Motive – You can’t start without a motive
Reduce your project to one main idea and one clear emotion. Edgar Payne calls this your “motive.” Too many of my paintings fail because I started without a specific vision of what I wanted to say. Until having a clear motive becomes second nature, write down your description of the main idea and emotion.
When you decide on a main idea and emotion, your motive, write them on your sketch to remind yourself of your motive while you work on the painting.
You start with an idea and an emotion. Once that is established, remember your goal is to make a painting that you will want to see often and enjoy. If you don’t like the painting, don’t expect anyone else to want it.
Below my Motive/Idea for "Quiet Expectation, Study 1." My initial idea was to place a focal vertical in a strictly horizontal marsh scene by using clouds and reflections as design components. I wrote this on the drawing before a chose my palette or put a single mark on the paper.
|Motive / Idea on drawing|
Below is my emotion for "Quiet Expectation, Study 1". Knowing the flatness of the scene would be essentially quiet, I wanted to add an emotion that would build on that feeling. The logical emotion for an early morning with sunlight breaking through the clouds is "expectation" which builds on the confidence of the vista.
|Emotion on drawing|
Rick’s Rules for Painting
These "rules" are my own principles of painting developed over time for my personal use. They are to be used and applied in all my painting efforts.