Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Serious Beginner: Session 3

 Sure enough, the still life was recreated/glued/nailed down and ready for us to attack it again.  I don't think it was in EXACTLY the same place as it was before, but that might be a) my old brain/memory, b) my inability to accurately render shapes, perspective and proportion, or c) the easel might have been in a different place. 
     Not to worry, it's impressionism!

   It is a very different experience to paint in this manner.
   All of us were repeatedly chastised, "Don't go back!"  Which meant, don't paint over any stroke, don't blend the edges.  Rather, we were to pick up a SMALL amount of paint on a (relatively) SMALL brush and lay down a patch of color as if it were a mosaic tile.  Then, depending on how close in hue and value the next "tile" would be, either clean the brush (wipe on a paper-towel, rinse in turpenoid, wipe), pick up the next color and lay it down adjacent to the last "tile." 
     Several of us were flummoxed by mixing on a dark palette and applying paint onto a black canvas. I think self-taught painters, and perhaps many others, use white palettes (disposable or not) and paint onto white gessoed canvas, or at most an ochre/sienna-toned canvas.
     I had better luck than most sneaking under the radar when it came to "going back."  I caught myself doing it, but found the challenge of making the right tile tone and putting it in the right place to be totally absorbing.
    The instructor wants me to figure out where the transition line will go (where the surface of the table drops from horizontal to vertical). In my old ways, I would simply to put some glaze over the darker part.  In this class, that is clearly "illegal," or cheating or worse.  I verified that by asking if we would ever use glazes.  "Nooooooo!" was the answer.  Some old masters ONLY used glazes, but apparently Cezanne was. not. one. of. them.

My task for tomorrow is to rig up a heater in the basement so I can resume painting at home, possibly into the wee hours.
I'm remembering why I love it so much.

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