Thursday, September 29, 2022

Cross the Line: Realism>Abstraction

 We have seen several images that only need a stroke or two, to move from realism to abstraction.




Look at this image from China Beach. What would it take to nudge this image from the realist to the abstract?



Can you move this image both ways?

Give it a try.

Friday, September 23, 2022

Who's in Charge Here?


 How much information does it take before we can tell what the content is? Here's an altered landscape  that has been cut and pasted. Nothing is missing, but scene has been changed significantly. 


You can have all kinds of fun cutting up an image and then shuffling the pieces before putting them back together in a different order.  You might expect to see some crazy, meaningless collages, but give it a chance.  The subject needn't be a landscape. For example:





Use one of these or find your own image, cut it into thirds, reassemble it, and then paint it. 


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Monday, September 19, 2022

What a lovely wedding!

 Sorry to leave you so little time for homework. I'l  get right to it.

Much of the painting work we do skips careful realism and jumps ahead to exaggeration and invention. We can recognize a moment where we may assume that the viewer  know whats we are saying even though we've left out most of the available information. 

Here's an image that would benefit from simplification and taking a few chances.




Here's another. How would you make fewer shapes? Do you need to  make clear what all that -made stuff is?

Friday, June 17, 2022

As You Please

 The tradition for the final homework of the term is for everyone to send a piece or two of finished or unfinished work. If you like, here are a few provocative images that you are welcome to use for copying or interpretation.



From many, one. Start with one big. pale shape and add color: light, middle, dark.


                                      This Monogram value study is already done.


                                                                    



This one would welcome a  limited pallet treatment, one warm, the other cool




Friday, June 10, 2022

Color by Instinct

 



Let's select one of these paintings and simplify the shapes like we did for the monochrome studies, only here w'll copy the colors as nearly as we can. Use as many colors as you please. As an example, in the first image on the right side, there are three different groups of trees, two tall ones and one short. If you have made all three the same what would be an economic way to correct that? As you can imagine, this exercise will benefit from using lots of practice paper.









That's it. Pay attention to your technique. Do you adjust the color temperature or the hue to correct  your colors? How do you lighten your colors? How does adding the compliment of a color change the mixture? How do you avoid running out of colors? Have fun!


Friday, June 3, 2022

Monochrome Value Study

Please read this more than once.

Making a single color study is a valuable tool for any medium. It is a powerful first step toward abstraction. it can reveal the compositional relationships between shapes. It can measure the role of color temperature in creating an illusion of space.

Like most studies, monochrome value studies begin by locating the major shapes. Drawing helps, but don't get carried away. At this point we need to know where the shapes are, not what they are.  Struggling to identify the components prematurely leads to overpainting and to a degree of complexity that is often not necessary.

Choose a color that can get dark enough to represent black.  Dilute with water to lighten your color, and enrich with pigment to darken it. How many steps your value study takes is usually determined by the complexity of the source image. 

    The relative simplicity of this image suggests a three step study;
 the light of the waves and some of the clouds, the middle value of the beach and some of the sky, and the dark of the sea stack and the shrubs.

     

This puddle scene, below. could also be given a simple treatment; light, middle, dark, but the subtlety of the middle value shapes would be lost. It looks like a five step study would be more appropriate; white, light, middle, dark, black.


   

Here are a few more;   Let  the study dry between layers.






If you're crazy enough to try painting the rainbow, I recommend practicing.





Thursday, May 26, 2022

I'm Just Playing

During our critiques and especially after, when I make the rounds and discuss your work one on one with you, I often hear the comment that you are "just playing". I know the idea is that you are experimenting, taking chances, but there is also a bit of  the suggestion that this is not your real work and should not be judged. 

I hope I can always encourage you to take chances and be inventive, even if it means in part that you risk being taken seriously. Who is the main judge, anyway?

I also hear "If I did that again, I'd do that part differently". Do you hear the opportunity in there? Imagine if you really did do it over again every time you said you would!

For homework, please find a painting among those from the last couple of weeks and identify a passage that would benefit from some analysis and paint it again.

Feel free to be playful!