Wednesday, March 21, 2007

awash in middle tone

I'm working on a drawing now that is a commission. It is a subject matter I hate, which has kept me procrastinating, so I finally started yesterday. I'm doing a fantasy art piece, with horses and a beach, and it really could be lovely. But I was unfocused from the start about how to handle it, and the longer I draw, the more that is apparent. I'm awash in middle tone, no clear subject matter, just colors that while of themselves are beautiful, they do not work together in my drawing. It looks boring because I'm bored doing it.

Struggling with the middle tone issue has always been a problem in my art. I have trouble with composition. There should be one thing, one place on the drawing or painting, that first of all captures the viewer's attention. Then lesser items that lead around the piece. The artist is like a conductor, knowing the whole piece of music from start to finish, and because that is true, knows where to punctuate, accent, speed up and slow down for the listener's benefit and pleasure.

But my drawing just sits there, no rhyme or reason, no rhythm or direction. I hate that. The surface becomes like a sponge, absorbing everything that is put down until it is all mashed together and anything distinct gets wiped away. No amount of manipulation can hide how little thought I put into it. Question is, do I continue? Or do I part with all the hours of work I already put into it and start from scratch-would that make it any less burdensome? At this moment I'm not sure.


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