Friday, March 28, 2008

HW #2

Well here is the completed painting. It took me about 6-8 hours total. You can see the candle that I added. Ironically the book, which was the best part of the 50% probably has the most issues. The main difficulty is the representation of the type. Of course, you can't write out each word. :) So it has to be some type of simplification. I kept modifying it, and it ended up as gray squiggles, but I think I might do it a different way if I could do it again. I'm happy with how the glass, decanter, box, and table turned out. I still have a few issues with the colors in the brass candle holder.

Monday, March 24, 2008

HW #2: 50%

I thought you guys might be interested in seeing this. On the left is a photo of the still-life setup currently dominating my living room coffee table. This setup was chosen by an elite panel of experts.

On the right is my painting at 50% completion. I need to bring this in to class on Wednesday to be picked apart by my prof (i.e. "grapes too small"), after which I will ignore all his suggestions and finish it.

This concept of the first layer is interesting. The intent is mainly to cover the canvas, because it's hard to measure colors and values against the white canvas. (Also as I'm finding out, the blank canvas is very intimidating!) It then serves as a starting point for subsequent layers. This started out looking really bad, but it ended up being okay. The book is looking good, but it's obvious that the candlestick is too bright. The decanter shape is good, but the cup is looking a little wobbly.

I've never actually done a painting in multiple layers. All of our classwork is done in one sitting, i.e. alla prima (Italian for "at once"). It's good though because it moves me out of scared-silly mode into problem-solving mode which is better for me.

Update: My prof actually liked it. He really liked the book. He suggested putting a small candle in the candle holder, and he also wants me to change my background color. :( He also said that my grapes, if I had included them, would have been too small.

Thursday, March 20, 2008


Technically this was our second attempt at metal, but we only spent 1.5 hours painting brass, so I refuse to display it. This silver one was REALLY hard. It's interesting how at school they keep increasing the difficulty, not totally unreachable, but enough to make us sweat! It's strange how with glass you're supposed to paint THROUGH it, but with metal, you paint what's reflected in it. It's almost like painting a mini still life in the reflection, but with shapes and colors all distorted. It was tough, but I think it turned out reasonably well. I really liked the old style teapot, otherwise I might have given up on it completely. The reflection is definitely too bright though, and I don't like how the horizon lines coincide so closely.

Monday, March 10, 2008


The painting on the left is our first attempt at glass. I still love still-life painting, but glass is hard! But it turned out reasonably well, especially the jar on the left. However I think the blue and the red are a bit too saturated and are sort of overpowering the glass objects. Probably I could have toned down at least the red cup, if not both.

The painting on the right, I did for a class I took in Palo Alto in the spring of 2007 before applying to the Academy of Art, so it makes an interesting comparison. I used mostly tube colors instead of mixed colors, and the rendering of the grapes and the glass is much more primitive than what I can do today. But this painting was probably the biggest factor in my going to art school. From that class, it was the only painting that I thought turned out okay, and I enjoyed it enough to give art school a shot. If not for this painting I might still be at Yahoo trying to figure out how to allocate video spaceids. Fortunately that task has passed into more capable hands!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

HW: Apples and Grapes

This painting was for our first homework assignment. I learned my lesson from Color & Design, where I almost killed myself by picking overly complex designs. I kept this one simple and concentrated on painting it well. (These objects were from my charcoal still-life from the summer, so I was very familiar with them.)

I think it turned out well. It didn't take me very long - only about 4 hours. Part of that is I actually don't know how to finish a painting yet. And I did run into some interesting problems with handling the paint. In particular I am starting to use more generous amounts of paint, but once it exceeded the grain of the canvas, the workability changed quite a bit. The paint started to move around more, and blending was more of an adventure. But these are things that I need to learn.

My professor, Sheldon, really liked it, although for some reason he didn't like my grapes. :) I think he was expecting this huge mass of grapes, but the one that I had picked was pretty sparse.