Monday, January 5, 2015

Orchestrating saturation just like values and edges

It's weird how resistant I am to seeing that my paintings are totally oversaturated. In a way I do know it, and yet I always think it looks good. Then if for some reason I get all brutal and go in and desaturate, either overall or selectively, I'm always amazed at how much better it looks - things become more solid and natural. But the part that's scary is how I can think everything looks great when it doesn't, and I just can't see it.

Example - since reading Mastering Composition I've become far more aware of edges (they used to always be hard as hell everywhere in all my paintings) and values and the need to arrange them to lead the eye. I re-did a couple of old paintings with the new information and made them look a lot better, and did this one using the new info as well. And now I can hardly stand to look back at any of my older stuff - even though right up until very recently they looked absolutely fine to me - hell I thought some of them were really good.

It makes me wonder - right now this one looks pretty darn good to me, though I can see that the pose is weird and stupid and there really is no detail to focus on anywhere - no personality because you can't see his eyes etc, and there's nothing happening - it's just some guy standing there. But thats because it was only a sketch - I was really just trying to figure out a body type for Fafhrd to make him look 7 feet tall - there was no thought of pose except as an afterthought, and none at all to concept or composition. So it isn't fair to judge this as if it's a painting - it's just a sketch that I developed to get some painting practice. Hmm - getting off track here - what I wanted to say is as soon as I have that next revelation that improves my art, what will this one look like? Will it look as terrible as the earlier ones look now? Probably not quite, since I've definitely improved at some important and very basic aspects of image making but I just wonder what I'm incapable of seeing now that keeps me from being able to make it better (or even to see what's wrong with it).

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