In this post I will share some points on critiquing your artwork. A discussion with an art student brought this subject to mind.
At the time, we were talking about observable colors in some clouds. The student elicited the comment of “I wish I could see through your eyes.” Much of the work involved in painting whether it’s mixing color or arranging the composition involves a process of analysis and observations. Asking a series of questions designed to identify and solve problems is called….
The Artist’s Self Critique
Follow along as some self critique’s are applied in bringing the painting “Lunch Companions” to a completion.
The Reference Photo
Inspiration for “Lunch Companions” appeared while driving down a local street where an old building surrounded with cactus caught my attention. It will become the stage for the main characters which will include a donkey and two feathered lunch companions. However, color was lacking in the scene and the impact of the building’s hard geometric shape needed to be softened. To that end, a wisteria vine was added which will overlap the left of the building and extend onto the fence.
Thinned paint (ultramarine blue) and a brush is used for the sketch.
Blocking in the Initial Colors
Bye, Bye Cactus
Since the paint wasn’t completely dry, odorless thinner was added to paper toweling and the cactus were wiped away. What remained was simply over painted. I liked the cactus in the original photo, so maybe just a few small ones on the left could remain.
The Final Analysis
However, in the final self critique, they too had to go. When looking at the painting compared with the final one, notice that your eye simply drops down to the cactus no matter where else you look. The foreground cactus offers no supportive role and become the uninvited guests and party crashers of the scene.
Once gone, peace returns to the composition. The focal area of the donkey, wisteria vine and chickens remains the focal area. Now the stars of the painting can finish their lunch time grazing in peace. If interested in purchasing this piece please contact me.