View Full Version : Untitled as yet
03-04-2002, 01:17 PM
Title: Untitled as yet
Year Created: 2002
Dimension: 8 1/2 X 11
Allow digital alterations?: Yes!
This is a preliminary drawing for a small watercolor. It isn't the actual drawing but partly
a printed copy with more pencil work over top where I want to make changes.
MY QUESTIONS FOR THE GROUP:
I am highly dissatisfied with the front wolf, who is at a slightly different angle to the one
at the rear. (I have drawn a crude line across part of it where I intend changes.)
Something about the head looks very 'off' to me, but I think I have corrections to make
in more than one area. I am looking to have any anatomical errors, etc. pointed out.
I would be grateful for anything else that comes to mind.
I'm not too sure what you mean by printed copy? Is this a copy of a photo, or a copy of your own work? Where you have put the mark for alterations, I think here you are seeing what I'm seeing, the ear doesn't seem right, the foremost (left) ear is twitched backwards, but the other ear is facing forward, perhaps if you flattened both ears a little and twitching backwards it could make the compostion a bit more interesting. Maybe also if you could portray the nearest wolf with a different expression than the other wolf, i.e. with his jaw slightly ajar and a glimpse of tongue?
Just a suggestion. Anatomically, I think you have it right.
03-06-2002, 08:35 PM
I'd have to get some of my own personal references out, but I'd say the noses appear small and more quaint for wolves. This has more a husky dog appearance to me.
What bothers me most is the compositional balance of this piece. You risk it becoming "trite" by having the eyes, noses, chins of both animals near all line up in one horizontal.
I'd prefer some dynamics to change it a bit. One head lower, perhaps a slight change in direction the heads are looking.
Your sketch is nice and clean...well executed.
03-22-2002, 03:34 PM
I thank you both, Iseiler and Mo., for your comments.
By printed copy, I mean computer printed copy of my own work. I made some changes on the print out rather than on the original drawing.
I am working from two separate photos, which I assure you are of wolves, but maybe I missed the mark.
To change the position of either wolf too much would spoil the impression that they are both focusing on something that has caught their attention. At such a moment, if they were close together, they would appear to line up, and hold much the same position.
03-22-2002, 06:35 PM
Originally posted by Winty
To change the position of either wolf too much would spoil the impression that they are both focusing on something that has caught their attention.
not to argue, curious to get your thoughts expressed more on this. I'd like to know...how so? Have you seen John Seerey Lester's wolves, or Bateman's, or any number of wildlife artists that have portrayed 3 to a halfdozen wolves lurking in shadows, or snow, etc., all intensely glued and focused? Its where the eyes are penetrating in their gaze, their body positions, and the general arrangement of composition that pulls together the idea of an object having their undivided attention. Afraid I'll have to disagree with you on this one. I do wholeheartily agree with your right to arrange as you choose. Take care...
03-23-2002, 09:18 PM
Are we talking about wolves focused on the same object, which would cause them to be aligned in the same direction?
Standing side by side, focused on the same object, this does happen. For some people it makes a more interesting composition if they are not aligned, but I like the twinship, although the eyes and ears on the fore wolf need alteration.
It is something that happens over and over with animals, so why not paint it, as well as views of
animals in a great variety of positions?
Never having had someone focused in the same direction as I, it appeals to me on an emotional level.
03-24-2002, 01:55 PM
True enough....in nature, it would happen. And why not report it so?
Well...for example, one time crawling thru muck in a flooded pea field to take photos of spring time courting waterfowl...I took multiple slides of a flock of Green Winged teal flying and whisking acrobatically about. When I got my slides developed and cast them up on a large wall...much to my glee, I saw that of the 16 ducks, seven (all drakes) were flying completely upside down. Amazing!
I had discovered evidently a courtship ritual, whereby the drakes were competing for attention with the hens. As a younger painter, a wildlife artist...I felt exhilarated, and thought it my right, my duty and obligation to "report" such an activity. Why should the public be denied from such knowledge?
My agent at the time...hearing of my plans put an immediate kabotch to it! He pointed out that those that are the primary supporters and patrons of wildlife art themselves pride themselves at possessing an extensive knowledge. They buy wildlife art to surround themselves with what they love. Unfortunately, there is a particular need in the market anyway, to get inside patron's heads to see what they think is true. My agent at that time pointed out what a laughing stock I would have been....even though my report is true.
Instead of the public recognizing their own impoverishment in lacking knowledge which my painting would have so generously corrected....the public would have assumed their own expertise and having never seen the ducks do this themselves, accused me of being nuts!
Now...I could have still done it, but I understood at that time what he was getting to.
We are both servants and teachers in this genre...but the teaching comes in small bites that the public can swallow.
Now...as far as visual imagery goes, we in modern society are bombarded. Thirty thousand images per minute on television. Magazine advertisements, billboards, music videos, you name it.
To process this information and maintain some sense of sanity, the average person learns, enculturates...to block out and ignore a large fair share of that bombardment. It becomes then the artist's task to understand the psychology of the competition for the mind. If we are making images that we intend to be seen, we need to be aware of devices and tendencies by which the public in general have learned to ignore, find boring, etc;
Thus...yes, you can report that wolves will stand side by side and align themselves perfectly. I'm simply pointing out that in composition...anything that even remotely falls into a visual balance of symmetry or "formal" balance risks becoming trite. Like those Byzantine works of art where things equal on both sides of a paint support....modern eyes shrug, recognize what's been done and over done, and moves on to other things of interest.
The challenge since the days of the Byzantine works of art, has been to create unique ways to organize a work of art to assure that viewers will get hit smack between the eyes and quite frantly, "wowed!"
Its certainly not my intent to insult your abilities, nor question your right to produce work any way you want. So please take what I'm saying in the light I am intending it. There simply are some principles in composition and design that are better held to to assure that the viewing public will give your work the time of day it deserves. Two wolves, with heads side by side has been done hundreds of times...with many artists striving to somehow make their rendition more interesting than others. Its unfortunate. I'll admit that. There is a psychology to the viewer looking at a work...and I'm only reporting that. Certainly, if the work brings you pleasure...then it matters little. If you want to know if a piece will be noticed, which we assume all art intends to do...then I'm simply saying that the alignment is too formal and risks being ignored. Such would be unfortunate with your obvious talent here.
03-24-2002, 04:27 PM
Awwww. You shoulda painted the ducks upside down.
Bateman, being a teacher, often uses his art to educate.
However in the case of this piece, it is intended for a friend, who will permit me the luxury of standing firmly in my mediocrity. Sure, it has been done zillions of times before, but never by me, for him. He may not even own a watercolor of a wolf. However, I assure you, I am thinking of painting my next wolf upside down, through possibly not airborne.
On the more serious side, you are quite right, and I really should try to avoid the visual cliches more. So, I really do thank you for that. :)
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