Portrait of Ali

Detail is meaningless -- Information is everything

Feb 20, 2022

Detail is defined as:

Extended treatment of or attention to particular items.
a part of a whole: such as a small and subordinate part, a part considered or requiring to be considered separately from the whole.

Information is defined as:

facts provided or learned about something.
what is conveyed or represented by a particular arrangement or sequence of things.

Similar, but in a broad sense details are equally important while information is clearly hierarchic. Thinking about information is an easier to decide what to include, what is important, than detail, which tends to be painted at a sometimes repulsively intense level.

I want to consider what is important to include at every stage, but the underpainting stage is really the information stage and I have many degrees of freedom in it. So much that it's really fun to play around with.

For instance, in the lemon painting I wanted to nail the reflected light off the white cloth on the left and middle corners of the cube the cloth is sitting on. In the underpainting I shifted value and chroma there, laying the groundwork.

I also wanted to hit the high chroma 5YR dark edge on the right side of the lemon, knowing that I'd go over it with 10YR in the finish stage.

As the hues shift so do the values. This is very tricky painting. I really didn't think it would be so rough...apologies!

But most of the underpainting effort on the lemon involved laying in a decent amount of information about the deceptively tricky hue shift in this lemon. It goes from 5YR on the right to 5Y on the left side to 2.5GY along the top.

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