We have been focusing on shadows, lights and darks, and drawing; Eyy Gads, drawing! I will admit that when we had a live model yesterday the quick sketches followed by quick watercolor washes were a ton of fun. Tomorrow we are spending the day outdoors, plein air landscape painting, something I enjoy, then Friday the model is back.
Day 1 - we had to work dry, and our focus was not on the details in the shapes but on the shadows.
After the first lesson, the next thing we did was paint abstractly using color, making sure there was no background distinction and at least one hard edge. I don't think I followed directions well for this one!
Day 2 - we had a live model in the morning and started with quick 40 second pencil sketches, then we were given a little more time to add wash colors.
After each lesson we hang work in the hallway and critique as a group.
Day 3 - we were told to bring still life objects. I decided to bring in my dead bonsai, along with a bowl of fruit. I missed the opportunity to create an entire 'environment' with my still life arrangement when I decided to use the bonsai alone. I would have been able to concentrate on a wider variety of shadows if I had included more objects.
In the afternoon I used fruit in an 'up close and personal' kind of way. I had trouble understanding the light/dark relationships and reached a point where I didn't think about matching color in my shadows. Tonight I decided to add outline with a sharpie marker because I figured the worst thing I could do was ruin what I already considered a failure.
I am hoping tomorrow I can move back into my looser style of landscape painting and not feel as restricted in how I am using water and paint. Friday when the model returns I hope to get into more detailed figure studies. In the afternoon I think we are using our "reject" paintings to create a collage.
Throughout the week I have been asking myself what works for me, what doesn't, and I have reassured myself that it's OK if I don't want to change my style of watercolor painting. It's always good to see how other teachers make things click for their students. Maybe as a student my clicker isn't working as well as it used to.