I think my drawing and painting skills have improved markedly over the last two years. I’ve worked steadily and produced some good pieces (and some real dogs, but I’ve learned from those as well). Studying with Dennis Cheaney has been very useful.
I still have a long way to go. Here are some things that I want to work on:
Pictorial composition. I don’t feel like I have a real handle on how to plan an execute a picture so that I start with a plan and end up achieving the effect I was looking for. While I can usually identify what went wrong, that doesn’t always translate into not making the same set of mistakes again. I feel like I have a few basic compositions that work OK, but I don’t have a breadth of competence in this area. I want to become comfortable with complex compositions involving multiple figures and a hierarchy of focal points.
Color. I still struggle with how to use color. Sometimes I default to dull color mixtures because they are easy to use, not because they are the best solution for the color problem I am working on. I want to become more comfortable with color composition, including various sorts of analogous and complementary color schemes.
Drawing. While I can draw, I often move too quickly and later realize I’ve made some serious error in placement or proportion. That is particularly problematic when I am in the initial drawing stage of a painting.
Light. I want to become more competent at painting a variety of light effects.
Landscape. The landscapes I’ve attempted in the last year have mostly not been successful. I want to get better at planning landscape compositions and making them work.
The figure. I want to find a way to start working from the model again. While I am sometimes able to attend figure drawing sessions with the Worcester Drawing Group, the poses are too short to really go into the sort of depth that I am looking for. As our family finances recover from Brendan’s birth, I want to hire a model for long poses. And, if possible, get back to Dennis Cheaney’s classes in figure drawing and painting.
Body of work. I am trying to develop a significant and coherent portfolio of paintings that I can present to a gallery for professional sale.
That’s what I can think of right now. There are obviously lots of other shortcomings to work on, but those are the areas that I feel need the most work at this time.
Leave a comment. It would be great to see your goals for your next steps as an artist.