Friday, July 30, 2010

Class, Day 5

Starting to have some depth and some life. I am very pleased. What is working well: use of paper palette makes blending easier and more natural. I am glad I have some drawing experience, because it is easier for me to correct mistakes. If something looks off I can compare height and distance as if it were an architectural drawing, which helps in stepping back from the fact that I am trying to make an arm.

Her features look nothing like the original painting, but I am fond of her look. I think she will be a different woman rather than a replica of the Rizzoli painting. Also, the original is clearly a European, which I would like to stray from.

Some things I am noticing now- the hand to head ratio is off: I think I need to make her head smaller.

Advice from teacher- you do need to let the oil dry at some point and stop working with it, even if it is not how you like it. At some point you are just pushing paint around.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Class, Day 4

To my delight I started a new painting in class yesterday. I am pleased that I will get to do two for this class, of different nature, to get as much advice and learning as I can. I bought palette paper to mix on at her insistence, rather than using my usual plastic trays.

I am starting this with the intent of doing a

replica of Rizzoli's Magdalene. I am hoping to learn how to create the soft lines and shading, and how a figure can be partially hidden by darkness. I did an acrylic undercoat of yellow (!?!) at the recommendation of my teacher because she said it is an overall warm painting. She also recommended just under painting some translucent reds and dark browns (the latter of which she said was too dark). Then she recommended drawing the figure with paint or charcoal, and I chose to develop the shapes with skin tones rather than draw. Here I switched to oil, and I found it to be such a great medium for this task, as I could very quickly correct the angles and shapes as I mixed light and shadow. Now I do not know how or why I ever tried to do a realistic skin tone with acrylic.

I took a lot of pictures, because this is unfamiliar territory for me. I would have done things very differently and I know they would not have been very successful at the start- I would have really struggled. I tend to paint final shapes and detail in quickly and to not apply as many layers as are needed.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Class, Day 3

Day three, and my teacher thinks I am just about done with this. My goal was to add more detail to the landscape to make it look more real like plants and things, but she strongly advised against it, because she thinks it is much more interesting as is. she thinks detail will be too much. I have come to see her point. I added the two bodies (one a reflection) and a little more light green and here is where I have landed. The story in my head also has seven floating orbs throughout the painting, but again she thinks that too much detail would be a bad idea. It seems that composition is more important than the subject matter- she says if I need to add anything perhaps I need a second painting. She likes the bodies being the same size and parallel, as it creates an interesting tension.

I also presented pictures of my earlier work which I used as an example of how I want to NOT paint: solid lines, no subtlety, clearly defined forms only... she said sometimes that technique is useful for the subject and sometime it is not.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Class, Day 2

It is very helpful painting in front of someone who knows their stuff, and does not mince words. Class 2 I learned that I do not even know how to buy paint properly. I am serious. For the last 3 years I have been using a red that is not true red (necessary for proper mixing) but rather an orange red that is almost glowing, it is so bright. Turns out I need Cadmium, not just the red that stands out to me in the store as the red that most closely resembles my idea of red. She also said that the blue that I bought is so intense that it is dangerous. Dangerous!