Monday, April 7

To Paint or Not to Paint Photo-Realism?

Southern Coast
Acrylic on Stretched Canvas
16 x 20 in/40.6 x 50.8 cm
Copyright 2014
You would never know it by looking at today's image, but I was NOT trying to paint it photo-realistically. No way around it--it looks like a photograph or pretty much like a photograph.

That is not how I wanted to paint it. Yes, I was using a reference photo, but to repeat, that is not how I wanted to paint it.

Many people like (or love) photo-realism. If the painting doesn't look like a photo, then they don't like it.

Many people don't like photo-realism either very much or at all. I am one of those who doesn't like it very much. I think it has its place and is naturally convincing--if done well, how could it not be? Certain motifs lend themselves to photo-realism, such as architecture, in my opinion.

I, however, would much rather be painting more loosely, more openly, more impressionistically. I have been working and working on doing that. And then I painted today's image, and even though I could see it happening (before my very eyes), I just couldn't seem to stop it.

I believe it's because for several years I did nothing but paint almost exactly what was in my reference photos. That's the problem with painting from reference photos--you rely too much on the camera and not enough on your artistic and painting ability.

Others may love it, but I am trying not to paint photo-realistically. However I may just enter it in the annual National Society of Painters in Casein & Acrylic show. 

No comments:

Post a Comment