Monday, April 11, 2011

Still Life Teaching Under the Sun

Harold was waiting for us even before I made the setup for a simple still life.  I made a box corner to house the setup and chose three objects.  The largest item was a ceramic honey pot.  It was the darkest local colour.  A ceramic sake bottle with a light cool local colour was the second item.  The third item was a lonely red grape placed out in front of the two ceramics which were in partial shadow from the box corner.

As if scripted the two students arrived and were chomping to put down paint.  "It's such a simple subject".  However, I slowed them, went through the purpose of the exercise (which included increasing their batting average of good paintings made, and learning to see), got them to think about the concept of the painting they were about to paint.  Indeed, I had them write the concept down, and do a thumbnail to check for value of the shapes and their arrangement.  They rushed through that!  One shot, no alternative evaluations.  Harold was working overtime to keep his mouth shut.

You can see what I saw.

Maybe If We Start at the End.....

Maybe if We Start More at the End....

OK, Lets Draw an Outline....

So, what were the lessons learned from this exercise?

It is difficult to try to remember all the things you know about painting.  Even more difficult to try to put them into a painting.  Learning doesn't come all at once.  Patience and practice.  Eventually it will come together, but only if you work at it.  Evaluate what is learned from each painting session.  Thinking about the task at hand before you begin gives you a marker to evaluate learning against.

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