Monday, October 22, 2012

On Not Overpainting

When I paint, I have to work hard to avoid becoming a slave to detail.  The painters I admire most, like John Singer Sargent, manage to impart tremendous amounts of information by implication.  Because the information is only implied, our imagination supplies the details, which makes the painting much more personal, and much more effective.  Ran, over at Si Vis Pacem, has an excellent example.

If you try, as I often do, to convey every single detail, you not only run the risk of muddying up your painting with extraneous information, but you also deprive your viewers' imaginations of the opportunity to make the painting their own.  To remedy this, I'm working on a series of quick paintings, sketches, really, in which I will force myself to work very quickly, and to leave out much of the detail I would put into a painting I spent more time on.

I'll try to put most of them into this landscape format book I bought recently.  It's 57 pages, 7 inches high by 16 1/2 inches long.  It might turn into a complete mess, but then again, it might end up being a nice record of my progress - assuming I make some.

1 comment:

Ran said...

Cheers Steven!

Goes something like "brevity is the soul of wit." Looking forward to the sketches.