Thursday, May 27, 2010

Figurative Paintings

I am writing to elaborate on my new seascape, harbor paintings that incorporate figures. This painting attached focuses more on light than just color. That interrelationship is complex --certain colors are naturally light in value such as cad lemon while others are inherently dark, tough to show light like dark blue or green. I have had the pleasure of studying with Don Hatfield the last nine months and I have gained mastery over drawing but an increased understanding of color and how it interacts with light. Basically, instead of just white and cad yellow to depict light, I have learned that green, pink, light blue and orange can also depict light if used in high enough value. All these colors, used in conjunction with their respective compliments, can equally show light and how the form principle is employed--the last idea rather old but described very well by Andrew Loomis, in his book from the fifties on drawing and illustration. His dictum, always show the form when describing the figure, is first and foremost. Figures, as opposed to landscape where there are flat surfaces to describe, contain round forms like arms and heads. Therefore, more variation must be shown.
Also, this composition has a certain flow, beginning with the figure on the left, traversing up to the large round net haulers, to the distant light filled fishing boats, then up into the sky. The sky is designed to bring the viewer back into the painting. So I have an eclipse or circular composition. The color, which is usually strong is my paintings. is designed with the light in mind. For some unknown reason, the sea and fishing harbors are romantic and attractive to me so I like painting them.
Hatfield has greatly helped my figurative work so I recommend his classes at S12 Studio in Sacramento. He is very knowledgeable and was trained by Sergei Bongart, in my opinion, one of the greatest painters from the latter part of the 20 th century. His wacky sense of humor and ability to connect to his students is uncanny. He is able to see strengths and weaknesses and display them to students. Russian impressionism seems to have withstood the onslaught of abstraction ism and maintained strong representation principles when the rest of the world went into modern art and lost strong fine art principles from the past.
Also, if you haven't found Stapleton Kearns, I highly recommend his blog. His is very well read, knows his art history, and shows his paintings in various stages. He is a prolific writer and can analyze great masterworks from the past. He is also very humorous and I appreciate him very much. I teach my workshop tomorrow so I hope I have something to say. Please rate this blog above and comment. I like to hear from others.

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