Wednesday, March 30, 2011

2011 BIA Members Exhibition

BIA 2011 Members Exhibition opens Friday 8th April. Apparently last years members show was a bit of a fizzer so this year they rung around to try and drum up some interest and it looks like it's going to be pretty big. I have submitted several drawings completed since the end of last semester. Hopefully they stand up against the other members work.

Is it finished yet

I still haven't painted in my glasses (and there are other little bits and pieces that could get fixed) but on the whole I'm pretty happy with my first painted portrait, even if it is of me. I think I'll leave it there.

Friday, March 25, 2011

More on the self portrait

I've had this thing up in my office all day and have looked at it repeatedly but once I took a photo of it I could suddenly see all the ways it looked wonky. The eyes, ears and jowls should be aligned horizontally and think the right eye (viewers left) should be further out and the left eye maybe further down. Anyway, If I don't do more this weekend I will try to finish it in Monday's class.

It's got this crazy Dr. Jekyll thing going on, if you hold up your hand and block one side then the other, the dark side of the face is like a wolf man scowling while the light side is a human smiling.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Self Portrait 2

Did some work on the portrait last night. Still have some more to go.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Self Portrait - Part 1

This week sees the beginning of our self portrait project, to be finished next week. So I have posted the work so far and will post again as I do more. Hopefully it improves with subsequent posts.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Empty Cans

I've been working on another pen and ink drawing, this time of empty beer cans. I tried a few different things this time but they didn't really work out so in the end it's once again many layers of cross hatching. But I remembered lessons from the drawings class about all tone being layers and I realised that the kind of marks you make with the pen aren't necessarily as important as get the tone (and graduation of tone) right. So in the end I'm happy with the way this one turned out.

Paint a picture of a picture

In preparation for painting a self portrait from a photo, Nameer had us paint pictures from photo's he ripped out of the paper.

Ask and you shall receive. This week Nameer pulled out his paintbrushes and gave a demonstration. As I suspected, he'd prefer we develop our own techniques rather than copy him but I did enjoy watching him work. And I think it free'd me up too. I'd been so focused on trying to "Paint" rather than thinking about the picture I was trying to make. I watched him draw, smudge, slap paint in great blobs and it was less about the brush and more about what kind of mark he wanted to make. So i just drew and smudged and slapped on paint too. And I think it came out pretty good.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Prep for a self portrait

In coming weeks we will be painting a self portrait. In preparation for this, we were asked to make four quick sketches of familiar objects from home that have some personal significance and bring them along to class. Not being a collector of Knick Knacks I struggled to find subjects for my sketches.

The Paintings

For each painting (an A3 sheet of paper cut into quarters) we were asked to try a new way of working. Firstly we slopped great blobs of Gesso onto paper in the rough shapes of a sketch. I remember Impasto from High School and this was similar in effect. Then we cut a stencil for the next picture and painted over it to leave a silhouette. Some more Gesso for the third one and finally Nameer walked around the class, making individual suggestions to each of us for our final painting.

The Sketches

It feels as though Nameer is trying to teach us everything we need to know about making a painting except how to actually paint it. I'm yet to see him with a paint brush in his hand and I'm wondering if he'll pick one up at all this semester. But perhaps this is exactly what he hopes to avoid, studious pupils making exact copies of Nameer Davis paintings. Though I can't ignore a growing sense for frustration at this. I think I need to go somewhere to watch painters paint.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Objective Subjects

To begin the lesson this week, we looked at examples of still life paintings by Chardin and then Matisse and Picasso. Nameer emphasised the "act of painting" over painting a picture. Colour and form, layers and marks. He even seemed reticent to have us paint "Something" rather than just make splashes of paint on paper.

Again we set up a palette of complimentary colours (yellow an purple this time) and following instruction, began blocking in a background and sketching the shapes of objects Nameer had set up in the middle of the room.

Two thirds of the way through the class - and just like every week other week it seems - I felt like I had a total mess on my hands but in the end, I'm pretty happy with the way this painting turned out. It lacks a certain depth of tone but on the other hand, has a kind of golden glow about it that I quite like.