Sunday, November 11, 2007

A WIP - Part 2

Back again with more of an update really on how my 'experiment' on Ampersand Pastelbord is coming along.

Have now finished the neck area and I am calling it done - minus the whiskers and, of course, the inevitable touch-ups I feel need doing after living with it for a while. BUT as you will no doubt notice, it is still without a background.

I have never been happy doing backgrounds for head studies - you can see this in my work - preferring to leave the white of the paper. Do they really need one? I'm not totally averse to them and will add one if requested to when doing a commission or if I feel it would benefit from having one - if I need to make a lot of white hair or whiskers stand out for example. Having said all this I do want to incorporate backgrounds more into my own work in the future and need to work on this.

If not done correctly a background can be overpowering, not harmonize with the subject or even worse, the subject could end up looking as if it has been stuck on. For these reasons alone I should have worked on the background while I was doing the dog and not left it to last - naughty I know and would probably get a slap on the wrist from many an artist for doing so. I was thinking about it all the way through, honest.

I just hope that whatever I choose to do for this drawing works otherwise I will have wasted 16+ hours working on the dog - another good reason for doing the background first or at the same time.


Katherine said...

The background one is a big issue for portrait artists. For me it's an all or nothing thing! ;)

Personally, I think if you are doing vignettes you can certainly get away with not doing one. After all there is a very long tradition for this sort of approach.

However mastering the background and the compositional skills that this involves is a big step-up which can really add to a portrait.

I do know what I don't like - and that's a background which hasn't been conceived as part of the overall portrait from the beginning and/or hasn't received the same attention. For me they just detract from the portrait.

I think this one looks fine and I enjoyed seeing your WIP in the previous post.

Now - how come I haven't seen your work before?

Laura said...

Hi Katherine, thanks for stopping by my blog;)

I couldn't agree more. I definately want to explore backgrounds more and see what I can do but don't mind admitting they 'scare' me.

I'm a great fan and regular reader of 'Making a Mark', it's an excellent blog and so informative -I've learnt a lot from it, thank you;)