Sunday, May 13, 2012

Life Painting

This past semester I took a life painting class. Now I love life drawing and I love painting... but the two together? I was a little hesitant. I've never been very good at painting the human form, especially when it comes to rendering flesh. The first few weeks were monochromatic paintings mainly of still lifes and mannequins. 

Then we moved onto painting people in black and white so that we could focus on the values that form the body. A little intimidating at first... but not really that much to worry about.

Then came the worrying as we broke out the color paints. Did a lot of experimenting the first few weeks, trying to figure out how color works.

Oh, drapery. The love of every art student. From this moment onward we were told that we'd be moving away from painting just nudes. And sure enough, as the weeks progressed the models started getting more and more clothed. 

^This model was super cool. She brought a ton of props and she had playlists of themed music for us to paint to. She played a bunch of spy themes and such while we were painting the second one. Really helped to immerse us all in the storytelling. At least I think so. 

Probably my personal favorite painting from the semester.

For our final painting of the semester we had to create our own background. My background turned out okay, it's definitely one of the things I need to work on over summer. 

Various homework:

We had to recreate a master's work. First in black and white and then again in color. I chose a work by Degas. I really liked the colors in the piece and the pose so I decided to paint it, disregarding the fact that it isn't an oil painting to begin with. I was more focused on the color.

We had an assignment to paint our ears, eyes, nose, and mouth from 3 different angles. I thought just painting them individually would be boring, so I drew three angles of my face and painted only the parts I had to paint. I'm actually surprised I was the only student to do this. 
Kind of creepy if you look at it too long.
Our final homework assignment was to paint a friend in an environment. My sister always is telling me to draw her, and she jumped at the chance to be my model. However once I started painting, she wasn't as enthusiastic. I don't think she'll be modeling for me again anytime soon. We probably should've found an easier pose. Looking at this painting now, I think I went a little crazy with the colors.

And I will end this post with a self portrait: