07 July 2010

Painting Progress


At times I don't see much progress in my technical skills.  Effort does not always immediately translate into improvement.  That's when it helps to compare my work over time.  The paintings above are from a class I just finished with Jeff Watts called "Portrait in Oil: Exploring Different Lighting".  They're in sequence from first (at the bottom) to most recent (at the top). Each week I painted a 9x12 portrait in about 2.5 hours from life.  Timed portraits are exhilarating because you don't have time to mess around.  Make your decision and move on.  They're about learning, not about a nice finish.  Good practice.  I think I see some progress here between the first and last portraits.  Mainly, I see my brushwork improving and I'm getting more paint on the canvas.  Baby steps.

Marc Delassio posted a worthwhile blog entry with some thoughts on this topic of improvement over time.  The graph at the bottom of the post says it all IMO.  Technical skill and artistic progress (real or perceived) are not always directly related.  Progress is unpredictable and non-linear.  You never know when lessons learned will finally gain traction and kick in.  What a thrill and relief when they finally do.

10 comments:

  1. Lovely Candace... inspirational!

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  2. So true.
    These are wonderful.

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  3. Good work Candace, It must be a pleasure to take a course with Jeff Watts, I saw one of his videos ,a very good painter

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  4. These are lovely pieces Candace! I admire your efforts to improve your art skills. This is really inspiring! Thanks for sharing :)

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  5. Painting is like driving in a desert. It seems we are always on the same site. But it is not true. The truth is that we are moving forward, even if we think not. One day when we get anywhere is to look back and say "we learned a lot." I believe you because I think you have a lot of sense beautician. And also like a lot of these works, which are very beautiful.
    ... In September I will start improving my English. Sorry.

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  6. Hey, Candance, these are great! How much are portrait study quickies!

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  7. All of these are exquisite! I particularly like the woman with the strong lighting on the side of her face. Gorgeous!

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  8. I meant how much FUN are portrait study quickies!

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  9. Thanks, everyone for your comments. To finish off this conversation, here's a quote from Danial Parkhurst (The Painter in Oil) that I try to keep in mind during art studies..."To bring out the beauty which may lie in the fact is the aim of the artist: to acquire the ability to do this is the aim of the student." One step at a time.

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  10. Real jewels, Candace. Believe it or not I have seen such great improvement in your work since I have been following it. It is only natural to think we are in a rut and certainly needs a second and third party to tell us what is happening. I just lov what you are doing.

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