Today I went to the Saturday class of The Masterpainting class; I have not been in quite awhile and today was the critique for the months assignment. I did not do the assignment, but I did want some paintings critiqued. I did bring in an assigment from last spring that I didn't get feedback on as well.
High, Wide and Lonesome, 36x18 inches. Simplify. Too much going on. I asked if I should force the middle ground back further and he agreed. Simply the road by taking out all the break ups and value changes and give it more gradation, from darker at the bottome edge to lighter at the crest; Simply the wedge of hillside on the left side to be more one value; Accentuate the Jeep Wagoneer so it is more the main focus by making the light edge lighter and the highlight on the rear edge more instense and unifying the shadow shape with the wood panel (ie, tie it in by bluing it) and lighter trim. BUT he said, on the other hand, if he saw this painting in a gallery in Santa Fe, he would think it a very good painting as it is. He just wants to push me.
The Lockkeeper, 15 x 30 inches. Unify the shadow side of the lockkeeper and tie that shadow shape into the bike and the cast shadow. And also unify the shape of the light hitting him. Again, he said it is not much that needs to be done but that would strenghen the painting overall. I could also try lightening the gravel road first to see if that helps. Loved the background.
On the Beach, 20x 16 inches. I am close to this being a local tone or front lit approach. Since I was going for front lit, I am going to keep it there. Very little needs to be done to "complete" this painting. Lighten the green boat's flat plane facing the light, lighten "Oliver" so that it is not the same value as the sand, but not too light since it is a canted plane, and all of the tops of the boats around the rims to match the value of the white/pale green boat in the rear.
Painting without a name, 10x16 inches. I brought in my B&W photo of this painting to show him what I was aiming for but knew I was missing completely. He agreed with my assessment of it being a "who cares" painting. He suggested looking at some Richard Diebenkorn books to take it in a more abstract direction. I like this suggestion. He said the composition is strong, the light, medium and dark patterns are interesting, so do away with the detail that I was getting to involved in. ie keep the shapes flat and accentate the graphic. The name of the is village Semur-en-Auxios, and is located just off the main road between Dijon and Paris.
Grand Lake Regatta, 16x12. This painting was actually done as a class assignment from last spring on Local Tone. I am still not there after 4 tries. He said to take it to light and shadow would be easier, but I really want it to be local tone. With that in mind, I must darken the light strip of water to read with the foreground water. I must lighten up the sails and take the warm patch out. Keep the value cool. So, back to the proverbial drawing board. I am determined to get this right. Not because it will ever be a great painting but for my own edification.