Sunday, November 25, 2012

Day 330 ~ Do a finger painting.

Do a finger painting? How hard could that be? It started out innocently, having fun covering the paper with gentle swirls of yellow then green, thinking, oh, this is so much fun, I'll have to tell everybody to do this because it's so much fun...

Then the obsessing entered, the more I obsessed about coming up with a successful finger painting (! think about that !) the weirder it got. More and more paint, fingernails scratching through the top surface to reveal the colors underneath.

I kept trying to find my "headline", as my friend Neal has counseled me to do. Your paintings need headlines! he says. (Implying, correctly, that much of my work lacks a focal point.) But this finger painting's headline wanted to be I'M A MUDDY MESS. So I put it out in the sun to dry.

Painting over the dried mud with white looked good to me. The lighter paint enhanced the textures and gave me that complex, overworked, detailed, layered look I like so much. I smeared on too much and washed it off with a wet towel, leaving a glaze.

Then, try as I might not to do a horse AGAIN, I did. My easy solution to a headline. At least it's going to the right for a change. Another friend, Nan, asked me Why do all your horses go to the left? It's because I'm right-handed and I always start with the head and move to the right. Same with profiles of people, much more comfortable drawing them facing left. Already struggling with this painting I thought, hey, as long as I'm trying to paint with my fingertip anyway, why not add the challenge of having the horse face to the right, forcing me to work from right to left.

The one thing I noticed about painting this horse with a finger is that I was much more aware of the form and movement and not so concerned about the contour, so it was more akin to doing a sculpture than a rendering.

1 comment:

Noah said...

I found finger painting surprisingly hard to do when I was working on my own project. It's interesting what a challenge it is to us now, when it was so easy as children.