A CREATIVE EXERCISE TO TRY

I teach drawing and design and one of the first sketchbook assignments I give to the students is to pick a shape and draw it 50 times 50 different ways. This gets their imagination flowing and allows them to address different design concepts we’ve discussed; line,value,variety , etc.

I myself engage in this exercise often, making a several variations of a shape . I have posted the many variations on a shape….. there are definitely more I could come up with.. color being an additional aspect I have even touched yet. try it yourself with a shape of your own choosing.

Do you see the basic shape I started with and it’s variations throughout all the sketches?

Art Quote for the Day

Some more of my long lost notes….

Underpainting – an underpainting stimulates imagination . A black and white canvas is tedious and arouses very little initiative

Pigments for underpainting require little oil . It’s best to underpaint in neutral colors, grays or pinks.
For grays – use white lead and umber and prussian blue
For pinks – use white lead and venetian red

A midtone surface gives more flexibility than white as both dark and light will show up.
Thin color (glaze) is used for shadowand thick paint is used for highlights.

FLESH TONES
1. “basic” (caucasian) – equal parts burnt sienna & white
2. Add to ‘basic’ skin color for darker tones and variations – raw umber, cadmium red, alizarin crimson, cadmium yellow, lemon yellow ultramarine blue
3. for lighter white tones – white + burnt sienna & raw umber
+ cadmium red, burnt sienna
+ alizarin crimson & burnt sienna
+ burnt sienna & cadmium yellow
+ burnt sienna & lemon yellow
+ burnt sienna & ultramarine

Art Quote for the Day

I was cleaning out my storage shelves at school today and came across some handout sheets I’d forgotten about. I read over them and found them pretty interesting and helpful as far as painting goes…. I will post the information here hoping it will be helpful to others.

FYI – COLORS AND WHAT THEY DO

1. White mixed with other colors dulls their brilliance

2. Ultramarine blue  + white,viridian green, barium, naples yellow  = delicate atmospheric greens

+ ochres                                                                      = dull greens

+ cadmium yellow, zinc yellow                              = vivid greens

+ umber, white                                                         = grays

3. Prussian blue   + cadmium yellow                                                         = greens of great intensity

+ white                                                                             = silvery, bluish greens

+ burnt sienna                                                                = deep green

+ iron oxide reds & white                                             = grayish distant greens

+ naples yellow                                                               = cold luminous greens

+ ochre                                                                             = dull greens

+ umber, white,                                                              = all variations of warm or silvery grays

4. Naples yellow  +  black                                                                             = neutral greens

+ venetian reds,cadmium red , vermillion                =  warm pinks

5. Cadmium yellows + blues, blacks                                                          = greens

+ burnt sienna                                                          = more “fiery” sienna

6. Cadmium reds & vermillion + umber                                                   = duller reds

+ alizarin crimson                                  =  intensely fiery reds

GLAZING TIPS

1. Black and alizarin crimson make a deep velvety color suitable for glazing.

2. Pure viridian, alizarin crimson & burnt sienna are the most useful glazing colors”

3. The area to be glaze should be lightly moistened with painting medium.  Apply medium to surface and wipe with hand or brush to a thin layer

4. If dried layer is too shin ( oily or varnished) use FINEST  abrasive steel wool, or cheesecloth moistend with thurpentine – rub in parallel, horizontal strokes.

Art Quote for the Day

“I know alot of students who are distracted by an artist’s color or painterliness. They want to paint like that.Yet what isn’t always clear is that, if the artist is any good , the color and bravado is embedded in a foundation . Jon Carlson, the landscape painter, said, “confidence of execution comes from practice and long experience.”

We can run into trouble comparing ourselves with another artist’s work when our temperament is completely different from his or hers, which means that we could never do what they do.

We can admire all manner of art and artists. We can learn from all kinds of paintings. But it is unproductive to compare and evaluate ourselves againt someone else’s work. What we’re trying to compare doesn’t. and it can be harshly discouraging to try.

Certainly it’s foolish to compare what you accomplished in an afternoon session at a painting class with a model whose pose you didn’t set, with ten other artists vying for a decent view with decent lighting, with a painter who was moved by an idea, hired a model specifically for achieving the idea, and set the stage, model and lighting to reflect his vision nd then had a week of six-hour days to accomplish it. The same would apply if you tried to compare a two-hour-on-location landscape with something that was done in the studio over several weeks with far more planning and adjusting than you can ever afford with a quick sketch.

Creative Authenticity by Ian Roberts

Art Quote for the Day

WHEW!!!!!!!

I just finished another Winterim session at my place of employment, Edgewood College in Madison WI. This is a 2 week long period of time that students can take classes and get a full semester’s worth of credit. We meet EVERYDAY  for 3 hours and I had one class in the morning and one class in the afternoon.  Six hours of classtime,  2 hours of prep-time, I was out of the house everyday at 7 am and home by 4:30 pm……. with maybe 30 minutes to gulp down some kind of lunch.

I’M EXHAUSTED!

4 days off , and then, the real semester starts and back at it!

I LOVE IT !!!

The Winterim is proof of  how much can actually get done in a very short time if that time is concentrated and focused. It is proof of what students are capable of learning and doing in that same amount of quality time.

The morning class I taught was in Figure Drawing. Drawing the nude…. everyday a live model, everyday a new set of skills to be learned: proportion, measuring ,bone structure, musculature,modelling 3-dimensional form, gesture/motion, media,patience, focus, imagination. We ended today with a 2 hour long pencil drawing of 2 poses in one drawing that related to each other in some way. Students had to draw a sitting pose and a standing pose that would relate to each other , switching back and forth about every 5 minutes….. After only 9 days of intense instruction and LOTS of practice they all managed to complete a pretty accomplished drawing! Some of the students had never had a drawing course before so I’m pretty proud of them!

The afternoon class was called Art Structure and it is specifically for NON-ART majors. Again, everyday , a new set of skills and information: drawing, color theory, design, painting, abstraction, printmaking, sculpture….. total chaos everyday…. CREATIVE CHAOS! And , once again, the work completed was fantastic.

Some of the work is posted here Enjoy!….

Art Quote for the Day

I bought a new sketchbook a few months ago. It’s a larger format than I usually use so I decided I would divide each page into small squares. It’s been an interesting process…. depending on the size of the small squares, depending on how many I put on one page, I find myself exploring themes and variations of a single theme. sometimes I’ll start a page by filling all the squares with a similar shape and then start doing different things to each one. sometimes it’ll be certain set of colors I want to work with or a different media. Every single little square is a future painting I think. There are more small squares than I have time left in my life to paint but it’s going to be fun trying.

Art Quote for the Day

Gilt Complex

The one color the alchemists could not conjure up for painters was the one they labored the hardest to devise.  Struck by slanting rays of the sun, gold set the medieval altarpiece ablaze with light.  In Byzantine churches like the sixth-century San Vitale in Ravenna, golden mosaic tiles create a dome shimmering with holy radiance.  Whatever the cost of ultramarine or vermilion, gold has ancient associations that make its value transcendental.

Gold is the substance of royalty, so what could be more pious than to offer it up to God in sacred art?  And unlike silver and other  metals, it was seemingly immune to the passing years- it did not tarnish or lose its splendor.

The use of gold in Medieval art shows us more  clearly than anything else how the nature of materials took precedence over any concern for realism. Until at least the fourteenth century,holy figures on altar panels are framed not by nature’s skies or foliage, not by draperies or masonry, but by a golden field that permits neither depth nor shadow.

In later ages this metallic sheen was pushed back onto the gilded frame that held the canvas, but for the medieval artist gold was a color in its own right.  It was applied to the gessoed panels in the form of thin sheets; gold leaf. There was no need to visiti the apothecary to procure this color, for it was to be found in the purse of every wealthy person. The craftsmen of the Middle Ages , unrestricted by laws protecting currency, made thier gold leaf by hammering and hammering at golden coins, transforming them to sheets so thin as to feel almost weightless.

This task was carried out by professional goldbeaters who, even into the twentieth century, measured the wieght of gold leaf by the ducat, the gold coinage of medieval Italy.  The thickness of the foil was determined by the number of leaves (each about three and a half inches square) beaten from a single ducat.

Bright Earth – Art and Invention of Color by Philip Ball

Art Quote for the Day

LAKE COLORS

Cinnabar and red lead have an orange tint, and red ocher is dull. The dyers of ancient Egypt enjoyed the richer, darker hue of kermes, but with occasional exceptions such as indigo,dyes are too translucent to serve a paints on wood, stone, or plaster.  The Egyptians knew of a solution to this short-coming, although we cannot tell if  they invented it.  The water-soluable crimson dye is affixed to an inorganic, colorless carrier powder, generating a relatively opaque solid material called a lake pigment.

Lake is now a generic label for any dye-based pigment, but once it pertained to red alone. In the Middle Ages red lake was made not just from the gummy secretion of the kermes insect ( which became known as carmine lake) but from a related resin called lac ( also spelled lak or lack). This encrusts the twiggy branches of trees indigenous to India and southeast Asia and is exuded by the scale insect Laccifer lacca.  The modern lacquer shellac is a processed form of lac resin. Lac was imported to Europe in large quantities from  the early thirteenth century, and as a result it became a blanket term for all red dye-based pigments, including those already in circulation, such as carmine.