Thursday, November 4, 2010

Floral Prints and Rocks

Yesterday I managed to kick some painting butt and cross off 2 paintings from my "to finish" list of four paintings. The following painting was one of the pieces I finished (along with the commissioned portrait). I like the "hint" of the rock that I painted her on. I didn't want to commit to the whole rock in the background but she needed something to lean against. This was my compromise. I'm happy with it.

I also finished the underpainting of one painting that I was a bit intimidated by. The woman in this piece is wearing a floral patterned bathing suit and I decided that I would actually paint in the pattern. I very rarely paint patterns into fabrics. It can be a tedious task so I usually paint these fabrics as a solid color. It's hard to get the pattern to look right and the folds and shadows to look real. Call me lazy or just plain scared, but I always avoided it when possible. This time I decided to challenge myself and actually paint the floral pattern in. About 1/4 of the way through it, I almost said "screw it" and painted it solid. It's that frustrating to do. But I didn't and forced myself to continue. It is still the underpainting and I need to add some darks and lights in order to create some shadows and folds, but I think it came out pretty well. Her right breast has no gradation in color which is why she looks almost completely flat there. I think once I pump up the colors in certain areas it should look fine.

I'm glad I didn't give up on the floral pattern like I wanted to. It really is good to challenge oneself occasionally. It keeps me from getting bored and it helps me develop my skills as an artist. I can't just keep painting what is easy for me. What would be the point of that? Being challenged and forcing myself to go beyond my comfort zone is what's going to make me a better artist. I may not always like the challenge, in fact I rarely do when I start a new one, but I will be a better artist for it. 

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