Sunday, September 22, 2013
Between teaching, writing curriculum and moving my mother into an assisted living home, I've lost a lot of painting time over the last week. However, I was determined to fit in a few hours in the studio today and with another exhibition looming in November, I need to get some work finished.
Continuing in my Water People series I'm working on this piece called The Jumpers. Its in oil on a 15 x 30 stretched canvas. The interaction of adults and children with water is fascinating to watch as each approaches it differently. Children see it as a giant playground with little fear involved. They create games with the water as these kids here are doing, jumping to avoid the incoming wave. Adults tend to be more wary and less playful. Obvious of course as the dangers of the ocean are known and appreciated more by adulthood.
I placed the children centrally in this but regretted it as it seemed a bit to stark, so the beach ball was added to balance the image and pull the eye around the composition. One of the things that I talk about in my drawing and painting workshops is composition and its importance. Balance, pattern, movement....all ensure the viewer stays in front of your image instead of moving on quickly.
How the eye tracks over a painting has been explored by several people and is quite an interesting subject that's worth artists reading. If you know what attracts the viewer's eye, it can be another tool in your compositional arsenal when setting up a composition and palette.
This short video by James Gurney illustrated the movement of the eye over a painting.