Sketchtime for the MasterClass has rolled around again; this time we were given three photos as starters. Here is the one I chose to work with.
I was immediately struck by old white iron fence posts, secondarily by the way they disappeared under the walkway with its fence. So I started sketching. I’ll spare you the first 4-5 dismal failures. I finally had a progression of three that might work with tweaking, and I presented them in what I thought was least to best.
Here was my thinking. Sketch 1 had an intruding curving shape (meant to be abstracted from the various roads in the photo) plus a confusing mass of perspective/non perspective–I needed to go one way or the other and chose non-perspective. In sketch 2 I decided to add details from the buildings that had increasingly interested me as I looked at the photo over and over. It ended up a little too formally balanced for my taste. On to sketch 3 where I thought I had nailed it. I kept one of the buildings I had liked, realized it stood alone and added the three pillars on the left.
Interestingly, the comments were the reverse of my judgments. The curve shape made the first more interesting by contrasting to other straight lines; repeating triangles in sketch 2 was a good move, and in the third one, the right side object was unrelated.
This would not be the first time I’ve stumbled on contrast-for-interest Vs. intrusive-and-unrelated. And not only in art, but in writing. I’d come up with one theory: don’t introduce difference without repeating it somewhere else. Obviously, that isn’t a complete answer. I did notice some curving lines in Sketch 1 that were almost accidental; perhaps they keep the big curved shape from standing alone and intruding? And I am beginning to like Sketch 1 more.
So what I’m wondering is how others deal with creating contrast for interest without intruding something unrelated. My current hypothesis is that the difference between an artist and a wanna-be is the intuitive recognition of the difference.
Inviting comments and linking with Off the Wall Friday in hopes of insight.