I have the tendency to get over excited when discussing certain topics. Then I start rambling on & on and forget to engage with others. Not a good habit, but I am working on it.
This could be said about the painting process too. How often have you been so excited about a subject you immediately got your paints and brushes out and started working? Then finally when you were done stepped back and said: “What happened”? You realize you over detailed areas and didn’t simplify or misjudged perspective and now your architectural structure or figure is obviously leaning.
Is this something you can identify with? I know I am guilty. I have old photos of past works to prove it. Many other artists past or present will too. As I have read in a quote before: “Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.”
Our ideas will often get lost between our minds and our hands. It is not enough to only get inspired; we must put into practice in order to try and see if we can reach success. Painting from life is one of the best ways painters can learn to not include every detail they are seeing. While outdoors we are reacting quickly and painting by observing. Actually this is true for any subject matter not only landscape painting. To really achieve growth in our craft we must paint and draw from life. Now on the contrary, photography is a wonderful tool. I use it all the time. But remember it is only a TOOL. Do not use it as a crutch. Our number one job as artists is to have our drawing skills perfected and know the proper value relationships to make a successful, engaging painting. Color is important, but it is very personal so I will not make it a priority in this post.
I would like to wrap-up by mentioning I do not know of any replacements for painting and drawing from life. No tech tools out there can compensate for this. This process of working from life should be your incubator and then watch as your art flourishes naturally. Go have fun out there this summer.