Thursday, January 11, 2007

January 11 - The Dog Painting Changes, Making it Better

I knew I'd have to make changes to the dog to get the right "look", and boy! There were some major ones.  I ended up scraping out the entire nose and eye area, and repainting much of the structure of the head. I'm just happier with it. Below are both paintings, before and after, so you can see the changes wrought. They look like two different dogs! But that's the way of a commission for me. I tend to paint the majority of it in the first pass--OH OH!!! Major teaching moment ahead!

Hesitancy in painting limits your choices. I am reminded of cleaning a closet--the first thing that has to be done is to get everything OUT of the closet. So when I paint like this, I'm putting a lot of paint out there, and doing a lot of things on the canvas so I have something to work with later. Imagine if you will a restaurant with only two items on the menu. You'd stop going there, wouldn't you, after tasting just those two items every time? Your canvas can be a menu. The more you have OUT on it, the more choices you are likely to make. For example, say I put some blue in the lower left corner. That blue is out there where I can see it, and I can make additional choices in my work based upon seeing it. Had I not put the blue there, options and choices related to that blue wouldn't be possible! 

So the dog commission was done in the first pass to give me something to work with later. I had the head painted, it just wasn't RIGHT. I had the dog painted, and a lot of it IS right. A headless dog is a dog with nothing to work with. So my advice to you all is, "Do something, ANYthing, so you have something to work with."

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