Monday, June 6, 2011

The Value of Detail

I know, youre asking yourself, what is a impressionist painter like you talking about detail. The old adage you have heard in your class is when painting a bush or tree, "just block it in". Of course, most of the time that can be true. However, you can teach an old dog new tricks. According to my recent workshop with Calvin, detail adds a lot to a painting and should be used sparingly. Helps helps bring the eye to focus on the focal point. Other areas, of course, mass and blur, (soft edges) non important areas. Look at the painting above ( by the way, my wife likes this so it must be fairly good) where the leaves of the tree are individually laid in. It draws the eye twoard the boat (center of interest). Converesly, the background trees, above right, are all soft edges, grayed down without detail. It sends it in the distance in contrast to the dark leaves nr boat. The dark leaves come forward.

Such movement in and out, forward and backward should be in your thought or strategy as you develop your painting. With the use of detail, you can creat this in your painting. What else do you see in the painting that attracts your attention? One I see are the two figures. These are what I call secondary points of interest. I keep them loose and suggestive, very little detail or the painting would have a tendency to ping pong, bounce the eye back and forth--somthing you want to avoid. Well, write me and let me know if your learning anything or your paintings are improving. I am interested.