I like the book because I'm such a huge fan of drawing inspiration from the "Old Masters", as Solarski addresses them, and studying the way symbolism and colour and lighting was used so carefully used by a number of these artists.
I decided this was good enough reason to message Chris in attempt to get his two cents on my Adaptation painting for the Fleet Foxes song "Tiger Mountain Peasant Song" (Below) Because I had drawn most of the idea for the paintings' composition from Artists from the Dutch Golden Age.
|Pre-Solarski Crit Painting.|
Turns out it was a great idea, because not only did Chris give me his two cents, he picked apart the entire painting and provided me with the means to push the image further.
Here is the revised painting, based on feedback from Chris.
|Second refine. (Open in new tab for full res).|
His advice mainly revolved around pushing the idea of symbolism further. He appreciated that I had incorporated the use of light as a symbol, but more importantly felt the use of colour to symbolise death could be harnessed much greater.
Based on this I used warm colours to coat the area where the character sits in the foreground and contrasted this with cold colours in the distance. I feel this does leave an empty nature to the background and enforces the foreground as a much more inviting place.
Solarski also suggested that by incorporating the word wave into the picture through perhaps the clouds or the grass I could also push the symbolic power. He also touched on the idea that I wouldn't even need to have the grave in the picture if I did push it far enough.
I've not managed to incorporate the words into the painting, but I did feel that by making the grave less of a focal point in the painting a viewer would have to study the painting harder to understand the message behind it.
Finally, he pointed out that there could be something actually happening or existing on the horizon which suggests danger/death also. So in the large resolution of the painting you can see a thunderstorm in the distance. I actually quite like how subtle the storm is in the painting. I think it adds a nice sense of scale to the Sea.
So needless to say I'm incredibly thankful for Chris for his input and indeed, for his book.
Hopefully I'll be able to come to the painting again soon and feed through more of his feedback.