This week's topic guidelines:
Compare your paintings from 5.1 and 5.2, side by side.
Do you have a distinct preference, in terms of your approach? Do you think the results are any different? Any opinions about the progression? Use your journal this week to address these questions.
(note: 5.1 is the overall approach ; 5.2 is the element by element.)
In a nutshell, and as a surprise to me, I preferred the element by element approach.
I entered this week's exercises with some unsureness. I've often read the advice of working a painting overall, not focusing greatly on any one element. The thought is that a feeling of all the pieces coming together as one can be easily lost. I'll admit it. I can be a great one for theory. I'm pleased to be pushed by my exercises to confront some internalized dogma.
That concept of losing the cohesiveness with element by element just didn't seem to apply. I checked as I went along and did make small changes to already completed elements. I did apply light washes to bring it all together. Something I will still consider is the fact that this piece involved only one flower, bud, stem. How will these approaches stack up in a complicated work?
Perhaps there is simply not one rule that fits all situations. For this beginner, for this lesson, I saw more detail and tried to work it in much more in the second exercise—that is, completing one element before moving on to the next. Could it be that since I was using the same subject that the second time through I was on more familiar territory? Quite possibly. Was I more relaxed because I knew I could get at least some approximation of that flower? Ya, sure. Will I always look more closely, irregardless of approach, based on this week's work? I think so.
This has been a fine lesson. I cannot in a six week class greatly increase my skills, but I can open my mind to how I approach learning. Experimentation is just as key (or more so?) to gaining knowledge as are my books.