Art Alchemy Studio

Mixed Media Art by Chaska Peacock

Friday, April 27, 2007

The Secret Squint

Rather than talk about having too much on my plate right now, and about my trip to the acupuncturist to clean up resulting stress, I want to share a particularly cute post by Robert

Looking at work with half-closed eyes has several benefits--and there are several ways to do it. We have to agree that establishing an effective pattern--the overall compositional integrity of a design--is valuable. Simply put, squinting makes notes of weak areas. Squinting tells you what's wrong and what's bad. Squinting lets you know where darkness or lightness might be added. Even high-key equal-intensity work can be improved by squinting. Artists must know that compositions "form up" with patches of tone or colour. Interestingly, these needed patches can often use general rather than precise placement. By squinting, the eye can be made to defocus, or, by further reforming the shape of the eyeball, bring subjects into sharper focus. Also, by drawing together the eyelids like an external iris diaphragm, you see the subject as more or less reduced to black and white. When work is viewed without the benefit of colour, decisions can be more readily made. It seems that in standard easel-working vision, you "can't see the forest for the trees." The squint becomes a quick and easy re-evaluation technique that simply gives the artist a second opinion.

What makes it "cute" in my book is that Genn refers to it as "The Secret Squint". The idea of
doing this secretly with the works of others made me giggle.

By the way, the mirror technique is also good. Look at your creation in the mirror! And, I
assume, you have already tried rotating it while looking at your work from all angles.

Oh, I sold the Buddha shrine today. :-)


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