During the last months I have worked my ass off- had an exhibition focusing on "Fops" or dandies, and some other stuff going on. I've learned how to use oil colours (water soluble) at last. Wasn't thaaat hard ;-)
1. AC, a Fairy (water soluble oil and fake gold leaf on canvas, 40x50 cm)
This was my very first oil painting, so have mercy with me. I had "tiny" problems because the colour fell off the canvas ;-) took me some time to finish this darling.
2. Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man (water soluble oil, acrylics and hair on canvas, 40x80 cm)
Note: the beard is glued to the canvas
3. N. a Biologist (water soluble oil on cavas, 50x100 cm)
Info: see first post
Cthulhu coming soon
Last edited by Uli; August 29th, 2009 at 05:23 PM.
These show a lot of promise, my main critique is a lack of compositional function. By this I mean the organisation of the 2D shapes to work with what the picture is about. If a demon is emerging from a woman's head then the graphic of the whole image must express this, not just illustrating the event with a couple of people watching it. If it's a guy with his insect collection then get the graphic of the insects on the wall, the shape of the floor, the guy's pose in relationship to these things to express this - maybe the floor could feel vertigious and the insects pictures could subtly suggest movement from out of the guy's head etc etc.
Every part of the picture should be working toward expressing and helping your main idea - getting you to look at things in a way that tell the tale. But all this must be done by graphic, shape making means, not literary, text based cues.
Chris- thank you for your praise and the ass-kicking. you are challenging me to work harder, and that's always a priviledge. I'm realizing now that I could do much more with the composition. I guess I should think before I start to paint.
Can you recommend literature on the type of compositional function that you have in mind? Or some art that I should look at?
Until Kev Ferrara publishes his book on composition, there is nothing remotely very useful on this subject other than the usual lame parroting of the stability of triangles, clueless referencing of the golden section and tips about where to place contrasts etc etc.
There have been one or two extremely useful posts on CA linking to magazine articles on illustration, but I simply can't remember where I have seen them now.
Artists to look at regarding composition as function:
John Jude Palencar
Take a look at Kev Ferrara's 'Deadrider' thread on the finally finished section of these boards. You'll see some marvelous examples of composition as function going on and is well worth taking a long look at. There are a few hints in what he says in replys to posts etc but he quite rightly doesn't say too much due to indiscriminate use of his ideas being given away and uncredited elsewhere for free. You'll just have to wait for his book when it eventually comes out - and I can tell you, it will be the best money you ever spend on art instruction.
I really like these! Love the image of your friend who shaved. I think there is something a bit strange about a couple of the compositions, almost as though they are part of a bigger image and you've cut in, but I'm sure there must be something good about composition out there already... art has been going a while now!
I'm a fan of Sidney Paget too, and his Holmes stuff. I recently found an H Rider Haggard book with some of his work in as well. Are you familiar with Maurice Greiffenhagen? He illustrated Haggard as well and was certainly contemporary to Paget.
Chris- Thank you so much for taking the time to reply. I'll check these out.
Purely graphic composition is one thing, but I'd really love to see something about compositional function. Neither Tizian, Poussin nor Rembrandt are my usual fav artists, so that's interesting. Should I have missed something? ;-)
Sorry that I'm replying so late- I don't seem to have no time for nothing at the moment, it's just insane.
A friend of mine and I were only recently joking about those " clueless referencing of the golden section" *lol*.
Going to read the Ferrara thread...
Poshspice- I like yours too :-) About cutting in- hmm, that's an interesting point. I'm actually influenced by Japanese woodblock prints. I wasn't aware that it looks so "different" from normal composition. But it's true that I often use "cut" perspective or keep "wrong" perspective. Perhaps it's that the combination of that with traditional painting causes an irritation in the painting? To a degree, I am aware of that. But looking back with some distance at these paintings, I also feel that many of the elements aren't wholely developed or completely thought through (does this make sense in English?). I was under a bit of a time pressure too ;-)
I didn't know Greiffenhagen, but liked what I saw online. Very little though- there's not even a Wikipedia text about him. Do you have a good link?
The Cthulhu/Pseudo-Pagets work like a collage, of course. I copied an original Paget and just integrated the strange elements, like Max Ernst did in his collages. I saw a Max Ernst exhibition a while ago and loved the weird humour that came from the juxtaposition of the foreign elements. Like f.e. here:
Last edited by Uli; September 26th, 2009 at 04:32 AM.