Thursday, April 5, 2007
Jack & The Beanstalk: My Own Critique
Allright. Seeing as how I no longer have the ability to get feed back from peers and classmates, it's high time for my own reflection and self-critique about the Jack piece.
My goal for the piece was to really start exploring my own style, and how I would like to draw upon artists whose work I admire and reinvent my own style (some artists I had in mind were Brett Helquist, Mary Grand-Pre, Linda Wingerter, and Alison Jay, for everything from stylization to whimsy, to color) while at the same time draw upon classic stories and fairy tales. Basically I asked myself, "How do I want my Jack to look? What does my beanstalk look like? What sort of colors do I want to paint?" My secondary goal was to continue to work on cold-press illustration board with acrylic, and consider the under painting a bit more than I have been.
With that I made my sketch straight from my imagination. Yes, I know. I only made one sketch. (I should have made multiple thumbnails and challenged myself to see how I could strengthen my composition, but alas. ) But at that point, I felt satisfied. So I took my sketch into Photoshop, laid in the colors, and printed it out. I made a pretty through drawing on the board, and then did a flat underpainting of different colors. For Jack, the beanstalk, and the ground, I used a very intense orange, so as to connect them all thematically. (Both Jack and the stalk are tied to the earth from which they came). The trees were painted a dark magenta, the clouds a lighter magenta, and the sky was left bare. Then I painted. For a long time.
Well, to begin with, I will say that the piece meets my expectations and falls short in various ways. Here's the break down:
What like about the final piece:
1. I like the clouds. At first, they were a very overwhelming almost graphic object in the painting, but I'm happy with the decisions I made in painting them back. It really seemed to give the whole painting more space. I also like the creamy colors rather than the pinkish ones I began with.
2. I like that I tried something new. I like my characterization of Jack, and I think if I keep pushing myself, I'll fall into a befitting style.
3. I like the overall color scheme. It feels different than anything I've done, and cohesive. I like the way it makes me feel when I see it.
What I would like to change or improve upon:
1. I definitely wish I had let the vibrant under painting show through more. I need to remember the delicate balance between clarifying and over working.
2. Even though I'm glad I tried it, I don't think I would so much outline the beanstalk and Jack with so uniform line weight as I did. I had to try it, but I don't really think it's helping.
3. I wish I had done a tonal under painting, and really worked our my darks and lights before getting right to the color. More planning in the beginning stages would have saved me from overworking the paint down the line.
So there it is. May it stand as a reminder to me as I move on to bigger and better things.
Please do leave feedback of your own, as it would be tremendously helpful.