Yesterday was my last CD & AA session for the year. A third kind of line was discussed in detail, described as the lyric line. We used a thin brush with ink for this exercise. I could not break away completely from my normal style to make the right kind of marks. I would start correctly but lose my way within minutes. For the 3rd piece below I just gave up half way and started enjoying trying to capture a likeness of Javed who was posing for us for these pieces. I intend to do a few soon and attempt to draw sweeping lines to depict the form. One stroke for a line or a curve and no restating for this exercise 😀
Todays lesson was about expressing emotions using line and then using spontaneity in making an “action” painting.
Homework is to do more of these with a title for each piece and an analysis of what we see in the results.
We found the small coffee table restrictive and by the time the second exercise came around the chairs were deserted for the floor.
A course followed by Van Gogh. I was definitely intrigued. The Art Students League Library had a copy and I had quick look once before class. But there were no copies available at the usual stores and the ones that were were at exorbitant rates. I stumbled across the Dahesh museum store (while surfing :P) which had only a few left and managed to get my sister to pick it up for me. It was for my birthday this year. 😀 I had to wait till I met her in June but I didnt care. When she confirmed she’d picked it up I was thrilled.
I was waiting to do them perfectly and spent a month just thinking about them! Decided to make an attempt now instead of waiting for perfection from the get go. I could always repeat them later. Started late last month and have gone through almost 4 plates. I’ll keep adding the ones I complete to this post.
If you’d like to see someone who is doing the same course methodically and with interesting and articulate thoughts and posts, have a look at Learning to see. He’s even put up a review of the book and you can see the first five plates and his copies on the site. In fact bookmark the blog. You wont regret it, there’s lots to learn from his posts.
And I’ve just discovered while putting the links together from this post that I’m doing it all wrong!! I’m going to read that chapter carefully in the morning. I too had barely glanced at it as I was impatient to get started. A quality that got a mention in all my school reports as a quality to be curbed but it looks like after 40+ years its still very much there!
As a part of my art resolutions for the year I have been studying a few books on art techniques. Kevin Macpherson’s “Fill Your Oil Paintings with Light & Color” is one of them. As recommended, I plan to do a 100 “starts” and this is my first one. I made it last night on a 11″ X 10″ piece of canvas using a photo reference with a limited palette. There is more detail here than was asked for simply because I couldn’t resist.
Update: 14 March 2007: While writing to a friend I realised that I have not been following the instructions! Decided to add a note as an explanation and a reminder.
A “start” is defined as blocking in of the main colours on to your canvas. The finished “start” is supposed to look poster like with bold flat shapes and the advice is to paint the shapes of colours and not things. They’re supposed to look a bit abstract so I definitely am not doing them right. During my month at the Art Student’s League I was asked to do starts. I understood them to be quick sketches and that’s what I tried to do then. I should have asked for an explanation.
The instructions are
to make a small black & white line drawing on paper with a marker and separate the shadows from the light areas by filling it in solid black and then move on to a canvas
1. paint the lightest light
2. paint the darkest dark
3. paint the easiest colour – the one that comes straight from the tube without mixing
4. establish the shadow pattern
5. fill in the lights ( the darkest light has to be brighter than the lightest shadow colour)
6. move on to the next one.
These starts are supposed to be from life but lacking a model and the necessary confidence I plan to do the initial 40-50 from photo references. When i start feeling comfortable with the process I’ll move on to “live” landscapes and after that models. At least that’s the plan. These are on pieces of approx. 10″ X 12″ canvas cut from a roll. I’m continuing with a limited palette of Alizarin Crimson, Ultramarine Blue, Chrome Yellow Deep Hue and Titanium White. Cadmium Yellow Pale had been recommended but I could not find a tube.