Saturday, February 13, 2016

Why Create a Series Rather Than a Single Work?

When a person decides that he or she has a desire to “become an artist” this can take many directions from the weekend painter to the serious artist to the professional.  As a beginning student, the artist wants to paint everything in sight – a still life, a tree in the yard, the little girl in the cute tutu, the dog.  Once  students have progressed to a more sophisticated level,  they begin to realize that better artists seem to work in a series, but often they don’t understand why.
            Here are some reasons why artists work in series:
·         Understanding the subject you are painting
·         Stretching outside your comfort level
·         Getting beyond the ordinary “it’s been done before” zone
·         Gaining confidence in your ability
·         Exploring  the subject in progressively deeper more meaningful ways
·         Clearly defining the limitations in which you work
If you’ve never tried working in a series, here are some suggestions of how to get started.  Remember, the subject can be as simple as a piece of fruit or one object that has great meaning to you.
·         Pick your subject or theme
·         Do some research about your subject/theme (how many different colors of  pears are there)
·         Assemble reference materials (photos from all angles and several different ranges, value sketches, compositional sketches)
·         Narrow down your best reference images
·         Set your parameters (emphasizing a particular element of art, using a particular palette, painting on a particular size format, etc.)
·         Commit a certain amount of time to the series daily
·         Paint on several of the paintings each session, bringing up the series at the same speed

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