Evolve Artist Block 1 Assignment 3: Gradients II

Overall Thoughts

They say you can really see your improvement when you are starting out in any endeavor, and I think that’s certainly the case here. From the squares in assignment one to this second page of gradients in assignment three, I feel like I’ve improved in several ways:

  • Brush control
  • Paint mixing with oils
  • Laying out my material and cleaning up afterwards
  • Less accidental smudging on the canvas (I counted, there were like 11 smudges on my first assignment and 3 on my third)
  • Even figuring out how to film record and take pictures of my progress more efficiently

I’ve been taking my sweet time with these assignments, as Kevin recommends, and even though I’m slow, I think it’s worth it. The process is like a kind of productive meditation, and I can listen to audio lessons and such when I work, which is enjoyable and relaxing, and the end product is definitely better than if I sped up.

Total time spent:

  • Two painting sessions of about five hours each, for a total of 10 hours.
  • Saturday morning: 8am to 1pm and Monday night, 5pm to 10+pm
  • (But I did spend a couple extra hours painting more gradients in my sketchbook to use up my extra paint)

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

  • Not a whole lot. I think I would re-watch Kevin and Piper’s gradient videos several times, just to keep it fresh on the mind…but I’m planning to do that in the future, anyway.
  • As for the rest, the instructors keep saying that you will improve with practice. I think at this point it may be more of just building up the muscle memory and instinct for making add mixtures, mixing oils into paints, and laying paint on canvas.
  • One thing maybe to use more paper towels. I hate to waste, but I do tend to accidentally contaminate!
  • Last time Kristen’s comment on having a wider buffer (about two #10-paintbrush-widths) was super helpful, as was re-watching the videos and realizing the buffer width should be about one-third of the entire rectangle, not just a tiny little strip in the middle.

Day 1

  • Saturday morning painting session from about 8am (woke at 7:24) until 1pm (finished first two rows), and then painted three practice mini gradients in my sketchbook for another hour or so.
  • Looking MUCH better
  • Advice from Barbie in the homework room: Use less paint on the brush, and sometimes it’s okay to sweep it up and down not just zig zags (Note to self: That will help with splotchiness)

Day 2

  • Tues 2/21/22 Debated whether or not to paint tonight considering have to wake up at 4 tomorrow, but decided to go ahead. Planned on 3-4 hours, ended up doing 5+…
  • 5pm to 10+pm, then until <11pm to paint four more quick gradients in my sketchbook for practice and to use up extra paint, and also to wash the brushes and palette
  • Gradients not perfect but looking much better. And my corners are getting sharper ๐Ÿ™‚ And more consistent. Although I did have a slight boo-boo on the bottom-most right rectangle (the top left side) but covered it okay, I think…
  • After finishing the page, went back to try to fix middle column, but ended up making it worse before getting it back to normal ish (because I used the wrong buffer shade at first, and because a lot of the paint had dried, especially the top two rows. Don’t know what I was thinking)

Final Submission

This is the final painting I submitted for grading:

Then I realized it was too dark, so I tried again:

I submitted the assignment at around 12:10am Tuesday night/Wed morning, and got a response just before 7pm on Wednesday.

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My Questions & Instructor Feedback

Questions I asked the instructor when submitting the homework:

  • Which part of the brush should I use?
    • The edge, the wide part of the brush, are all fine. But avoid using the tip
  • Is it normal to take 9-10 hours on this assignment?
    • Just don’t do less than 3.5 — that indicates you’re rushing
  • How thick should the buffer paint be, and should I let the paint dry a bit?
    • Gradients need to be worked wet on wet, and don’t add too much oil or apply the paint too thickly

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Notes on Lesson Videos

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Initial Thoughts

There’s only one video in this lesson, and Kevin basically just reinforces the gradients lessons from before.

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