Week 1

Today we painted eggs. The purpose was to practice a few fundamental painting skills.

One of the most challenging aspects of painting with acrylic paint is blending. To get a smooth transition between two colors you need to blend both colors together while they are both still wet. This is called wet-into-wet blending. If one of the colors you are trying to blend dries before you can get the other color on the canvas, the colors will not mix no matter how hard you scrub. When you put a transparent or semi-trasparent layer of one color on top of another color that has already dried it is "glazed" color blending. The two colors of paint aren't literally mixed, instead one color sits on top of the other as a transparent layer. 

Wet-into-wet blending yields very different results than wet-on-dry or "glazed" blending. A common mistake for acrylic painters is to mix the two techniques unintentionally, with the result that the painting looks fractured and splotchy.

Another aspect of painting I wanted you to focus on today is basic composition - how to arrange the image of two eggs within the rectangle of your canvas. Do they fill the composition or do you leave a lot of space around them? Do you have them overlapping to imply space or do you separate them? There are lots of decisions to make even with this very simple arrangement of two eggs. 

Finally I wanted to have you focus on seeing "value" accurately. Value in visual art refers to light and dark contrast. Value is important because it is primarily how we perceive space and form. We will talk more about this throughout the semester but it is a very important skill of perception to develop.

Next week we will begin working on a more involved painting that will take us at least three weeks to complete. So come prepared with all your painting supplies and a new surface to paint on. I will supply the photograph we will be painting from. Please also bring a check for $10 to reimburse me for the cost of printing.