In art, size matters. Scale is part of the vocabulary of a piece, and it contributes to how the viewer relates to it. Scale determines to some extent how the artist relates to a piece in the process, and so influences the outcome. I've been asked if it's possible to just take a piece and copy it on a larger scale. Yes, of course you can do that, but something gets lost in translation. Scale relates to the size of your tools, your body, your gesture, as well as to your materials.
That said, I have loads of paintings I'd like to try on a larger scale. I would like to work on a larger scale in general. I see my work on a computer screen or in a slide show, and think: I wish that were 4'x4', or even bigger, rather than just the 10"x10" it is. So... I took a 10"x10" piece, and tried to "copy" it at 3'x3', just to see what would happen.
|This piece is 10"x10", and it's one of my favorites. It came at the end of a long day and a long process, at the point where I was covering over big swaths of intricate collage and paint. |
|This is a snapshot of the 3'x3' copy, not a good photo or scan, but that is only one reason it looks washed out and flat.|
Some of the differences are obvious: texture is missing from the larger painting. The values are not right, and so far I haven't been able to come up with a substitute for the calligraphy. I notice that depth is much more difficult (for me, at this point) to achieve in a larger piece. Hmmm.... even if I got the scale of all the shapes correct (which I didn't), I have to figure out how to get more push-pull.
I will keep working on it as an exercise. The goal is not to reproduce the original piece, but to see what will happen, see what I can learn, from trying. Any tips on working at a larger scale are most welcome! I'd also be interested to hear of your own challenges with this. Thanks for visiting.