Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Assignment 2. Thoughts on the feedback

My tutor has a lot of good points to make. She’s right again about the composition errors in the jug painting. I must really focus on getting the balance inside the painting right.
I’m happy she liked the apple too, as I do think still it is the most successful charcoal drawing I have ever pulled off. She’s right about the bounced light at the bottom though.
I read somewhere once: “The lightest shadow is still darker than the darkest light.” I think at the time I thought, “well of course!”, but I obviously forgot that lesson in this drawing.

Juan Sánchez Cotán (Spanish1560-1627)
I don’t particularly like Juan Sanchez Cortain’s paintings; they strike me as very gloomy and morbid. Are they supposed to be reminders of death and the fleeting nature of life, maybe? He does have remarkable control though and the details are fantastic. The shadows really do lend a definite weight to all the objects.

Francisco Zurbarán (Spanish 1598-1664)
Zurbaran’s chiaroscuros I find less depressing and more dramatic for some reason - some kind of understated vibrancy which I like.

Jean-Baptiste Chardin (French 1699-1779)
Influenced Matisse, Manet and Cezanne.
Wow. Look at the colours in these paintings. And the economy of the strokes. They are beautiful. I must investigate this artist further.

Harmen Steenwyck Vanitas (Dutch c. 1612)
Dutch Golden Age.
Love the light in his still life and the messy jumble of the setups. The beam of light beautifully balances the heavy weight of the all the objects to the right.
Man’s greedy materialism against the divine light of God?

Assignment 2, Tutor Feedback

My tutor writes:

Overall Comments
This is another good assignment.  I like the vibrancy and fluidity of your work.  Continue to look at perspective and shadows.  Also look at ways of creating depth within the whole picture space.

Feedback on assignment
I like your objects but I still feel compositionally that they are too far to the left of the picture.  I like flowing shape of the fold in the fabric and the way you have shown the corner of the table, but I think I would have moved the fold and the orange across to the left more and cropped the image so the picture becomes square. I think the light area to the right of the painting needs to be toned down, darker and cooler in colour as it is too bright and tends to come forward in space. I think the shadow behind the jug should be stronger where the handle is, but it could be that the light is reflecting off the paint in my picture.  I like your use of yellow to bring the orange forward and the top is well painted but it does look as if it is cut out, I think this is because you have left some light edges on it at the bottom and because the shadow on it is not dark enough, the same problem occurs with the jug. The perspective is not quite right on the bottom of the jug.  The tins feel convincing in the painting and I like the way you have handled the lettering and design on the front of them. 
The studies and painting of the apple have good depth to them.  I like the softness of your technique in the first charcoal drawing, and I think like you that this is the most successful of the studies.  The light area across the bottom of the apple seems a little too light.  I think the shadow should not be so round.
In the second study I like the way you have picked out the light edge against the shadow on the apple but the shadow is a bit too dark.
The painted apple works very well, it has good depth generally but just needs more shadow on the bottom.  I like the way you are scumbling the colour and using cool colours to receed and warm to come forward in space.

I really like your bonsai painting.   I think your preliminary studies really helped to resolve compositional problems, which is good.  The bonsai itself is very 3D, and I like the way you have interpreted the leaves.  The ellipse on the pot is a bit off.  The shadow from the pot is quite strong so I would expect the right hand side of the plant pot to be lighter and you would have a shadow over the soil from the tree trunk. The table is well painted but the perspective isn’t quite right on the far side of the table.  I think the painting on the wall and the cupboard could be less defined and toned down so they recede more in the picture space. 

Learning logs/blogs/critical essays
Your blog is good, just more sketches and analysis of artists work.

Suggested reading/viewing
Juan Sanchez Cotain good for shadows, fruit and vegetables, also Francisco Zurbaran.  Jean-Baptiste Chardin and Harmen Steenwyck vanitas paintings.

 Try using mixed media for sketching, and washing charcoal with water for different effects. 

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Nintendo DS

I love drawing on my DS. I think it beats the iPad because I get to use a pen. I can't get used to finger painting.
Here's one I did a while back.

Thanks to Ben Jaques for the lovely Java applet (http://masscat.afraid.org)

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Light relief between assignments

I like practising my portrait skills. More often than not the first sketch is absolutely horrible and looks nothing like the person, but after a few attempts it seems to flow easier.
I just need to get over the initial disgust at the first drawing and keep going - I don't always manage it :o)