Like night, I made this live stream:
I consider it a failure But, like all failures, we have an opportunity to learn something. When something doesn’t work out, it’s always best to take a step back and reason out its shortcomings. Otherwise, you’re doomed to repeat the same mistakes over and over again.
So, let’s commence the flagellation!
- Composition was not solved.
- Very early on in this painting, I arrived at a composition that I liked, but I settled too quickly. The buildings on the hill were not solved early on, the sense of scale could be pushed further.
- No Reference.
- Civilization does not start abruptly. A town does not just begin all of a sudden, there’s a progression of buildings on the outskirts of any town, which lead into a denser packed city. If I used reference, I would have figured this out sooner.
- No Reference!
- The desert sort of looks like a desert, the town sort of looks like a town. The lighting kind of looks correct. Not good enough.
- Did not solve color or light.
- Before I jumped into painting finer details, lighting and color were not solved. I fought with it in the beginning, but never quite figured it out before I moved into painting if further. This led to a backwards approach, where I’m trying to fix my mistakes as I move forward This is a bad workflow, because it does not allow for what Bob Ross calls “Happy Accidents.”
I could go on, but this is a sufficient scolding of my efforts. Looking at the painting now, I should have stopped 20 minutes in; that at least could have served as a decent sketch.
It’s the Backwards Approach that always gets me, and we all encounter it in our work. We push too far ahead and leave a mess in our wake, only to have to back track and clean up after ourselves. I’m quickly considering this to be the death knell of a painting in progress. If you’re detailing a painting but it feels more like a punishment that meditative pleasure, maybe you should set it aside and work on something else.