Thursday, September 9, 2010

Water Glass

Water Glass, L. Daniel, 12 x 12

My still life class entitled, "Water, Glass & Light" started at the Austin Museum of Art School yesterday. You guessed it, the whole focus is on painting transparent objects and it is going to be fun! (As the teacher, I guess I may be biased, but there you have it.) While this may sound obvious, the fact that glass and water are CLEAR is the most important thing to remember. One is really just painting what is seen THROUGH the glass and water. We painted very simple still lifes with just colored fabrics and glass. It's a great way to get the concept of "seeing through".

Warm-up Exercise:
Before painting a full sized canvas, we did little studies like the following to warm-up. We are using a block-in method that starts with simple shapes and color notes, almost like a mosaic. This warm-up is a mini-version of that block-in method and it allows the painter to identify and locate color and shapes spatially without getting too caught up in detail. Getting it "right" is always a stumbling block for artists, so this is very freeing.


Water Glass Mosaic Study - 4 x 4
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Explanation/directions (for those who want to try this at home):
Observe the important spots of color as they occur throughout the painting (really necessary with glass with all the reflecting and refracting) and put them down. No preliminary drawing - just use the color to block in shapes and negative shapes. Pay attention to how the colors are altered when seen through glass and water. Lay in color next to color but don't connect the spots - keep it loose. Resist the urge to "finish" it. It's a good reference for a larger painting.

This is a great exercise, and I think it helped my students as they approached their larger pieces with the same process. Of course, for the large one, they did get to follow the urge to finish. Great work guys!! :)

11 comments:

Linda Popple said...

Many thanks for the lesson! :-)

Barbara M. said...

Hi Laurel,

Beautiful painting and wonderful explanation. Thanks for sharing your
teaching with us.

XOXOXOXOXBarbara

Marian Fortunati said...

Nice...
Love the way the light is refracted.

Róisín O'Farrell said...

Good Morning Laurel,

I did a double take when I saw a still life from you in my inbox this morning! A gorgeous little painting and thank you so much for giving us the "notes" from your lesson. It was really great. Thank you

Róisín

Erika Jaeggli said...

I was so bummed to not be able to take your class this semester but I'm loving this step-by-step instruction. I'm going to try to motivate and do this at home. Thanks for sharing. Does this count as an online course? ha ha.

SamArtDog said...

Short and sweet lessons make a lasting impact. Thanks.

fairiemoon said...

Oh, I love the water painting and the explanation of how to do it. It totally made me want to go out and buy some paints to get started.

I still love that Old Mill painting. I love the shadow. It has a character of its own.

Love you,
Erin :)

Mitzi Easley said...

OK, I'm officially missing your class now. Before it was just theoretical! Great work, as always Laurel.

Cobalt Violet said...

Wow, I am impressed. GORGEOUS. I love it.
And thanks for the tips!

susangraeber said...

your comments are very helpful..i am really taken with this small study..matisse like,and love the color of the canvas really showing too....

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