View Full Version : The Old Fishmarket

05-12-2015, 04:19 AM
Semi finished, How much detail do I need to put into a picture before I just waste time and effort???????, The BIG question. Here is a slightly detailed painting I have been working on, need some opinions on this matter, here's the painting so far, more detailed than I normally do.....Any advice from anyone would be good, I'm always seeking enlightenment......Jack.

05-12-2015, 06:46 AM
I quite like this Jack! The only thing I could see that might be improved is that there feels like the overall level of detail is the same everywhere, I'd focus one or two areas to really put in extra time and care into rendering. Overcast as the day may be, perhaps some dappled lighting falling on a couple areas of interest.

What is the feeling or story you are trying to convey with this painting? That might help find the focus and know what to work on, it's easy to get sucked in and start rendering everything without needing to (in fact I find it's better to have certain elements that you know you are going to focused on). Oh I should take my own advice here for my painting! LOL been rendering like crazy and just realized that maybe I shouldn't be.

D Akey
05-12-2015, 07:06 AM
Semi finished, How much detail do I need to put into a picture before I just waste time and effort???????, The BIG question. Here is a slightly detailed painting I have been working on, need some opinions on this matter, here's the painting so far, more detailed than I normally do.....Any advice from anyone would be good, I'm always seeking enlightenment......Jack.

Well, Jack, that is the million dollar question, isn't it. The 2 dollar answer is that there is no answer that covers all situations. I can think of some questions to ask yourself to help you make the decision. I feel like I'm offering legal advice where I spell out the situation and you have to ultimately make a more informed decision.

First and foremost: When does it stop being fun for you.
If it becomes a drag, that's usually an indicator that your inner artist is speaking of changing your way of doing things, and that you're launching into a growth spurt. It's an organic evolutionary thing that happens all the time to artists. Otherwise, it's a job in which you're having to deliver a product.

The next thing that one might consider that also fits into the previous question is what are you doing the art for. This is a question that writers are faced with. If it's to communicate, are you trying to create a reality from a fantasy as a way of when people look at the painting, do they look at it and feel like they're there. And this is a sort of persuasiveness to seduce people into suspending their disbelief and running with what you're on about.

Example, a medieval scene, or Treasure Island. In that case, historical accuracy is something that acts like a persuader that your painting is in fact something that not only might have likely been, but that it is happening for real as they look at it. But if you get a detail wrong, you're risking the whole experience. So you can fill up a painting with tons of detail, but get one wrong and you blew it. . . that is if people catch the mistake. So detail can also be risky. And if you put in a detail that's boring. . . another pitfall. So as an artist, you really have to hone your sense of what's important and stay on topic.

Magicians and illusionists do that as well. So in that case, how many details are needed to convince us. And that's a matter of getting into people's heads to know what that tipping point is where they're on board with your scene. That depends on your skill at what you need to transport us. Whether your magic carpet fits one person as if a couple blokes before a fire or whether it's enough to fit a classroom to educate where it's less personal but more informational.

The way I look at it, and this is just me talking, is the photographic quality takes a back seat to your subject. If your subject is compelling and interesting and it is enough to make people want to go on your ride, you have less work needed and can show more artistic flair. When you have a focal point, like a "hero" or main character or several players, or in the case of a ship in a harbor where the story is the mood, that is where you need to put your energy, and everything else can be implied to support and not upstage your main point.

Sometimes too much information is simply information jumbled together like a rambling stream of consciousness. It's the difference between a skillful story teller and someone who won't shut up. There certainly exist paintings where everything is detailed throughout in about the same degree of information, and those are paintings like Breughel and Hieronymus Bosch. And the trick there that makes those work is that the viewer goes in and in their head extracts a little vignette that they can discover the charm or fantasy of. You have the overall impact of chaos. But then you can enter the scene, to walk into it and participate as if you're there. Those are well and good. But for me they are not as strong as paintings done that are skillfully staged. And that staging is what tells the artist how much is enough and what is too much because that is pretty much measurable.

What your painting here says to me is that you are presenting a melieu, or in a word describing the whole setting like a journalistic slice of life photo that one would see in an archives that are so common to photography. And taking a snapshot takes seconds, painting it takes a long time. And one has to determine if it's worth the time put into a painting and laboring over all the small details.

An artist can do so much more than a photographer. You can create a story rather than happen to find one. And you can look at a group of people and focus the viewer's attention on some part of it, or you can simply add things into your story that tell that particular tale. And what story is it you're telling, and how can you populate that scene to achieve that end, to make your point, to grab your audience -- that's where you show your skill as the world editor.

This painting looks like it was a whole lot of work, and the stuff you put in is cool. It feels like I'm pulling into port and about to tie up. If that's what you're showing, the eyes through which I'm looking, it says that. Does it tell me why I'm pulling in? Not really. So more detail would not add anything until I have something more that I can relate to. If this is a portrait for someone who worked in that location, I'm sure every little detail you put in would thrill them because they would have experiences and memories there already that your details might activate. So for them keep pouring it on. For the rest of us, hook us somehow.

Hope this helps. And it's just one person's opinion. So if I miss the point, then what I'm saying is worth every penny you're paying for it. And I'm laying in details in my comment that have no purpose. And then I need to take my own advice, innit. . . hahah.

:cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::):):):):):cool::coo l::cool::cool::cool:

05-12-2015, 12:53 PM
I find detailed paintings like this one to be fascinating. It seems like it should have a story with it. I look and think, what is going on, what is the next scene. :)

05-12-2015, 02:52 PM
A really master work of ART!!!;);););)

05-12-2015, 07:03 PM
A different but fascinating painting subject as well, dear Jack. I like it!!:cool:

05-12-2015, 07:37 PM
Ahar!!!...Thank you for your replies
Mr D Akey
Suddenly enlightened by your reply...Delo , your one word "Focus" made a great deal of sense. Blanket detail is not really the answer.
Mr D Akey , You are SO right ,what I was wanting to achieve was a picture in my head of an old fishmarket, and as you say I was rambling on when I decide to include half of the entire street, not necessary, so I have " Focused" on the fishmarket itself, after all the title says what I was meant to be painting... the objective. And also as you say, one can get carried away with detailing which may not add anything.
Below I have a cropped down the original, repositioned a couple of items, recomposed and re-submit for your perusal, (A different picture almost) perhaps this is the bit I should finish???? any further comments always welcome...

Again thank you for your comments, helps me to re-think about what I really want to put into practice....Jack.

D Akey
05-12-2015, 09:01 PM
Kick ass, Jack! It made a world of difference. Like some writer once said that we have to be able and willing to kill our children, which of course means cut the dead wood, no matter how fond of it we've come to be about it, laboring lovingly and nurturing it along. It's a shock to find it's not right for the work at hand.

Anyway, nothing's ever wasted, shipmate. All that you do goes into the plus column on the ledger of experience.

This painting now is getting into telling me something. And what is more I can really see how freaking well painted it is. Man, it's really good and clean.

Probably the story I'm focusing in on would primarily be the lad in yellow. His color sets him apart and he's commanding the scene owing to his positioning at the heart of it. I really like it.

Go man go!!!!!!!

:cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::):):):):):cool::coo l::cool::cool::cool:

05-12-2015, 09:39 PM
Indeed this is a good crop, careful of the line of the building being almost parallel to the edge of the canvas though, it can create an unusual cramped feeling to the space, luckily it can broken up with just about anything really. Also all the stuff cropped away could prove quite useful as separate compositions that could be a whole story of the town, people hanging clothes out of windows in other crops, busy bustling streets in still others, all from the same original painting, gotta love the power of digital!

Looking good bud, keep working at it now, you got the focus now put the finish on it that you want and you got a home run I think. :)

05-13-2015, 06:12 AM
Mr D Akey
Thanks for coming back on this one D, and Delo of course, I have learned a lot about doing more detail, I have learned that lots of detail is not nescessarily the only consideration, layout and focus on the objective of the picture to be painted all need to be considered, to get perspective and layout right before going any further, for instance, looking at the painting I have now cropped, I deliberately left out the masts, rigging, aerial wires, radar dishes, boat navigation night lights, Lifebelt rings, ropes, lobster pots, boat names and boat numbers and more crew members......because all of them would be centre stage front, and then it becomes yet another different scene if more attention is brought to the fishing boats, and away from the fishmarket , it shall remain a learning experience. Unfinished.
Therefore dear friends I have decided to leave exactly as it is and start another painting, one which I will consider more before putting brush to canvas, hopefully one day I may be satisfied with a picture I have painted, until then I shall carry on regardless, Thank you for your advice and comments as always much appreciated........Thanks for looking....Jack.

Marilyn Anne
05-21-2015, 08:47 AM
Into a different time in history. Very nice scene.

05-22-2015, 05:26 AM
I really enjoyed the advice Mr D gave you Jack and you listened and what a perfect painting, was not lost in the changed painting and yes the man in yellow sets the scene, you know what the story is now, wonderful work

05-22-2015, 07:34 PM
WOW. This wonderful fish market was built and starts to be populated. Soon many customers will come too I guess ...