What I did
Sat. 2/4/12: 4.5 hours painting and sketching more immersive compositions. Researched more reference paintings.
Sun. 2/5/12: About 1 hour and 20min. studying, Manufactured Landscapes: The Photographs of Edward Burtynsky and David Maisel: The Lake Project.
Mon. 2/6/12: 5.5 hours digitally painting and editing my hurricane.
Tues. 2/7/12: 2.5 hours reworking some of my digital effects and painting more drafts of my hurricane. Got more feed back on my composition from other artists.
Weds. 2/8/12: Meet with James for an hour to go over my progress, get more feed back on all my drafts of my hurricane. 3 hours reediting my hurricane, studying more effects of color and depth of light in paintings.
Thurs. 2/9/12: had small group critique on 4 variations of my hurricane. Went over my work based on the feedback I got and worked on my blog for about 2 hours.
What I accomplished/discovered/encountered
I was very productive this week. I redid and studied a lot of compositions of water and storms so that I could make my hurricane more immersive. I finally came up with a composition I think is working and can rework my textures and water effects on. It drags the viewer into the waves and eye of the hurricane through the trail of foam that I thought was important to have based on my research on the Mayan storm god Hurakan. I also think this composition reflects my key words, “turbulence” and “foamy” the best out of everything I’ve crated. I think the reason why I’ve been struggling with recreating my hurricane was that painting or sketching out water is so difficult because it’s a liquid, not a define object, and often mixes a lot with clouds and the foam effects I have been creating. I really needed to study fine art paintings more, and rework my original digital painting and thinking skills. I still think I need to improve, but that I am in a better place than before. I’ve come up with over 12 drafts this week, reworking my digital effects, styles, and compositions to see what works and does not. It’s been tiring, time consuming, and strain to rework my hurricane at times because I lose myself in my work so often. But I do think its all paying off because I am learning and making new things I was not before. I confirmed that using more earth tone colors like I was last semester for my hurricane is a lot more appropriate than the deep aqua blues I started to exploring last week, it creates a more threatening storm.
Using J.M.W. Turner and Caspar Friedrich’s work as references still has been a huge help! I keep finding new things in their work and relate them to my own. Edward Burtynsky’s book that I’ve been studying even references Friedrich’s “Polar Sea / The Destroyed Hope” that I’ve been looking at for weeks. It was nice to see how other artists’ works do overlap reference each other, especially in subject of nature and the sublime. Knowing that Burtynsky as an artist did some of the research I am doing now assures me that I am researching and understand the style of the sublime appropriately. An example of this is how I am trying to create motions in my water waves by playing with reflective lighting by defining my sky and water totally. I’ve learned to make my horizon line subtle, something that’s still a bit tricky to work out but that I’ve learned is important to do. I’ve also noticed how some of my different strokes can help create better distant perspectives. A lot of the drafts I keep reworking and reworking play with different light sources, wave textures, and how things stand out in the foreground and background. I just like getting feed back on things that do work or don’t. Such as having the white foam really defined I’ve learned helps, while the eye being fuzzier is more appealing. Also having a more distant skyline is something that would help viewers be less confused about what they are seeing, but I still need to figure out how to balance those qualities.
Meeting with James on Wednesday after recreating and reworking so many rough drafts was extremely helpful and encouraging! I had asked some of my art mentors from my office to look at my work and they did give me some advice on what aspects of the waves and horizon line was confusing. But sitting down with James to look at all my work that was a lot and therefore confusing me, helped me realize how I’ve improved and what things were working or not. We talked a lot about Turner’s painting style that is subtle and yet full of effects the color tricks that help create movements. We also went over how I could clean more edges of my water waves and how to push my foreground and background with a better light source. Defining more earth tones in the water than in the sky is something we also went over, comparing my successful and unsuccessful attempts. This really helped me see what techniques I’ve developed and keep in comparison to what I was doing in the past.
Thursday’s small group critique was great because I really got to step back and look at my hurricane. The print and projection view of it showed me how I could play more with the perspective and the composition, cropping it and showing less of the eye. I got feedback on my color use being better and how the foam and turbulent quality of my strokes are better. I understood that creating more an open feeling and calming quality to the eye is still needed. The different light source is also helping my hurricane be more sublime.
What I think I should do next
This weekend I will rework my hurricane more, working with cropping the composition and tweaking the eye. Feeling of clam and better illusive quality is what I plan to explore to really push my hurricane to the next level. I am also hoping to draft out my volcano, switching subjects could help distract me so Im not sure yet. I still will continue researching methods of painting and storks however. Printing options with Paragon printing is also something I will be looking more into.