Sunday, May 13, 2012

Get Your Paint On: Week 4

This week's Get Your Paint On assignment by instructors Lisa Congdon and Mati McDonough was about Composition. Lisa gave us 10 elements of composition (focal point, value, cool and warm colors, element number and size, variation in space, overlap or don't, unification, variety, rhythm, don't overload the canvas. I tried this week to a little more symbolic and primitive with the elements of my painting rather than trying to fussing with exactly how the houses, cat, bird, and tree would look.

I started with a background of 16 squares that changed in gradation of color from a darker blue at the upper left (sky) to a darker gray at the lower right (pavement). I pained over that with a transparent wash of white to tone it down. I painted the houses that are down the street from me. I like the rhythm they create as they march up the hill. And yes, one of them really is red. But that wasn't enough for a painting so I added the cat looking at the bird on the tree branch - both common sights around here. I tried to tie it all together with the pops of red.

Of the 10 elements of composition, I think I used:
  •  Focal point: The red house.
  • Variation in values: It's mostly cool, but the pops of red and the tree branch add warmth.
  • Not equal parts warm and cool colors.
  • The elements are apart, not touching.
  • It feels unified: Houses, a bird, a tree, and a cat seem like they belong together.
  • Rhythm: Created by the houses.
  • The canvas is not overloaded: Though it may be a bit too sparse.
What did I learn this week?
  • Acrylic medium is great for transparency, but doesn't dry quickly! I had some problems last week just adding water to create a transparent color and had used acrylic medium the previous week with better luck so I did that again this week on my background. And waited. And waited. It was still tacky 18 hours later!
  • Don't use your finger to see if the paint is dry! At least don't use it in the middle of the painting. I ended up with a finger print. That I tried to fix. And messed up a background I really loved. I've fixed it now somewhat, but it was better before the fingerprint.
  • I still need new brushes. I haven't bought any more because I'm not sure what to get, but I know that I'm using some of my brushes more than others and that the cheapy ones seem to scratch off paint better than they apply it.
  • Water is still frustrating me. I think my paintbrush is free of water drops and poof! Just when I'm least expecting it, a drop lands on my painting and when I try to get it off it takes a layer of paint with it. I'm not fully drying off my brush with a paper towel before applying paint and have been successful so far.

1 comment:

  1. Nice, but it is sparse. In my opinion it needs some trees or bushes to soften the overall look. I like the cat watching the bird - nice touch.