Wednesday, December 5, 2007

When is a Painting Done?

Riding the Thermals
This is a question I have a hard time answering. For the last couple of days I've been working on this painting that is a departure from my usual subject matter. I rarely paint animals, and if I do, it's usually as an addition to the landscape, rather than the subject matter.
I've become a bit obsessed with these tropicbirds. They are very common near the water, as they are marine birds that feed on fish and the like. So it's always surprising to find them flying around the volcanic caldera, yet there they are. I am not positive, but my reading leads me to believe that they may nest on the cliffs of the craters. They pair up and keep the same partners, so you often see two together.
In this painting, I painted the pair, then created 3 more birds patrolling in the distance to lead the eye back into the painting. If you read my blog, you know I'll prop this up and gaze at it for a few days before I call it done, but I'd love to get feedback on this. Do you think it looks complete?


Anonymous said...

At first I didn't even see the three birds in the background because the two in the foreground are so dominant. But they soar and I can see the beauty of their movement against the stark background. Good job.

Neuro Crash Girl said...

I don't think I can help with the done/not done debate, but I do think these birds look like they belong in a fantasy story. The proportions of their tails are really amazing. I think they have some kind of magic power.

Anonymous said...

Hi Margaret,
I love the birds... and I think it was a good choice to include the three in the background. The sky is lucsious! I don't think this one is complete yet though...
I'm not sure whether there is a wing or a rock under the left bird in the pair. I think the rock texture is a little too repetetive with the wing textures... could you soften the rocks or push them back somehow a bit more with a glaze? Also, I think the painting could use a bit more color dominance... either warm or cool... probably cool which would set off your wonderful sky.

I am not really sure about protocol on blogs... is it ok to leave a critique? It feels kind of weird... all I usually see is rave reviews on these things. If this is totally out of line, feel free to delete it! :) Only sent with the constructive criticism type feelings.

Anonymous said...

I think it is complete. It is the stark background that really brings out the birds.