Monday, May 25, 2009

Painting 4 - Butterfly

This is not truly Painting #4. Painting #4 is now a crumpled up wad in the trash. I know I'm not supposed to judge these, but that was just too...

Anyway, after some frustration, and then some comforting words from my husband who is used to this sort of thing, I picked myself up and started the new Painting #4 to make myself feel better.

Between the old Painting #4 and the new Painting #4, I think I've learned a couple of things. Firstly, as my husband gently reminded me, I've once again fallen into a trap that I've often fallen into before; expecting to be good at something I've never tried before. The original Painting #4 was a landscape scene of sorts, in watercolor. Landscapes are not something I've painted much before and when I have, I've used acrylics, which handle much differently than watercolors. I know that to grow as an artist I need to push myself, but perhaps this early on in the 100 paintings challenge, I shouldn't be trying something quite so completely outside of my experience.

Secondly, in reference to the new Painting #4, do I really need to force myself to do something one way when I know how to do it better a different way? I've done butterflies before, usually using a combination of paint and colored pencil so that I can achieve the control needed for the fine detail of the scales, tiny legs and antennae. This butterfly I painted completely in watercolor. It is fine as is but I know I could've gotten a much more lifelike result if I had used colored pencil as well. Had I intended to have a very loose painting of a butterfly, watercolor would have been totally appropriate, but I meant it to be a detailed piece. Do I have to be a purist with my paintings to gain artistic growth? Is it "cheating" to combine mediums that I know will give me the results I'm looking for? I sure hope not because I'm not doing this challenge to become a better artist in a particular medium, I'm doing it to become a better artist.

I welcome your thoughts on all this.


Ann said...

I like your butterfly, it's really very nicely done! I don't think it's cheating at all to combine mediums. You set the objectives for your goals, and I admire your goal of doing 100 paintings!

Laure Ferlita said...

What are your goals - to get as realistic of an image as possible? If so, then do what you need to do and combine mediums. As Ann said, you set the objectives.

Let me ask though, if you already know how to do this by combining mediums and get the results you want . . . . why are you doing it within your challenge to become a better artist? What did you learn?

If you can get this good of results with a brush on your first try, what else might you accomplish if you pushed a little further?

p.s. as to the landscape - you really ought to go get it and uncrumple it and stick in the back of your sketchbook. When you try again, compare the two sketches - you are the ONLY one who will see it. It's a great way to see progress.