from a dad's view

I just need to loosen up

windowI’m pretty calm and relaxed in my everyday living, but when it comes to art and woodworking, sometimes the creativity goes out the window (no pun intended) and precision and tightness takes over. Artist have always impressed me by the looseness in their paintigs, and yet accomplish amazing beauty in their work. My wife wanted more black and white paintings for our home so I set out one evening to complete this window scene. But, I wanted to treat it more as a sketch, than a painting, in other words try to stay loose without giving into the illustrator side in me. I finished it in one evening, which included a undetermined time lapse due to falling asleep while painting it (how much more relaxed can you get). Very seldom do I take naps, I believe in the saying (I’ll have plenty of time for rest, when I’m dead). But at my age (old) sometimes a nap is required.

This watercolor didn’t turn out as well as I was hoping, but I was determined not to go back and put in more detail. I have tried everything to stay loose, holding the far end of a brush, only to catch myself inching my hand towards the brush end to get more precise. Using brushes bigger than I need, only to catch myself angling the brush end to use the corner or edge of the brush to get detail. But, I’m trying, and my blog artist friends are a motivation. Seeing what you can accomplish with artistic styles, the color, light contrast, depth and creativity while maintaining a loose, beauty styled painting.

8 responses

  1. Ryan.I could never render something this beautiful in an evening and include a nap, also.You have a wonderful gift. Your style becomes this realism that captures what others say in their looseness. I would say….be you and enjoy the ride!

    October 20, 2009 at 6:20 am

    • Thank you so much Leslie for your kind and constructive words. Your paintings are amazing, but yet a completely different style, thats a style I would like to control and enjoy. It’s not that I don’t enjoy and like my style, it just intrigues me to try other styles.

      October 20, 2009 at 7:04 am

  2. Hey Ryan,

    I, like Leslie, am amazed that you did this in one evening and also napped. Unlike you, I’m a big napper (probably cause I’m older!) But even WITH a nap, I wouldn’t have been able to do such a wonderful painting. I think it probably is looser than some of the other things you’ve done, but it still has your signature on it! I love the way you did the curtains and the way the stone work fades out on the top right. I’m also amazed at how much tonal value you got. And the fact that you just painted it in black and white is always a good lesson in seeing tonal values! (At least that’s what my teacher said!)

    October 20, 2009 at 6:45 pm

  3. Hope you didn’t doze off into the paint.

    It’s a beautiful composition and makes a great picture. Does your wife choose the subject of the paintings? I agree about the tonal value being very well observed – especially with the two walls.

    It’s a good discipline to attempt different styles, even if only as an exercise and let’s face it, I’m sure we have all had problems with when to stop adding detail to a painting. You think, “just this little bit here” and before you know it, it’s a completely different image!

    October 22, 2009 at 7:32 am

    • June, I see you smiling in hope that I did… but I didn’t.
      I paint a lot while holding the canvas or board on my lap while watching t.v. (my daughter is using my easel), and I’m not flexible enough to land in my paint face down. But it would have been an improvement to this face! Funny that you mentioned it though, my hand and brush landed just off the paintings edge, so it could have been bad.

      October 22, 2009 at 7:48 am

      • Ha! Thanks for elaborating on the snoozing technicalities 😀 And yes, I was kind of hoping that you got some paint on your nose.

        October 22, 2009 at 9:13 am

  4. It didn’t leave my comment so will retry. This is SO beautiful, you can almost put your hand through the window and feel a slight breeze wafting. I love it.

    October 27, 2009 at 3:40 am

  5. I’m thinking about this aspect of Illustrator = “precision” & Painter = “looser” & I’m not sure I think that has to neccessarily be the case. Anyway, look at Edward Hopper for example – he started out with a design background & was an amazing artist. I think these days that there has is difference between what is considered illustration &/or art, whereas not so long ago a painter was also a designer. Think of all those Italian renaissance painters or someone like Nicolas Poussin for example.
    I like the strength of your style -I don’t think you have to loosen up! Though I agree that of course it’s also good to explore other methods as well

    November 1, 2009 at 12:22 pm

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