Another Art Tip
Most artists through the ages have shared what works and doesn't work for them. Aspiring artists study the work of others to learn and improve their own work. We stand on the shoulders of the ones who came before. I like to share anything I learn, figure out, or stumble upon so that I may help others as I've been helped.
The image above is a painting work-in-process I started yesterday. I'm working from a photo of an adorable baby Chihuahua. The photo has the Chi with a downturned mouth and sad eyes, which made me want to cry.
As I sketched in the features, I hesitated. Will folks want to cry when they look a piece of art? My instinct tells me, they may go Awwwh and smile sadly, but will they want to take it home? I did some research.
I found an article online from an English painter about which animals paintings had been his most successful through the years. You can read the article by click the above.
Paint Happy Animals
The artist listed the animals and wrote some insights about reasons people were drawn to some paintings and not others. In particular, he mentioned that paintings of apes were among his most successful. However, he wrote, photos of apes and monkeys tend to have forlorn, melancholy expressions.
His experience had been that, although avid collectors ask for "monkey" paintings (they request "monkeys" but they mean "apes"), they did not buy paintings depicting sad expressions. He suggested taking "poetic license" and alter the expression to look happy, or at least neutral.
Using other reference photos, I'm working on getting that expression "right" on the above piece. I'm not there yet. He said it was easy to do. I haven't found that to be the case so far. I'll update later and you be the judge if I was successful or not.
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