Thursday, February 25, 2010

I Aint Got No Satisfaction

So, you've finished your painting and it just doesn't do it for you. What went wrong? Why isn't it a masterpiece? Well, I want you to turn that painting upside down again. Now. Stand back and forget about the subject matter. Start looking at shapes.

1. Do you have interesting negative spaces?
2. Is it bottom heavy?
3. Top heavy?
4. Or, worse yet, all centered in the middle?
5. Any tangents?
6. looking at the color distribution
A. Is the color consistent? Say, you have a bright red wheelbarrow-you could put a little
red highlight on the person's hair, a red reflection in the puddle on the sidewalk.
Color distribution is important.
B. Does one color overwhelm everything? Or maybe the yellow you picked out for the
lemons in the wheelbarrow just looks all wrong. You knew something was off. This is the problem and you can fix it.
This is all conjecture, remember.

There are probably other questions you could ask yourself. And by the way, I find this the best way to figure out what is going wrong with your basic drawing of something. Hands become just shapes that you can deal with. Look at the negative space around them. Sometimes all you need to do is copy that negative space that should look right.

Okay, now you have found out the problems in your painting. You have a battle plan and can get to work fixing everything.

*Just a side note from yesterday....I forgot to mention that you can try to get permission to copy from the creator of the image. They might say they don't care a hoot that you using their photo exactly and you are going to sign your name to it. But GET IT IN WRITING if you plan to do anything public with this painting-like sell, exhibit, pass it down in the family for inheritance purposes. I did a painting of a house from a very old postcard. I did my best to contact the company but they had gone out of business years before I came along and wanted to do a painting using their image. But, again, be sure to document it in your files the process you took to try to do the right thing. At least you can show the world that you tried. As you can tell I will give you some of my professional expertise in the commercial world of the business of selling, etc., your art. That is what I know of it. I'm not an expert on this, guys. That's why I'm not a lawyer.

**Another side note...I won't be posting any tips until, most likely, on Monday as I'm going to go help take care of my grandson and it's out of state. Plus I wouldn't be able to concentrate anyway-even if I did have a laptop to take with.


  1. Hi Julie

    Great blog - you're paintings are beautiful. You're very talented.


  2. Thanks, Linda. I'm back and back in business, so to speak.

    Sandy, you are so nice. I really needed a pat on the back today and this is so lovely!