Friday, April 16, 2010

"Cup Ride"


Someone recently asked me to post about viewfinders. Well, today I was reading my new landscape book (Carlson's Guide) and he says a viewfinder is good for beginners, but should be abandoned by more advanced artists. And while overall this seems like a great book, I couldn't disagree more about viewfinders. I think they are essential tools. You can decide what your composition will be before you start to sketch it out. You can measure and compare where things are in relation to the frame, which helps immensely with proportion. I never used one in college (add that to all the things they DIDN'T tell us) and can't imagine how I ever did so long without it. Keep in mind - your viewfinder should be the same proportions as your canvas/panel. There is an adjustable one available at most art stores called a Viewcatcher.

13 comments:

KBecker said...

I totally agree with you! I always have my viewfinder! I made one using two "L" shaped pieces of cardboard that I can slide together or apart to get the same proportion as my canvas. I clip it together with a binder clip!

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

Carol, I am a fool for this subject from you. Love it, Love it, Love it! Are you using plexi-glass underneath the cups for the reflections?

About viewfinders. I couldn't agree more. I have that adjustable one and a bunch of cardboard cut out ones (I made) stashed in my painting bags. Square and rectangular. As far as I'm concerned, I'm now lost without one. It's the surest way to get your drawing and proportions correct.

Jason Waskey said...

I totally agree about viewfinders... I may not use it throughout the painting, but I certainly rely on one to get started.

I particularly like the Viewcatcher (kinda pricey, but worth it) for isolating color and value.

JanettMarie said...

This is a nice one!

Linda said...

These cups are fantastic! The reflections are beautiful. I like the touch o red in the bottom cup and its reflection. The colors are nice, too. The white cup has such wonderful color and another nice reflection in the green cup. This looks like it was really fun to paint. Another great painting!

Jo Castillo said...

Oh, I love your cups. I have a huge collection and these would fit in nicely. :) A view finder is so important to me, too. A good hint from you. Thanks.

Caroline Bray Art said...

I love this! The heaviness of the mugs contrasts wonderfully with the lightness of the reflections. Great work!

Mary Bullock said...

But do you don't use a viewfinder for your still lifes, do you? Aren't they just for landscapes?

Barbara Pask said...

Just love the colors in this piece, so fun. I agree about the viewfinder, great little tool. I use that and then I have something called a "Picture Perfect Viewfinder", it has windows with composition lines and red windows to see value. Both are great.

C. k. Agathocleous said...

You rock, lady!

Lisa Daria said...

Hi! I agree, I didn't use a viewfinder until your workshop and now I can't live without it, for me, it helps to quiet my mind or else I feel overstimulated by my surroundings and can't figure out what to paint, I just want to paint everything!

The mugs look great, love the reflection on the bottom surface -

Anita Tresslar said...

I agree with you about the viewfinder. I use one to get started and sometimes I even change the setup after I see it through the viewfinder.

Dan Corey said...

Great piece, your reflecion pieces are some of my absolute favorites!
I am of the other thought on viewfinders and agree with Carlson, the elements of the landscape or really anything else should be placed where they are needed for a piece to work. The viewfinder can help search for ideas but IMHO should have no say on the final painting/composition. Its one of the few advantages we (painters) have over the camera.