Evolve Artist Block 1 Assignment 2: Gradients

Overall Thoughts

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Total time spent:

  • 7 hours on painting
  • 1+ hours on extra exercise (checkerboard) to use up paint
  • 1+ hour on cleanup
  • Total: 9 hours ish (5pm to 2am)

If I were to start this painting over right now, what would I do differently?

  • Wipe the brush more often in between takes, and check the color on the brush before laying down paint. I worry about contamination.
  • Do one rectangle at a time, filling in both halves then laying down the buffer and gradient, rather than filling in all the rectangles, then doing all the buffers.
  • Take more time, rewatch Kevin’s videos and Piper’s video and reviewing my notes a few more times before even starting the paint session
  • Be even MORE CAREFUL about NOT touching the canvas with my hands / washing hands in between to avoid smudging
  • Try using an actual pencil rather than mechanical to see if trace lines are smoother
  • Split the painting process into two sessions instead of doing it all in one, by halving the amount of paint I use

Day 1

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  • Everyone says gradients are hard. I see what they mean, but I wonder if I psyched myself out a bit.
  • Still love the process of painting. I sometimes just daydream about pushing paint around on canvas with a brush, when I’m not actually doing it.
  • Sharp corners and hard edges are coming easier, I have a better idea of how to do them, although corners are still tough.
  • Still smudging the paper and myself accidentally. In the video, Kevin did say if you get your hand dirty you should wash it before continuing.
  • Does oil paint dry faster when it’s spread thin?
  • First time using reusable plastic palette. A bit cheap quality, might need to invest in glass one day? Also, ridiculously hard to clean up.
  • 4 cm of paint for 4 tubes of paint is a LOT of paint!! Had so much left over.
  • Some delay in doing this assignment because of issues with my phone storage. Sigh.

Day 2

  • There wasn’t really a day 2, because I ended up completing the entire painting in one sitting (5pm to 2am).
  • Not the best idea, but I put out too much paint and didn’t want to waste it!

Final Submission

This is the final painting I submitted for grading:

I submitted the assignment at around 8am Friday, and got a response at 9:06am. The graders are FAST! O.O

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My Questions

Questions I asked the instructor when submitting the homework:

  • Can I do all the boxes first, and then the gradient on top?
    • Not recommended. You don’t want the paint to dry before you do the gradient. Lay out half the paint and do the first two rows, then come back.
  • Should I use all three methods Kevin demonstrates in the gradients video?
    • Just use the largest brush, and experiment with hand movements to see what works for you
  • How to be more efficient with cleanup?
    • Bar soap is better than dish detergent (I used dish detergent for cleaning the sink afterwards) and use a sponge or cleaning wipe for the sink. If you have gobs of paint on the palette, scrape it off first!

Instructor Feedback

The most helpful concrete feedback I got from Kristen for this assignment:

  • Scrape off excess paint before washing the palette (…DOI! I should’ve thought of that! *headdesk*)
  • And the buffer should start as a solid, wide stripe, about 2 x #10 brush widths.

In general, she said (and I agree) that gradients will take longer than you think. Be careful about the color on the brush and practice manipulating the edge of the buffer.

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Notes on Lesson Videos

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Initial Thoughts

Feb 12, 2022

In the first video, Kevin explains that he repeats critical foundational information over and over because otherwise people forget. This is so true and I don’t mind him doing that!

Also, the concept that ALL THINGS ARE RELATIVE is really interesting. Kevin says that the sharper you make your sharp edges, the softer your gradients look. Visually, contrasts are important!

This concept applies to more than art. I’ve learned this in marketing as well. See “anchoring.”

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