Saturday, March 22, 2014
What, So What, Now What
I have been pushing paint now for 4 weeks after my down time. On advice from my teacher I kept expectations low starting with some mixing exercises. Good thing. My ability to get what I wanted done was pretty poor. However, I set up each exercise to learn something and get some hours in on the easel. I started at 45 minutes and am now at 2 hours a session. As I progressed I turned to painting on scraped back images, then to painting life from my studio window, and now I have been using photo reference. Desperate to get outside for real studies, I think I'll keep the painting sessions to an hour and a half max. As I get stronger maybe multiple sessions in a day recording the light condition each time. I used to paint 6 - 7 days a week. Now maybe 4 with reading and study most every day for at least a few minutes.
So these are my observations to date.
Concept - I have been pretty good at developing these and getting a vision before painting. This really helps with the limited painting time. I use multiple small drawings with notes to solidify the vision.
Seeing - lost most of this to begin with. Painting from life has helped recover some ability. I am going to begin life drawing next week to help with this before going outside. If you can't see you tend to slip into painting what you think.
Execution - While having a decent concept, I had trouble mixing and making decisions when I started back. See it but can't do it! This has improved with time on the easel. My signature is still pretty wiggly so I have trouble laying in intricate patches of paint. Paint on, and this should improve.
Feeling the paint - This is returning as I paint more. I am a tactile person so this is important to me. As David Leffel says "you don't pint with a brush, you paint with paint".
Drawing - Use it or lose it. I draw as part of my concept development so this is helping as will the life drawing.
Composition, shapes - I'm aware of these and drawing is helping here.
Values - Pretty bad to start with especially using colour but using a value scale is helping recover this skill.
Colour - Recovering this sensitivity as I go. I have a good understanding of the theory and this helps. As I improve seeing I continue to refine colour as part of my concept.
Paint Quality - With poor dexterity in the beginning this was a problem. Just painting and paying more attention to it is helping.
Edges - If you can't see... So paint on.
I am planning to paint more in the studio. I'll do studio paintings from colour studies done on location wherever I can. After twenty years of painting standing I have to face the reality that I'm going to have to sit considerably more. So I'm looking for a substantial easel that will augment this. I'm now set for light weight travel equipment. Love the GoodOmen Travel Mate box.
Enter the Studio
Gloucester Trawler from Reference