Saturday, October 5, 2013

Painting in Progress Critique

Work in Progress
16x12 Oil on Canvas
When I started working with oils in 1998, it was a steep learning curve. The medium dries much slower than watercolors and acrylics. Knowing exactly when to stop and let the surface dry, became a matter of trial and error. If I painted too quickly, I risked the chance of creating “mud”, the grayish-brown tone that is lacking in richness and vibrancy.

There is often a desire to keep painting past the point of what my instincts are telling me to do. I might be in a great zone, ready to continue for several more hours. But when that stop sign appears, so to speak, I now adhere to it and set the work aside, before moving forward again.  

This is the best time to evaluate the painting. I consider it a necessary step towards the finished product and hopefully achieving a higher level of satisfaction.  Here are several questions and answers I considered before continuing to the next phases, directly relating to my current WIP above:

What do I like and dislike about the painting? 

Likes: Composition and division of landscape fields and sky
Dislikes: Color scheme and lack of detail 

Which areas need to be darker or lighter? 

The sky and sloping rocks in the foreground need to be lightened, along with areas of the mountainous formation. Darker areas should be placed along the edges of the foreground rocks, giving them a more dimensional effect.

Where is the focal point and what can I do to enhance this area?

The focal point is the mountainous rock formation on the horizon. I can add more contrasting tones.

Where can I add more detail?

In all areas of the painting

What colors do I want to change?

The rocks appear too pink. Adding more orange and brick red tones will be more true to what I would like to express.
Please stay tuned for the final piece.
How do you critique your paintings in progress? 

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