Once in painting class I was asked, “why did you pick that canvas?” What, you mean the one without paint on it? No, she wanted to know why I painted on a rectangle. Do paintings need four corners? When painting something as massive as an endless ocean, how do you select the size and shape? So far, I have painted mostly rectangular paintings, but the size and scale can make or break a composition. The painting above is only 10 x 20″, but has quite an impact from the color and well, not crowding too much into the composition. I have the quiet, meditative mood I was going for without a huge size.
Outer Banks Corolla Beach, 10 x 20″, Oil on canvas
Painting the same thing several times gives the artist a good look at all the details. Draw several sketches, then paint a small version. It sounds tedious, but I can tell you this is how I have created my best and favorite large works.
This is a 5 x 7 panel, executed quickly. The horse still dominates the scene, although his actual size on the canvas is about 2.5 “. Acrylic on panel, 5 x 7”
Today is week 26- halfway to the one year goal!
One of the best ways to understand an artist is to copy a work. It’s never as easy as you think it will be, and there is a lot to learn about that artist as you are going through it. I chose this one as it is a high key painting, all of the tones are on the lighter side, so not what I usually paint. The figures are semi abstract, but took the longest of everything in the composition.
Edward Hopper painted “Ground Swell” in late September 1939. It shows friends out sailing. Look longer and you notice standard Hopper themes — mystery, loneliness, alienation. It was also painted in a year that the world was at war, which gives the painting a different meaning altogether.
p.s. thanks Erik for the inspiration on this one!!