Random Tidbits

Here I am, posting yet again! Today I have a bunch of random little studies and exercises from last semester which I'd like to talk a little bit about.

The first two are both from my Advanced Still Life class from last semester...now I chiefly worked on a very big project in that class which I will be posting about very soon, but I tried to also do lots of quick little studies in that class as well. I did not end up doing nearly as much of that as I would have liked, but here are two of the quick paintings which I did do. The first was just a little grisaille painting...I had intended to work it in color in a three hour session or so, but I got so carried away by the underdrawing and underpainting that I decided to leave it simply as a value study. I think I probably spent 2 to 3 hours on it in total.

So, since the last one didn't work out quite as planned, I decided to do another study of the same subject, this time focusing on color. My teacher, Jan Baltzel, made a really excellent suggestion for this one; she said in order to avoid getting carried away with an underpainting again, I should begin by identifying and mixing the colors in the set-up...that way, before I even begin drawing or anything, I am thinking about the painting in terms of the colors there. I found that to be incredibly helpful, and for this painting, I spent probably the first 45 minutes just mixing colors and trying to get all the little subtle color variations in the apples. I have to say, this photo really doesn't capture the colors well in this painting at all unfortunately; it came out with a much yellower cast to it than the painting actually has. Anyway, I probably spent a total of 3 to 4 hours on this one.

The next few paintings are all exercises from my Materials and Techniques class with Anthony Ciambella. That class was such a blast, I really really enjoyed it and I think I learned a ton from it. Anthony is a great teacher; he's incredibly knowledgeable and very funny! With any technical issue that you might be having in your paintings you can just go to Anthony and he'll have an answer for you, from a conservator's point of view, so you know whatever he says to do will be "archival".

This first painting was just a quick little exercise in acrylics...I worked in acrylics first before I started painting in oils and I absolutely hated them, so it was kind of fun to go back and try acrylics again. I still didn't really like them at all, but at least now I felt much more comfortable working with them, and I can see how the quick-drying aspect might be useful in some ways.

This next one is the glazed over version of the grisaille underpainting which I posted a little while ago. We were supposed to have at least 3 to 4 layers of glazes on our paintings which I did...in some areas there are probably more. It was really fun just being able to experiment with layering different colors; my goal was to try and achieve some really subtle little color shifts...again unfortunately, the photo really doesn't capture the color all that well.

Again this is another glazed over painting...you can see the original underpainting here. Again there are about 3 or 4 layers of glazes on this...I tried to see how rich and vibrant I could get in some areas...I think it would be fun actually to continue glazing with this one and see how many layers it takes to get really striking reds and blues and greens. I know various people have said that with glazed paintings you are still really only getting started after 40 layers...

This last one was my "mixed media" project for that class...I really had no desire to do some kind of abstract mixed media piece like most other people were doing, so I decided to turn it into something that I was interested in. I became really fascinated by the end of last semester with trompe l'oeil painting, particularly the paintings of John Peto and William Harnett. I am definitely interested in taking my paintings in that direction in the future, and I used this as an opportunity to experiment with that. My idea with this was that half the objects would be painted and half of them would be real, and the goal was that the viewer would not be able to tell the difference. Because of time constraints I was not able to paint in quite as much as I would've liked, but I think it was still fairly successful. Can you guess which are painted and which are real?

Ok, in case you couldn't, the white string on the upper right, the black and white photograph, the yellow piece of paper, and various nails in the wood are all painted. The rest are real objects tacked on a wood board.

Alright, folks, that's all for now...I think my next post will get me completely caught up to date, and then I'll begin posting about this semester! Till next time!



May 10, 2009 at 5:34 PM

Hi Laura - the underpainting apples are my favorite - I like how dark the shadows are.

I think the trompe l'oeil could benefit from a good title, though you wouldn't like our suggestions.

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