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20For20 Day 16: Innovation

Innovation is one of the main reasons why I paint. I'm less interested in achieving a perfect realistic image or rendering a beautiful work of art. I'm interested in exploring new subjects, new techniques, new tools because I enjoy learning, just for the sake of learning.

I'm not concerned that I will fail or that I will perform badly because I know I can eventually improve through repetition and discipline. I am concerned that my painting practice will fall into the trap of making what sells or what gets the most likes on Instagram. I purposely only post unfinished, in progress photos in Instagram because I want viewers to see the continuous trial and error it takes to make a painting.

Fo today's practice, I am looking for examples of paintings with multiple, backlit figures. I discovered a Filipino painter, Fernando Amorsolo (1892) who is recognized for his backlit figures in his paintings.

Beneath the Mango Tree (1952) by Fernando Cueto Amorsolo, oil on canvas, 58.9 x 84.3 cm

Ladies in the Mango Field (1949) by Fernando Amorsolo, oil on canvas, 61 x 87 cm

I notice that the foreground is dark, the middle ground is bright and saturated, and the background is light and muted in many of these paintings. Even within the foreground there are saturated colors and whites which help move the eye through the space. As I think about my painting, I need to decide where I need to add these bold notes in the foreground and where I need to add saturated color in the middle ground.


As part of #20For20ArtChallenge2022, I am reading from The Power of Daily Practice: How Creative and Performing Artists (and Everyone Else) Can Finally Meet Their Goals by Eric Maisel, PhD. Part I of the book covers 20 Elements of Practice. In this blog post series 20For20, I write about one Element every day and reflect on how to incorporate the Element into my daily painting practice.

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