The homework exercise for the second painting class with Anthony Whiting was to paint a bowl of fruit. He had suggested we could pull down a reference photo from the internet, but I couldn't find one with the kind of lighting I wanted. So, did it the hard way--set up a bowl of fruit and took some photos. The image to the right shows my finished painting exercise in acrylic paint on 8 1/2" x 11" heavy paper in a bound sketchbook.
Before painting the fruit, we were to make an outline sketch of the 8 - 12 major shapes in the image, then a 5 value sketch to plan the placement of the lights and darks, and finally some color samples to choose the paint hues we would use. You can see the preliminary exercises page here. I tried my grey scale markers for the value sketch and used 5 of them, from a very light grey to a very dark grey. The markers helped with decisions about placement of values, but did not allow for the kind of subtler shading a pencil sketch can provide. Instead of individual color swatches, I made a couple of choppy stroke blended patches (as in the first class's homework; see previous post). I used a limited primary color palette with only 3 tube colors altogether plus titanium white--alizarin crimson, cadmium yellow medium, and cobalt blue--which created a wide range of color blend possibilities. Limiting the color palette also makes for a pleasing underlying harmony.
Anthony Whiting's teaching and homework assignments are providing me with new techniques and leading me to real growth. The subjects, brush stroke technique, choppy blending method--and more--are a change for me. And a challenge. Some of what we do for the class is well outside my comfort zone, or, in other words, at the perfect learning edge.
Question of the day: Where is the learning edge in your life currently?