I take comfort in the numerous different styles
of Picasso, that he constantly found a new way to paint.
And I love that he said :
Art is the elimination of the unnecessary.
I'm not a Picasso. But if he can change his style and paint as the muse moves then why can't the rest of us? I confess that I get restless painting in the same genre over and over again and often choose to play with a piece before I tackle it realistically. Sometimes I like the "play" better than the "intentional."
I have a supply of 12 x 16 black supports designated for "experiments." Color just seems to pop off the page when placed on black so I am having fun doing some simple pieces as I get familiar with my subject matter. I can't wait to paint this foraging basket on an old chair in a more realistic manner but first I wanted to play as a way to get familiar with the lines and shapes of my subject.
chalk sketch of chair and basket
While this will result in a very simplistic painting, it actually involves a lot of pre-thinking. To keep it simple I need to slow down and think about each color. Using pre-mixed acrylics means I need to eliminate the unnecessary even before I touch a brush to the canvas.
step 2, the centerpiece
I start with the main focal point and eliminate everything else. Where the chalk lines are will be a black outline, something I am trying hard to maintain. There is no blending or shading of color; each segment is one color, forcing me to think about the shape of that color (something very useful in other applications).
Garden Forage, 16 x 12, acrylic
Here it is. Part of the challenge with a colored support is to utilize that color in the composition. Just like I did with the Angel Tree I wanted the black to play a major role in the subject matter. I think it is very clear what we are looking at, no?
This is a great exercise. It forces me to slow down and take the composition apart piece by piece and color-shape by color-shape. It is almost meditative in its execution and a wonderful way to become very familiar with the subject at hand. With an inexpensive support and fairly cheap paint I can play to my hearts content while learning more of the lessons that will show up in more complicated pieces.