Thursday, April 11, 2013

Intermediate Homework 4/10/13 Simplifying your subject by combining shapes

What we see when we look at a scene as an artist is different from what we see when we look at it as our immediate surroundings. What we need to know changes, depending on our purpose. The pedestrian needs to know where the hazards and the rewards are located, and which is which. The painter just needs to know if the shapes make an appealing pattern. To see with the eye of an artist, it is necessary to turn off the content program and switch to the form-based channel.
One kind of vision emphasizes the differences between objects. The other focusses on the similarities.

As realist artists, a big part of our job is to make the scene much simpler, so that its graphic impact can be easily perceived. We do the work of editing out the optional information, so the rest of the world can  see the essentials. One very useful way to do this is to combine shapes that are similar in value and/or color.

Find an image that interests you. Squint hard at it. Subtle differences in color and value disappear. Texture is absorbed into shapes. The simpler pattern that emerges is what the painting wants to emphasize. Make a quick study of this simplified version of the scene. Take note of what you let go of and what you held onto. Can you afford to simplify the scene even further? At some point, when you have really shifted from differentiating to combining, your treatment will become entirely abstract. stand way back from the image, and see if the content comes back. Please bring in all your studies.
Have fun.

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