I will be graduating from art school in about 3 1/2 months. My final exam will be to host an art exhibit. I have an idea of what it will look like, but just for fun I decided to test-hang my 3 newest paintings. The same picture can look great or terrible just by how it is displayed. So here’s test 1.
A few days ago I had posted that the painting “Shadow under a Bridge” was finished. But when I went to show it to my professor, he suggested to change the sky and the hills. I did what he suggested and like the result. It was good before, but now it’s even better!
As for “Works in Progress”: my remake of “Water Power Plant” got its first coat of background paint. It’s a bright pink (contrasting color) so that the layers on top (mostly greys and greens) will have more depth.
I am also going to remake “Devil’s Canyon” in oil. The frame is assemled and glued together, I still need to add the canvas and the primer before I can start painting it.
Now for something completely different: It’s Carneval-season here in Germany, the time when everyone dresses up for “Fasching”. I just recently watched all the Lord of the Rings/Hobbit-movies and because I liked the elves so much, I decided to make an elf costume. It’s based roughly on the character of Tauriel, though I won’t make an exact copy of her look.
I have inherited stacks of leather and leather sewing tools from my grandfather (my dad’s father). Working with leather is really fun, but only if you have these special tools; without them it’s impossible. So thanks to the tools, I managed to finish the vest and one of the arm guards. The patterns are done with paint markers. I’m no seamstress, but I think the stuff is turning out pretty good :)
Today I got to finish my painting “Shadow under a Bridge”. I am really happy with how it turned out :)
Yesterday I went to the studio for the first time after the holidays. I got about 2,5h of work in, especially putting highlights and details in the grass- and water areas. I also started tackling the proportions of the figure (my dad). His head was too big. Surprisingly, the rest of the body seems to be pretty accurate. I always need more practice on proportions, that’s probably my greatest weakness.
As I mentioned before I am studying for an art history exam. Some f these artists were true masters. They are and inspiration and humble me as well.
Here are pictures of some of my exam artists: Titian, Diego Velazquez, John Singer-Sargent and René Magritte.
Slowly but surely “Shadow under a Bridge” is coming together. I was encouraged by my professor to try new techniques and that’s what I’ve been doing.
Today I was looking at the picture and decided that it needed more depth. So the hills got a layer of pale blue on top while the mid-ground got more detailed. I made the foreground blurry, because I want the focus to be on the figures. Kind of like a photo. (compare left/right photo)
It takes time to get somewhere, and it’s a lot of work. Sometimes I find myself avoiding the “hard work” to get quicker results. But then I re-focus again, and I remember that it’s worth it. Where do you find things that are “worth it”? Is there something you feel yourself avoiding? Sometimes you need to question yourself on why you do things, that really can help you focus. I know it helps me.
This is what my painting “Shadow under a Bridge” looks like so far. I am trying a “new” technique with this picture, and so far I’m quite happy with it: a base coat in the opposite color you want it to be later. So if my sky is supposed to be white, I start with black, if the grass is to be green, I start with pink/red, etc. (ex.: compare the grass from the 1st picture with the 2nd picture) All the areas that will be “important” get a contrast-base, the “out-of focus”-areas get a less contrast-base.
The reason I even tried this technique is because I have a new professor, and he instructs us in a good way. My old professor was not a good teacher, but with our new professor I feel like I’m really learning something. The difference between the two is not that one knows more or is even more passionate about art, it’s the teaching philosophy: while my old professor taught by letting us “find out for ourselves”, the new professor gives real instruction and teaches principles.
There is a place to leave freedom, especially in creativity, but even then a leader should excersise discipline. Just like it says in the Bible, in the book of Proverbs, if you love someone, you should care enough to discipline and instruct them (compare Prov. 3,12 and 13,24). I am benefiting from this new level of instruction and “discipline”, but also want to learn to apply this when I grow as a leader. It’s always easier to criticize the leader than to be a leader yourself!
I said that I was working on a new canvas frame. Well now the frame is done and I’ve started sketching the picture (“Shadow under a Bridge”) out. This is what a painting looks like when you start…