Again, and I won't derail the thread much further after this I promise... but, you're saying things that are very vague:
so we can learn to go beyond just an accurate drawing and really say something.
what does it mean to go beyond an accurate drawing..? Or to really say something..? Again, I think you're drawing the wrong conclusions and present opinion as fact. For example the envelope is usually a tool to establish the largest overall shape of the subject that you're drawing... an approximation of the very general height to width proportions. It also serves as a compositional tool to find a proper placement on your paper/canvas. It does not represent an external contour. but then again, it is not because one uses an external contour that the drawing is going to be stiff per se. Tony Ryder for example uses these methods/tools you describe. His drawings can hardly be described as stiff.
Same with the envelope. It is not because one chooses a certain procedure that it will necessarily evoke bad qualities in the drawing.
Stiffness imo is usually the result of improper reflection of the model's gesture. Has nothing to do with an envelope or contour being involved really.
Anyway, sorry if I've taken the focus away from commenting on your work. Best to get back to that.
When I took a workshop from one of my favorite artists. She told us "to focus on interpreting what you see rather than trying to recreate it exactly," she continued. "We cannot physically recreate the model on a two dimensional surface, but we can carefully observe what we see, decide what defines the shapes and colors that give a subject its character, and turn those observations into suggestions on the canvas." She also said to avoid locking yourself into a preconceived idea of how it will turn out but rather let the painting evolve intuitively. She said "painting is all about leaving doors open in the beginning so you don't lock yourself into a predictable rendition of what you're observing." These ideas really made me think differently about how I approach painting and drawing. When I talk about saying something. I'm referring to what she said about defining what gives the subject it's character. And I'm not saying you don't do these things in your own work. I actually think your work has a lot of life to it.
None of this is fact. And I hope you don't think what I'm saying is meant to be taken as fact, it's just my opinion, and the opinion of some of my instructors.
Thanks again for your comments.
Keep up the great work!
Last edited by mattlinz; October 2nd, 2009 at 09:51 AM.
like your approach very much, some of the best stuff I've seen here, congratulations! one little criticism and I tend to fall into this trap myself, don't use the same color mixes for each situation. Even though the lighting might be the same where you paint, each person's colors are always different. Landscape painting is the greatest color training you can get, your bridge painting is very very nice, so keep doing those too.