Thursday, June 30, 2011

Background Decisions

For most of you who have seen my work, you know that I don't paint much of the backgrounds, if any of it at all. The backgrounds for me are usually inconsequential to the "memory" I am trying to portray, but every once in awhile, part of the background is necessary in order to "anchor" the figures. Without this "anchor", the images look too much like they are floating aimlessly in space.

In my current painting, I knew it was going to need some of the background in order for the viewer to be able to make sense of what was going on. I just wasn't sure how much or how little I would paint. Today I slowly added the background in order to figure out what was needed.

Here are the figures without any of the background added.
As you can see, the boy looks like he's floating.
The boy's left hand and the man's right hand needs something to rest on.

I added the rocks that the hands were resting on but it didn't seem to be
enough. The boy's feet still needed "anchoring".

Once I added more rocks around the boy's feet, it still didn't feel right.
The space underneath the man's left arm seemed to empty. I figured if I
added some rocks there, it would feel more balanced and then the mesh net
would stand out more.

It was starting to look better. The left side of the painting (next to the boy's right arm)
still didn't feel right. It needed a little more rocks. 

I'm pretty happy with the background now. This is all still in the underpainting
stage so there's plenty of work to do in order to solidify each form and
the rocks, but I'm happy with the composition now. 

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