Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Green grapes

Okay, I'm not good at painting grapes. After initial block-in, I'm kind of lost at what to do. But grappling with it, I learned a few things along the way.

1). Translucent objects like grapes have a certain way of reflecting light. The light goes through them and comes out on the other side, making the lower, back part of the object lighter and more of the color of the light. Irises in eyes are the same way.

2). Do not paint grapes one by one. Group them. Let them merge into each other. Then use a few hard edges to bring out a couple in focus.

3). Do not make them all round and the same size. Sameness in painting is boring. Make their angles--how they come out of the stem--different too. The worst is making them look like individual glass balls in a cluster.

4). This is maybe the most important--at certain point, a painting stops being about the objects you're painting; it becomes more about itself. It's like you created this thing. It grows like a child, and the more it grows/develops, it starts to have its own needs. It starts to have its own life. So at a later stage of painting, it's helpful to take the picture, facing away from the things you're painting, and access the picture for its own merit. What does or doesn't it need? Does it stand in its own right?

I'm sure I've been told all of these things at certain point by different teachers or books, but when I come to the realization myself, the lesson is truly learned. I have earned it. Or like one of my teachers said: sometimes it's about fighting a good fight.

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