Thursday, February 5, 2015

A Practice in Patience and Perserverance

Well, it only took less than two weeks before my impatience kicked in! I've been working exclusively on still lifes as part of my values and temperature in color theory pastel lesson, and a dozen or so of those things are already starting to try my patience and make me look forward to eventually hopefully returning to my beloved landscape and animal paintings! But I'm not giving up, and will figure this out no matter how long it takes! A big hurdle for me at present is actually getting the still lifes set up. I use a small spare bedroom as a "studio" so am quite limited on space, and setting up the painting subjects appropriately is a challenge in and of itself, to say the least. Currently I'm using a tiny computer table with a clip-on lamp, and hinged cardboard to serve as a backing. I have several of those brightly colored presentation folders to use as various surfaces when I don't want to use just the white table. One of my biggest challenges is the fact that I have to paint in the evenings after work, so must use artificial lighting on my easel by which to paint. This can sometimes interfere with the shadowing on my still lifes, even though I try to shield them as much as possible from all but the lamp. Then add to all that my amblyopia visual distortion, and it can occasionally make for a bit of stress to get the homework studies even close to correct! So far in the past couple of weeks, I've painted several objects in greyscale, including an egg, a cowbell, shaving brush and razor, fruit (apple and pear), coffee mug and spoon, bar of soap and a shaving bowl.
Greyscale Still Life Homework Assignments © 2015 Tammy Kaufman
And I've done several color studies as well of the cowbell, shaving brush and razor, fruit (pear and apple), shaving bowl, and coffee mug and spoon.
Color Still Life Homework Assignments © 2015 Tammy Kaufman 
Most of the homework has been much less successful than I would have hoped, and I've had more than a little difficulty "seeing" all the values and temperature changes within the objects and shadows themselves, not to mention the reflected light and color in the backgrounds and surfaces. Who would have thought still lifes were so tough?! But I'm still pressing forward, fully intent on "getting" this color theory thing one way or another.

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