Wednesday 23 September 2015

Composition revisited

This blog has been on hiatus, another word for just plain lazy. Let me quote Michael Jordan when he returned to basketball "I'm back".  

I redid the exercise on composition - one object some pieces of paper and  well make different compositions.

We all have the habit of just wanting to quickly get to painting.  This exercise suggests that taking the time to work out the composition might make a better painting.  In Mike Svob's workshop, he emphasized the same thing.  Carol moves her objects around, Mike did pencil thumbnails, but they both spend a lot of time on composition

Something to think about.

Sunday 26 April 2015


Tips for still life composition
  1. keep arranging your props until you feel good (it sometimes takes her quite a long time)
  2. make things uneven - spacing between things colours number of objects, edges, direction of strokes, warm and cool colours
  3. avoid awkward kissing of objects (2 apples just touching)
  4. the rule of thirds (divide the canvas into thirds (vertically and horizontally  and the sweet spot is where the lines meet
  5. fool around with the light

And most of all don't be afraid to break the rules.

Exercise: "Take a simple object, some pieces of paper and make different compositions. 
NOTE: she said take a simple object so I pulled out a salt shaker.  Salt shakers are quite complicated but I really enjoyed doing this exercise. It just took me longer than I would of liked.  I am having a show and in conjunction gave a talk.  The title was painting in a series.  This little project shows that even with a one object you can see me getting more comfortable painting it.

No salt was spilt in the making of this art. 

Wednesday 15 April 2015

Double Espresso

I wanted to try to paint 2 mugs - one inside another.  Carol does it all the time and of course she makes it look easy.  There are a lot of angles and ovals that are hard.  I started with drawing lines at the edges, filled in the lines, and the shapes.  A little more paint and I am done.  Now I see something wrong with the upper handle, but I am pleased.  I really learning a lot from her book. I would continue to work on it if it was for a complete painting but this is an exercise learn and move on.

Tuesday 10 March 2015

Still connecting the dots

I am still trying to get the hang of this method.  She makes little dots at the top, bottom and and either sides of each object.  The problem I am having is remembering what each dot stands for.  I get lost - the same way when I paint material and get lost in the folds - I hope you get better the more you practice.
Here is one I did just by filling in the masses.

This is trying to do the dots but really doing lines. (ignore the colour in the background I gessoed over an old one.  

And the result is

Another attempt and this time I am really going to stick to dots or rather dashes.

I think that is better.

Monday 9 February 2015

Can't get a handle on it

So I was drinking my morning coffee and doodling on my morning newspaper.  My husband just loves when I do that.  There was my mug a simple thing but I couldn't get the curve on the handle.  I realized that is no different then the curve on the lip or nose - it is really subtle.

I tried Carol Marine's method with little dots at special points and I must admit I was having a little trouble.  It makes sense but it is not natural for me. I kept forgetting which dot meant what. I will try it again and take pictures next time.  Here is my little cup.  I know it looks simple but the shadow on the handle itself was hard.

I am enjoying going through her book, unfortunately I won't be able to use my studio for 2 weeks.  Ater that I will be zipping through it. 

Tuesday 20 January 2015

Connecting the dots

Today's lesson is setting out your composition on the canvas.  First mark dots on the midpoints on the canvas.  Second put dots or little lines on the edges of each object. Third start rounding.  Here is my setup
 Then I added mid dots (I confess I drew a line to make it easier for me)
 I then connected the dots.

My first pass

 2nd pass

 And my painting.  I could have gone on for ever but this is just an exercise.  It was fun painting the teapot because at first glance it is black, but as you stare at it the colours come out.
Besides which I would really like my pot back as it is now time for tea.  - Lady Grey tea hot.
Here is Monday's weekly hint - yes I know it is Tuesday but consistency is not part of my vocabulary - don't even know the meaning of the word.

David Kassan is an amazing artist who is now having a Kickstarter fundraiser for a palette

If I were an oil painter I think I would get it because I love new things for my art.  His palette is unusual in that it is vertical.  His point is, a vertical palette means the light falls in the same manner on the palette as on the painting.  I am not comparing myself to him and I really don't think that having vertical is going to instantly make me as good as him but then you never know.  I have a little palette which I now keep vertically and it is easier physically so you don't twist to get at your paint.  I am now very aware of how repetitive motions come back to bite you.  

Watch the video - I think the palette is a  brilliant design. And before you ask - no the paint does not drip down but the glaze does so I just put that on the bottom.  

Friday 16 January 2015

View Finder continued

Here is another one I made with a view finder,  She uses the viewfinder throughout the painting but I made a sketch to use instead.

and then painted this work. If nothing else I am working from life

Tuesday 13 January 2015

Use your viewfinder

She uses a viewfinder and then draws in the big shapes.  I did this but it didn't look as great as her paintings.  I think I will try a simpler cup.  I did notice that I worked on the composition more because I could see it didn't look good through the viewfinder and I rearranged it quite a bit.