A People Painters Perspective: By Bryan J. James


In art we learn about perspective; how your perspective can change depending on where you are located in reference to an object.

In art, most painters use oil paints as their medium and a 3/16 round brush. Oil paints are vibrant and smooth, and a 3/16 round brush can be used for very detailed strokes and clearly defines lines. Oil paint is long lasting and very unforgiving. Once you have applied the paint it is not so easy to change. It dries slowly so you have time to develop the colors and the variations but once it dries, attempting to simply paint over the old is not so easy.
As a painter I tend to use acrylic paint and a flat ¾ inch bush most often. The acrylic paint dries quickly, so your strokes and color selection should be deliberate. The flat ¾ inch brush has the ability to cover a sufficient amount of space while still allowing me to adequately control my brush strokes. To ensure that each stroke is meticulously placed and does not unintentionally overlap areas to which I have already completed.
I find that in our lives we tend to use acrylic paint when painting the picture of ourselves but use oil paint when referring to others completely unaware that as the artist your choice of medium says more about you than the canvas.
How we respond to others is directly related to the picture of them you have painted in your mind. When the people around us change; we are presented with something that contradicts our painting and requires that we paint over the old dry oil paint using a small precision brush we often opt to just leave the painting as is. Occasionally we will switch to a large flat brush to attempt to cover everything and just start over not taking into account how the darker colors will still show through from time to time and how the broad stoke may hide pieces of the painting that we enjoyed most. Although, when we change; the ideas and feelings we have about the world around us begin to shift and rearrange themselves like an amoeba. We are quick to point out to others how their painting of who we are should also shift and adjust just as fluidly. It is important to note that your painting of yourself is constantly shifting and changing along with everyone else around you. It is simply the nature of things. As you move your perspective of the world around you moves as well. It is impossible for a turtle and an eagle to see the world the same way. Yes, they are both living in the same world. Yes, they both see the green grass, and feel the cool breeze. However, they experience them is based on where they are in relation to it. The paintings of themselves and the world they live in will reflect their current perspectives.
I have in retrospect learned to paint my pictures in mixed mediums. Use both oil and acrylic. Use detail and wide stroke brushes. Step away from time to time. Ensure that where I am standing is allowing me to see the subject in its best or worst lights. I ask, what do I need to change about where I am standing? Lighting? Background? Do I need to clean my glasses? In the end as I change so will the people and the world around me. So the question is not did they change. The question is… were you standing to close to really see them in the first place?

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