My oils class is over. After painting the white eggs on a white background, we painted the same red apple on two different backgrounds, red and green. Then we painted the same limes on two different backgrounds, green and red. This exercise was primarily to demonstrate the power of complimentary colors.
We switched gears after that and Jan had me and Andrea, the other student who was taking this class at the more advanced level, choose taxidermy birds from the Yale Peabody Museum’s collection that are available in the classroom building. I did the yellow warbler first. Then I painted the wood thrush.
On the last day of class, Jan had me continue to work on the wood thrush to a point, then whisked my painting away from me. I was getting hung up on the details, as I am prone to do. This time I was trying to get the feet more defined, but the painting was done enough and it was time to let it go. She wanted me to focus on the last assignment and I only had 1 1/2 hours left of class time in which to do it.
She had a lemon sliced in half. I was to do the line drawing and then paint the lemon as much as possible in that short time, show depth and all the values using only two colors: yellow and purple. The colors didn’t match, in fact, couldn’t match, but the painting has the whole value scale and it reads as a lemon sitting in space. I didn’t think I could do it, because I tend to be cautious and slow, but I did it! The time limit forced me to make my decisions more quickly and slap the paint on faster. Jan was so pleased she took a picture of it.
The final project is due soon. I went to the grocery store today to contemplate the produce and get what I need for the painting. Now I have to get busy!
I am currently taking two classes. One is spring flowers in graphite. So far we’ve drawn tulips, calla lilies, and petunias. Very challenging. The other is Fundamentals in Scientific Illustration II. Right now we are drawing pinecones. Pinecones are hard! I will have to post pictures of those pieces when I’m done, but here’s a teaser: my drawing of the red tulip with white edges.