Tag: workshop

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 5

This Part’s artist is Josef Albers

Josef Albers was a German-born American artist and educator whose work, both in Europe and in the United States, formed the basis of some of the most influential and far-reaching art education programs of the 20th century.

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Today we will start exploring acrylic paint. Acrylic paint is a creation of the 20th century (1934) and after it was seen to be very durable as a artist material it was extended for use in homes and industrial products (mainly as latex paint) by the 1950s.

For this exercise each of you will be assigned an artist. But you are not going to be copying the artist’s works, but instead the colors they use. As we have already established a wide variety of colors can be created just from red, yellow, blue, and white. To the best of your ability you will be “color matching” the tones used in famous paintings in small squares on your canvas (done in a style similar to Josef Albers if you wish, or some other abstract/non representational painting). I’ll be helping you individually and see exactly what colors you should be mixing. This can be a very difficult task and frustrating as all colors will yield slightly differing results (using Pthalo Blue as opposed to Ultramarine Blue for instance) but the goal is to get these colors matched as closely as possible.

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 8

This part’s artist is Alyssa Monks (1977- present)

“When I began painting the human body, I was obsessed with it and needed to create as much realism as possible. I chased realism until it began to unravel and deconstruct itself,” Alyssa states, “I am exploring the possibility and potential where representational painting and abstraction meet – if both can coexist in the same moment.”

For this section we will be focusing on learning to mix flesh tones and using this towards creating portraits of one another.

For creating flesh tones we will be mixing our cadmium red with yellow to begin. Once we’ve achived a strong orange we will then take a little bit of blue which will push the color towards brown. Using this as a base we can go down the value scale by adding more blue and red to the mix, and going up the value scale by adding our mixture to titanium white (note that we are not adding white to our mixture!)

Once we have gained a good understanding how to make our value scale of flesh tones we will procede with a drawing of another student. This should be a loose sketch which can be built upon and easily navigated with the different value shapes. Upon completing our drawings we will then begin painting each others portraits using both local, and non local color as well as the palette we have just learned how to mix of flesh tones. These are still basically extended sketches and shouldn’t be treated as finished works. We are going for broad shapes of value, and not small details. Use large brushes and mix loads of paint to work with.

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 10

This Part’s artist focuses on the work of Chardin (1699 – 1779)

Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin was an 18th-century French painter. He is considered a master of still life, and is also noted for his genre paintings which depict kitchen maids, children, and domestic activities.

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This part consists of two steps. One which will be done in acrylics, and the second in oils. A still life will be set up in front of you to paint. First we will be creating underpaintings in acrylics with Burnt Umber. Once our underpainting is established we will continue in acrlylics working on our highlights with burnt umber and white. Once this is dry we will proceed to oil paints which we will use to glaze our underpaintings. Once our glaze has been applied we will then continue to add highlights and deeper shadows as well as color with more opaque colors. This method is a bastardization of the “7 layer Flemish Method” which is often taught. However since we don’t have the time to wait three days in between each of the layers the bulk of the underpainting will be made in acrylics and then finished with oils. In the gallery below you can see the steps which are common to 7 Layer Flemish method of painting and how it would progress if you used only oil paints.

Underpaintings are commonly done in oils with a mixture of burnt umber or burnt sienna and paint thinner. One the underpainting is established oils will be used in both an opaque as well as a transparent manner to finish the painting further.

You can see in these two paintings the difference between creating a still life underpainting, and the finished piece.

And here we can see the finished piece.

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.