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Give me art assignments

 
 
Aldistar
 
  2  
Reply Mon 30 Mar, 2009 07:25 pm
Good idea for a thread!! This is a major problem for me too. I have so MANY ideas that I can never choose and end up waffling my time away. I may nick some of these assignments for myself.

I understand the time restraints. Back in art school our life drawing teacher always started out the day the same way with a round of a few 30 second drawings then 2 minutes, then 5 and 10 and so on until the last half hour of the class was dedicated to one drawing (all different poses by a live model). It really helped to loosen us up and decide what detail to use and ignore. He would occaisionally have us use our 'off' hand to draw some of the 30 sec.-5 min. drawings, said it made us think with the other side of the brain and appreciate the attention to details better.

0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Mar, 2009 07:51 pm
@sozobe,
A really difficult one is to paint a still life and then paint the background around it. For example, take a couple of branches of forsythia, paint them and then paint a dark value of a complementary color as the background. The branches will then pop out of the background. USe various "washes" for the foreground and the background. Try no to make the background looking washed out .

OR paint a cube, a sphere or a pyramid with a background in complementary color with several washes of different colors (in wc vermillion and green make a good black, and its gonna be a black with depth rather than looking flat)

The water colors (I like best) are Sennelier, cause they have great color saturation. What r u using?
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Mar, 2009 06:17 am
@Thomas,
That's definitely one I'm working towards... not yet, though. I've sketched her but am not ready to do a "real" portrait yet -- want to warm up more with simpler stuff. (I've found painting portraits of people I know to be the hardest -- I seem to "see" more clearly when it's people I don't know.)

This goes for animals too, happy to sketch your cat, TTH, that's more in my comfort zone. Just a quick sketch though (pencil probably), don't expect anything too impressive! Any photo is fine, but one that is clear and with a lot of contrast would be best.

I found that I'm out of watercolor paper so haven't done anything yet but am looking forward to Osso's exercise, I think that's just the sort of thing I need.

I seem to be set re: colors -- I tried to paint a (picture of a) house for a friend recently and my colors were really nice, my draftsmanship sucked though. So I guess that's the main thing I want to brush up on, a good clarification. Colors have always been easiest for me. I have to check which watercolors I have now, I used to have Windsor & Newton but recently got some new ones that are a brand I didn't recognize (recommended by artstore dude), I'll check.

Thanks again for all your ideas and nice to see fellow-artists getting inspired...!
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Mar, 2009 06:23 am
@sozobe,
OK, they're Pelikan. (Watercolors.)
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Mar, 2009 09:30 am
@sozobe,
I just realized that while I've unpacked my art books, I didn't run across my Nicolaides. Damn. Probably leant it to someone. He wrote a book called The Natural Way to Draw that was popular before the Betty Evans Left Brain Right Brain book/technique (forget the title of that one).

Thought of it because I was remembering an old "task", which is to draw an item without looking at the paper, staring at it and following your eye with your pencil. This tends to result in a completely oddly drawn telephone or vase but with practice, I gather, tunes your eye and hand in conjunction. I'm not sure how valuable this is but it gets to the heart of the hand eye coordination thing.

I had a boss who could draw a landscape feature or house design idea quickly on scratch paper, no changes, and the drawing would virtually scale out, usually at quarter scale. Kind of a perfect tuning of hand and judgement. He just did it in a flash - no dawdly for measure - whereas I'd have to "think" about what I was up to, even after hundreds and hundreds of drawings, if I wanted it to scale and not just be suggestive of scale.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Mar, 2009 09:39 am
@ossobuco,
Nicolaides
I never followed his tough routine... just for the ideas


The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards
Never read it myself, but it sounds like Alistar's teacher did..

0 Replies
 
Aldistar
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Mar, 2009 08:53 pm
I might have to check that out.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Mar, 2009 08:58 pm
@Aldistar,
I'm sorry, I seem to have not copied the right link for the Drawing on the Right Side book.
Back in a bit.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Mar, 2009 09:03 pm
@ossobuco,
Well, this is not the latest, I don't think, but seems to have the most favor/fervor..


http://www.amazon.com/New-Drawing-Right-Side-Brain/dp/0874774195/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1238554802&sr=1-2
0 Replies
 
TTH
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Apr, 2009 09:57 am
@sozobe,
sozobe wrote:
This goes for animals too, happy to sketch your cat, TTH, that's more in my comfort zone. Just a quick sketch though (pencil probably), don't expect anything too impressive! Any photo is fine, but one that is clear and with a lot of contrast would be best.
Thanks sozobe, I have been trying to find a picture. My cat died in 1996 so I am going through albums trying to find a suitable picture. Pencil would be great. I will keep looking.
0 Replies
 
sakhi
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Apr, 2009 11:31 pm
@sozobe,
Soz, I look forward to seeing your paintings/sketches.

I used to paint too a long time ago - I have no training but I enjoy it a lot.

I recently re-started my hobby. I like painting things that are rich and colorful...so I painted a peacock (with its feathers open) as a gift for my husband's birthday....it came out quite nicely, just as I'd wanted it to. I also tried making my own version of Van Gogh's Starry Nights Over The Rhone and it was a disaster. ..

So, how about something like a cockatoo or parakeet or a peacock....
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Apr, 2009 11:45 pm
Why don't you just keep painting old men with sewing machines in monsoon floods? For all I know, that's the only thing you ever painted. Razz
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Apr, 2009 02:10 am
OK, here's my suggestion for you, soz:

- Set yourself up in a comfortable seat in front of a big mirror, in a room with plenty of light. Have a drawing pad & drawing equipment at the ready. (!)
- Spend quite a bit of time looking at the person you see in the mirror.
- Then - using grey lead pencil, coloured pencils, or charcoal - whichever you prefer - draw the image you see in the mirror.
- You can take a very literal approach, aiming for accuracy - or you can be a bit "interpretive". Though the image you record should be recognisable as you, whichever approach you take.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Apr, 2009 05:06 am
@msolga,
The hardest thing to master with wc paints is their tendency to go "flat looking" without washes of several other colors . Controlled washes and practicing them is still my advice for you to get back into it. You can draw (or you can trace or transfer, its immeterial), so playing with the color is most important. The worst wc paintings are those where the colors look just flat on the surface. Even Gramom Moses had a very sophisticated color pallette. I always hated her stuff until my wife had me go to a show up in her home town and I was amazed at how she really made those little primitive scenes just glow with life. Her skies are always a minimum of 3 colors (blues ,yellows, and roses) She mixed her paints (both wc and oils) with a deft hand and she never made "mud" on her paintings.
TTH
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Apr, 2009 09:58 pm
@farmerman,
Here is a picture of my cat. I hope you can make a sketch from this.
http://img8.imageshack.us/img8/1997/simon85.jpg
0 Replies
 
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 7 May, 2010 08:29 pm
@sozobe,
Paint a version of the Sistine Chapel ceiling but use Peeps as the models.
0 Replies
 
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Feb, 2011 06:02 pm
@sozobe,
Sozobe, it seems to me that requiring "assignments" is a suspension of art-making. At most its goal is mere craftsmanship. To do Art is to work with maximum independence and inventiveness. Smear some paint or scribble a shape on a canvas or paper and then follow it's instruction or inspiration. THAT'S a valid "assignment."
sozobe
 
  2  
Reply Wed 16 Feb, 2011 08:17 pm
@JLNobody,
I know what you're saying, but that's not what has worked for me in the past. I've always been most interested in representational work, and getting an idea going was what goosed me into actually doing something.

I wouldn't call it the opposite of independence or inspiration as often the assignment would lead me in some totally different direction than the stated parameters -- but it would get things going.

It's moot right now as I have very few spare moments (too much volunteer work + family/household stuff + a new job), but it's something I'd like to come back to when things have calmed down a bit (if they do! It's always something).
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Feb, 2011 08:35 pm
@ossobuco,
Reminiscing - I still have some of those drawings by the gathered friends aka students who were nicely loose and ready to play, but I no longer have the high-kinko options of size reduction. Suffice it to say a lot of good stuff came out of that. (wait, a bunch of what I have is by me, but I remember people liking their own work a lot)

Some of them had art played in school before, but some hadn't, including one husband, who had probably more fun than the rest of us.

They all got A's.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Feb, 2011 08:51 pm
@msolga,
Um.

I did a six foot charcoal drawing of nude of myself once, as per assignment. I tossed the drawing eventually, from its casket in the rollups. Did take a photo of it. Very odd. Amature time, but I'm glad to have the snapshot.
0 Replies
 
 

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