|Michelangelo's "horns" on Moses.|
Cheesy/Cutesy--surprisingly, there are still students who attempt to create artworks containing hearts; glitter; prancing horses; leaping dolphins or bunches of roses. Usually such work comes from girls. I suppose, for the "tween" demographic, this sort of thing is to be expected, a sort of feminine rite of passage to be outgrown and cast aside by the age of 13.5. Unfortunately that doesn't always happen. It's more than just overly pretty, cliché and/or unimaginative subjects. That tends to fall under the heading of content. And, while the two often run side by side, compositions are more fundamental than content. The Internet is overflowing with adult, so-called, artists who seem irretrievably snagged on this compositional error. Decorating texts is one of many examples (though probably the most common). Just because medieval monks did it a thousand years ago doesn't mean it's okay today.
Even on Valentine's Day, this is a bit much.
Boring--Even those who select appropriate common subject-matter such as portraits, are obliged as creative artists to make an effort to compose them in some innovative manner. Even highly experienced art students sometimes submit projects that make instructors want to yawn. By and large, amateurish painting techniques trump boring compositions every time. And just as bad, perhaps in some ways worse is the attempt to employ overly complex compositional arrangements far beyond those demanded by the artist's content itself or any instinctive ability to use them--something like trying to play poker with a deck of "Old Maid" cards.
Bored Doodle--no center of interest, composition too complex for the content.
Unbalanced--Every image, page and preparatory component of an Art endeavor should be arranged in a well-balanced, aesthetically pleasing way. My painting (above) of Granddad's Place is unbalanced in that the mass of the house on the right is less than that of the outbuilding and tree on the left. A small tree on the right was added later to improve the balance. Compositional balance can be a tremendous challenge for some, while seemingly intuitive to others. Nonetheless certain principles apply. For artists who dote on rules (and there are dozens of them), this is where they can excel.
|Too much concentration on the foreground, none as to background.|
|Flesh tones are some of the easiest to "muddy-up"|
by mixing the paint on the canvas as seen here.
|Not only does the painting progress faster with a larger brush, but the entire work takes on a much more painterly quality|
|Too much color. Color TV, in the early|
years, was guilty of this.
|Notice the monotonous, overreliance on the fan brush in painting the palm foliage. The colors have also turned muddy either do to poor color choices, or their having been mixed on the canvas.|
|What color is snow? If you're painting in with pure, white pigments, you're using too much white. Compare the white border (above) to the colors used by the artist in rendering the snow.|
|"Oops...hmm...we'll make it a bird. Yeah, we'll make it a bird. |
Uhhh...THERE, its a bird now."
|Leonardo--the jack of all trades, master of most. Yet, he made mistakes...some HUGE.|