Doing more with less
Published 4 years ago
the art of adding and removing elements from a painting
I have got a very special post I am dying to make that will include video and a lot of cool stuff, but before that, I want to talk to you guys about a very special book by Richard Schmidt entitled “Alla Prima - Everything I Know About Painting”. Most of my fellow artists that have read this book did so because of its insights into oil painting and traditional procedures - however, within it lies a very basic but essencial principle to what is designing for any medium. 
Basically, the book states that if the story in your painting is not working, it is either because you ADDED something that should`t be there or REMOVED something that should. In the book he mainly talks about observational painting and drawing and so the core of this information is to be interpreted as adding or removing features of the subject you are representing. Nevertheless, if we remove this context and realize the information with a design background, it becomes a very powerful measuring tool for you to use to see if you are on the right track. 
I remembered this because when designing narrative shot designs for Ologon: Edlen`s Wrath, we have the challenge to present a story that must be entertaining and fitting to every choice of character avatars (more about that here). For the shot below in particular, it became a question about removing or adding the main character, Edlen, on the scene. The story lead of the company provided me with descriptions of the scenes to be painted and I followed his directions until, after remembering how important it is to measure everything that you add to your piece, I decided to break to the team that I felt we should go on another direction.
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In this context, by removing Halley Edlen from the scene and making him the viewer, the piece became a simpler, more powerful statement. I owe it to my team for debating this issue with me tirelessly. That`s a good point to address. When I`m making concept art, my team is my audience (the first level of it anyway) and so sometimes because I deal with art all the time, I fail to notice flaws on, for example, what exactly the picture I am making is communicating. And that`s OK, the whole purpose of working with a team is that I don`t have to know it all: I can focus on what I am good at and trust others to point me in the right direction if I lose myself thinking about secondary stuff.
Stay sharp,
Tamires Pará
Lead Concept Artist @ Young Mind Studio
Pedro Dalcin