Saturday, May 26, 2012

Lesson Two!

I continue with my DVD still life painting course through artist Daniel Edmondson.  I'm very pleased with what I am learning.  In the beginning I was a bit 'embarrassed' to be taking a 'correspondence course' in painting.  Now I'm not sure why that was.  I'm learning a lot!  Color and brush work are probably the two primary areas of new information.  Dan has provided some beautiful photographs to work from and his narrative on the DVDs as he paints along is really quite wonderful. He not only has a lot of information to impart, but he has a friendly, open manner as he paints along.  I'm really having fun.

Lesson #2 Oil on 9" x 12" canvas panel
 This is Lesson Two.

To this point in the course, I've picked up several new approaches and techniques from Dan.  First, the painting surface is different.  I'll talk a little about that in this post. I did not make up fiberboard panels as Dan demonstrates, but in order to get a smooth surface, I used some good quality canvas panels I already had and added two coats of Golden acrylic gesso, sanding between each.  This not only gives a smoother surface, but it also creates a much less absorbent panel.  The result is that paint lays on the gesso rather than soaking in.  If you've ever painted on oil primed canvas, you'll have already experienced this effect.  For those of us who paint almost exclusively on "store - bought" canvas, as Dan somewhat derisively calls it, it is a very different painting surface and requires some adjustments.

You can see my struggles with this very clearly it the brush ridges I inadvertently created  if you look closely at the upper left edge of the pear.  I wanted to make a minor correction to the pear shape toward the end of the painting session.  Normally, I would have simply painted over the background color, but with the extremely smooth non-absorbent surface, the existing paint pushes around. It is more difficult to 'cover' while the bottom layer is wet.  I came back after this photo was taken and gently smoothed the area with extremely light brush strokes.  I think the advantage of this surface it two fold.  First, you truly can "push the paint around" once you've gained some understanding of the surface.  Second, the paint and the paint medium stays on the surface and seems to almost glow.  I'm noticing almost no flat spots where color has sunken in.  That could be because the painting hasn't begun to dry, but I suspect that it is also because the pigment and binder are all still combined and laying on top of the canvas, rather than having been sucked unevenly into it.  We'll see.

UPDATE:  Incredibly Dan sent a video critique of my painting.  (He asks that you send him a picture of your work, which I did.)  His comments:  The highlight on the pear is too centered and should have been slightly to the left.  He's right of course.  He gave me a rule for determining where the highlights should be on any round object.  I'll file that one away and never make that mistake again. 
He also cautioned me about using black in the shadow, particularly of orange or orange-gold objects as it becomes "inky".  He suggested that I allow the painting to completely dry, then use some Transparent red oxide and see how that looks.  Finally, Dan said this was possibly the best pear he's ever received for this particular lesson.  How about that?  Thanks Dan, for the wonderful lesson, the great tips and the compliment. 

1 comment :

  1. Une très jolie publication... Merci pour ce partage.
    Gros bisous