Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Class 5: Red Rocks

Tonight the teacher had us paint a scene that included red rocks.  My reference was crazy over-complicated.  Instead of just sky and red rocks (which I should have done), I did a painting with sky, red rocks, trees, shrubs, and water.

I really hated my painting at the end of class.  I decided to work on it for a while longer after I got home and see if I could salvage it.  I'm still not proud of it, but it's much improved.  Too bad I didn't take a photo so we could compare.

One of the big problems are there are just too many brush strokes, especially in the bushes, so it makes it really busy.  Does cropping help?

I think it does help a little bit, but this painting definitely suffers from overworking.  Some of the rock textures aren't bad though, and rocks are very challenging for me, so that's progress.

HERE is the link to the amazing artist's painting I used as a reference for this class.

Stay tuned for next week, in which I'll attempt to paint a bird.

Class 4: Bridge

The teacher demo'd some techniques for painting stones and weathered wood, and suggested we use an old bridge as our subject matter.

I really liked my background, but wasn't a fan of my bridge.  There are some perspective issues I think, and part of the fence doesn't make any sense.  I did get a nice green though, and it's pretty tough to mix up decent greens.  I think if I spent another couple hours on this it could turn out pretty nice.

Link to the photo I referenced HERE

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Class 3: Lake Reflections (Homework)

Since I didn't actually do any reflections that night in the classroom, I decided to come home and give it another go.  I really love how this one came out.

I used a stock photo for this.  Here's the photo reference.

Next week: Old bridge

Class 3: Lake Reflections

This week we studied reflections on still water.  I got a little unfocused during class time and my water didn't end up having many reflections, oops!  It still came out okay, but I think the paint was a little thick, and it's too layered for my tastes, it seems a little muddy.

What's neat is to compare that to the painting I did over a year ago of the same scene.  Here's a link to my reference:  Tony Grove Lake, photo by Justin

Class 2: Value (Homework)

The other part of the class was to choose 3 primary colors on our palette and paint the same picture again, using just those 3 colors.  I didn't get to that in class, but I gave it a try at home.  I admit there were a couple of times I MAY have accidentally dipped my brush in an extra color, but it's mainly just 3 colors. I was also following along with a tutorial in a watercolor book for a lot of this:

Next, here's the value study which didn't come out as well as the one in class. I used burnt sienna and just couldn't get it dark enough to provide a real nice contrast.

Class 2: Value

There were two parts to this project, but I only got through part 1 during class.  The teacher provided a sketch and we had to paint it, using only 1 color.  I remembered something I learned in my other class with Bill about doing a quick value study in pencil to help plan ahead, and I did that first.

Then I did another quick thing to help, and tested undiluted versions of what I thought would be the darkest colors on my palette. Surprisingly, this blue was one of the richest, darkest colors in pure form.

I actually kind of love how this house came out. I got some really nice contrast between the darkest and lightest areas. The one thing I wish I could take back is the tree shadow. I should draw whole pages of trees and their shadows until I can make natural looking shadows.  Another problem is that what is supposed to be a driveway ended up looking like a hill.  Oh well!

Class 1: Dots

As usual, my first class wasn't my best effort. The project was to trace circles onto our paper and then fill them in using different styles and techniques.

For the first one I decided to do a dark to light background, and then contrast light to dark circles. I hated the background, it was so splotchy, but I kind of liked the overall effect.

I did another one really fast in class because I didn't want to critique my blotchy background. But after I got home I could see it was too pale, and I did it so quickly it was sloppy.

I did this last one the next night. I wanted to try to use some shading and see if I could give them some real depth. I also wanted to get more vivid colors. I still like the splotchy one best.