Richard Scott on how to judge a painting
Richard explaining how looking at a painting upside-down can help in assessing composition
Richard E. Scott, landscape architect, artist, teacher, and author gave an exceptional and thorough critique of some members’ paintings and photographs. His experience as a teacher helped guide the artist to see deeper into their work and question their best composition. For his own paintings, Scott does not focus on narrative but emotion. When reviewing the paintings, he asked, “What is your highest pleasure?”— the shape that is the most satisfying and with a clear center of interest. This answer can be supported by two ideas he highlighted: first, Composition is 90% of the artwork, and second, consider Color Harmony and how colors relate to one another.
When critiquing on composition, Scott would flip a piece of artwork upside down to reevaluate the composition. Looking at the piece upside down helped the viewer see the layout in completely different manner. He would also use two pieces of blank paper to cover parts of the artwork to suggest different ways to crop the piece. Scott suggested it is important to consider composition as an abstract painter. Try taking geometric shapes and putting them together like a puzzle, to please the eye. He also emphasized the importance of doing a thumbnail sketch with tonal values. Thumbnails are like a science project experimenting on composition.
Color Harmony also plays a significant part in a successful artwork. When bringing emotion to a piece, think how colors effect the viewer. The brightest whites against the darkest darks pulls the eye where there is something to look at. Take note of “temperature.” Recessed areas will have the warmest colors in shadows. Lastly, imagine everything is made out of chrome and look at how other colors reflect other colors.
Scott took time to really critique these beautiful pieces, and the artists certainly loved his feedback and great advice for future artworks.