View Full Version : Bleeding Venus - WIP

05-14-2003, 07:56 PM
I am currently working on this painting in my studio. Any and all thoughts, comments, and especially critiques are welcome. If you see any glaring problems, please let me know.

05-15-2003, 01:52 AM
Well, I have to say that as I loaded this, I felt a constriction in my chest - physically:D

I think this is incredibly strong!

I love the image of the tree growing from the heart, like something great growing from something broken, like there's ALWAYS hope. Trees to me are hugely symbollic of strength and hope, they will grow anywhere, in the most inaccessible places, they have the strength and perseverence to survive against the odds....

The only thing that bothers me is the head behind... maybe because it makes it all seem too real.

Brilliant - something that can cause a physical reaction like that.... pheeeeewwwwwwweeeeeeeeeee!!!!!:D

05-15-2003, 05:57 PM
Thanks for your comments Kalibabe. I am so glad that it has affected you so strongly. I know that it has lots of meaning for me and for it to talk to others with just as much power must mean that I accomplished what I was going for.

Yes, the head is a bit disturbing, not sure why. But it is in it's place, in the shadows still lurking.

05-16-2003, 01:08 PM
very nice sketch
i would like to see the finished painting.

It reminds me of a Kahlo sort of, the tree sprouting from the heart.

05-17-2003, 03:03 AM
Thank you Stefan. I am hoping to get some serious work done this being the long weekend and all. Hopefully soon I will have the full color painting up and online. :D

05-18-2003, 12:03 AM
I absolutely love this piece. It will be wonderfully strong. Two points that seem to catc my attention would be that the belly button appears to be too low and the figure's left shoulder is not quite right. If these areas concern you as well, this is a great time to modify them. If not, thanks for listening.

Carol Ann

05-18-2003, 12:40 AM
Thanks so much for your comments CarolAnn. I was concerned with the body proportions too so when I did my sketch onto the canvas, I used the real Venus de Milo as a template but let me know if there still is a concern. Comments like yours are deeply appreciated because they help me fix and tweak my work at an early stage (even at a late stage!) so keep them coming folks, I can take it!!

A couple points on this new upload. I started into my piece just using my red, yellow, and blue. I wanted to get a feel for the piece so I went in with a few layers of washes. I gradually did a bit thicker work but tended to avoid certain areas that I was stumped on or worried about. Today I was working on the main body and I dread having to work on the face... eep! Still a lot more work to be done.

I am especially concered about certain things such as is the blood running down her body properly, are her muscles/bones more or less in the right place, that sort of thing.

Acrylic on canvas, 12x16

05-18-2003, 10:12 AM
What a strong concept.

I like what you did with the head, you could probably make it a bit darker, lying in the shadow..

I think maybe you should make it clearer that the tree is growing right out of the heart, it's a bit unclear here compared to the sketch.. also, maybe make the blood look more like the roots of the tree..

I think the tree looks clearer in the sketch, particularly the trunk, as does the opening of her chest.. I'm not sure what the blue at the top of her chest is? I like how the face emits the blue, but the part on her chest looks more like roots?

Also, I'm not sure about the mountain on the right, I almost feel it takes too much attention from the figure.. maybe it's the composition, that when the eye gets up there, it tends to get locked a bit without an easy path back.. clouds might fix that, but then it would look less and less like a desert..

Those are all just my opinions anyway, I think it's a great concept that keeps renewing and reiterating itself through the picture. Looking forward to see it done. :)

05-18-2003, 06:56 PM
Thank you marc for your helpful comments. Many of the things you have mentioned have not been developed yet and will come through in further uploads.

The one thing you mentioned that does concern me however is that the large rock does tend to hold your attention. In the end, I plan to have the rocks a more muted redish brown (think Arizona) but I don't think this will solve my problem. I've never been a student of composition and don't really know how to fix this.

If anyone can give suggestions or examples of how to bring the eye back from the large rock to the main figure again, it would be greatly appreciated.

Again, thank you very much marc for your constructive comments. :D

05-18-2003, 07:28 PM
Bubblewall :D

I was thinking this was still an early stage in the picture, but thought I might as well comment since you asked. :) About the composition.. Maybe the tree could reach for something in the upper right corner? There's already a strong diagonal line present, and if you make the tree reach it'll just make the line broader so the eye can travel in sort of a long, diagonal ellipsis.. not sure what the tree should stretch for, maybe a figure in the clouds up high, or some sunlight.. have to be careful not to distract too much from the figure though.

The only composition I've ever studied is by looking at what others do, I think that's the best way. ;) Damn the rules! (van gogh?)

05-18-2003, 08:10 PM
Again, thanks. :D I thought carefully over your suggestions then did a little tinkering digitally. I added another cloud and some small rocks to complete the 'eclipse'. Tell me, is it over done, too obvious? or does it work?

05-18-2003, 08:19 PM
It works better for me this way. I feel I can easily flow over it, and the focus is clearer on the torso now.. but that's for me, might work differently for others. What's important is that it works for you, of course! I'm looking forward to see further progress :)

05-19-2003, 03:16 AM
Ok, here's another update. I conquered some of the areas I was dreading, ie. head, rocks. Ground still not done, neither are clouds and I wanna work with the color of the blood some more. (the painting is not as dark as it looks)

As always, I enjoy comments and criticisms. :D

05-19-2003, 09:55 AM
I very much like what you did to this, good job! :D The feel of the statue, the trunk of the tree, the mountains and the airier clouds all look good.

Ok, now for the ritual nitpicking: :rolleyes: :D

I really liked the idea of the blue head, washed in tears, that would end up providing nourishment (water) for the tree.. I also liked the blue as an opposite to the red, it gave the more depth to the composition..

Another thing I just noticed by comparing to the original statue is that you enlarged her breasts while keeping their perkiness, they look slightly unnatural..

That's it for nitpicking, for now ;)

05-19-2003, 03:15 PM
Thank you marc. I gave a cheer when i read 'ritual nitpicking'. I do enjoy those.

Anyway, I very much agree with you. With the head, I will be adding washes of bluish shadow overtop but that'll come closer to the end. I like the idea of the blue showing the sorrow and emptiness of the old life.
As for the breasts, I knew right away that I lost something in the blending. Everytime I would look at it, a voice in my head would start chanting "Cone boobs, cone boobs..." So needless to say I'll attempt to fix that too.

Again, thanks for looking and commenting :D

05-21-2003, 02:08 AM
Another update. Think by tomorrow I can get it done.

05-21-2003, 10:37 AM
Update looks good :D

Are you not going to soak the ground in tears from the face? I thought that was a great aspect..

I'm also thinking.. maybe it's all a bit light now? Depends on how you picture the scene, of course.. I was just sensing more of an underlying darkness to support the sadness, with the sky pulling in the other direction with its clarity and white clouds

05-31-2003, 09:56 PM
Any updates on this? :)

06-04-2003, 04:12 AM
Hey Marc! I am greatful for your continuing interest in this piece. Seems like it's just me and you!

As for updates, these past few weeks have been bombarded by so many things, guests taking up my studio (guest room), one stayed a whole week, ugh! also procrastination and couch potatoness set in. I'm a lazy bum. It's a wonder I get anything done... yeeesh!

06-04-2003, 05:49 PM
Seems like it's just me and you!

Sounds good to me :D

I'll be patient, just remember to post when it's done! And make sure her face is washed in tears! ;) (wow, that sounded cheery, huh?)

06-09-2003, 07:42 PM
I'm going to get it done tonight even if it kills me!!

Heh heh.. I may regret saying that..

Got other paintings brewing.

06-10-2003, 02:30 AM
Ok, I signed it, its done, no arguing... lol! :D Sorry marc, no flood of tears, didn't suit my original concept. Head was to be more dark and foreboding, almost haunting.

I am looking forward to some serious criticism... although kind words and pats on the back are always welcome. ;)

06-10-2003, 04:26 PM
Good to see this done :D

The head does look ominous, angry! I still like the idea of the tears giving life to the root of blood..

If you specifically want criticism.. ;) Here's one thing I noted here as well as with some of your other sketches vs finished paintings.. the sketch seems like it both has more energy and grace at the same time. It's like you lose some of your personal lines when you move onto the painting, which makes it more stiff and less dynamic. There are many good ideas and details in the finished painting, but it feels stiffer and less natural than the sketch.. I like that look and think your paintings would improve if you could get a similar feel, I think it would bring out the excellent concepts better, more evocatively. The example on your website with the tree figure bending in the wind is similar - there's lots of energy and immediacy in the sketch, but it becomes more stylized and less direct in the painting.

Of course I'm just blabbering here, but I thought just in case you weren't aware of it I would at least let you know :)

It's a great concept and maybe you could create different versions of it in the future :)

06-10-2003, 05:05 PM
Thanks marc for the comments. You are very right about my sketches vs my paintings. Somehow the lose something in the middle. Maybe it's the perfectionist in me that can't leave a color unblended or an item out of place. Not sure. Any advice you can give?

06-10-2003, 05:26 PM
I haven't tried any traditional media painting, and I can imagine it has to do with the process also.. But at least part of it looks like it could be that you're overpainting as you said yourself.. for instance, looking at your first posted version of the painting it has a freshness (although different from the sketch) where things like the blue face and tears and the really bright mountains may be different from your vision of the finished piece, but perhaps you could see them as 'happy accidents', like when you're sketching you may put down lines that are wild and 'off', but create more depth and life than if they weren't there. So perhaps exploring such things could work for you.

Also, specifically in this sketch there are things that are plain different in the composition (more open, less background to distract), as well as gentler details - the sand in front of her looks more natural with broken lines and not 'glued' on, the tree has buds instead of leaves, which makes more sense to me symbolically as the blood is still fresh.. the break of her neck is rough and irregular instead of smooth in the painting which makes it less dramatic.. there are many details like that which seem a bit like you tried to make things look 'neater' and more controlled in the painting, when in fact it was the immediacy of the original sketch that held the most power..

If you want the freer look in your paintings I think playing more and thinking less might do the trick. :) Because clearly you know how to paint, but your sketches and ideas are just stronger and freer, they hold more power if you don't bind them as much when you put on the colours..

06-11-2003, 05:42 AM
you tried to make things look 'neater' and more controlled
Sounds a lot like my life... keep up appearances, hide within.

Thank you very much for your suggestions. I will try to be more playful and wild when laying down paint. :)

Hope I will have something new for you to see soon. I appreciate how closely you have been following this thread. Makes me think that in some small way, I am important, that someone is watching out for me, interested in what I'm doing. Don't get me wrong, I am new to surrealism, as you could tell from my website. Been hiding myself deep inside for years, being the good girl. Surrealism asks me to come out and experience life, emotion, conflict. It can be scary, is scary. I may not speak very well in my paintings (as some have noted in other threads) but I am trying, learning, struggling. This is what this painting has been about for me. The world around me is a wasteland, a desert, incapable of nurturing who I really am. Although I want to run and hide, bury everything deep down, I know that as an artist, this conflict, this pain, all the emotions and turmoil that goes on in life, this is what makes us grow. This is what goes into our paintings...

*sigh* I wonder why I wrote this and why I will go on to submit it as well. It's 3:45am and I guess I just needed to get it off my chest.

06-11-2003, 12:43 PM
Bubble :)

I'm glad if I can be of any help or inspiration :D

In looking at your sketches I see rage and pain that wants out, like an explosion of pent up energy! I'm thinking maybe when you create the painting you have lived some of that out through the sketch and you're focusing too much on transferring the concept to the painting rather than outliving the same emotions again. I think those three surrealistic sketches I've seen are first class, both very original, and very intense. I'm looking forward to seeing Bottled Up painted (please drop me a note, or I will probably miss it).

There's something interesting with the tree figure vs forest painting and sketch. In the sketch I identify with the tree because it's closer and central to the composition and the struggling is very strong, whereas the painting has a Magritte look with his kinds of greens and a more cerebral approach in showing the apparent tranquility vs the storm. I like them both, but the sketch is more emotionally involving, and I think you could probably put some more chaos into the painting without losing the duality. There are lots of layered symbolic ideas in the sketch that don't seem to be transferred to the painting, although it's hard to tell the details in the small image..

Looking forward to see more :)

06-11-2003, 05:16 PM
I'm thinking maybe when you create the painting you have lived some of that out through the sketch and you're focusing too much on transferring the concept to the painting rather than outliving the same emotions again.

Marc, I think you are bang on.