Alaskan Artist - Elise Tomlinson
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04/19/2005: "The Secret to Better Painting has Arrived!"

My copy of The Simple Secret to Better Painting has arrived and it's excellent! The well illustrated design principals helped me see that I've been relying too much on color & shape, & not enough on value.

If you click on any image in the Flesh Tones gallery, it will open a larger version where I explain how I designed it. In Crossing Cerulean (for example) I describe 4 color pyramids, (some inverted) I positioned to move the viewer's eye around the canvas. The colors and shapes (in my opinion) work very well in this piece but I see now that there weren't enough *tonal* variations..(I fixed the funky claw-like hands too BTW)

So, I would *highly* recommend this book unless you already have the composition thing down cold. I mean, now I can see all kinds of design flaws in my work but the good news is that I think I can fix them.

And I neednít have worried about this book causing me to paint too much "by the book"...because all it does is show different versions of the same painting each saying "weak" "stronger" or "strongest" making it easy to recognize why one version works better while maintaining that it can still be subjective. I feel reinvigorated! Inspired to finish old works and start more and more and more new ones. I could paint everyday, everything, for the rest of my life and it would never ever be enough! I feel so happy, if I didn't have puke breath...I'd kiss you!!!

Replies: 2 Comments

on Thursday, April 21st, greg said

The gallery update is awesome!!

Ever to include larger Rain Country images? What is you feeling on watermarking your larger images?

Are your galleries chronological in order? Otherwise I'd move flesh tones closer to the top.

on Thursday, April 21st, Elise said

Thanks a lot Greg,
You know, there are soooo many things I'd like to do with my site. Organizing the galleries better is on the top of the list (with getting credit card orders up and running). That version of the gallery I linked to is actually the *old* version. When I moved to the new web design I didn't finish transfering everything over the way I wanted to.

I know I should watermark my larger images, I've just have never gotten around to it.
I have found sites posting uncredited copies of my paintings though, so I probably should do something soon. Anna Conti (working artist journal) found someone selling cheap knock-offs of her work for peanuts on ebay (she thinks they were taking images of her work from her website and then printing them onto canvas and painting over the top!)

And, you know, when this show was up at the gallery it didn't do so well, I only sold 2 pieces. I've since sold 2 more (through this website) but I remember how terrible I felt about these works right after the opening. I put all my paints away for months afterwards and kind of went into a depression. I'm happy to know someone appreciates them (or did you only appreciate the fact that there was commentary with them?)
Either way, I'll take it.