Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Farm animals are a subject matter that brings joy to many people. It also can be an excuse to get really wild with color. For example, Roosters have a variety of color, usually very harmonious and fun. But also, notice I have not abandoned basic principles, like values. All good artists will always keep a sound value structure (also called Notan) in order for the subject to read well.
In the painting on the left, I have neutralized the background because there is so much color in the rooster, anything in the background would fight with the main thing, Mr Rooster (or the foreground). Also, the brush strokes mimic the direction of the feathers. Most impressionists or contemporary painters are not going to paint 5 million feathers--boring and not an exciting product. By suggesting, you invite the viewer into the painting to finish the process. By defining out everything, it is boring because I can see a photo by myself--who needs the artist. Therefore, by massing in the main body and softening the edges, you create the feeling of feathers to impliment the sense of reality in this bird.
Another tip on brushwork, keep the brush strokes large and loose whenever possible. Create a shadow even if it is not there. Drag the brushdown (or up) and away to create the whispy (feather feeling) on the bird. Of course, the colors on this guy were great. Ask yourself, are the colors (or strong blacks and white) interesting. Look and observe--there are subtle blue greens (I used Viridian) or burgundy (quinacradone rose is good) within this animal. Build in strong contrasts by making the background opposite the foreground. For example, if the bird is black, make it white. If white, darken the background with grass, barns, etc. Be sure and put dabs of these strange and unusual colors that are typical in roosters. Small note--have a leg up, adding movement as opposed to simply standing still. Can you have any more fun that this? Let me know if you enjoyed this painting or information. Next time I will show a portrait of a cow.