Friday, February 19, 2010

How to Start & How to Finish

Here's a little re-cap of some of the thoughts from our 2-day workshop. We ended the workshop with a discussion of how to access your own work followed by further discussion and critique. The goal being sending students off on their own, a little better equipped to make positive, objective judgments of their own work.

Some Questions to Ask Yourself
  • Does your piece do what you intended it to do?
  • Have you been clear?
  • Does your piece have an area of interest or focal point?
  • Do you have a definitive foreground, middle-ground and background?
  • Do you have a variety of masses of unequal sizes?
  • Does your piece have rhthm and movement?
  • Is the arrangement of elements dynamic or static?
  • Are you leading the viewers eye?
  • Does your piece have texture that lends a cohesive look to the piece?
  • Do the marks have a variety of scale?
  • Does the texture support or detract from the compostion?
  • Are the edges hard or soft?
  • What is happening where one form meets another?
  • Do the edges help explain the atmosphere?
  • What happens when a shadow meets the light?
  • Do the edges help explain the space between elements?
  • Does your piece look finished?
  • Does it have polish?
  • Does it look too slick?
  • Are their areas that feel unresolved?
  • Are their areas that have "issues"??? Such as drawing mistakes, areas that are handled differently??
Once you've gone down this checklist you should decide if you need to reserve judgment temporarily, put the piece up on your wall, so you can glance at it from time to time over the next few days. This gives you a fresh eye on it and perhaps to see what is working after all. I'm often more satisfied with a piece after I've given it a rest.

Critiquing your own work is a crucial piece in becoming a stronger painter and is a skill that you can cultivate over time.
    This was a great workshop that I not only thoroughly enjoyed teaching, but was fortunate to do a demo that led to some new pieces this week. Here are a few of these pieces. Please let me know what you think. They are a little different. Cheers everyone!


    loriann said...

    Beautiful pieces-soft and compelling and excellent advice. Thanks for the question list.

    Jala Pfaff said...


    Wendy DeHart said...

    Wow! The workshop was a great success for you too! Each piece carries it's own voice. Lovely!

    Lynda D'Souza said...

    Hi, I have never seen such work with pastels, very very nice and love the texture and soft edges. What a wonderful blog to hit on! rgds Lynda