Sunday, October 08, 2006
Wood Farm Evinston Florida
oil on canvas
The Big Three
I believe there is nothing more important to a good painting than getting the big three right. I'm talking about composition, color and values. If you get those right you can sail along with all the other nice things like atmosphere, texture, edge work and so forth.
Think of composition as the skeleton of a painting. If you blow that, they rest is ruined. You can do every thing possible to make the painting look good but that ugly composition will be staring at you anyway.
Values give a painting life. Most of the bad paintings I see have poor values. I am the first to admit that I like high contrast, crisp work, but even for you tonalists, poor values make dull paintings.
Color says it all. Poor color harmony is disastrous in my opinion for a successful painting. Whether you like screaming red paintings or subtle grays, color can add spice and impact to your work. I love to see a painting with neutrals next to pure chroma. That contrast between them makes the color jump off the canvas. To me that is so much more effective than throwing color all over the place for shock value.
Given that, painting is so personal that there are those who will disagree with my thoughts, and keep that in mind. Finding the right big three is an individual choice. That is what makes painting great.