Monday, November 1, 2010

Class 6— November 4— Lost and Found

Edges are compelling! Today we’ll work from life, drawing and painting some simple objects that overlap one another. We’ll use “lost and found” edges to sculpt space and move the eye through the composition. Bring three small objects and a background for them, your sketchbook and drawing tools. 

I really recommend keeping the objects simple, so that you aren't trapped into painting something shiny, reflective, see-through, or overly complex, which will distract you from the issue at hand. For instance, let me show you some photos and help you see what might work, and what could be distracting, depending on your experience. I DO NOT want you to work from photos, but from the real-life objects on the table in front of you, so don't let my photos confuse you!  

This is too complex:

The shiny bowl is complex with all its reflective surfaces. The glass is more complex, not only because of the the reflections but because of the distortion it causes. The front object (a salt shaker) has a complex pattern that distracts from its shape. 

This one is better because the simple colors, shapes and contrasts let you see the objects and their relationships:

And this one is good because the wood is flat and non-reflective, and the objects are simple, understandable (but fun) shapes:

I want you to bring some kind of a background to put your objects against, such as this:

I had a box that worked, but you could tape together two pieces of cardboard or mat board. The paper is taken from the ad section of the newspaper--cheap, large, convenient--but you can use anything.  Keep it simple (you can use colored paper, if you like.)

NOT draped fabric, or anything printed or complex, such as this:

What we'll be looking for are edges, those places where objects overlap and form one large shape of the same or similar value. I want you to squint like crazy to see these soft and hard, lost and found edges in and among your three objects, so it really will pay to keep it simple.  (I posterized these in Photoshop to show you the value shapes--but you will do this visually in the classroom!)

If you've painted a lot of still lifes and are competent at doing complex objects, have at it. Otherwise... KISS (keep it simple, sweetheart.)

This list of what to bring:
  • last week's palette shift paintings to show
  • three small objects 
  • a background 
  • your sketchbook and drawing tools
See you on Thursday,