Saturday, October 13, 2012

Sometimes painting is not art, just practice

Anyone who has had a painting class at some point or another probably remembers hours upon hours spent painting still-life images, baskets of fruit, vases of flowers, etc. It can be quite boring. But these exercises are important in many different ways, the least of which is getting beginners familiar with their tools, the brushes and the actual paints and the canvasses. These exercises can also teach basic color theory, and can help the beginner become more familiar with shading, mixing paints, and a thousand other little details.

Though I don't bother with baskets and vases, from time to time I do work on a painting exercise, projects not meant to be seen by anyone but me. Sometimes those exercises are fun, and sometimes I like the outcome. Sometimes not, on both counts.

For example, the little piece at left, which I call "armor," is obviously not a complete painting, nor is it meant to be. I looked up some images online of various types of plate armor, and my goal was to focus on a shoulder piece, which is why this painting is rough around the edges, not complete. It's only meant to focus upon that shoulder.

Surprisingly, I found "armor" a fairly easy piece of work, and enjoyable. Also, I think it turned out pretty nifty.

I wish I could say the same for the little painting reproduced below, which I call "castle tower."

At first glance, "castle tower" might appear to be a completed painting, but it isn't. I might get around to finishing it some day, but my heart's not really in it. For one thing, I don't care for how it turned out.

And honestly, the goal behind "castle tower" was to experiment on a few different things. I was trying out some new brushes and some new paints, and I also wanted to experiment on a few different techniques, none of which really turned out well, in my opinion.

But one learns through trial and error, so I'll keep trying and erroring.

1 comment:

Charles Gramlich said...

The same could be said of writing. sometimes it's just practice.

This captcha series is hard. 3rd attempt.

4th try.