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Old 02-08-2012, 11:46 AM
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karenlee karenlee is offline
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Re: Self portrait Questions

A painter is ever an editor, whether consciously or not. Editing out the center vertical would IMHO be a wise decison.
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Old 02-08-2012, 12:55 PM
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Re: Self portrait Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by sharkbarf
I think I have a few more years of hard work before I'm ready to do this sort of multifaceted, fractal realism.


agreed, however, it's the composition you're trying to figure out right now ... note the simplicity of the background in rockwells version, note the content being the basic necessities of doing a painting ... there are many ways to simplify the realism while maintaining balanced composition - the canvas could be blank or very loosely sketched, the mirror could be the laptop, the details could be mostly representational ...

la
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Old 02-08-2012, 02:23 PM
sharkbarf sharkbarf is offline
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Re: Self portrait Questions

Karenlee
I know exactly what your saying, that's why I've already done 6 studies before attempting the "real" painting. Editing is one of the major skills I lack. I've always tried to fit too much in my works. Simplifying is something I often hear, but it's easier said than done. I'm not interested unless there is a a complicated story, or at least a deeper meaning.

La
Without basically copying Rockwell's composition I don't understand how to incorporate it. It is a radically different view. I see what you mean about keeping everything rough or nonexistent but that's what I thought I was already doing with the bare table and the primed canvas. Anymore insights would be great as I want to get this stage perfect before I do my final attempt.
One other thing I was going to try after I finish this self portrait is do one from behind the other side where I'm facing the back wall and the viewer sees the canvas I"m working on and the computer screen. Probably by then I'll understand the Rockwell better.
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Old 02-08-2012, 03:09 PM
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karenlee karenlee is offline
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On the OTHER hand...

You do have a knack for blithely breaking with convention, quite successfully; in this picture, you have a subject practically (but not exactly!) right in the center of the painting, which is something most teachers would call a no-no. Yet the geometric design of this painting is wonderful, in spite of the way it flouts convention. I am considering retracting my suggestion about your central vertical in the next painting. You might be just the one to pull it off!

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Old 02-08-2012, 11:57 PM
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Re: Self portrait Questions

i agree with karen, it's an eclectic mix of guideline bending

but, and shark, i know you'll take this as subjective wisdom/curiosity in design/style capabilites over anything personal

there's a lot 'wrong' in the comp and if it's intended, it's cool, but if it's not, it just need attention
again, imho and of the image in post #19 ... the perspective is wonky (table being primitive/chair being much closer to reality) ... the artist can't even reach the canvas cause there's a table in the way ... the laptop would totally fall off the table and if one tilted the screen at all it would knock over the flowers ... the center of interest - chair - cool (with or without a human), but the other center of interest (a diagonal duo of coi is yummy btw) (primitive perspective table/cloth/thing(s) on tablecloth/thing on corner of table) - why are these things placed where they are? one couldn't comfortably paint a portrait in this setting ... is that the point? if it's not, i just don't get it ...

of the rockwell s.portrait notion ... (simplest form would be to flip it - see it from the backside ... nothing but feet/knees showing under the canvas )
you're sketching and you're in the comp forum, so it's just another comp to consider, it's a darn good comp, in most any style, simplified, realized or abstracted. add 'clutter' as you see fit, but that clutter placement should make sense and be consistent perspective wise, yes? no?

la
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Last edited by La_ : 02-09-2012 at 12:01 AM.
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Old 02-09-2012, 08:05 AM
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baughsten baughsten is offline
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Re: Self portrait Questions

It has always seemed to me that any work of art is an ideal. The individual artist "chooses" his/her point of view for the purpose of expressing some emotional state about the world he/she experiences. Showing the viewer a picture of your studio is fine. And an Art Work, to me, still utilizes composition, design, shape, value,edge, texture, color, rhythm, balance, space,etc. These elements are the tools used to show us the meaning, and "feel" of your chosen subject. Directing the viewer's eye to your point of interest is important. Have you considered among all the possible places the viewer can look, the main place you want the viewer to look? I'm on my third cup of coffee and still waiting for winter to rear its ugly head.

Last edited by baughsten : 02-09-2012 at 08:08 AM. Reason: Spelling error
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Old 02-09-2012, 10:50 PM
sharkbarf sharkbarf is offline
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Re: Self portrait Questions

Everybody
Thank you for giving thorough descriptions. I can't thank you enough. I'm really liking the discussion this thread has become.

Karenlee
Quote:
You do have a knack for blithely breaking with convention, quite successfully; in this picture, you have a subject practically (but not exactly!) right in the center of the painting, which is something most teachers would call a no-no. Yet the geometric design of this painting is wonderful, in spite of the way it flouts convention. I am considering retracting my suggestion about your central vertical in the next painting. You might be just the one to pull it off!

My goal is actually to follow the conventional rules. I've always let my compositions just come about on their own. I'm now trying to learn the fundamentals before I start breaking the rules. If I'm showing an innate ability to understand composition -great! In order to truly be able to tell a complicated story (multiple focal points) I think I need to fully understand the rules before breaking them.

La
Quote:
of the image in post #19 ... the perspective is wonky
My intention here is not to exactly show the correct spacial reality as much as just quickly find new ways that they will work together. When the consensus is that the composition flows that is when I'll start to make sure the geometries and proportions are more accurate.
Do you think I need to try to make sure the perspective is closer to perfect in order to make the composition read? I guess what I mean is I'm trying to isolate these different areas of study instead of worrying about getting them all correct at once. That way it's not as overwhelming the think about.

Quote:
why are these things placed where they are? one couldn't comfortably paint a portrait in this setting ... is that the point? if it's not, i just don't get it ...

I'm trying to show more than just a portrait. It's the space that the portrait is taking place or more succinctly- a portrait of the artist working. (which needs to show the relationship of the space the artist is working in)
It's interesting that you say "one couldn't comfortably paint...in this setting" because that's exactly how I do paint everyday. I'm trying to make this as realistic as possible, meaning It's not an idealized setting.

Quote:
but that clutter placement should make sense and be consistent perspective wise, yes? no?
I hope you can elaborate more on this because I thought that's exactly what I'm doing. I'm confused as what my options are without a direct example.


Baugsten
Quote:
It has always seemed to me that any work of art is an ideal.
I agree. One of my main goals is to portrait this realistically though. The only thing I think is ideal about this is that painting my work area has made me stay conscious of how to keep my work area organized and always looking beautiful. I've thought about how adding an open sketchpad and several books I'm reading would add to the story. I've come to the conclusion that this only adds clutter and is a reflection of a moment when I'm working on several things at once, but normally my space is clean and things I'm not working on are put away.

Quote:
Directing the viewer's eye to your point of interest is important. Have you considered among all the possible places the viewer can look, the main place you want the viewer to look?
Can there by multiple focal points?
This is why I started this thread. I know there are people who have more experience directing the eye. I'm just trying things I think may work without having the knowledge of why.
There may be too many competing things I'm trying to do but if I edit them out my piece doesn't say as much about who I am and what I think is important (which tends to be several concepts at once and specifically how they relate to each other.)

Here's what I want to show:
1. A work in progress that shows a completely different style/idea than a portrait represents. (Canvas on the wall)
2. My workspace
3. My computer which I often use as a resource for material to paint
4. A self portrait.

I think with the right composition these could all work together. I'm looking for ways to lead the eye from one to the other giving them all a level of importance. I think this piece is turning into a study of the importance of balance and how focal points can be both anchors and give hints at directional flow but my question is how do I do that?
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Old 02-13-2012, 12:41 PM
sharkbarf sharkbarf is offline
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Re: Self portrait Questions

Playing with some thumbnails before I do my next painting study.
The first two I was playing with how canvas shape would dictate where the COI might be. In the third one I looked closer at how to balance the four intersections of the areas of interest (rule of thirds). In the forth I thought it might be interesting to have me standing looking at the screen. This one shows the most balance but I'm still unsure about the bottom right corner. How could I make that area interesting?




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Buddha suggests to those who need inspiration for their art to go before a perfectly blank wall until it's design, compostion, and subject reveal itself. -Jack Rutherford
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Old 02-16-2012, 10:21 AM
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karenlee karenlee is offline
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Re: Self portrait Questions

You're not going to like my answer, but I like your paintings, so here goes: I think any of these could work out very well, depending on the distribution of values. I don't see any values in your thumbnails. Even though I'm a rigid anarchist about rules of painting and the importance of not being manacled to them, I think a useful thumbnail should include values (distribution of darks, lights and mid-tones). However, you have a natural knack for subtle and balanced values, so I would ask, which thumbnail to you like best? Could you work that up into a value study? Then we would have something to chew on.
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Old 02-19-2012, 10:46 AM
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Re: Self portrait Questions

Hi sharky
Hows the portrait doing is it anywhere near to being finished , any chance of a peak at the work so far ?.

no 2 looks best as a portrait in the vertical , but would not show much of your 'studio' , but you cant have all four criteria in equal portions , in no.1 where the sitter shrinks to a tiny insignificance but shows your studio . no.3 looks very abstract and would be spoilt with a figure in it , it defeats the object somehow , no 4 could work quite well but you would have to be spot on with the portrait as the sitter is quite prominent and would be the focus point
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Old 02-23-2012, 11:43 AM
sharkbarf sharkbarf is offline
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Re: Self portrait Questions

Karenlee
I like your answer, I just wanted to start with some basic ideas before I put more time into this. I've been doing full value studies in paint for each one, so I wanted to take this to a much more basic level.
I personally like #4 (thumbnail) the best because it puts each of the elements I want to showcase in it's own sub-paining. The distribution of negative space works and the elbow helps show the connection between the artist and the computer which would put the other quadrants into the background, I think.

Lofty
Thanks. You gave me a bit to chew on. I like them all for different reasons and my final decision will probably be somewhere in between. It helped me to purely think about design elements without worrying about my real studio. As an exercise in thinking about composition it helped me play, but I'm not sure how practical it was will my final product.

No I haven't worked on this any more as I was waiting for responses. I also have quite a few other paintings, but soon enough.
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Old 02-27-2012, 11:01 AM
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Re: Self portrait Questions

Hey Sharkbarf! Wondering how your painting is coming along? I obviously came to this discussion rather late and know that my input probably won't account for a hill of beans now; however, the only two things which bugged me about the painting is that 1) portraiture is traditionally centered, and 2) the flowers. In fact, the flowers are just blowing my mind. Of course, that is a good indication of how messy my studio is! Anyway, where are the rest of the tools of your craft? Instead of flowers, I would be more apt to include a bouquet of gnarly paintbrushes, a sketchbook with reference notes, twisted tubes of paint, jars of water or turpentine... This studio doesn't read as a studio to me because of the dearth of artist materials. Just my belated 2 cents... Which in our economy is worth less than a half penny!
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Old 03-24-2012, 07:40 PM
sharkbarf sharkbarf is offline
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Re: Self portrait Questions

ArtWench

Thanks for your comments. I've been on vacation but now I'm back to it. I'll be posting more studies very soon.

You mentioned "the painting", which one? I've posted several. These are all just studies until I get the comp right.

I know what you mean about the flowers/supplies, but this is actually how I keep my studio. I only keep my supplies out that I"m using at the time and I'm very organized. Painting my supplies wouldn't read as me (or as how I'd like to be portrayed.
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Old 03-28-2012, 01:42 PM
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Re: Self portrait Questions

I guess I should have stated more accurately, "project".

I guess since it is a self portrait, you should paint the reality. Boggles the mind though.
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Old 05-15-2012, 04:17 AM
AllanFink1960 AllanFink1960 is offline
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Re: Self portrait Questions

1) I know you said you like squares, but I do think changing the angle of the table helped put more depth into the space. Use the 2pt perspective to your advantage, so it doesn't make your rendered space so flat and frontal.
2) Your second comp fixed some of that, but you are not managing the upper left very well. The divide between the brown and blue goes right down the middle, almost creating two different paintings.
3) I would contend you could crop out the table entirely, and about a fourth off the top.

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