Friday, April 30, 2010

Lesson 71 - Rocks and Water

This lesson had two goals. First we wanted to make a blob of paint look like a group of rocks. We did this by using sharp edges, creating texture, wiping or scraping out light planes and adding dark accents. The second problem was to consider compositional arrangements of dark rocks and white rushing water. We began by playing with cut out paper shapes to get ideas for possible layouts. Finally we developed one of these designs into a painting. Here are a few of the results.

Karen used a credit card to scrape out planes and texture on her rocks.

Kazuyo's rocks are defined by lines and dark accents.

Bev's rocks with the orange colors and square tops suggest the southwest.

Carol used a palette knife for her texture and created an interesting variety of rock shapes and sizes.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Lesson 70-Monochromatic Portraits

The purpose of this lesson was to reproduce a portrait from a photograph paying special attention to values or lightness and darkness of each area. We worked from black and white photographs, either old family photos or ones taken for this project in black and white. The photograph was transfered to watercolor paper using tracing paper or a grid system, or by projecting the image. Once the information about features and shapes was established we could concentrate on judging the value relationships in the face. As a final step we tinted areas with color using a light glaze. We really got some wonderful results for the short time we have to work.

Denise worked from a picture of her mother and added light glazes of color at the end.

Nancy began with a photo she liked that had strong side lighting.

Another Nancy started with a graduation photo of her mother.

And Emily started with her mother's wedding photograph.

Leslie worked from a photo she took of an interesting face.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Lesson Change

At the request of one student ! we will be switching the order of a couple of the classes. Next week we will be working on portraits and everyone should come prepared to work on a realistic, monochromatic face.

Lesson 69 - Flowers with a Border

An interesting way to create depth in graphic design is to play with a subject and a border. The subject can overlap a border or disappear behind a border and the border becomes part of the overall composition. In this lesson we played with this idea using a floral subject. Besides the challenge of designing with the floral shapes, there was also the problem of deciding on the colors of the background and of the border itself. We did come up with some very successful paintings. (Note - the degree that the paintings are skewed is due to my photography.)

Selma worked with a bouquet of tulips and a dark gray border.

Jan used a dark border with a light wash behind her flowers.

Carla used a blue green band to tie her dark shapes together.

Rita surrounded her flower with a very dark background and lighter borders.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Lesson 68 - Yellow Green, Red Violet Complements

Yellow green and red violet are a complementary pair and sit opposite each other on the color wheel. When mixed together they create a perfect neutral gray and when used side by side they enhance and brighten each other. We began this exercise by exploring colors on our palette and finding which were true complements that would create a true neutral when mixed. These were not always the obvious choices. After finding a complement pair we explored varying value by creating light and dark versions of our hues and varying intensity be creating semi-neutrals. Finally we used this complement pair in a painting.

Lois chose to paint a floral and used the complements in the background as well as on the flowers.

Denise worked on a landscape. Notice how she used the yellow green - red violet in the sky.

Elaine worked with red and green fruit. Set side by side each enhances the other's color.

Carol glazed layers of yellow green and red violet to bring out her floral shapes.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Lesson 67 Two Point Perspective

Every so often we have to review perspective theory. This session we tackled two-point perspective where we are looking at the corner of a building. The subject was a street corner, or a corner store and the challenge was to depict architecture retreating in two directions. Here are the results.

Nancy chose some old buildings in Murphy, California.

Mike mistakenly painted on the back of his backing board but still came out with an interesting painting.

Kay worked on a complicated business built on a hill.

Celine drew her painting in pen and ink and added light watercolor washes.