Friday, 16 November 2012

Self Critique and Explanation.

WHY? Why does the painting look like this?

click to enlarge.
Ok, let's give this a go.

I'm going to assume that you haven't seen this painting before, although I'm sure the majority reading this have. So sorry to post the same piece again. But I need to reflect on it.

So the painting was inspired by painters from the Dutch Golden Age, (the 17th century), Pieter Claesz and Harmen Steenwijck. 

The lyrics that inspired the painting were from a song by Fleet Foxes. 

"Through the forest, down to your grave. 
Where the birds wait, and the tall grasses wave."

Because I wanted to create an image which dealt with the mortality and the passions and joys of life. I instantly thought of those two painters. 

Those named in particular were famous for using composition and lighting, amongst other principles, to symbolise the idea of life and death. 

Steenwijck's composition can be understood through diagonals.

This composition allows a contrast symbolising Life & Death. (Light and Dark).
Now the idea behind the location of the painting is quite the contrast. The Legend of Zelda: The Windwaker was the main inspiration. When I heard the lyrics for the first time I was reminded of the location of a grave on Windfall Island. It sits atop a hill, which acts almost as a branch from the island itself, as if it's reaching out to the sea. I always loved this image in the game, and thought it would make for a cool adaptation for these lyrics. Here's a screen capture to show you what I'm referring to.

The location struck me as very poetic.


As for the artistic nature, the painting leaves a lot to be desired. 

Having just read a nifty "How to critique your own work" article, I decided to pick apart the painting. 

1. Looks flat, simple brush strokes haven't been used properly. Detracts from the smooth, pleasantness of the sky.

2. Learn how to actually paint clouds. Next.

3. Out of place clouds, that were never taken any further. Actually prefer these little wispy clouds to the looming dark ones I ended up using.

4. See No. 2.

5. The reflection on the water is boring. Sky almost blends into sea. The sun's reflection in the sea probably wouldn't look like that at all.

6. Make my own grass brush next time. The repetitiveness of this brush is painful to look at.

7. I normally paint rock better than this. I think I was confused wether to make it look like dirt or rock. I guess it's not too bad.

Thanks for reading,
I promise never to post that painting again.

Ok, bye.

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