Sunday, 23 February 2014

Stuck at Vermeer

I am working on a painting now, size 70x90cm, loosely based on the painting "loveletter" by Vermeer.

But I am stuck.
Even though I like the composition, style and story, there is something I don't like about my painting.
Maybe the use of color or the brushstrokes? I know there are some details that need attention, like the hand of the maid, and the whiteness of the faces, but that's not it. There is something more basically wrong, and I don't know what.
I will need to give the painting some rest to figure out what is wrong. Any suggestions would help.


Beth said...

Rene, I always like looking at your work and have followed the progress of your painting studies with a lot of interest -- sorry that I don't comment more often. I think this painting has a lot of potential; the composition and the way you've simplified the figures both work very well. For me, one problem is the bright red, which makes it impossible for the blue and yellow tones to work as complements (as they do so strongly in the Vermeer.) You might try toning down the red to a browner color. You also might consider using a different, cooler color in the background - having yellow there along with the yellow skirt in the foreground tends to flatten the painting. I don't know what pigments you're using, but rather than using all three primaries at equal strength, you could try concentrating on the blues and yellows and just use your red to "break" a mixture of the other two and harmonize the palette. Just a suggestion -- good luck!

Rene Fijten said...

Thanks for these remarks, I appreciate it very much. I thing you are right: I have tried to use too much vibrant colours, red and yellow and blue, the background could use some toning down, and some darkening. Maybe some ochre-brown. I am not sure about a cooler colour, but I'll give it consideration. And I'll have to work on the fierce red in the top part and in the skirt.
I also posted this painting on another forum, and the most valuable comments were along the same lines you are suggesting here. A real help. Thank you so much!