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Christine Griffin

Preciousness, Red Lines and Miscellaneous Links

posted by marrael 2011-12-13 23:22:03

When I was in secondary school (in the British Commonwealth, this is the name of school you attend between ages 13 to 16, after primary school), I was certain my art teacher was out to get me. Sketches I'd loving tickled onto the paper with my timid 2B pencils would return to me with corrective lines gouged into the drawing, sometimes in what looked like 8B charcoal. Every art student got them, but with my work it'd always seemed more heartbreaking because I'd had widespread assurance the originals were so pretty. Yet, my drawings would still receive more corrective lines than others. (Thanks, Mrs Ong.)

With age comes wisdom, albeit very slowly. When you're starting out, everything you make with your hands is dear and seen as precious. Every pencil mark and paint stroke is done with a lot of sincerity, and having it ripped to pieces is, well, heartbreaking. Years and years down the line, you get jaded: Sketches and drawings are discarded, revised for the client's liking, taken in directions you hadn't expected, and after producing literally thousands of pictures, you may get used to seeing your own work more critically, clinically, and start to anticipate criticisms--and then heed or disregard those in your work according to your emotional and financial needs at the moment.

The lesson that comes with time: What may be dear and precious in your work to you may not be apparent to everyone else. But then again, if you're lucky enough that your work starts off hugely popular maybe this won't be a hard knock you'll have to deal with! But if your art has weaknesses, red lines (or in my teacher's case, 8B pencil) on top of one's work help open your eyes to your pictures' problems and solutions. And sometimes, because you're getting better at art over time, you start being the one applying the red pen to your own work.

 
Here's my own recent example: Tangled (Revisited)

While Lori McNee at Fine Art Tips has several drastic examples:
How I Destroyed a Painting to Make it Better
Give a New Identity to an Unsold Painting!
Rework an Old Painting & Make it Sell!
 
I have no fear of making changes, destroying the image, etc., because the painting has a life of its own. --Jackson Pollock
On to miscellanous links:

The Art Order has issued a new challenge: Levi
 
 
This is a delightful article: The Schweizer Guide to Spotting Tangents
A tangent is when two or more lines interact in a way that insinuates a relationship between them that the artist did not intend.
I didn't know this problem had a name! But it is something I do look out for when drawing. Having come across other artists' images that suffer from the problem, this article explains very thoroughly what to look out for, reasons to avoid tangents, and easy solutions. 
 
 
And this is a HUGE tangent that is NOT art related, but a hilarious comedy sketch, sort-of related to the preciousness of our artistic talents: Talent Dredge from Mitchell and Webb 
 
I do love British humour. Till the next post!

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