Look Ma, No Lines

I’ve made a big deal about putting down my pens while I learn to create art without relying upon outline as the main element.  In spite of this, in one way or another, all of my oil paint experiments have started with some sort of drawn outline of the objects I was trying to paint.  These outlines, in fact, have been part of my experiments.  I’ve used pencil, colored pencil and painted lines.  I’ve used complete outlines and very loose location-only marks.  I suppose this remains an area of experimentation but I’ve been pretty happy using thinned oil paint and a small brush to do the drawing.  I’ve learned that I need to keep these lines light, however, as otherwise I struggle to cover them up.

A week or so ago I did the first experiment where I used no outline at all, relying only on placing spots of color of the appropriate hue, value and chroma to create the object, which in that case was a pepper.  This really pushes the thinking towards shape and form as you have to develop those shapes by including backgrounds as much as setting color in the objects themselves.  I liked that thought process.  It felt, somehow, empowering.

The result isn’t really a complete painting as all I wanted to do was see if I could make the pepper look, well.., like a pepper.  I vaguely blocked in another pepper in the background but I never really finished it.

I realized that I never shared it here, but since it’s sort of a landmark of sorts, I thought I should.  It’s only 8×6 on gesso’d MDF.  For what it is, I’m pretty happy with the result.

3 Responses to “Look Ma, No Lines”

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  1. Tina Koyama says:

    Seems like a leap in terms of creative process and development!

    • Time will tell. As you know, it’s impossible to spend time doing something different without it having an effect on everything you do and I think this is such a case. My emphasis on color rather than line is shifting my brain significantly. I even noticed it when I was pencil drawing yesterday. Besides, it’s fun (Grin).

  2. Agnès says:

    This is a comment about your post about Shari : “Can Shari teach me how to paint ?” (I could not insert this comment with the post) :
    It is a very interesting question… and you seem to think that no, whatever we can do, we, the poor painters working hard to produce paints like the “great” sketchers, looking them through books, videos, paints, we will never be able to reach their quality.
    And, unfortunetly, I think as you do : we watch how they do, but we cannot repeat their gesture, feel like them what to do, in short, we are going to copy, but we will never do as well, or so after a lifetime of effort.
    Being an artist cannot be decreed, one is or one is not.
    Now, that doesn’t prevent us from taking pleasure in this long journey of learning, that doesn’t prevent us from hoping, one day, to do as well!
    Cheer up!