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Give me art assignments

 
 
sozobe
 
Reply Mon 30 Mar, 2009 10:00 am
Hi,

With increasing frequency in the last six months or so, I've really wanted to paint. I used to paint seriously but in the past 15 years or so I've done a lot of artsy-craftsy stuff (including watercolor cards) but no real painting. I just get kinda overwhelmed when I think about WHAT I want to paint, though. (No lack of ideas but all the ideas I DO have kind of come rushing in and I can't decide and I end up doing nothing.)

I recognize this feeling from art school and assignments always got me over the hump. I'd be grumpy about it and not want to do it but it'd still lead to other stuff, even if I didn't like the assignment or did badly on the assignment.

So, who wants to boss me around? No promises as to WHEN I'll finish it or whether I'll post it (I'll try). Keep it basic to start with. I don't have any oils or acrylics; main media available are pencil sketches, pen and ink sketches, and watercolors.

Thanks.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 10 • Views: 9,828 • Replies: 43
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Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Mar, 2009 10:08 am
Ok, so your assignment is to paint a man slumped on his forearms at a chess board (in the foreground) with his pieces being in an unfavorable position and his glass of wine now ignored and almost empty.
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Mar, 2009 10:11 am
@Robert Gentel,
Hey, at least I didn't give you an Obama assignment....

http://www.badpaintingsofbarackobama.com/

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/picturegalleries/howaboutthat/4961632/Bad-Paintings-of-Barack-Obama.html
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Mar, 2009 10:15 am
@Robert Gentel,
Robert Gentel wrote:

Ok, so your assignment is to paint a man slumped on his forearms at a chess board (in the foreground) with his pieces being in an unfavorable position and his glass of wine now ignored and almost empty.


Funny, that's what I was going to suggest!

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Mar, 2009 10:17 am
@sozobe,
I totally get what you are saying.

I'll play one of the Assignors. Assigners?


This is old school stuff, which you might have already been through, but you can adapt the underlying idea re go-to-it-sans-dithering to almost any subject matter. I think it can help re abstraction, play, figuration, choice making, lots of stuff.

I can imagine opposite assignments, as in take this and do studies..



Choose 1 of the following:

A) Place sheet on floor. Empty trash can onto sheet. Paint/sketch that in, ah, 15 minutes.

B) Place sheet on lawn. Strew branches and yard objects onto sheet. Paint/sketch that in 20 minutes.


ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Mar, 2009 10:19 am
@ossobuco,
Hah, love Robert's idea.
0 Replies
 
hamburger
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Mar, 2009 10:26 am
@sozobe,
soz :

i'd go with osso's suggestion :

Quote:
Strew branches and yard objects onto sheet. Paint that in 20 minutes.



but allow a bit more time .
i always like the pattern of branches , pinecones and other debris strewn upon the lawn after the long winter - perhaps add a few spring flowers (crocus ?) to brighten it up - that's what our garden looks like now - and will look like for a while .
it does give hope for spring to see the first crocus emerging - they are brave !
hbg
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Mar, 2009 10:32 am
@hamburger,
I like that one too. I get what she means about 20 minutes though (forcing some spontaneity, banishing perfectionism, which is why I need assignments in the first place).

I'll see what I can do...
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Mar, 2009 10:40 am
@Robert Gentel,
The nude-Obama-with-a-unicorn subcategory is deplorably underrepresented.

(Hope your chess fortunes look up.)
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Mar, 2009 10:46 am
@sozobe,
sozobe wrote:
(Hope your chess fortunes look up.)


I haven't had any chess misfortune myself (I won the only game I played in the last couple years), just thought it would be an interesting composition and tossed in the wine glass to be a bastard (very hard to paint a wine glass).
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Mar, 2009 10:48 am
@Robert Gentel,
Yeh, not doing it!

Glad your chess fortunes are... fortunate.

I'm most interested in painting stuff from life, as in Osso's assignment -- trying to get that hand-eye connection back.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Mar, 2009 10:56 am
@hamburger,
Hbg, the short time's on purpose for that assignment to force speed choices. I think the assignment could be lengthened to adding more time, and then even more time, resulting in different work.

The branches on a sheet thing was never something I was assigned (I did get the trash can one, and I think the time might have been ten minutes). My cousin was an art major at ucla and studied with a then famous fellow, Jan Stussy. He's the one who went out on campus and collected branches for short time assignment, which was hard for people who were very detail oriented, trying to bend their need to be so representational, if not forever, but to expand possibilities in their work. She told of a friend, who I guess became a major illustrator sometime later, have a near breakdown about those branches and the short number of minutes.
TTH
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Mar, 2009 10:58 am
@sozobe,
Can you paint animals? I had a siamese cat and I would love to see him in a painting. I would have to find a picture first.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Mar, 2009 11:02 am
@ossobuco,
On the trash can thing, I remember scoffing at that stupid assignment to friends, geez. The teacher, Jean Barlow, said something about expanding our (techniques) like a material that expanded and contracted, but didn't contract to quite the same place. Not too much later on, I changed my mind re the stupidity. Still have some quick and dirty watercolors from that class (models posing), all ten minuters. There's a lot of gesture/motion in them.
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Mar, 2009 11:05 am
A still life would be nice too - with charcoal or pencil where the different
shade nuances would come in to define perception and perspectives.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Mar, 2009 11:15 am
@CalamityJane,
Riffing on Calamity's assignment, doing still lives can be endlessly involving.

A favorite painter of many painters is Giorgio Morandi, a guy who mostly stayed home and painted bottles. Then there are Bonnard and Vuillard, oh, and Mr. Cezanne. And photorealists. And Picasso. And and and.

A key thing to learn whether in color or b & w, with lines only or without lines, is to show volume, 3 dimensionality, with a bowl or a bottle or.. a wine glass or an onion. A matter of light..
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Mar, 2009 11:41 am
@ossobuco,
One more post and then I'll be quiet.

Back in the days of my first gallery, we had studio nights with a hired model for artists to do work on their own for about three hours, most of them being painters. A few years later people at my lab wanted me to teach them drawing and we had a few sessions at my house where they all brought big sketch pads and some drawing tools, and one or the other of us would pose for, say, 15 minutes, while the rest did gesture drawing, line drawing, or whatever - each bringing cookies or some such as "payment". That was fun. Life drawing doesn't always have to involve nudes, can be a practice drawing people session, using different times depending on the group needs.
hamburger
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Mar, 2009 12:46 pm
@ossobuco,
the only "artsy" lessons i ever had were "drawing' classes in high-school .
our wonderful classroom-teacher - we called him dad and he taught most subjects - gave us an assignmant : "tree with leaves" .
we all beavered away - except for one fellow who finished in 10 minutes flat and shouted : " DONE ! " . our teacher went over and had a look at it : "you didn''t draw the leaves properly . have a look at a leaf and do the drawing again by drawing every leaf individually . "
the "artist" replied : "van gogh didn't paint evry leaf individually , did he ? " .
our teacher : "you are not van gogh yet and until you are , you better draw every leaf individually . and when you are as good as van gogh , i'd really like to see your work " .
thirty boys just roaring - the teacher had made his point without any effort .
hbg



0 Replies
 
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Mar, 2009 12:51 pm
I'm fond of acrylics on velvet, especially those featuring Elvis.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  2  
Reply Mon 30 Mar, 2009 12:53 pm
@sozobe,
We have a few really nice paintings by my grand-aunt of my mother as a child. Maybe you could paint the Sozlet? It is really easy. Just make her sit perfectly still for 10 hours and paint. Voila!
 

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