Discomfort: Emotion or Bad Art?

Watercolor not displayed

I painted a watercolor several days ago and even uploaded it to my media files. I told myself that it was not related to the post I was working on, so I did not show it. I was working on hand gestures as icons.  The photograph I was working from for that particular post is below. It was a rather intense moment, as Mike seemed unhappy and reverted to one of his self-destructive behaviorsMy older brother, Mike is very low functioning, autistic and nonverbal.

autistic tourette complex motor tic self injurious behaviour

I restricted myself to using hand gestures only, at first, with the hope of symbolizing an emotional feeling with an icon. However, there a limit to the amount of information or even emotional content that can be contained in a single element.

In my post, “Hands in Context” as well as in “‘Stop’ Icon Development” I used three elements, some abstracted more than others, to attempt to convey feelings.

Watercolor experiment

The study I display today is an abandonment of the primary use of icons or symbols to represent feelings. I would characterize it more as a schematization of the photograph. Perhaps I exaggerated the figure’s expression and anatomy, but I think I conveyed the violence of the situation.

Mike's Hand in Motion with Jack's Hand in the Picture

Mike’s Hand in Motion with Jack’s Hand in the Picture
5″x7″ 140# Rough Watercolor Block

I am uncomfortable with this work, but I am not sure if it is the unappealing visage of the face, the crude brush strokes or the icky feeling I get when I look at it.

I hope that some of you respond with constructive critiques of this picture. I am interested in your reactions.

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