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!!!