of the image, I will attempt a little tutorial this weekend, once this work is completed, and see if I can explain how it was done.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Saturday, June 20, 2009
#1 - I eliminated completely the bottom row, just visible in the photo, of hanging gourds; this done basically to keep the 'clutter' down to a minimum and help to put the emphasis where I want the emphasis and focus of the work to be. I also like that very strong, horizontal line of the bottom log which helps to define the space better without anything hanging off of it and carrying the eye off the bottom margin of the work.
#2 - I have also eliminated or edited out, a couple of the hanging gourds to leave some open spaces here and there and thus enabling there to be more distance visible between the foreground components of the composition design and the background upon which it all is taking place. Again, I think this is enhancing the focus of those objects that I want the focus to be on.
And #3 - I added in the two little weaver birds as the major focal point of the work, giving the viewer something to look for, settle on and find surprise in, once detected.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
I've begun a new work today. This one will be the second submission for the upcoming American Artists Abroad exhibition, to open in a couple month's time. Here is the reference material that I will be 'drawing' from. See how I make use of it as the work progresses over the next week.