View Full Version : Phooey!
02-02-1999, 02:26 PM
Painting landscapes is one of the most difficult things I have ever done, it stinks. I have been working for over a week now and I am not having fun. It is my understanding that a forum is a place where one can vent pent up frustration as well as a place to share ideas. Consider me vented, thank you.
02-02-1999, 03:54 PM
Rofl! Diana, with all that you have contributed to WetCanvas, feel free to vent all you like... :-)
02-02-1999, 09:28 PM
Care to be more specific? What are you finding difficult?
02-02-1999, 10:45 PM
Painting, scratchboard, and drawing are usually somewhat easy for me,a second nature.
I paint a picture in usually 3 to 5 days
with a success rate of one failure in twenty, a scratchboard takes 1 to 2 days at most. I
realize I am very spoiled. I'm not saying I don't stretch and work at painting, but landscapes are very difficult for me. They take weeks and they're a lot of work. I don't
have the instinct for landscapes that I have with people or still lifes. It's hard.
My best friend laughs at me and thinks it's a good thing that I should have to struggle.
She is absolutely right, but I think part of my painting process is bitching. I didn't mean to make you sorry that you wanted to help, I just seemed to rattle on there, didn't I? My painting looks very amatuerish,
like I have never painted before in my life.
02-03-1999, 12:07 AM
You think your landscapes are bad - you should see the collection of crap in my closet!! Diana, don't feel bad. I can BARELY do oil landscapes, much less try one of those intricate scratchboards of yours! :-)
Seriously though, landscapes are very different in certain aspects. Instead of just dealing with lights and shadows, you have to deal with the atmospheric affects when working your palette. I'm finally getting to the point where everything in my paintings isn't painted in the foreground colors - hehe.
Another aspect of landscapes which can be difficult is the "randomness" of it all. Foliage, lay of the land, clouds, etc. It's much different than painting from a person's photo or still-life set up. There are certain tricks to achieving presentable randomness in landscapes - I'd love to hear some folks share their thoughts on this.
02-03-1999, 10:14 PM
I always found portraits to be the hard thing. Just a mental block on my part, I suppose, but I could not draw faces or figures for a long time. Also, in landscape you don't have to get a "likeness" of the subject. I mean, no one's going to know if you get a tree out of place (and you might even have to do that for a better design), whereas you can't exactly relocate the nose.
Just a different set of problems, I suppose.
There's a lot more depth and space in a landscape, and a whole different set of colors to get used to.
I like "Painting Better Landscapes", by Margaret Kessler, if you've any interest in a book.
02-03-1999, 11:27 PM
Yeah - Kessler's book is one of my personal favorites. Another good one is The Big Book of Painting Nature in Oil.
Just got back in from NY - 78 new email messages to sift through ... moan....
02-04-1999, 12:19 AM
Scott, I must say thank you. I had never considered what you said about landscapes. Maybe I can still learn. I will not give up
and when it is done and dry I will scan it and send it.
02-05-1999, 12:34 AM
Thanks guys, I will check out my local library.
I am teaching a class on "En Plein Air" (landscape)painting in Oil in Florida right now. Plein Air means you paint on location and ideally finish your landscape quickly before the light changes. It is challenging but also very exciting to observe nature so closely. I tell my students to look for the big shapes in their paintings and not to get caught up in painting every leaf and blade of grass. If you combine similar elements into these large value shapes and think of them as an abstract design your paintings will be stronger. Everything the serious "Plein Air" painter needs to know was written years ago by John F. Carlson in "Carlson's Guide to Landscape Painting".
Enjoy yourself, painting outdoors may be difficult but it is a feast to the senses.
02-20-1999, 05:02 PM
Hi there, Liz!
Yes, Carlson's book is the proverbial bible for landscape painting - I forgot all about that one! Good call...
Speaking of en plein air...care to do a series of online lessons... ? :-)
01-01-2000, 06:52 AM
I have very mixed feelings about doing something which you hate. Usually that is a signal that one is on the wrong track. This has, like most things, to be taken with a grain of salt, because there is always the frustration of doing something new.
I've been getting up every AM (well, almost) since Christmas trying to capture the rising sun. Taint easy. I'm using a "Box M" box on a photo tripod, and have about 15-20minutes to do an 8x10 panel. My real work is figurative, and this is a nice change. I'll be going to work in about an hour.
02-16-2000, 05:31 PM
I once did a portrait for someone, and when they got a very botched facelift, they asked if they could trade one portrait for five landscapes. What does that say about landscapes? They have to be a passion for the artist, I think.
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