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 Still Lifes versus Landscapes

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Posts : 70
Join date : 2011-06-07
Location Location : Northern Nevada (Reno area)

PostSubject: Still Lifes versus Landscapes   Mon Jun 27, 2011 3:59 pm

I have never really been attracted to, or impressed by still lifes. I have always thought that landscapes were much more beautiful and appealing to look at and study. But I think I am starting to gain a new appreciation for still lifes.

Up until now, all of my paintings have been instructional paintings from books that I have read and followed to learn how to paint, where to start, and how to practice various techniques. I am pleased with how most of them have turned out, but they aren't "mine" - they aren't originals. I am feeling the push (from inside) to take that leap now and try a true, original painting of my own, finally using what I have learned so far (and hoping that I don't totally botch it up!) But as I have perused my large digital picture collection of the many landscape PHOTOS I have taken (years ago, I was an amateur photographer and preferred landscapes there as well), I am suddenly feeling overwhelmed and thinking they all look harder or more complicated than I am ready for.

Now I understand why so many art instruction books start with still lifes. They usually contain much simpler subjects (though the lighting may not always be simple) and allow you to focus on just a few things at a time. So now I am thinking that maybe I should start with a still life and not try to find a landscape photo in my collection to paint just yet. I can work on the lights and shadows and blending of colors and keep it simple. So it may not be the most exciting painting to look at, but it might just serve the purpose of getting me away from step-by-step demonstrations and out on my own. I feel guilty that I have done about 10 paintings from instruction books and none of my own even though I remind myself that is how the masters learned from their master - by copying their works, sometimes for years, before branching out on their own!

Anyone have any other ideas on how to make this leap, or any sage advice for me?
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