Showing posts with label Stephano. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Stephano. Show all posts

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Zooming In

By Judy Feldman | www.wildemeyer.com

There are many different ways of catching the viewer’s eye. In painting, obviously, subject matter, color choices and brushstroke all work to render a work more or less interesting. But composition is just as, or even more important to a painting’s success.

Watching Over You 19" x 30" watercolor on paper
by Patricia Hunter
Some artists use a close-up technique in their compositions. Instead of trying to get a lot of information in their painting, they zoom in to an area of interest. You can appreciate this technique in Patricia Hunter’s work, especially her images of exotic animals. When she started painting these animals a while ago, she decided that she didn’t want to do typical animal portraits; she wanted to show something real in an abstract way.

“By painting close-ups of the animals, I can achieve a different kind of composition, and focus on design and texture,” she said. “This technique also enables me to include considerable details in the work, such as the animals’ hair and whiskers.” By the way, Patricia is a watercolor painter, which makes her technique even more amazing to me!


Family Gathering 22" x 30", watercolor on paper
by Patricia Hunter


Walk With Me 8.25" x 10.25"
watercolor on paper
by Patricia Hunter
Although we can discern the two zebras in “Watching Over You,” this painting has a definite abstract quality, and the patterns and shapes of the zebras’ stripes could easily be a textile design. “Family Gathering” has the same compositional style: we know there are several giraffes portrayed, yet the main interest is in the patterns of their interesting hides.


Downtime 18.5" x 24" watercolor on paper
by Patricia Hunter

Lately, Patricia has been focusing more on domestic animals. Her dog, Sunny, appears in “Downtime” and “Walk with Me.” Although they are realistic impressions of the subject, you can see Patricia’s interest in pattern by the way she paints the details of her dog’s coat.


Moo Bull 5" x 5" oil on canvas
by Sheridan Brown
Sheridan Brown likes to zoom in on her subjects’ eyes. “They have an expressive quality that I want to convey in the painting,” she said. Like many Wilde Meyer artists, Sheridan’s subjects frequently have fur and four legs. Often, they’ve met at the local dog park! Sheridan likes to combine an abstract background with her close-ups. Many of her paintings are small sizes and have a loose, painterly style.


Bright Eyes 6" x 6" oil on canvas
by Sheridan Brown

In “Moo Bull” the background and the subject are equally arresting, but the way she pulls the colors together make this 5”X5” painting work.


Anticipation 24" x 24" oil on canvas
by Sheridan Brown

“Bright Eyes” is another example of how Sheridan unites an interesting abstract background with the focal point – the cat’s face and eyes. In “Anticipation,” the colors of the dog’s ear and mouth reflect the floral pattern in the rug.
Background design is not of great interest to Stephano Sutherlin, except to offset his subject. His dog portraits speak to the viewer – literally. They have catchy titles, like “Do I Amuse You?” and “Can I Go, Can I?”. He zooms in on their faces - which take up most of the square canvas - and somehow gets an expression that has a human quality. His bold use of color makes the paintings pop – we really can’t ignore them!

Do I Amuse You? 24" x 24"
by Stephano
acrylic on canvas


Can I Go, Can I? 24" x 24" acrylic on canvas
by Stephano

I Dare You To Lift Your Leg 40" x 16"
acrylic on canvas
by Stephano


Stephano generally favors a square format, but his choice of a narrow 40”X16” canvas for his painting “I Dare You to Lift Your Leg” pushes the cat and the fire hydrant into a tight frame. Are they actually having a conversation? It kind of looks that way!


Bedroom Eyes 9.5" x 9.5" oil on canvas
by Sarah Webber
Sarah Webber also likes a close-up perspective. She says she has an “intense” personality, so zooming in to a subject appeals to her. By getting “in the face” of the animals she paints, she can give them a personality of their own, and often with humor.

For example, the owl she portrays in “Bedroom Eyes” has a “come hither” look! The rest of his face and chest are painted in a loose colorful way, so the eyes are all the more riveting.

A Room with a View 21.5" x 21.5" oil on canvas
by Sarah Webber
Pig in the Straw 19" x 22.5"
 oil on canvas
by Sarah Webber
In “A Room with a View,” we see the humor in the donkey peering out from his stall. By painting the cropped image of his head and the stall opening, Sarah conveys the situation this fellow finds himself in. “Pig in the Straw” attracts my attention because the pig’s head and upper body are portrayed in such a painterly way, with a beautiful shadow cast on the straw. I don’t think any of these paintings would be nearly as interesting if they were ordinary views of the animals.

I guess you could say that close-up views are the painter’s way of making the ordinary into art!

You can see more by Sarah Webber, Stephano, Sheridan Brown and Patricia Hunter at www.wildemeyer.com.