Thursday, April 23, 2009
My oil painting teacher encourages students to copy paintings by old masters as a way of learning about color and technique. When I encountered Claude Monet’s painting “Branch from a lemon tree,” I decided to give it a try since it provided more practice using the color yellow. Monet’s painting had a vertical orientation, but my copy seems to look "better" displayed horizontally, (Sorry, Claude.) I was unable to scan the canvas; the photo does not accurately depict the colors.
I’m really enjoying my class, although I’m a bit bored with painting red, blue and green boxes and cylinders. Yesterday my teacher suggested I move into the next class level now, rather than continue with the current beginning class. I'm thinking about it, although it's kind of nice to feel competent in a class. But it would be more challenging (and interesting) to be with experienced painters.
Monday, April 13, 2009
A few years ago I took an oil painting class at the local community college. The woman who taught the class was a watercolor painter who was assigned the oil painting class a few weeks before the term began. She was a very nice person, but didn’t really know what she was doing. I loved the lusciousness of oil paints, but found the class frustrating and didn’t learn much. Recently I decided to try again. I’ll be driving to Eugene once a week for the next two months for an oil painting class at the local art center. The first class was last week and I’m pleased with the teacher. She obviously knows a lot and has an encouraging and helpful manner in interactions with students.
For the next few classes we will focus on painting still lifes with objects of only one primary color. Last week we painted yellow objects, using a limited palette of alizarin crimson, cad yellow light, French ultramarine, and white.
Next week we will add cad red light to our palette when we paint red objects. By the end of the class our palette will consist of six primary colors - warm/cool versions of each.
This is my painting of a yellow flowerpot and crayon. In the oil painting world I think it’s considered important to cover the canvas completely. But I was still in partial watercolor mode and felt compelled to leave a bit of white canvas showing. I can see that leaving some white doesn't really enhance an oil painting the way it does a watercolor.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Paper is everywhere around my house. It gets rolled up, hung up, laid in the corner of rooms, cut up and placed in portfolios. I'm sure it would be happier carefully laid in a flat file - dry, safe, and unwrinkled as it awaits its final expression.