Monday, December 29, 2008

Oil Painting

This semester i picked up a brush and had a go at oil painting for the first time. Took the class Still Life Painting at school with teacher Brandon Smith. Really good painter with a beautiful handling of colour. Having hardly worked in colour before this semester I found it quite a challenge not getting my colours muddy or chalky. But hopefully we learn from our failures and I did enjoy the medium a lot!

Emulation of an artist (Final homework):
Pick a still life artist you like and analys his work method and visual landscape. Work in the methods of the artist, but do not copy a piece he has made. Being from Norway I've always enjoyed Odd Nerdrums work and chose to work in his method. He works very thick with small brushes and rags in the larger areas. At the end of a pass he dries the paint and sands down. Seeing as I did not have time to work on dry paint I skipped this part but tried to stay true to his painting technique. I found painting thick to be constantly exposing my lack of painting experience and kept going back to a thin application.

I found this great Odd Nerdrum referance; derekvanderven. A site dedicated to analysis of his techniques. Be aware that these guys are happy amatuers so don't take everything they write as facts. The site did help me a lot tho, it has changed a bit from when I used it. But as I could see, mostly for the better.

Mine worked out better as a rendering than as a painting in Nerdrums fashion. The coulour scheme worked out better. I achieved this with working a lot with venetian red and other earthly colours. Might have been a bit too ambitious to emulate an artist as sophisticated technically as Nerdrum. I have to say that I do love his rendering and might try to work more in this old renaissance fashion next semester.

In class work
Our classes were once a week from 8:30 to 14:50 in the afternoon. The object of each class was to paint on still life working with different tasks life birds-eye, high-key, reflective objects and so on throughout the semester. This one was the second to last day of the semester and we could compose our own still lifes. I chose a simplistic setup with a blue to yellow-red split compliment. I threw the cube with the letter "H" in there cause this was to be a christmas gift to my sister Hanna. H for Hanna, get it!? ... Hey, poort art students have to improvise

Homework piece (from photo referance)
Second to last homework assignment. My shared studio does not lend itself easily to still life painting, and seeing as I had allready painted my salt and pepper shaker and my only other interesting subject (shoes), were dirty. I decided to work from photo referance I took of my lunch. Had only ever painted from life before this and the photo presented a few interesting challenges. I found it easier to figure out the colours and to stray away from the referance in deciding what would make it into my painting. On the other hand when I ran into some issues with tangents and arias that did not read very well in the photo it was hard to make changes in the painting. So will I work more from photos? I think I will, but only in cases where it is important to capture something I will not get a chance to study in real life, i.e. interesting poses, moving objects, food that is rotting.