“Failure is always an option.”
Painting Class Five
We Missed the Mark
There are times in life where failure creates happy little accidents. Like when you accidentally rear-end the man who will eventually become your husband. Or when you get bitten by a radioactive spider. Or that third child – I think that you know what I’m saying.
But more often than not failures are just that. I’ve had failures that make me want to burn the evidence, and failures so bad that a Law & Order episode is based on them.
Everyone struggled with this lesson. Ultimately that means that I failed. Failure in teaching usually comes down to communication – either the emphasis is wrong or the it’s just not explained correctly for the target audience (like when somebody uses multisyllabic words to explain something to a member of congress).
At first, I was dismayed. I didn’t even want to tell you this. Unfortunately my husband returned early and extinguished the fire before all of the evidence was destroyed, so I began to see it as a fine way to see what I needed to focus on.
Lessons in Light and Shadow
Showing depth on a two-dimensional surface is difficult, but it’s really important when trying to make objects seem real. Getting these values is probably one of the most important elements of painting, and it’s also one of the most challenging.
Our brains are incredible. Well, most brains. They really want to make things real and they compensate what is missing in the picture to make it look real. Have you ever looked at a traffic sign that shows a lane merging or ending? Even though you may have never seen that particular sign before, your mind instantly fills in the blanks to understand what the sign is saying. (Unfortunately this does not work on everybody – my 16 year-old daughter can’t process a stop sign and my husband doesn’t seem to understand a speed limit sign, but in general this is how our brains operate.)
Unfortunately as artists, this can work against us. We need to override these optical illusions so that we can create the images that we really want.
Our Practice on Laminated Pictures
Here are some pictures of this week’s practice. Also, this would be a good time to go over this week’s vocabulary terms:
Trying It Freehand
Because we’re gluttons for punishment.
I can get bogged down in what needs to be done – so much so that I forget to mention what we did right! I think you can tell by the pictures that all the students have mixing grey down pat. The only colors allowed on everyone’s palette was blue and orange plus some white.