The Nymph and the Satyr

in OnChainArt3 months ago


...and here's the latest oilpainting.

"The Nymph and Satyr", 40 x 30cm, oil on canvas.

I'm rather fond of mythological themes because they are such a rich vein of #stories and studies into human nature.


I might even put together a short video with some of the steps to the final artwork and share it with you.

With this painting I forced myself to stay away as much as possible from my "0" sized brush and instead work with my hog hair brushes. The aim is to work more loosely and rapidly. But it takes time to build new habits.

Original available.

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The aim is to work more loosely and rapidly

I really like this painting and I think it's very well done. However, so far, you have painted in a consistent style that really works. Is it such a good idea to change that now?

I'm not anywhere near your class of artist, just a hobby dabbler, and I have aspired to be more loose from the word "go." And every time I do a loose picture I look at it and feel I could have done better, given more time and more attention to detail. And I redo the work or toss it in the garbage and forget about it outright.

Perhaps that's just the way you are, an artist with a #0 brush and in love with details? Who cares? It's your art, and you gotta be happy with it. Of course, I'm just a (experimentally self-taught) student and permanent insecurity comes with the territory, but still: Forcing myself to be "loose" is against my nature, so why do it?

Just my two cents as food for thought :-)

 3 months ago  

Thanks for commenting and sharing your thoughts.

Here's something that I learnt on my journey to where I am at with my artwork.

The Devil is in the detail.

Working loosely allows you have a better overview of the entire painting, and not be lost in the details. Keeping an overview of the painting keeps your values, colours and composition in balance.

When we micro manage our artwork, by focusing on details before the overview, the control we so desperately seek is lost.

Working loosely allows for rapid development of the painting. It ensures more spontaneity, avoiding overthinking which kills the expressiveness and individual character which would naturally manifest in the artwork.

I'm not adverse to details. But they have their place in the order of the painting construction, and that is at the very last.

Another thing I learnt is, work smart, not hard.

Let the loose brushstrokes imply the details. The viewer's imagination is a far greater master of creating details than any of us will ever be with a brush or pencil.

Our job as artists is to be the master of illusion, and lead people to see what you want them to see.

Filling in all of the details leaves nothing for the viewer's imagination. Doing so makes our work a technical illustration rather than an artwork.

If you want to practice loosening up your brushwork, a bottle of wine goes a long way. 😀

But of course, I'm not promoting substance abuse for the creative process.

Thank you very much for your concise free art lesson. I never thought of it quite like that, and I will duly mull it over! I'm an engineer by trade, and that lifelong training is really a hindrance to artistic endeavors. But ethanol has always helped me be a more spontaneous musician, so I very much like this idea. 🤣

 3 months ago  

I also worked as a programmer for almost 20 years, so I understand the critical and logical thinking processes such orientated people use.

So yes, as you discovered with your music, thinking very often gets in the way. Thinking has it's place... if you need to calculate the stresses and loads on materials if you're building a bridge and you don't want it to collapse. Here your emotive or expressive side doesn't really have a function. (Hence the push to have the "Humanities" invade the stem studies in the universities is a disaster.)

Conversely, thinking after a point, does not have the lead role when creating a work of art (painting, music, ect.) that has to speak to and move people. Communicating and connecting to people in this manner is a visceral thing.

Both approaches come from different places, one from the head the other from the gut. Both have their place. Both are excellent tools when used correctly in their applicable scenario. Both make an awful mess of things when used inappropriately.

It's round pegs in square holes, or when the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

Bottoms up! Enjoy your tipple and creative process. 😁

Exactly! As demonstrated by your work, you have managed to free yourself from the constant interference of your brain, so to speak. I'm happy for you, especially now that you told me about your former career. I have written a few lines of code in my time, for projects that are long defunct. I'm looking back at them asking myself, what do I have to show for all my work? It was good money, but basically a waste of time.

Producing a tangible piece of art which will be around as long as one collector has it hanging on a wall is so much more satisfying I imagine. From the looks of it (at your website) your hard work appears to have paid off. Good for you! BTW, I especially love the "Hands" studies. The lighting in Hands 04 (for example) is unbelievable.

O.K., I'm off to buy some wine and then I'll see whether that lubricates those square pegs when I hammer them in the round holes. :-)

 2 months ago  

I kind of feel the same way. While programming was good money, I was building someone else's business and in the long stretch of things, there's nothing to show for it, especially if the business changes, or no longer provides said product or service, or goes out of business.

It is enjoyable to know that out there, are people who are living with my artwork everyday as a part of their lives.

How did you go with the wine? 😀

Taking inspiration from your classical style, my new buddy Merlot and I just finished a female portrait in gouache. I like to think it turned out great, for a dabbler. It will be my next post.

I'm in my sixties and only started painting 3 years ago, after a lifetime w/o art because my art teacher way back when beat it in me that I was no good at it. So I never tried, until my wife started messing around with her art and the supplies were in the house anyway.

Since then, I'm practicing this and that, with miscellaneous media, trying to learn and find out what I actually like. Currently, I'm leaning towards gouache again, on account of the forced spontaneity. So we'll see how it works out. So far, I'm encouraged.

Great work!!

 3 months ago  

Cheers! It was fun to work on this one.

Woah, the story here. I wonder what's up. She must be on a roll - and he seems to be trying to take control of the situation. Excellent painting.

 3 months ago  

Indeed there is a story. I like your musings on the scene. 😀