View Full Version : gamelan player, the importance of observation

02-16-2000, 05:08 PM
what about absorbed light??..

btw..nice to see you http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/cool.gif

02-16-2000, 06:07 PM
Thanks Milt, you are absolutely right on with your description of light on silk - as I said on the Gamelan thread; there is a liquid quality to the players shirt - I also think it looks "metallic". Now liquid+metallic = mercury - hey it actually looks like the shirt is made of purple mercury...

02-16-2000, 06:32 PM
On Observation (sorry I did not look closely at the topic) I think that we all need to observe and analyze what we see. The difficulty in the beginning is knowing what to look for and to be able to reason about what you see. It is very difficult to just observe and feel - and then recreate the feeling.

I think all beginning artist think first in terms of color; what are the colors that I see? Looking at a sunset you think "how can I mix that color" etc. Then you begin to pick up more ways to look at things; what are the masses and how are they related to each other? What are the values? Does the composition "read" (eye movement)? What is the flow of light? etc. etc.

All these conceptual models allows us to reason about what we see. At first each model requires lots of brain-cycles but after a while it becomes natural - you just SEE things.

Conceptual models allows us to solve problems at a higher abstraction level - using the gamelan players shirt as an example. First, if you don't think in terms of values - this will be difficult; what colors should I mix (classic question: what is the color of human flesh). Then, when you understand values; how should I analyze a material in terms of values; what should I look for - what do I need to remember (e.g how are highligths related to midtone and shadow, are there soft or hard edges, etc.) Once you have this mode of seeing things you can easily record/remember what you see and apply it in other situations. Then looking at something you painted where the things does not look right - use your model "ah highligts have edges that are too soft and are too thin" (or whatever). Now you are solving problems at a higher abstraction level.
(OMG I am rambling again...)

[This message has been edited by henrik (edited February 16, 2000).]

02-16-2000, 06:38 PM
Milt, it would be very interesting to identify and document "obeservation models".
Kreutz book "Problem solving for oil painters" is great in this respect, but there are of cource much more to say on each topic, and also many more topics. For those that have not read this book, here are some of the headlines from the chapter "Light".
Is the subject effectively Lit?
Is the light area big enough?
Would the light look stronger with a suggestion of burnout?
Do the ligths have a continous flow?
Is the light gradated?
Isn't that great - now you have a model for looking at light!

02-16-2000, 07:28 PM
kem,,,,,,long time. i was wondering where you were.......absorbed light is absorbed. light is not reflected back, therefore it is dark. the obvious color is black...it absorbs all light.....milt

02-16-2000, 07:35 PM
funny thing is,,,values are the very thing an artist should look at first. how one analyzes it, breaks it down, and reiterates it on canvas is key to describing an object. it also helps to get zen. to be one with the thing you paint. understand its nature. you know how kids make sounds when they play with airplanes??? and when i drew them as a kid i would make those sounds as well.......kinda the same thing. you become,,,,,,,,,

02-16-2000, 07:48 PM
milt - agree on value being the most important thing. When I started painting I did not understand that at all - think many amateurs do the same mistake as I did - look at colors, matching "tube of pigment" with what you see...

02-17-2000, 12:52 AM
i thought this deserves its own thread. in regards to the continuing thread on "gamelan player"... henrik, think of silk/satin as a cloth version of a reflective material. like those silver painted cardboards. because of the texture and nature of the material, satin/silk doesn't reflect like,,,chrome or a mirror. so what you see are vague shape reflections in simple value. and when a hilite hits the cloth, it is sharp and crisp, like any "reflective" material. the hilite is especially crisp when it hits the silk/satin at midvalue. an example is the mrs white painting of the dress on the left side. the distinctive midtone coloring(as shown where i eliminated the hilites)is because unlike regular cloth, silk/satin shows a vagueish reflection of everything around the area,,,just not sharply. otherwise, if it were a regular cotton, for instance, it would be lighter(not showing all that reflection). now,,the reason i mention all this, realizing that this may be too complicated, is that this is all observation. not study. just simple observation. i never painted satin. i understand its "nature". never painted a rock. but i know what a rock does in light and shadow. never painted a myriad of things. but i can make a good guess as to how they should be perceived. i think everyone should improve their visual accuity, and use their noodle(the other noodle, guyz,,,the brain noodle)and bring this all to the table when they paint.
you will NEVER see a perfect scene. there will always be something you must change to make your painting read properly. problems arise when certain areas are painted as is. problems that could be addressed if you simply know how YOU want the scene to be read. not what nature is telling you to do. if i think autumn leaves should be this/or that way,,,it will read better than how they really are....milt

[This message has been edited by bruin70 (edited February 16, 2000).]