This morning while at the easel, working on the landscape portion of my painting of “Rachel”, I noticed that for me to accurately depict the layers of the painting, I am going to have to think it through like a chess player would ; Layers meaning elements that are coming forward and elements that are moving back in space.
Wikipedia defines as:
“Chess strategy (or positional play) is the aspect of chess playing concerned with evaluation of chess positions and setting of goals and long-term plans for future play.”
This is exactly how we should work as artists. Let’s not just paint by the seat of our pants but let us have definite modes of thinking to achieve our long term goals and future play of the painting.
An example would be the landscape that I am working on. I have to stop and ask myself, ” How am I going to paint the leaves in the foreground which are in the front of the tree?” The answer is to think four or five moves ahead. It’s more important to set up to a position to add the leaves rather than to execute them in the beginning. If I was to draw out the leaves first it would be an act in futility. Also if I paint the tree too dark in the under painting the leaves would not cover the darker tree in the later stages of the piece.
I am a chess enthusiast and enjoy the strategy aspect of the game. I also see many parallels between chess and painting. Each game is different and has its own set of riddles and problems to solve.
As chess players think out every move , we need to solve our visual riddles with clarity and forethought.