Tag: study

What is Fine Art Experimental Media?

The Fine Art Experimental Media program is a three year program which delves into the intersections between new technologies and contemporary art. While you will learn various programs that could prepare you for other professions, the goal of the program is to foster creative individuals who can solve problems and create new and innovative works of art relating to space, interactivity, time, and digital media. The following courses compose the first two years of study in the program, before a final year in the BA which is focused primarily on studio work, conceptual development through critical writing, and an exhibition module.

Courses during the first two years.

Animation Techniques for Interactivity, 2D 3D and Time-Based Digital Applications, Drawing Techniques and Processes, Computer Interface Design Principles, New Technologies in Interactive Media, Interactive Media Design and Prototyping, Interactive Media Web Authoring, Contextual & Cultural Referencing, Audio-Visual Techniques, Professional Practice, Digital Video Post Production & Editing, Sound Production and Editing, Idea Generation and Development, Website Creation and Management, Critical Study, Project Design; Implementation and Evaluation.

Courses for Final BA Year.

Reflective Case Study, Visual Production, Final Exhibition.

So what’s the difference betwen Commercial Art, and Fine Art?

If you are unfamiliar with these courses and concepts, and how they relate to contemporary art making, then you should look at some prominent artists working in the field to gain a better understanding of what types of projects generally encompass this field of study.  While there have been many debates about what generally constitutes commercial work, and what is Fine Art the statement can be made that commercial work is generally created for a client, and while someone hired to make a commercial certainly has their own creative vision their end goal is to showcase a company or business. The FAEM program is not focused on creating work for companies, clients or businesses. It’s a Fine Art program.

What Software and Computer Languages which will be studied?

Aftereffects, Premiere, Flash, VVVV, Pure Data, Reaper, Unity, Resolume, 3dsMax, HTML, Javascript, C Sharp, and you will also be using controllers such as Arduino which need to be programmed as well as Kinect. On top of that there is a focus on writing and critical theory, animation, and drawing techniques with new media.

Examples of Experimental Media.

Projection mapping has been around for about 50 years, the goal is to turn almost any surface into a dynamic video display. Software such as Aftereffects, Resolume, and Quartz are used to warp and mask the projected image to make it fit perfectly on irregularly shaped screens. The following video is a good example of what the limits of the medium are, and how the aesthetic of the medium can be used.

THE AETHER PROJECT from Refik Anadol on Vimeo.

 

Pedro Reyes is a sculptor who works with guns which have been disassembled and then he creates large mechanized instruments from them.  In this piece we can see that he revisioned these objects which were once deadly and turned them into something which creates sound. Thereby intersecting the boundaries between sound art, kinetic sculpture, and collage.

Jodi.org 1993

Jodi.org took the approach that a website could itself, and that the internet could be seen as a medium much like paint or charcoal. The project was created by two European artists whose goal was to take apart the typical language of the internet, and replace it with an interpretation of data. The site displays remixed versions of found images and html scripts in a way similar to how the dadaists cut up poetry. The project displayed principles inherit in a lot of New Media art which is the fact that it took advantage of emerging technolgies as a vehicle to create new art. For this reason, today when we have different new technologies to play with, they are often the focus of how to create new works of art and devices are often hacked or reconfigured to fit the needs of the artist. The idea that these objects can exist purely as data is one which is common, and often exploited.

jodi_org

 

Artists also employ a strong element of interactivity into these works as well as we can see in the work of Muti Randolph who created a giant interactive sculpture which would respond and interact with the movements of those who were walking through it. It is common for these artists to employ the use of arduino (a single board controller which  intended to make the application of interactive objects or environments more accessible) as well as more familiar items such as Kinect which allows a computer to track someone’s movements and track them.

But artists using New Media is not something only synonymous with the digital age. One can  look at the work by Swiss Sculptor Jean Tinguley who is best known for his self destructing sculptures.  Many times an emphasis is put on temporary work and the genre blends aspects of performance as well as traditional artistic practices such as sculpture or painting.

 

Because of the fact that often times the work created was temporary, often the pieces would be videotaped as documentation of the work itself. At the same time the advent of video technology lead to artists also using and exploiting the medium to create works of art. Nam Jun Paik is one of the most well known examples of an artist to explore the incorporation of video into his work. Paik blended elements of sculpture, happenings, video footage, and sound into his installations.

Artists such as Eduardo Kac pushed the boundaries of what it meant to be a biological entity with the creation of his glowing rabbit. This is still a developing field referred to as Transgenetic Art.  By extracting a protein found in a certain type of jellyfish, he infused this protein into the DNA of a rabbit and created this living sculpture which would glow when blue light was shined upon it.

glowing_rabbit

The creation of this transgenetic art caused the rabbit to be held inside a lab because of fears that it would try to reproduce if it escaped.  Subsequently there was a campaign to Free Alba (The name of the rabbit) which created some public debate about the morality of the project. This debate, according to Kac, also became part of the artwork itself and made it a living public sculpture.

Bas Jan Ader

 

As you can see, the materials and concepts present in a variety of pieces can vary greatly, however they are all rooted firmly in the history of art and thinking which developed during the 20th century. This timeline can give you a glimpse into the wide variety of influences both art, philosophy, and technological advancements had with one another. [ Click to Enlarge ]

 

20th_Century_Timeline_Art

 

It is important to note that the Fine Art Experimental Media program is not one which is directly geared towards the creation of commercial work, but rather immersive installations which fit into a Fine Art context.  This piece by Bill Viola incorporates a variety of media and techniques, including sculpture, video, and sound.

Viola is primarily known for innovative work working with Videos which encompass entire rooms which exhibit an overpowering quality to them. His subjects tend to revolve around issues regarding life, death, and consciousness.

In this sound installation in a forest by Janet Cardif she transforms a natural enviroment into a performance space.

In this piece by Stelarc, we can see that the body itself can be a living sculpture which can be manipulated and used to incorporate elements of technology, dance, performance, robotics, 3d modeling and sculpture.

As you can hopefully see by now, the thrust of the program is not on making car commercials, or animations. All of the programs you learn will simply be used as tools in the creation of art. If you are still uncertain the best possible way to decide your pathway would be to attend either the HND final show, or the BA final show, the visiting artist lecture series, or any of the other events which the program puts on.

 

 

Objects in Motion PES

Objects in Motion
Class

Personal Experimental Studies
Semester 1304
Lecturer : Jeremiah Palecek and Krystof Kriz
Start:
18.11.2013
Due Date:
20.12.2013
Internally
Verified by
IV Date
Pass Criteria
1.
Pass Criteria Covered
P1 explore materials, processes
and techniques safely
P2: Record Experimental outcomes
Students should show they can use and explore their materials
and associated processes safely andwith care. They should
recognise and apply relevant health and safety guidelines, and
experiment with materials, techniques and processes to generate
a range of tests, samples, roughs and practical work..
students should demonstrate the ability to record their
experimentation in a clear and methodical
manner. They will record findings on a regular basis and include
all relevant technical information. Recording
can take many forms as appropriate to the process and the
individual learning needs. There will be evidence
of their involvement with the processes. Technical language and
terminology will be used correctly.
1.
Grading
Descriptors
Grading Criteria
Summary of Tasks

THE TASK:
Students will have to choose at least two different objects from which they will be making a sculpture, for instance, this could be
something like matches and bottle caps. They will also be assigned an emotion which they must illustrate. Using these two objects
they will make sketches of how to construct 2 characters which will interact in a short stop motion film. A storyboard will also
accompany these sketches. Students will be allowed to use materials to connect their objects together such as wire, string,
chickenwire fence, or rope. [p1] Once the character/sculptures are finished the students will then create an animation which
incorporates both of their objects into a narrative. Once all the footage is shot we will finalize the animations and add sound in
photoshop and premiere. [p2] Sketchbook (Can Continue using MEAD Sketchbook if you wish)
Experimentation will be carried out during class time. And we will be engaging in a series of
Prague College
1.
Required Work and Format
You must submit a cd to reception with your scans of all relevant sketchbook pages during the last
3 weeks. The more documentation you have of your experimentation, and research the better. Your
submission must contain every media studied during class. Failure to include documentation of each
medium will result in a failing grade.

 

 

Examples of Stop Motion Animation

EAGER by Allison Schulnik from garaco taco on Vimeo.

 

As you can see in all of these stop motions, the animator creating them took materials which had qualities of something quite different than what is portrayed. So slabs of meat become two lovers. Paper becomes water dripping. And dollar bills become herbs and spices.

For next class you must bring your materials with which you will be working! That means if you are going to be using bottle caps, matches, and wire then you must bring all of these materials to class to begin construction of your armature. This is a very in depth project which we don’t have a lot of time for so it is important to stay on track as it is very easy to fall behind. You may use any program to animate your objects. The simplest being Flash, or Photoshop or if you want to download a program like Dragon Frame then feel free as well. The important thing to remember is that your armatures must be solid enough to be moved into various positions.

MÖBIUS from ENESS on Vimeo.

Building Armatures

You’re going to have to find a way to get your objects to stick together. This can be done with a variety of materials from using a glue gun, to using glue, to tying pieces together with wire, to using hinges and joints to create functioning arms and legs.

Building of these armatures can obviously get very complex for more extensive projects.

GLUE

So, what do you need for next class?

1. Your two Objects which will form the majority of your characters which you will be creating.

2. Something to hold these objects together (Glue, wire, gluestick, etc.)

3. Choose one emotion which will be demonstrated by your animation. (see the list below)

4. Storyboards of your stop motion must also be finished as soon as possible ( but we understand it will take some time to construct your characters first)

 

STUDENT EXAMPLES

 

List of Emotions

abandoned

acceptance

adoration

affection

Aggravated

agitated

agressive

alert

amazed

ambitious

amused

anger, anger2

animosity

annoyed

anticipation, anticipation2

anxiousness

appreciative

apprehensive

ardent

aroused

ashamed

astonished

attraction (sexual)

attraction (intellectual)

attraction (spiritual)

awed

betrayed

bewildered

bitter

bliss

blue

boastful

bored

breathless

bubbly

calamitous

calm

camaraderie

cautious

cheerful

cocky

cold

collected

comfortable

compassionate

concerned

confident

confused

contempt

content

courageous

cowardly

crafty

cranky

crazy

cruelty

crummy

crushed

curious

cynic

dark

dejected

delighted

delirious

denial

depression

desire poem

despair

determined

devastated

disappointed

discouraged

disgust

disheartened

dismal

dispirited

distracted

distressed

dopey

down

dreadful

dreary

eager

ecstatic

embarrassed

emotional-detest

empathic

emptiness

enchanted

enigmatic

enlightened

enraged

enthralled

enthusiastic

envy

euphoric

excited

exhausted

expectation

exuberance

fascinated

fear

flabbergasted

fight-or-flight

foolish

frazzled

frustrated

fulfillment

furious

gay

giddy

gleeful

gloomy

goofy

grateful

gratified

greedy

Gray Because a Broken Heart

grief poem

grouchy

grudging

guilty

happy happy2

hate

heartbroken

homesick

hopeful

hopeless

horrified

hostile

humiliated

humored

hurt

hyper

hysterical

indignation

infatuation

infuriated

inner peace

innocent

insanity

insecure

insecure

inspired poem

interest

intimidated

invidious

irate

irritability

irritated

jaded

jealousy

joy

jubilant

kind

lazy

left out

liberated

lively

loathsome

lonely

longing

love

lovesick

loyal

lust

mad

mean

melancholic

mellow

mercy

merry

mildness

miserable

morbid

mourning

needed

needy

nervous

obscene

obsessed

offended

optimistic

outraged

overwhelmed

pacified

pain

panicky

paranoia

passion

pathetic

peaceful

perturbation

pessimistic

petrified

pity

playful

pleased

pleasure

possessive

pride

provoked

proud

puzzled

rage

regretful

relief

remorse

resentment

resignation

resolved

re

sadness

satisfied

scared

Schadenfreude
song about Schadenfreude

scorn

selfish

sensual

sensitive

sexy

shame

sheepish

shocked

shy

sincerity

solemn

somber

sorrow

sorry

spirited

stressed stressed2

strong

submissive

superior

surprised

sweet

sympathetic

temperamental

tense

terrified

threatened

thrilled

tired

tranquil

troubled

trust

tormented

uncertainty

uneasiness

unhappy

upset

vengeful

vicious

warm

weary

worn-out

worried

worthless

wrathful

yearning

zesty

Generative Art and Chance for Visual Production

Sol LeWitt wrote that “the serial artist does not attempt to produce a beautiful or mysterious object but functions merely as a clerk cataloguing the results of his premise.”

sol_le_witt_grid

Generative art refers to art that in whole or in part has been created with the use of an autonomous system. An autonomous system in this context is generally one that is non-human and can independently determine features of an artwork that would otherwise require decisions made directly by the artist. (Thanks Wikipedia)

Generative systems can manifest themselves in generally two ways.

The system can be an extension of an artists intent, and original idea, and the work should reflect these intentions. In this situation the artist still possesses some control and works with elements which are generated by chance. In the following piece by Ellsworth Kelley he used several small compositions which were based upon cutting up multiple sheets of paper and matching them together by tossing them into the air, cutting the edges square, and then placing the smaller compositions into a larger grid. In this piece Kelley obviously determined the colors which were to be used however he let the compositions make themselves by chance. One should also note, that this piece worked out quite well, and that is probably why it is better known than other experiments that never saw the light of day.

Kelly-Meschers

In a following piece Kelley was noted to have said that he wished to work with more color after seeing an Ad Rheinhart exhibition. His pilgrimage into color was marked by the creation of a series of collages called the Spectrum Colors Arranged by Chance I to VIII. In this piece he created a grid, and then randomly assigned each square in the grid a color by mixing up a bunch of numbers in a hat and pulling them out randomly. Of course, there were still limits in place such as how many numbers can be used and restrictions.

Spectrum Colors Arranged by Chance I to VIII

William Burroughs talks about using a similar technique to generate poetry. Created by the Dadaists, popularized by Burroughs. The technique still lives on and has also been used by Thom Yorke (he’s in this band called Radiohead) and Kurt Cobain.

iching_coins

Divination techniques of the I Ching were used by John Cage to create paintings. Read more about them here.

cage_dereau23_new

He also used them to make musical compositions which Jorge could undoubtedly tell you more about.

Generative works can also be made from code, and therefore some argue that these sorts of works that the artist steps back even further and the system itself should take on the role of the creator.

“works where an unpredictable progressive virus operates on a degradation/transformation of an image. Using a C++ framework, Joseph Nechvatal and his programmer/collaborator Stephane Sikora have brought Nechvatal’s early computer virus project into the realm of artificial life (A-Life) (i.e. into a synthetic system that exhibits behaviors characteristic of natural living systems). With Computer Virus Project 2.0, elements of artificial life have been introduced in that viruses are modeled to be autonomous agents living in/off the image. The project simulates a population of active viruses functioning as an analogy of a viral biological system. Here the host of the virus are the digital files on which the computer-robotic assisted paintings in this show are based. Among the different techniques used here are models that result from embodied artificial intelligence and the paradigm of genetic programming.”

So what’s in common with all of these pieces? For starters each element was chosen by a human, and it would be difficult to argue that all generative art is not a byproduct of human decision. Kelley chose colors, Burroughs cut up newspapers, and Cage assigned notes on a piano (ok ok. and colors too…He was pretty good!..anyway). But the point is that all of these had a starting point and that was working with a specific medium and process. And many times it is important to note that they fit what many would assume is a chaotic process of generated components of their work and put it into a certain framework. Such as a grid, or a series (yep. That’s why Sol Lewitt is also called a Serial Artist). If you think your stuff looks like crap then put it in a square.

Screen Shot 2013-11-12 at 12.20.12 PM

You were all told to bring two mediums to class, one traditional, and one which is digital. You will be creating a system of making art which is based upon some chance operation to combine your two media. That means the final piece should exhibit both the qualities of the traditional media as well as the digital media. If you are stuck on how to create chance operations then first think about what are the components inherit in both of your mediums and how you can assign these components into a generative system. Paint has color, thickness, wetness, darkness, speed, application, texture, forms. Jpegs are made of code, colors, darknesses, computer screens, projected light, or turkeys.

How have people done chance operations? Roll some dice. Point to a word in a book at random. Throw stuff at the wall. Break stuff. roll some dice which determines which rock you should throw at a glass full of words and then make 10 images based off of the first ten words you pick up and then pour wax all over the images. Remember you can also do loads of chance operations using the internet or your computer. Use google to generate random words based upon random searches. Use Youtube to generate random screen grabs etc. Create some artificial intelligence which not only creates digital work but also spams leading art galleries emails with the images. But remember your final piece should combine a traditional medium with your digital medium.

nechvatal

“Hey what are some traditional mediums!”

Cement, Glass, Metal, Stone, Brick, Wood, Chalk, Charcoal, Crayon, Graphite, Marker, Pastel, Pen and ink, Pencil, Sand, Watercolour, Oils, Acylics, Inks, Dyes, Glues, film, wooden instruments,

“Ok cool. So what are some new mediums?”

Well, digital media is generally referred to as stuff that needs electricity to work. Like Graphic art software for illustration and animation, 3D computer graphics for sculpture and 3D animation, Digital photography and digital video for the capturing of photographs and footagecontrolling devices (touch screens or midi keyboards and kinnects) to bridge the gap between traditional techniques and digital painting, projections, screens, and programming.

“Well some of those are old too”

I know, but this conversation could go on for hours…. So stop proscratinating and start making art!

secret-life-of-sueprheroes-2-0411-970x399

Some challenges to consider.

Try to create the most conceptually potent work, with the least amount of effort. It is important to remember that there is no longer a division between how “good” something is, and the amount of labor required to make it. Duchamp signaled this when he created his fountain.

There is a difference between art and craft (or technique).

Postmodern art is not something you “get”. Ever. It isn’t a puzzle to solve. It’s an investigation that may not have any answers, or may not care about answers.

Artwork generally today is not about illustrating anything, and it is less insistent that the viewer come to work with any sort of predefined knowledge.

Painting Intensive: Part 2

After Lunch we will be continuing with the second part of today’s lesson.

1:00 – 5:00

This part’s featured artist is:

Edward Hopper (1882 – 1967)

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Edward Hopper was a prominent American realist painter and printmaker. While he was most popularly known for his oil paintings, he was equally proficient as a watercolorist and printmaker in etching.

Still Life Value Studies

This section will now move towards creating multiple sketches and a finished watercolor painting of a still life which will be set up in front of you.

The history of still lives goes back thousands of years and was a stark contrast to the religious imagery which commonly dominated painting. The benefits of still lives were many. For one, the subjects didn’t move so they could be carefully studied. By having small objects which could be easily moved around also gave the artist the ability to play around with composition. So as we proceed through this lesson we will first be looking at how composition plays a role in the creation of painting.

The most important thing to remember is that when we are painting we are painting within a certain shape (generally a rectangle) which has limits and boundaries. Somewhere usually in our teenage years it becomes common to ignore the edges of a painting and still lives take up the center of the page/canvas, since we generally believe that since this is the subject, it should therefore be placed in the center. However, as we look over the rules of composition we can see that there are a multitude of ways to draw attention to certain areas of a composition. We can take a look at this PDF for a quick guide to how we can think about composition.

 

Glass bowl of fruit and vases. Romanwall painting in Pompeii (around 70 AD)

Jan Brueghel the Elder (1568–1625),Bouquet (1599), Kunsthistorisches MuseumVienna. Some of the earliest examples of still life were paintings of flowers by Northern Renaissance, Dutch, and Flemish painters.

First we will start off with pencil and paper and begin working on what are called reductive drawings. It is best to use a softer ( 2b) pencil for this task. The same exercise can be done with toned (grey) paper and both white and black charcoal pencils, however the goal remains the same, and that is to create a study/sketch of how are values are working on our objects in preparation for the next stage which will be to paint these values utilizing the same values we used in the last assignment.

A value sketch can be something as simple as what you see below. There’s no need for too much detail, here we are focusing on compositional elements, value, and form. An example of what a quick sketch of a still life subject should look like can be seen below in the drawing of the shoe.

Watercolor painting of a shoe

 

Painting Intensive: Part 3:

Today we will start by looking at the work of Paul Cezanne and his use of Atmospheric perspective.

Paul Cézanne was a French artist and Post-Impressionist painter whose work laid the foundations of the transition from the 19th-century conception of artistic endeavour to a new and radically different world of art in the 20th century.

 

So how does this relate to what we will be studying today? Today we will be looking at and practicing atmospheric perspective.

Aerial perspective or atmospheric perspective refers to the effect the atmosphere has on the appearance of an object as it is viewed from a distance. As the distance between an object and a viewer increases, the contrast between the object and its background decreases, and the contrast of any markings or details within the object also decreases. So remember when we were playing around with contrast yesterday, well now we have a continuation of the importance of contrast in the form of how contrast decreases as we go further back in space. To put it really simply, stuff gets blurrier as it goes into the distance. In the selected Cezanne paintings above we can see how he used atmospheric perspective to achieve a sense of depth (even though Cezanne was all about flattening the picture plane). Check out the Da Vinci below, that’s the Virgin on the Rocks and is also a great example of how atmospheric perspective works.

Your task will be to work from these landscape photos to create a work which exhibits the qualities of atmospheric perspective. Since we are working with watercolors the key will be to water down the colors more as they fade into the distance, and use higher concentration of colors for the foreground. Remember that these principles can be applied to any painting and that the key isn’t necessarily only to learn how to use this principle in landscape painting, but also in other situation where you want the background to recede. Here in Prague, Czech Republic it is often easy to see atmospheric perspective at play in the hills west of Prague where we will go in a few weeks for some Plein Air painting. So consdier this some preparatory work.

 

Painting Intensive: Part 4

Todays Artist is James Audubon

John James Audubon was a French-American ornithologist, naturalist, and painter. He was notable for his expansive studies to document all types of American birds and for his detailed illustrations that depicted the birds in their natural habitats.

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This part of the class we will forget about the broad brushstrokes to create entire landscapes and change our perspective to studying foliage and painting it with watercolors. Immediately your senses will shift from focusing on a photograph and you should see the benefits and complexities of working with a real leaves, twigs and branches in front of you.

But how to start? For this section we will not be doing any preliminary drawings, but instead will be working directly on our paper with watercolors. So as to not go into the task without any background lets first look at some common ways to construct leaves and trees with watercolors.

 

 

The key to painting foliage with watercolors is to combine both your wet in wet (that means adding wet paint to an already wet surface) and wet on dry techniques. As we have already covered you must have a good understanding of the value scale which you are using in the painting before you even start painting.  I would suggest limiting your palette to about 8 variations of yellow to green to to dark green/blue.

First we will be working with just generating some brush strokes, and from there we will begin constructing a tree starting with bright lemon yellow (don’t worry if you don’t have the exact color, any bright yellow will work).  With your yellow start with the top left of your tree, then before this yellow is dry you will be adding just a little bit of light yellow-green to form the bottom of your tree.

Remember to leave some holes for the sky to peek through.

Then, while this is all still wet start dabbing a few deeper colors into the tree to represent some darker values.

Go darker, and darker towards blue-green at the bottom right hand of the tree.

Then let everything dry (you’ll notice that watercolors get lighter as they dry)

Put in a few last dashes on leaf shadows ( LESS IS MORE! )

Then mix up some ochre/brown and make a dab for the trunk making sure that the trunk vanishes under the leaves and doesn’t appear to be on top of them.

 

Now that we have created this tree we will be moving on to the foliage in front of us on our desks (If it’s nice outside we can also go to Riegrovy Sady park and paint there. ) Using the same methods (working from light to dark) you will be creating a watercolor painting of your plant, leaves, stems, twigs, and flowers.  For this you should make a very VERY light contour line sketch detailing the different values present.

Painting Intensive: Part 6

This part’s artist is Chuck Close

Charles Thomas “Chuck” Close is an American painter and photographer who achieved fame as a photorealist, through his massive-scale portraits.

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This section of the painting intensive deals with blending acrylics and creating form. We will be using the dry brush blending technique which can be seen in the video below as well as have an introduction to glazing. You will be working from a still life of objects which have been painted white and lit in front of you.

Once again you will be drawing light sketches based upon the contours of the objects placed in front of you as well as the large value shapes. From there you will be using mainly white, and a grey mixture which I will teach you how to mix using your three primaries. These paintings should look rather dull, but full of form.

Once we have created our form paintings we will explore some very simple glazing with acrylics. Please note that glazing depends on many factors which are largely determined through trial and error. However, the main objective in creating a believable glaze will be to minimize the streakiness of the color as much as possible.

Painting Intensive: Part 7

This part’s artist is David Hockney

David Hockney, OM, CH, RA, is an English painter, draughtsman, printmaker, stage designer and photographer. He lives in Bridlington, East Riding of Yorkshire, and Kensington, London.

During this part we will be focusing on creating a portrait painting done in acrylics with disregard to what is commonly referred to as “local color”.

Local Color

Painters often refer to something known as Local Color. So what is it exactly? Well, there is a very simple explanation. Local Color refers to the color of an object if it is unhindered by shadows and highlights. Still don’t get it? Basically it is what the actual color of an object is. Take for instance a Tomato, now most people would agree that tomatoes are red, however that’s just part of the story and the way that our eye perceives colors. In reality if we really examine a tomato we will see all sorts of different tones and highlights. Take a look at the image below and you will notice the myriad of colors which are created just by one tomato. There’s pinks, violets, browns, and reds. Simply put, when painting any object we must consider all the colors and many times it isn’t intuitive to see the light violet colors because of our preconceived ideas about the local color of the object, which is red.

local color

When it comes to painting it is very important to be aware of what the local color of the object is, however it is also vital that we delve further into the more nuanced colors that appear as well. This is even more important when we have multiple objects of different colors placed closely together. The light bouncing off of one surface can create a reflection and influence the surrounding areas. Therefore, if we look at the top of the tomato we can begin to see that the green vine above it is effecting the colors of the shadows as well. For this reason it is very common for painting instructors to say that students need to start examining what colors make up the shadows in the objects they paint. There’s a whole rainbow of color hiding in the shadows. This was most evident in the Impressionists’ works as they would commonly use blues, and even reds in their shadows.

It is the goal of this lesson to get beyond local color and we are going to make sure that there’s no chance it will seep into this exercise. You will be painting a portrait without the use of local color. It is up to you to use your skills in seeing the value (darkness) of a color and by doing so you can still create a believable space which is totally divorced from your preconceived notions about what the local color of the object is. For the first part of the assignment you will copy the painting below and this will give you a feel for how Color as Value works. I’ve included the drawing, as well as the original image (gridded out), and a picture of my palette so you can get a clear look at what these colors look like. Once you are finished with the first painting you will find an image of your choosing and will have to complete a second painting. In your second painting you will once again be looking beyond local color. Really push how intense you can make your colors, and you’ll also start to notice that the temperature (basically how warm or cool a color looks) also influences the way we perceive reality.

1. Source Image from which the painting will be made. Feel free to change the unit of measurement if you wish. One box could easily equal an inch or whatever fits the size of the canvas you are working on.

2. After gridding out your painting surface you will sketch in the big value shapes present in the photo.

3. You will then paint in the value shapes using the value of the color to create an illusion of depth. Disregard what you know about color intensity and local color. Be bold.

4. Remember that your palette should be a representation of all the colors you will use.


5. If possible take a photo of your painting and change it to black and white. This will be an indicator of how good your eye is. The painting should stand up as a black and white image as well as a color one. This is an extremely important aspect of painting. Seeing color as value.

Upon finishing this copy you will be creating another painting on your own in the same manner. Remember to choose an image that has a wide range of values from light to dark.

Painting Intensive: Part 9

This Part’s artist is Hieronymus Bosch (1450 – 1516)

Hieronymus Bosch was an Early Netherlandish painter. His work is known for its use of fantastic imagery to illustrate moral and religious concepts and narratives.

Now we’ve finally arrived at what is beyond a shadow of a doubt one of the oldest and most respected artist mediums. Oil paint. The medium itself has taken on an almost mythic quality with many students frequently being scared of using it as it isn’t exactly cheap, and this fear can cause many students to tighten up and produce awkward paintings (sometimes awkward paintings are kind of nice too but anyway) . For this reason we are not going into any new imagery yet with oil paint. We’re just going to start playing around with it as a new medium and use it in conjunction with some of the older paintings which we produced.

For the first exercise we will be looking back on some of our value scales as well as our form paintings we made with acrylics, and we will be using oil paint to glaze on top of these paintings. I’ll have some of my own glaze medium which I’ve mixed that you can try out, but just as with acrylic glazing our goal is to make our glazes as clear and seamless as possible with the smallest amount of streaks.

Once we are finished with experimenting with glazing on our older paintings and exercises we will be repainting our acrylic portraits. Not on top of the old portraits, but creating a new painting in oils based upon our old portrait done in acrylics.

Painting Intensive: Part 11

The artist for today should be looked at before class as today we will be going on a trip to do some painting outside.

George Inness (May 1, 1825 – August 3, 1894) was an influential American landscape painter. His work was influenced, in turn, by that of the old masters, the Hudson River school, the Barbizon school, and, finally, by the theology of Emanuel Swedenborg, whose spiritualism found vivid expression in the work of Inness’ maturity. Often called “the father of American landscape painting”

Today we will be meeting at the school at 9 like normal. From here we will each grab our easels and then walk to Hlavni Nadrazi where we will be taking a train to Cernosice (a 20 minute train ride from Prague. 61Kc round trip) to paint outdoors. Be prepared to paint! Feel free to use the medium, or a combination of any mediums which you are comfortable with. I’ll be meeting with each of you individually throughout the day, and we will be having lunch in Cernosice. This class does not have two parts, but the entire class will be devoted to painting outdoors.