Week 5

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Today we began class by looking at the your paintings from last week. I was very impressed by the whole group. Two things that came up a couple times were: 1. Several of you needed more value (light and dark) contrast between the shadows and highlights on your tree. More value contrast will increase the illusion of a 3D volume of leaves. 2. Size variation. Don't forget that the closer things in the landscape are to the horizon line, the further away they are. This means that a flower at the bottom of the painting will be much bigger than a flower in the middle of the grass area. Size variation is an important way we create the illusion of space. Similarly the clouds will be biggest at the top of the painting (farthest from the horizon line) and get smaller as you move down. 

We started a new painting. The rose in a vase got the most votes by far. I showed you how to use a template to do a transfer drawing of the image onto you canvas. You don't have to do this it just gets us into painting quickly. You can buy transfer paper in rolls at Blick. 

In my demo I experimented with the background texture. It is important to choose a brush/tool that is appropriate for the kinds of mark we are trying to make. I tried a crumpled paper towel, a sponge and several different brushes. In the end I used primarily a brush. An important feature of the background is how blurry it is. That blurriness helps create space because it implies a focal length that the background it is out of. So I wanted to make sure I got soft blurry edges in my texture. To help get those soft and blurry edges I started by covering the canvas with a layer of watery acrylic medium (PVA size but matte medium would work too). This was somewhat successful but in the end I had to do a lot of blending back and forth trying to keep both colors I was blending wet at the same time. It takes practice to get soft blends in acrylic. 

Next week we will get into the the flower and vase.