Continuing Education

So continues the ongoing quest to learn and grow as an artist (well and as a person… but that is a different conversation).

Sunday was our first get together of the as-yet-unnamed Art Group. Being the socially inept variety I was nervous about it working out. A few people cancelled at the last minute and then when I was almost there I realized I had forgotten my paint at home and had to go back for it. I was late to my own get together!

The worrying was for naught. I had a good time after I got over myself. The time flew by and I actually painted. It works so much better to be able to get out of the house to create. Everyone I talked to felt the same way and as far as I know everyone is planning on coming back next month. I had thought that I was going to need to have theme days and planned projects in order to keep everyone interested – but it was nice just to work on our own things in a group setting.     In the future I think that I will have some suggested challenges and/or ideas for people to work on – but also welcome people to come and just do their own thing as well. We’ll see. I think it will be an evolving changing thing and I like the idea of letting it grow on it’s own instead of trying to “control” everything.

Here is the piece that I started in the group. When I got home I added the highlights to the eyes before I set it aside to let this layer dry. Hoping to bring the eyebrows out further and give him some more depth and dimension. May add some decorative elements to him as well. I don’t know if he wants to be fancied up or not.

Fortunately I was pretty pleased with the way everything turned out on Sunday – because Monday was back to the life portrait drawing class.

Fred Lipp told me one time that if you aren’t uncomfortable when  you are working on a piece, then you aren’t learning anything from it. In this instance he is right. I am definitely uncomfortable, but I am learning a ton. Even if it doesn’t show in the sketches that I am doing in class, it is sinking in to the ol’ noggin.

This week Pat introduced color into the mix. She gave us a charcoal-ish version of a blue, red and yellow to add to the mix. We played around with them a bit and she reminded us of the effects of cool and warm colors and showed us blends that one can achieve with just these colors plus the black and white.

Colored a duck that was in my sketch pad:

First we did a “warm up” version without any color :

and then a longer session trying to incorporate the colors as well: 

and of course another since we had time 

I think that I need to try and slow down. The idea of having such a short period to try and capture everything at once puts me in the mindset to go too heavy too soon. I want to try to back off and work on my proportions and basic shapes before I get too heavy with the charcoal. In addition I think that I need to find a harder charcoal to work from initially. To be able to sketch in my center lines and basic form shapes before I get into shading the core shadow. It wasn’t until I was able to step back and look at these from a distance this morning that I saw how off the proportions were and basic things like the eyes being different heights in this one (that happened with the pieces from the previous sessions as well. I was so focused on the shadow shapes that I didn’t pay attention to the placement and proportions till after it was finished).

Pat has been very helpful and patient. Learning the basic guidelines for facial structure have been enormously helpful.

I do not believe that I will be able to attend next week’s class and the week following is the final one for the session. Some time shortly after that I will start back into Fred’s painting class at the Memorial Art Gallery. I have taken classes from him in the past – but it has been awhile. Where Pat is patient and supporting, Fred is brutal and honest. I need both. While it does hurt to have someone tell me how much I suck at what I am working on – it is necessary if I am going to see what I am working on objectively (but it sure does sting at the time).



~ by justteejay on November 16, 2010.

One Response to “Continuing Education”

  1. i have some thoughts swimming around and will send you a note when they come together. in the meantime, i applaud your willingness to post about your discomfort, as you can’t learn what you already know.

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