Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Composition HW #1 - Still Life

Yes our easels at school are really that messy. Our first homework in Composition was a still-life. I'm running out of objects at home, and I really love books so I decided to do a shelf. This type of painting is called trompe l'oeil, which I believe means that you are trying to create the illusion that the objects are really there. So it requires a sharp realism across the picture plane and a typically has shallow space. Anyways as I was doing the lettering and my hand was shaking I wondered what had I gotten myself into. But people liked it, and I think the lettering is really required to make the painting work. I need to keep working on this, namely redoing the shelf and adding a flower to the vase. But this is how I turned it in.

Red Onion, Green Apples

Crouching Onion, Hidden Apples. I really love this painting for some reason. This was the assignment where Jon threw out a ton of fruit onto the floor and we had to create some composition from them. It was really difficult at first because the cloths were such saturated colors. But as you stared at it you started to see patterns in the chaos as it were. I saw 3 apples that I felt were in a good arrangement, and they were over an orange and purple cloth that I felt worked together somewhat (as opposed to the yellow-blue-red cloths that were just glaring). I added the red onion on the blue plate because I thought the onion looked cool.

I really desaturated the cloth colors and I think those are working. My painting these days is still hit-and-miss because I think the onion turned out spectacular, while the apples are pretty mediocre. Also I'm a bit paranoid about my greens because I suspect that I'm a little green insensitive, so what looks good to me is too bright for other people. I'm still not sure about this, but I'm trying to over-mute my greens. Too bad I painted this on canvas panel, because I will keep this one.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Still Life Redux

I'm only taking 2 classes again this semester, one of which is Composition & Painting. Comp is a cool class because we do still lifes, landscapes, and figurative paintings based on the composition and design concepts we learn in class. I was anxious to see how my still lifes turned out because I really haven't painted one since Still Life Painting last spring (which feels like an eternity ago). My painting was really bad at the start because I spent the 5 weeks break playing the warcraft expansion pack instead of practicing. But it's starting to come back now. And I actually like how these first two still lifes turned out. They feel quite different from the ones I did a year ago, though it's hard to quantify why.

Chicago Marathon

This painting was for our final assignment in Clothed Figure Painting. It's from a really fantastic photo by Jyothi taken at the Chicago Marathon in 2002 (2001?). I guess there was this little girl high-fiving everyone, and she really caught the perfect moment in this photo. The other thing I like about it is the bands of sunlight surrounding that one big building shadow.

I've been delaying posting this painting because I'm planning on modifying it. Everyone tells me the bushes in the far background are too green, which is most likely true. Also the woman in shadow on the left looks really monstrous. But as I keep delaying the rework, I'm just going to post this now and update it later.