Thursday, February 19, 2015

Back to School

I have started back to school again, taking an oil painting class at New Hampshire Institute of Art. This is an evening class for continuing education students.  So far we are doing still lifes, definitely not my favorite. I struggled with them in my drawing classes too.  The other part that is hard for me is that I have no emotional or spiritual connection to oranges, apples, pitchers, cubes etc. However, as an artist, I need to look at the shapes and their relationship to each other. Then I try to get them on the canvas somewhat in proportion (definitely not doing too well with this yet). Once the images are on the canvas, I am learning how to mix the colors (also not too accurate yet) and values (light/dark) on the objects.  I'm hoping that my struggles with this medium will be worthwhile and will help me with other media too.

Lesson 1 was dreadful. When I brought it home, I fixed the color on the orange a little better, but the objects were not in proportion. I sort of remembered how to do the folds in the drapery.  I liked the feel of the paint.

Lesson 2 was a little better. The teacher had to help me with perspective. He also showed me how making the shadows a bit darker really helps the image.  Again, I enjoyed doing the drapery folds.

Lesson 3 was on white objects with a splash of color. I didn't get the pitcher shape right (again, I need more practice with measuring objects), but I liked the way it came out.  I didn't pay close attention to the dark drapery in the back and later on realized it was a dark blue, not black. Good thing I don't have to worry about getting graded on my artwork!

Meanwhile, I am still working on my 4' x 5' canvas project with acrylic paints. I am enjoying that and hope to finish it within the next 2-3 weeks.  Then I can focus more on the oil paints. As a landscape painter I would like to be able to do more plein air painting and that definitely works better with oil paints. Acrylic paints dry too quickly.

On the positive side during this week, I sold a painting! Naturally, it was a beautiful flower. A good choice to look at when there is so much snow outside, over 80 inches so far (this is higher than 2 meters). Cards and prints are available on my website of that painting. I'm happy with the winter, but a little tired of shoveling so much snow.