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Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Labrador, second installment, WIP

Photo I'm working on for this project. This photo is not one of my own, I found it on an artist challenge project in a forum I frequent. I'd credit the author, but they didn't list their name. When my painting is finished, I'll be posting it in the challenge results.
Here we are again.

I have discovered reasons I love to paint and I'm only in the second day of this experiment. The experiment is- After a summers vacation, of taking photos only, I want to know if I'd like to continue painting and taking photos, or go to photography completely and forget the painting.

Reason number one for me to continue painting is this: When I woke up at 5 am, I immediately remembered this painting was sitting on my desk, ready for some more paint! Painting gives me a good reason to get up. I don't lay there and waste an hour, waiting for daylight. As winter approaches, I'll have even more hours to paint before daylight arrives.

Reason number two: The funny things that happen when you're painting.... For example, I layered burnt sienna over this dog, then hit it with the hair dryer and a long brown booger ran out of the dog's nose and across the rest of the painting. Now that was funny. You might have to click the image above and see a larger version to get the full effect.

Reason number three: In 20 minutes time, I've drawn my dog, and even though it has rough spots, it looks like a dog. One of my most fun reasons to paint...to take raw materials, and create something that wasn't there before.

Reason number four: In 20 minutes time, my dog is complete with shadows, and light, form and shape, and the beginnings of personality. I've corrected the placement of his eye, and corrected the angle of his nose-need to do more work on the nose..... I've noticed his forehead is wrong and will be working on that next. I'm totally involved in the process of painting. The painting has taken on a life of it's own, and it's telling me what it wants me to do next. I absolutely love the feeling this painting has created inside of me.

Reason number five: Even though I work from photos, I draw the image myself. I begin on a plain white sheet of paper, and draw with my paint brush. It's so hard to explain the connection I feel between the image and the end of my paint brush, but there's an incredible pull from the image, directing my lines onto the paper, it's like I'm not doing this myself, but I'm pulled into the process. It isn't a push, or a nod, or a bump, it's a strong, steady pull, from the subject to the end of my brush.

I've painted animals from life, and although the process is fun, I don't enjoy it like I enjoy working from a photo. I don't want to have to worry about what the animal is doing next and try to imagine how they looked in the preceding five seconds.

And taking the photo itself is part of the process. When I'm taking photos of an animal, I get to know who that particular animal is...I see if he's funny, or smart, or kind of dumb and clutzy.

I like taking the photo that best captures his personality and habits.

Reason number six: There's something about painting that takes the photo one step further. The photo requires a mechanized process and a type of machine (for better words) to make the image happen. But the painting is "MINE"! No other person could copy this painting exactly as I painted it. Look at all the work around this country that's copied, the copy never looks exactly like the original.

You can go to an art class, where 30 artists in the class are working from the same photo, and no two paintings will look exactly alike. When I post this image to the forum, it won't look like all the other paintings the rest of the artists will paint.

So, you can see, I've discovered my photos and paintings are both part of my process. I guess I'll keep doing both. If I find more reasons I like to paint animals, I'll post them in my next post.

Remember, you can feel free to leave a comment before you go! Perhaps something I've posted has got you thinking....

Perhaps you don't agree with something I've said....

Maybe you'd like to take some art lessons, and try this yourself. If so, don't be afraid, jump right in and do it! The feelings you receive while you're painting are worth it. Let me know, and I'll help you get started.

Maybe you're painting and wonder why you do it! I'd like to hear the reasons you continue....
Donna Ridgway

Email Me if you have questions, or want to inquire about purchasing a painting.

Remember, you can find horse art , Western art, Mule and Donkey art
wildlife art, cow art, and animal paintings. My reference photos are for sale on my website.