Edwardsville took on the banana challenge tonight and did an amazing job. We worked slow and steady and really tried to hone our powers of observation. It’s amazing all the little things you can stumble upon that delight or intrigue your artist’s eye when you take the time to really look at what you’re doing.
We attempted to paint one of Paige’s lovely arrangements today in the style of Stefan Luchian. Jean and Mary the Younger painted from Luchian’s painting and did a fantastic job. You can really tell that Mary the Younger loves to paint. Mary the Elder, Connie, and I tried to keep Luchian’s general to specific method in mind while we painted from life. It was a struggle, and none of us finished, but it was really educational. It’s hard to keep your brain on track and work general to specific. We are always trying to throw detail in before it’s time. Myself included. But, the more we try, the more we’ll succeed. I intend to work on mine some more and see if I can bring it to some sort of conclusion. I’m hoping that Mary and Connie will do the same. It will help to come back to it after a break.
Today was value day. We talked a LOT about how important value is to your images. We also discussed the freedom that choosing proper values gives us. As long as your values are correct, it doesn’t matter what color you choose. We say that all the time, but today’s exercise was about implementing it. We tried very hard to choose like values of different colors and commingle them in the appropriate value areas. This lends itself to creating richer and more interesting images. Mary, especially discovered how amazing this process can be when she found that putting blue into her shadows, as long as it was the right value, really made them sing. It was a lovely thing to see. We also talked about how helpful our phones can be in judging the values in our compositions. Viewing our paintings or our reference photos through our b/w camera filters helps to judge the accuracy and effectiveness of our values.
We had a great lunch after class. Mary, Jim, and I really enjoyed some laughs, some planning, and some fantastic tacos!
I wanted to discuss designing your own composition today. We took photos of various flowers and attempted to compose a painting from pieces. We discussed creating a dynamic background and flower placement and development. These are great and vibrant paintings! And I know from experience that it gets easier the more toy do it.
I absolutely forgot to take a photo of our drawings today. But, I wanted to document a topic of conversation from today’s class. We spoke at length about simplifying flowers into groups of petals and the shapes they make. Rather than drawing every single petal, draw the shapes that like-valued petals make and then fine tune after. This was my quick sunflower sketch example of that concept. This applies just as much to painting!
Lots of great work today. Mary had fun with the marble image, Betty tackled the leather shoes, Lori got introduced to my favorite fruit, and Brenda finally finished her sunflower painting. I’m SO proud of her. It was a great lesson in perseverance and a glimpse at the struggle that most paintings go through. This painting taught her how to dance. Great day of drawings and painting (even though I know Brenda only comes on Tuesdays for the tacos). We even found a great frame for the sunflowers! Lori and Mary should look for frames for theirs. Very nice. Can’t wait to see how Betty finishes hers.
Mary and I got to spread out and make a mess tonight while I taught her how to make block prints. We were all about experimenting with the process and the materials. She ended up pulling some really fun prints from the foam plates and then she got to try her hand at a trace monotype and a lino-cut. That’s some fun!