Here is a painting I recently completed. I’m asking for very honest opinions on this, please.
Being “an artist” involves much more than learning how to apply a medium to a support/surface. It requires a certain sort of vision, an ability to use one’s imagination, and a creative spirit. I know I have the spirit and the imagination, but do I have true “artistic vision”? Is that something that can be learned? Or is that vision what we actually refer to as talent?
Of course I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished in the last eighteen months. Before I began studying art, I really and truly could not draw a straight line — even with a ruler. I’ve made good progress as far as developing skills. I know the basics of using pencils, charcoal, watercolors, pastels, and now oil paints.
As part of my learning experience, I’ve followed many different tutorials, read different books, taken online classes, all of which has generally meant copying someone else’s work or working to copy images in reference photos. That’s a good skill to develop, of course, but true art goes beyond that, I think. True art requires originality.
The artists whose work we most admire are usually those who see the world from a unique perspective. They’ve developed their own style, they have a signature palette, or they’ve created new art forms to showcase their singular visions. Their work is different. Even when they work from a real-life image, they put their own artistic stamp on what they see.
I’ve come to a point now where I want to move beyond the rudimentary skills associated with art. I want, if possible, to develop an artistic vision, that ability to arrange elements, to put together interesting compositions, to utilize color in ways that evoke moods and emotions. In short, I want to create works that draw the viewer in, works that tell stories, works that are, well… art. Real art.
So I’m asking now for honest opinions about my “Twilight Frost” painting. I personally have mixed feelings about it. I like it because it came out as I had envisioned it. I wanted to create an almost ghost-like quality, a feeling of seeing one’s breath in the air, a sense of icy beauty yet all with a gentle touch of warmth. In my eyes, I succeeded, but overall, how does the painting strike you?
I wonder — and worry — that it’s too bland, too commonplace, too simple. It’s difficult to see much of the detail in the photo but there is some there. Is it enough? Are the colors too tiresome? Does it need a wider range of values? How could I improve upon it?
Your critiques are welcomed and will be greatly appreciated.