Tuesday, November 2, 2010

painting workshop with Jeff

I didn't want to write about the workshop until it was over, but I really had a good time today and I want to not it down while it's live in my mind.

This workshop began last week and I must admit, it took me a while to get serious about it. It seems I sometimes take for granted that I will run on my own motor when it comes to art and forget that it usually only works like I expect it to when I know where I'm going with what I'm doing.

First fuck up was not reading the handout and thinking I could get away with just mimicking the others. To be fair to myself there wasn't enough handouts, but to be fair in general I did show up ten minutes late, and I could've asked to look at somebody elses. So major note to self: even if it looks like a kindergarten pastime from a distance, at university, expect there to be more meat on the bone.

So I just played around with colors and textures until day three, when I found out that one of the things I should've, or at least could've done was bring in a photo to work from. The first two days wasn't total waste though, since I've never even touched gel and matte medium before and never played around with pure pigments. As far as acrylics go, I've been a "set of seven premixed tubes" kinda girl with only rudimentary knowledge about color mixing.

So today I can say I'm proud to be able to mix a nice looking purple and a decent turquoise, as well as being fairly(stupidly) confident that I can use the gel medium and the matte medium to achive a range of effects.

On Friday I brought in a Caterpillar toy and implemented a likeness of it onto one of my abstract experiments, adorning it with the words "splat!" to make it easier for people to associate the green goo underneath it with the sad faith it's bound to suffer. Sorta kinda funny, but I do take some pride in manging to make the Caterpillar actually look like the toy it was based on.

Which leads me to today, when I dared myself into painting something less abstract and more figurative:

it's from a Shell commercial in a nature magazine that I tore out to have something to work with. I was a bit daunted at first to try and paint the boy with the kite since I'm not proud of my realistic drawing skills and since I've hardly ever done this kind of trying to paint a likeness.

But I'de decided to do it, so I figured at least I could try to get the colors right and put all the parts of the kid sorta where they belonged. Trying my best I still ran out of canvas so I couldn't fit the kite on the painting. Then again, I guess it's a nice effect that the string disappears out of the image, the way his head is turned upwards and the direction of the string alongside the summery atmosphere hopefully makes people imagine a kite there, even though they can't see it.

So I did paint it crudely because I didn't feel confident to put in any details with the fussy brush I was working with, but when I saw it from a distance it seemed to look quite good.

Deciding to put some layers on it I covered it with matte medium and mixed a bit of white in the bottom part with a wide brush to create a hazy effect. Wanting to bring out the skin a little bit I covered it it with gel medium.

My over all favourite part of this painting is that it helped build my confidence to try to more of the same. It's not "great", but it does what I wanted it to do and it has qualities which if I'd seen it painted by somebody else I would'v recognized as "nice". I'm so often overly critical of myself, so it's nice to catch a break I guess :)

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