Efficiency/ Process help
Heya folks,

Long time no post.

I'm looking for thoughts on process. I've been trying to "take my paintings to the next level" (aren't we all) which pretty much just means putting time into finishing them, fleshing out details, and rendering.

What I'm mostly learning, among other things, is that I just so damn inefficient. Before I ramble too much, here is a piece I'm currently working on. All of it reads well enough, I think, but no part of it is done and I keep puttering around on it not really accomplishing much. I read an interview once with Levi Peterffy who said that as soon as the strokes he was making where too minor to be noticed in his navigator window he would stop. So maybe I need to slow down, and make a more ernest effort to go big to small.

[Image: pPxOn6W.jpg]

Anyway, thoughts would be great, and/or c&c in general.

Just over here trying to get better.
Good planning helps a lot in a long run. And if you're stuck, the best option is to do a study of something you're not sure how to render properly.

I don't think the navigator window is a good indicator of when an image is done. Look at some artists that put a lot of time into refining their work, Ruan Jia and Brad Rigney come to mind. Ask yourself if their work would have been equally impressive if all the minor and subtle details were removed. I'd say no. Their work has a high level of finish for a reason and it is a perfectly valid thing to go after.

I think the best indicator of when something is done is asking the question if everything is doing what it's supposed to be doing. Does the form turn, is the surface quality what you want it to be, is the impression working and so on. By following this idea, it allows you to easily judge the state of your work by looking at each aspect of the image and considering if what it's supposed to be is being done properly.

Efficiency shouldn't really be much of a concern. You get better by working through the difficulties you have, not by working around them. When you confront and overcome your difficulties, you gain the ability to do so more efficiently the next time around and over time, you gain experience in knowing where to spend your time in the process. I spent about 200 hours on a cast drawing and after that, I can do the same amount of work in less than half of that time. So don't worry about it. It will matter when you're working professionally but that comes later when all the necessary skills are in place.

Discord - JetJaguar#8954
(09-06-2016, 04:57 AM)Piotr Jasielski Wrote: ...if you're stuck, the best option is to do a study of something you're not sure how to render properly.

(09-07-2016, 04:15 AM)Tristan Berndt Wrote: ...you get better by working through the difficulties you have, not by working around them. When you confront and overcome your difficulties, you gain the ability to do so more efficiently the next time around and over time...

All really solid advice - thank you fellas. Back at it!

Just over here trying to get better.
One other thing worth considering is that there are so many difficulties to overcome in art, so many things things we all can improve on, that it's very important to be honest with yourself when you analyze what areas of art you want and need to work on. There's often the danger of trying to fix a problem in a different area than the one it originates in.
I've caught myself trying to work on 3d thinking when what was preventing me from constructing something was obviously a lack of anatomical knowledge, or trying to improve my rendering when there were much more immediate problems with the shapelanguage of the things being rendered.

This is just an opinion, and you're free to disrgard it, but I'd say that you would benefit more from working on your shapelanguage and composition. Sure, polish can bring a piece to another level, but whether or not you're able to pull it off depends mainly on the stages that come before.

Project / Sketches / Paintings
(09-07-2016, 09:52 AM)Lodratio Wrote: shapelanguage and composition

I can appreciate that feedback. Thank you. 
Again, that stems back to some good planning before launching into a pieice - making sure all of the shapes what not work together in a simple thumbnail.
Any particular way you went about working on shapes and composition?

PS: Also excuse that terrible tangent above the bald dudes head.

Just over here trying to get better.
Weeeell, I'm not sure I'm in any position to give you advice, and since the learning process for most artists seems to be making lots of small discoveries about a subjectmatter that pile up over time, even if one of us knows things the other does not, perhaps it's not something that can be communicated easily.

I figured it might be easier to talk about specific paintings than shapelanguage and composition in general, so I did a paintover, but I honestly can't tell if it's any good (In fact, that's been happening a lot lately... not sure why). You tell me.
If it is, I'll try to explain why, and if it isn't... well, at least I'll know I need to work on my critical eye.

Edit: alright, change of plans, I'll give you my reasoning behind the decisions I made, and you tell me if it makes sense.
I tried to change some tangents to make the different objects in the painting read more clearly (like putting a tree in front of the church to make the dudes head work and changing the shape of the tree to the right to make the bird read), changed some values to get a clearer seperation between fore- and middleground and used color contrast to make the robot more prominent, with a red cape against stronger complimentary greens for trees and hedges. I think this also made the body shape read more clearly, cause it was getting swallowed up by the cape before. I also changed the framing to give the characters some more room, placed the statue a bit farther back so it isn't on the same level as the characters, and removed the woman standing right behind the robot, since it felt like she was making the composition to busy. Lastly, the stakes to the right seemed to be going into a different vanishingpoint than the path, the hedge and the church, which felt off, so I attempted to change that as well.

Project / Sketches / Paintings
Dude thank you so much. This is excellent. Things to think about with specific examples I think are real helpful, especially considering I can now put them into the effect. Really good call on the trees, the red, and the plane of the statue.
Also moving them over to occupy that middle third does make them feel more the focus I think. The lines of the hedge and the shaded side of the cathedral now seem to actually point at them. I also like that you brought out the green of the hedges, which make that red work even better.

Hadn't even considered the shape of that tree on the right.

Well, back at it. And thanks again I really appreciate it!

Just over here trying to get better.

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