Monday, June 23, 2008
Saratoga Grandstand Beginning
The most requested Saratoga painting is of a race with the recognizable grandstand in the background. Mind you, it's an undertaking. This first wash drawing took me two days. Straight edging the architectural lines is a breeze compared to the huge crowd scene that should be convincingly portrayed. I've been trying to find other artists who've managed it within any sports genre. Interesting.
My group of runners aren't working. The depth of field and perspective is off but at least I realized it immediately. I thought the laggers at the back of the pack would get noticeably smaller as they followed the leaders into the turn but the viewpoint is tighter, closer, and the horses should all appear similar in size, even as they turn away. I especially noticed this with the second from last (left) horse that I wanted to go wide into the turn. After two days of intensive drawing, I'm anxious to get rolling so I'll fix the flaws and make changes as I go along. This is the point in the painting where these adjustments become apparent anyway.
I also started another painting to work on when this one drives me nuts.
A hundred years ago when I was in art school, my painting teacher suggested that I begin a painting from the center and work my way out. This would give me a frame of reference for spatial relationships and values. I think he realized that my subject would be inherently complex. In this piece, I think he's right.
"Perspective is to painting what the bridle is to the horse, the rudder to a ship". - Leonardo da Vinci